With a record FA WSL crowd already guaranteed, the City and England skipper believes this will be a ‘I was there’ moment’ for supporters and is hoping even more tickets are sold over the next 48 hours.
“It’s a chance for fans to come and see us play at the Etihad Stadium for only the second time – and this time against our rivals – and we’re just hoping we get as many people through the turnstiles as possible,” said Houghton.
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“It’s exciting. I think everyone has been desperate to have a Manchester derby in Women’s Super League and when United announced last year that they were going to have a team in the Championship who were targeting promotion, it was great to hear and so to have them in our league and for it to be the first game of the season is fantastic and will do our game the world of good.
“It’s a game that doesn’t have a history yet, but we want to create a history and that begins on Saturday. We want to make Manchester blue, but we need to have the right mentality, work hard and use the crowd to our advantage.
“We need to push the rivalry and push derby days and there’s none bigger than the one we will play on Saturday.”
Houghton believes United have started similarly to how the Blues began five years ago but has warned the Reds the step up from the Championship won’t be easy.
“I think it is quite similar to how we started off in 2014,” she said.
“We had four or five international players when we began, and we were sort of relying on their quality while the rest of the team worked hard to improve their quality and do the best they could.
“I think United have done a similar thing, they’ve got promoted at the first opportunity but there is such a difference in quality and ability between the Super League and the Championship. They’ve obviously recruited players like Jackie Groenen who is a fantastic player and I’m sure they have the quality to do well this season.
“But from our perspective, it’s all about what we bring to the table and I’m really confident in the group of players we have.”