Alex Greenwood returns to Man City after injury to spice up WSL Manchester derby

Alex is good. She trained the last couple of days, its good to have her back in. We missed her leadership in the last couple of games and the quality that she brings as well. Having her back is great. Shes gone through all her checks and is absolutely fine so is available for the weekend, started City boss Gareth Taylor.

The 2023/24 campaign start can only be described as a turbulent one for City. Taylors side were top of the Womens Super League standings just two weeks ago but since then, theyve had back-to-back defeats and dropped down to sixth place, three spots behind weekend rivals United.

The Blues suffered a narrow loss against Arsenal at the beginning of the month – goalkeeper Khiara Keating had a stellar performance but mistimed the ball&aposs bounce outside of her area to hand the Gunners a late win. And then last weekend saw City&aposs impressive 27-game [in all competitions] unbeaten home record, crumble in a 1-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion – a game where City had 35 chances on goal but couldnt find the net.

Taylor said: Im really happy with the way this team is playing. Our performances this season I think in all competitions that weve played weve had different challenges in front of us and I think in general the play has been good. Obviously, I think at the top end of the pitch is where we need to be more ruthless and finish off all of our opportunities that we create or make them into better opportunities in some cases.

Because you can certainly see that against Leicester, a game we won 1-0 and shouldve opened up and scored more, similar feeling against Arsenal more recently and then there&aposs last Sunday where you could see that we dominated all the stats but not the most important one which was winning the game.

They head to Old Trafford on Sunday knowing United are unbeaten in the league thus far and have netted 17 goals in six games, Citys goal tally is 10, but if the past is anything to go by City will be confident of coming out on top. The Manchester giants have drawn three games out of seven top-tier clashes, City have won three and United have won one – their last outing in May 2022.

This game doesn&apost need any kind of building up, it&aposs always been the case with a derby, a local city rivalry. The atmosphere and spirit has been really good and the team has regrouped really quickly after the disappointment of last Sunday, added Taylor.

United come to the tie with an abundance of new talent and countless styles of play, attacking options and creative outlets to punish City should they lose concentration, but Taylor has been preparing for a more unpredictable opponent.

He said: We identify who the dangerous players are and where we might potentially prosper when we have the ball. I think they have good players there&aposs no doubt but so do all the teams in the WSL, we always make sure were fully aware of where the potential dangers may lay. Theyve got good options as well, theyve recruited well in the summer. But I always say it&aposs more about us and what we do.