Skinner hopes for intense Man United WSL rivalry with Arsenal and reflects on Fergie's contest with Wenger

Marc Skinner wants Manchester United to one day have a fierce WSL rivalry with Arsenal — similar to the famous one between the men’s sides in the early Noughties.

Skinner said: “I hope we get that intense rivalry that’s great to watch, so long as it’s not fisticuffs on the pitch but two teams giving everything.

“One day maybe we hope to have such an epic battle that it’s replayed on Sky and BBC for years.”

Skinner has also called on his players to embody Fergie’s teams’ ‘never-say-die attitude’.

He added: “Whenever you see the magnificent games, whether they be women’s or men’s, the Manchester United spirit is a never- say-die attitude right until the last minute.”

In a pre-match boost to Skinner, forward Ella Toone, 22, signed a new United deal until 2025.

On Toone's new contract Skinner said: "She has been an integral part of the squad.

"She is so versatile as a player, and her ability to find pockets of space and manipulate the ball in tight areas is where she really shines as an attacking force.

"There is so much room to grow with Ella too. We know if she continues to work hard she will have such a bright future.”

In two previous league games United succumbed to late equalisers denying them victories in away encounters against Tottenham and Everton.

But they come into this game following a Conti Cup group stage defeat of Man City, coming from 1-0 down to beat the Citizens 2-1.

Skinner added: “When we conceded early against Manchester City, it would have been easy for our players to dip their heads.

“But this club has a special spirit, and it is about giving your all. I think that's the true Manchester United spirit. That's a requirement of being at this club.”

Arsenal’s last trip to Leigh Sports Village ended in a 1-0 away defeat with the team then led by former gaffer Joe Montemurro.

Gunners boss Eidevall said: “I expect it to be a tough game. We know it’ll be one of those matches determined by defence.”


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