WSL Manchester derbies to be held at Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium this season
It'll be the first time the women's derby has been ever held at Old Trafford.
In a historic moment for Man City, Man United and women’s football in general, both of this year’s WSL Manchester derbies will be held at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford, respectively.
This isn’t just the first occasion that both derby fixtures will be played at each of the club’s main stadiums, but also the first time in history that United will have ever hosted a Women’s Super League derby at the Theatre of Dreams.
While this will be the second year running that City has held the derby over at the Etihad and not at the adjacent Academy Stadium, it marks just the fourth game to have ever been held in front of fans at Man United’s home ground since the women’s team restarted in 2018.
The female Red Devils play the majority of their games at Leigh Sports Village but with women’s football bigger than even both in the UK and globally, not to mention Marc Skinner’s side going so close to the title last season, it’s a better time than ever to play the derby in front of as many fans as possible.
More than 60,000 supporters bought tickets for the two games held at Old Trafford last year and both clubs will be hoping to break attendance figures this season, with a club record of 44,259 fans also turning up to watch the most recent meeting between the two at the Etihad.
The last match between the two ended in a 1-1 draw in December and Man United Women’s last home derby saw a record crowd of 7,864 turn up to see the Reds get one over on the Blues at Leigh Sports Village, winning in a 2-1 blockbuster to keep their title hopes alive on the final day.
Both sides ultimately ended up missing out on the WSL trophy last season after a tightly-contested campaign, with United finishing just two points behind champions Chelsea who lifted their sixth title, the most of any team since the league began in 2010.
After both teams went so close in the last campaign, you can expect the stadiums to be packed out and even greater attendances all season long, with the first round of fixtures getting underway on 1 October.
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Speaking on the announcement, Skinner said, “These fixtures represent one of the biggest rivalries in world football and it is fitting that both games will take place in stadiums that provide more fans with the opportunity to attend and support us…
“Women’s football is again capturing the nation and playing these matches at grounds like Old Trafford and the Etihad can only add to the ever-increasing profile of the club, the WSL and the women’s game in general.”
As for his opposite number, head coach Gareth Taylor said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ll be returning to the Etihad Stadium once again this coming season… We’ve seen so many new fans attending our games over the past year, and it will be brilliant to hopefully see many more joining us next March.”
The first WSL Manchester derby will be held at Old Trafford on Sunday, 19 November and the reverse fixture at the Etihad will take place on Sunday, 24 March 2024. Although City are yet to announce their full list of prices, United fans can secure their derby day seats now from just £15. The question is, can the two Manc teams push each other even closer to the title this season?
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Featured Image — Manchester United/Manchester City