22 min City will be really happy with this start – they have had the better chances and, though United have looked dangerous through Galton, the City keeper Taieb has had nothing to do.
20 min Galton swerves past Stanway on the left edge of the area and hits a low cross that is cleared.
16 min: Off the line by Thorisdottir! Angeldahl gets down the right and lifts a high, hanging cross towards the far post. Hemp meets it with a powerful header back across goal that is headed behind by Thorisdottir. That was a vital piece of defending because I don’t think Earps was going to get there.
15 min Hemp wins City’s first corner. Nothing comes of it but she is looking really dangerous on the left.
13 min: Fine save by Earps! Hemp charges down the left and curls a brilliant first-time cross that bounces up towards Beckie. She steers it towards goal on the run and Earps flies to her right to push it round the post.
11 min Hemp plays a good pass to the underlapping Stokes on the left. She twists cleverly away from Zelem but then overhits her cross.
9 min United are starting to impose themselves on the game, and Hanson wins their first corner. Zelem drives it beyond the far post and Shaw heads clear. It’s played back out to Zelem, whose dangerous cross is headed away by Scott.
7 min Galton plays a neat one-two with Russo on the left but slices a cross out of play under pressure from Stanway.
6 min United get behind the City defence for the first time but Galton is wrongly flagged offside. It’s been very cagey so far, from both sides.
The kick off is only a few minutes away, and the teams have assembled in the tunnel. City are first out, led by their captain Alex Greenwood, and then Katie Zelem walks United onto the field.
United make one change from the team that beat Birmingham 2-0 last weekend, with Kirsty Hanson in for Lucy Staniforth. Alessia Russo is likely to play up front with Ella Toone as the No10.
Two changes for City from the side that was surprisingly beaten by West Ham: Bunny Shaw is preferred to Ellen White up front, and Georgia Stanway replaces Jess Park. Stanway will probably go to right-back, with Janine Beckie replacing Park on the wing. Jill Scott remains at centre-back, though Alanna Kennedy and Ruby Mace are on the bench.
Manchester United (possible 4-2-3-1) Earps; Batlle, Thorisdottir, Mannion, Blundell; Zelem, Groenen; Hanson, Toone, Galton; Russo.
Substitutes: Baggaley, Harris, Risa, Ladd, Fuso, Jones, Staniforth.
Manchester City (possible 4-3-3) Taieb; Stanway, Scott, Greenwood, Stokes; Angeldahl, Walsh, Weir; Beckie, Shaw, Hemp.
Substitutes: Keating, Coombs, Park, White, Kennedy, Mace.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Manchester derby at Leigh Sports Village. At the best of times, this is a big game. At the worst of times – and that’s what these are for City – it’s a huge one.
It’s hard to look at the WSL table without doing a double take: City are in ninth, having lost three of their first four games, and are probably already be out of the title race. There are mitigating circumstances, mainly dumb luck and a grotesque injury list, but it’s still a wretched start. If they lose today, there might be a P45 with Gareth Taylor’s name on it.
United have had a calmer start, winning three of their four WSL games, though they were taken apart by Chelsea last month. There was a danger they might get stuck on a mezzanine between the big three and the rest of the league. A win today would put them nine points clear of City, and – even at this stage – give them a serious chance of breaking new ground.
Kick off 1.30pm.