Manchester United are hoping to reach the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals for the first time, but a last eight meeting against Women’s Championship side Lewes stands in front of them.
Lewes are trailblazers within the women’s game. The east Sussex club famously operates both it men’s and women’s team on equal budgets and penned an open letter to women’s football review chair Karen Carney this week on the subject of equal prize money in the FA Cup – the fund in the women’s competition this season is £3m, while for the men it totals nearly £20m.
United, having been knocked off the top of the WSL by Chelsea in their last outing, will be hoping to get back to winning ways in what was the most favourable tie available to them at this stage.
Lewes, who have sold out of tickets for this one and have assigned United a 15% designated away allocation, are currently seventh in the Championship, only one place higher than the Durham side that United beat 5-0 in the previous round of the competition.
These sides haven’t met since 2018/19 when United won 2-0 and 5-0 at home, being presented with the Championship trophy after the latter game.
When is kick off? Sunday 19 March, 12:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? The Dripping Pan
TV channel/live stream? BBC iPlayer/Red Button (UK), FA Player (International)
Referee? Stacey Fullicks
Lewes were missing Ellie Hack, Jamie Rita and Lauren Heria in their recent Championship defeat to London City Lionesses. The Rooks have a couple of on-loan Chelsea youngster to call on in forward Emma Thompson (pictured above) and defender Charlotte Wardlaw.
Full-back Jayde Riviere is still the only player missing for Marc Skinner. The Canadian started training with the squad on Tuesday and is expected to progress to full sessions next week.
Fellow January arrival Lisa Naalsund is waiting for her debut after remaining an unused substitute against Leicester and Chelsea this month – she wasn’t available before that.
There is potential for some changes to the team that started against Chelsea, with Vilde Boe Risa, Estelle Cascarino, Adriana Leon and Aissatou Tounkara also among those hoping for opportunities.
Marc Skinner has stressed that United won’t take this tie lightly in terms of preparations, despite the obvious mismatch between the sides in terms of league positions, and is expecting Lewes counterpart Scott Booth to want to have the ball and play.
But this weekend’s hosts have struggled for goals in the league this season and that isn’t a good sign going up against the second meanest defence in the top flight. Even with potential changes, United should also still have the quality – as was seen against Durham – to secure a comfortable win.
Prediction: Lewes 0-4 Man Utd
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