The Women's Super League returns this weekend after the latest international window, as third placed Manchester City, take on 's Aston Villa

The visitors on Saturday have only won two matches this term, both being away from home in the league.

The Cityzens were in seventh heaven before the international break, dismantling Robert Vilahamn's Spurs 7-0. Bunny Shaw helped herself to a hat trick, whilst a brace for Laura Coombs and goals from Jill Roord and Lauren Hemp allowed for a comprehensive victory for Gareth Taylor's side. 

Aston Villa were once again left empty handed at the end of a home fixture, following a 2-1 defeat to Everton at Villa Park before the break. 

An own goal from Anna Patten saw the Toffees take the lead, but Rachel Daly pulled the Villans back level just two minutes after. 

However, a Nathalie Bjorn penalty fifteen minutes from time helped condemn Villa to their fourth home defeat of the season. 

  • Team News:

Manchester City

With all the rumblings and knockings on of an international break, each club tends to send stars far and away to different corners of the globe to have the honour of representing their country.

For City, they seem to have been the only team who's players have been able to come back unscathed. 

Lionesses quartet Lauren Hemp, Esme Morgan, Alex Greenwood and Khiara Keating all suffered late heartbreak in the Nations League, despite winning 6-0 against Scotland, there won't be a place for Team GB at the Olympics next year, thanks to a 4-0 win for Holland and for the City duo of Jill Roord and Kerstin Casparij

Aston Villa

The Villans haven't been as lucky with injuries this season, with multiple first team players out at different stages.

The latest player to not be involved for a while is England U21 international, Lucy Parker. 

Having pulled out of the Lionesses squad in October, she has missed all of Villa's games since, but manager, Carla Ward is hopeful that she will potentially be returning for the trip to Manchester.

It will be a welcome boost for Villa, who look to pull off the improbable and stop Manchester City this weekend. 

In her press conference building up to the City game, aside from Parker, she insisted that she 'doesn't know' about any further team news, due to the late arrivals of internationals, but insists that her and her counterpart, Gareth Taylor are in the same boat. 

  • Predicted Line ups:

Manchester City:

Keating, Casperaji, Kennedy, Greenwood, Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Angeldahl, Kelly, Roord, Hemp, Shaw. (4-2-3-1).

Aston Villa:

Van Domselaar, Mayling, Patten, Turner, Pacheco, Dali, Corsie, Nobbs, Leon, Daly, Hansen. (4-3-3). 

  • Key Players:

Manchester City - Chloe Kelly

The Cityzens' Chloe Kelly has often been the player driving the blue side of Manchester forward this term.

She's started and appeared in each of City's eight games this term in the league, averaging 81 minutes per 90. Along with that, she's got herself four goal contributions in eight matches too, but it was her performance in the defeat to Brighton.

Despite losing 1-0, Kelly was City's Player of the Game. She had a 100% dribble success rate, completed 86% of her passes and had 82 touches in a game City somehow didn't win.

Fresh off a rest in the Scotland rout for the Lioneses where she didn't make it off the bench, she will be bursting at the seams to go ahead and terrorise the Villa defence as City look to close the gap on Arsenal and Chelsea above them. 

Aston Villa - Kenza Dali

You could argue that the absence of Dali was the sole reason Villa had such a poor start to the campaign. Her partnership with Rachel Daly is telepathic and one of the main reasons Carla Ward's side finished fifth last term. 

Averaging 1.3 shots per game, she adds a dynamic and direct element to the middle of the park for Villa. Like her City counterpart, she also averages almost a whole ninety minutes per game too, with her stamina and availability second to none in Wards squad. 

Whilst Sunday may not yield the result Villa need, the importance of the French international isn't to be downplayed as the Villans look to finish the first half of the season on a high note. 

  • Match Details:

Where is the game being played?

Manchester City host Aston Villa at the Joie Stadium on Saturday 9th December 2023. 

What time is kick off:

This clash in Manchester will get underway at 12pm. 

How can I watch?

For UK Viewers, the game will be available to watch on Sky Sports Premier League

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