For the first time, Manchester United will host Manchester City in a Women’s Super League (WSL) Manchester Derby fixture at Old Trafford this season. The match is set the be the first time the two teams face off at the historic arena in the history of their women’s clubs. The game will take place on November 19th. Along with the match at Old Trafford, City will then host the return fixture at Etihad Stadium in the spring.

The Red Devils previously played two WSL matches at Old Trafford last season. United previously set a team record for most fans during its December matchup with Aston Villa. United won the game 5-0 in front of 30,196 fans. Then, United hosted West Ham at the stadium in March.

The two WSL Manchester Derby fixtures are bound to attract many fans, as the two teams attracted a record-setting audience of 44,259 at the Etihad Stadium. You can only imagine the numbers a match at Old Trafford would pull.

United head coach ready for opportunity

“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,” proclaimed Manchester United women’s team head coach Marc Skinner.

“As a squad, we have shown that we can perform on the big stage – winning all our previous games at Old Trafford and competing so strongly in the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley in May. And now, of course, many of our players are involved in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

WSL attendance records keep increasing as women’s soccer grows

Skinner also spoke on how the women’s game is growing rapidly inside England. WSL attendance records have been broken multiple times in recent years. Arsenal currently holds the league’s record for fan attendance after it broke its own record last season. The Gunners hosted bitter rivals Tottenham in September at the Emirates Stadium in front of over 47,000 supporters.

“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,” continued Skinner.

The Manchester United women’s team first began playing at Old Trafford in 2021. However, the COVID pandemic forced fans to stay away from the arena at the time. The upcoming move for the rivalry match will surely help draw more of a crowd for the game. Last season’s WSL Manchester Derby between United and City drew around 7,000 fans at Leigh Sports Village.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage