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Media Watch

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City kick-off historic weekend for women’s game

With the eagerly awaited Manchester derby finally just a few hours away, City are spearheading a thrilling start for the FA Women’s Super League.

And with Chelsea and Bristol City also opening their campaign in the men’s stadium, record attendances will be posted in at least three games, with previous milestones shattered.

TICKETS:City v United | Kids go free!

Let’s begin with the BBC’s overview…

Match previews

BBC Sport: Women’s Super League: Crowds set to be smashed

Tom Garry writes: “Attendance records for the Women's Super League are set to be smashed as England's top clubs return to league action for the first time since the World Cup.

“Matches at Etihad Stadium, Stamford Bridge and Ashton Gate will headline the opening weekend, as the women's game bids to build momentum after the interest in this summer's tournament in France.

“More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for Manchester City and newly promoted Manchester United's first WSL meeting, played at City men's home on Saturday [15:00 BST].

“The existing record crowd for a WSL fixture is the 5,265 that saw Arsenal clinch last season's title at Brighton's Amex Stadium in April.

“However, on Sunday, a near-capacity crowd is anticipated at Premier League side Chelsea's 41,000-seater Stamford Bridge stadium, where the Blues host WSL newcomers Tottenham at 12:30, in a game live on BBC television.”

 

MATCH READY: Janine Beckie is looking forward to being part of the first Manchester derby in the FA WSL.

 

Over at the Daily Express, our injured new signing previews the game...

Express: White relishing special Manchester derby

Matt Atherton writes: “Manchester City Women are excited that Manchester United Women were promoted into the top flight last season, as it means the players can look forward to big occasions in the Barclays Women’s Super League (WSL), revealed City and England Lionesses’ Ellen White.

“City host their rivals United in the first ever professional women’s Manchester derby on Saturday afternoon (3pm) at the Etihad Stadium.

‘We’re excited,’ White told Express Sport. “We obviously know from the men’s game how big the derby is, so we’re excited that Man United are in the top flight and we can have these occasions.

‘The fact that it’s at the Etihad makes it even more special to be honest. Hopefully we can get a big crowd, and a big backing, and everyone’s supporting women’s football.’

 

DERBY READY: Jill Scott.

Interviews

Video

Derbies the games you live for, says Scott

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Meanwhile, the Mirror have assessed all the FAWSL sides...

Mirror: FAWSL guide: Club-by-club

Ground: The Academy Stadium, Manchester.

Last season: 2nd. Also won the FA Cup after beating Arsenal in the final.

Manager: Nick Cushing has been in charge of Manchester City since 2013 and has guided them to six trophies.

Key player: Having played 114 times for England and four times for GB, Steph Houghton is as experienced as it comes in modern day football and the City centre-back remains one of their most important players.

Team GB one to watch: Ellen White won the nation's hearts in England’s World Cup campaign and barring disaster should be selected for Team GB.

First six fixtures: Manchester United (H), Reading (A), Everton (A), Birmingham (H), Arsenal (A), West Ham (H)

 

Transfer news

Caught Offside: City keen on Serie A star

“Manchester City reportedly want to sign Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar and will make a move for him in January.

“The Slovakian international has established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe through his performances for the Nerazzurri. Skriniar has made 88 performances for Inter since joining them from Sampdoria, scoring 4 goals and providing 2 assists.

“According to Calciomercato, Manchester City tried to sign the 24-year-old in the summer but will return for him in January.”

 

Team news

Sportsmole: De Bruyne assesses impressive form

Andrew Sinclair: “Kevin De Bruyne was plagued by injuries to his knee, thigh and hamstring last season, missing 29 games in all competitions for the treble winners.

“The former Wolfsburg regular has started this season like a house on fire though, scoring one goal and recording five assists in City's opening four Premier League games of the campaign.

“De Bruyne's form has led some to suggest he is coming into his peak, but he was fairly non-committal when speaking to SportWitness, saying: "It is hard to tell that this is the best period out of my career so far, I have been playing over 500 games for eleven years now.

‘Was I ever better? Hmm. I started [the season] with City very well: Four wins in the Premier League and in the Community Shield. It also goes well personally. I'm ready for the rhythm of the coming months, with all those midweek fights.’

We’ll be back tomorrow with all the reaction from the City v United derby…

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