LCFC Women

Match Preview: Manchester United Women vs. LCFC Women

LCFC Women return to Vitality Women's FA Cup action on Sunday, meeting top flight opponents Manchester United in a 12pm kick-off.
More on this story...

- LCFC Women take on Manchester United Women on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Women's FA Cup
- The 12pm kick-off will be played behind closed doors at United's home, Leigh Sports Village 
- The Foxes are FA Women's Champions while United finished fourth in the Barclays FA Women's Super League
- City beat Liverpool and the Red Devils defeated Burnley to reach this stage of the competition 

The Red Devils will host the FA Women's Championship champions at Leigh Sports Village for the fifth round clash, which will bring the 2020/21 season to a close.

Following promotion to the Barclays FA Women's Super League for the first time in the Club's history, taking on the likes of United will become a regular occurrence in 2021/22.

Ahead of this FA Cup fixture in Manchester, LCFC.com analyses how both sides match up...

The Foxes camp

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Flint celebrates her 17th goal of the season - and LCFC Women's first at King Power Stadium -against Charlton.

LCFC Women's coronation took place at King Power Stadium two weeks ago, as City defeated Charlton Athletic 4-0 in their first-ever game on Filbert Way. It was a fitting end to the title-winning campaign as the team got their hands on the trophy and were presented with winners' medals.

On the pitch, Hannah Cain netted twice, while top scorer Natasha Flint and Lachante Paul also added their names to the scoresheet to reach the 50 point mark from 20 league fixtures.

In the FA Cup, meanwhile, Cain scored the only goal of the game to defeat Liverpool in round four and set up Sunday's meeting with United.

Ones to watch

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Ella Toone
Ella Toone

Ella Toone has contributed more goals and assists than any other United player in 2020/21.

Ella Toone has enjoyed an impressive season, earning her first senior England call-up - scoring on debut - and netting a further nine times for her club in the WSL, while also registering a club record five assists. The former Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers youngster featured in all 22 league fixtures in 2020/21, proving to be an integral part of Casey Stoney's squad.

Often deployed as an attacking midfielder, the 21-year-old is now United's all-time record goalscorer having re-joined the club when it reformed ahead of the 2018/19 season, during which promotion to the top flight was achieved at the first attempt.

Jackie Groenen arrived in Manchester fresh from appearing in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final for the Netherlands and soon established herself as a key component in United's midfield during their maiden top flight campaign, and once again in 2020/21 as one of four players to feature in every league game, laying on three goals for her teammates.

Two-time World Cup winner Christen Press provides a wealth of experience, arriving in the summer of 2020 alongside fellow USWNT star Tobin Heath, whose season was cut short by injury, providing four goals and two assists in eight WSL matches. Press, 32, has found the net on four occasions, adding a solitary assist in 14 league games.

Opposition form guide

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Manchester United Women
Manchester United Women

The Red Devils ended the WSL season strongly but finished one point behind Arsenal in third.

Manchester United matched their only previous WSL finish of fourth in 2020/21, and as a result, narrowly missed out on a UEFA Women's Champions League spot.

A 2-0 victory over Everton was secured on the final day of the season thanks to goals from Ella Toone and Kirsty Hanson, to extend their winning run in all competitions to four games.

Mary Earps has conceded just one goal in that time, keeping three clean sheets, including during the 6-0 win over Burnley in the previous round. Toone, Hanson (2), Mille Turner, Lucy Staniforth and Amy Turner were all amongst the goals for Casey Stoney's side in Leyland.

Talking points

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Ashleigh Plumptre
Ashleigh Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre spoke to the media ahead of Sunday's cup clash with Manchester United.

Manager Jonathan Morgan on the Foxes' ambitions for the cup tie: "We want to go and win the game, we want to go for a full strength team, the best starting XI that we have available. We want to show what we can do for next season and this is a great opportunity to show that we got promoted to the WSL for a reason, we're not here just to make up the numbers."

LCFC Women defender Ashleigh Plumptre commented: "I think in training everybody is playing with a bit more freedom. People aren't as up tight in their play because we know that the expectation is that United, they've have had a really good season, they are going to want to finish it off well. We feel no pressure, we're just going to go there and obviously enjoy the game, but it's also a perfect ending almost for the start of next season."

Last time out

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

The Foxes travelled to Leigh Sports Village for a League Cup tie in 2019.

City's previous meeting with the Reds came during last season's Continental Tyres League Cup Group Stage when the home side ran out 11-1 winners at Leigh Sports Village in November 2019. 

Jess Sigsworth, Lizzie Arnot, a first-half hat-trick for Ella Toone and a strike from Kirsty Smith had United ahead before Libby Smith pulled one back for Leicester.

Five further goals arrived in the second half, with Toone scoring twice, and Jane Ross, Hayley Ladd and Lauren James also finding the back of the net.

How to follow

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LCFC Women
LCFC Women

The Foxes will line up for one final time in 2020/21 on Sunday.

Supporters will be able to access pre-match content, followed by live in-game updates from the behind-closed-doors encounter by following LCFC Women on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There will also be plenty of post-match reaction from the Foxes camp after the full-time whistle, including extended match highlights and interviews on LCFC TV.

All videos can be accessed for free as a Digital Member of LCFC.com - with free sign up available HERE.

All times BST.

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