WSL talking points: Man City have a point to prove as Man Utd trouble-maker set for Brighton reunion

The key talking points from this weekend’s round of WSL action.

A must-win for Manchester City?

It’s been a tough few weeks for Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor.

His side’s season got off to a sour start as the Sky Blues were knocked out of the Champions League qualifying in the first round by Real Madrid in August.

Psychologically, it can’t have been nice to see the mass exodus of the team’s most sparkling talents over the summer - as the likes of Keira Walsh, Lucy Bronze, and Georgia Stanway moved on to pastures new, Taylor was left to reinvigorate his players for a fresh WSL campaign.

But his efforts are yet to bear fruit. With no points on the board, City are third-bottom, with only a marginally superior goal difference keeping them from the drop zone after two games.

This weekend, the Manchester side host fellow strugglers Leicester City at the Academy Stadium - in their first home game of the season, City must beat the winless Foxes or the team’s hopes of competing at the top of the table will quickly start to look unrealistic.

On paper, something of an open goal - will Taylor’s side be able to secure their first points of the season on Sunday?

Manchester City v Leicester City, 2pm on Sunday 16th October, available to stream life on the FA Player.

Can Aston Villa keep the pace?

Aston Villa could not have asked for a more perfect start to their Women’s Super League campaign.

In front of a record crowd of over 7,000, the Birmingham side overturned ‘big three’ side Manchester City on the opening day before making it two wins in two away at Leicester.

Third in the table and behind Manchester United and Arsenal on goal difference alone, Villa are showing signs of an extremely promising season - and coming out on top (on penalties) against United in the Continental Cup earlier this month will only have added to their confidence.

Villa owe much of their success to newly-crowned WSL Player of the Month Rachel Daly who, since arriving from Houston Dash over the summer, has helped to transform the side’s fortunes.

Carla Ward, herself recently crowned the WSL Manager of the Month, said of the Lioness: “She’s been brilliant. I could not speak higher of her in terms of what she does for the youngsters. She’s taken them all under her wing. She’ll get after them and set a standard that’s unbelievably high. She’s a winner.”

How far can this power duo take Aston Villa this season?

Aston Villa v West Ham United, 12.30pm on Saturday 15th October, available to stream live on the FA Player.

Will Maya Le Tissier cause trouble against her former side?

England youth international Maya Le Tissier has been on fire for new side Manchester United since arriving at the Leigh Sports Village from Brighton and Hove Albion in July.

How many 20-year-old defenders would expect to score a brace on their debut for one of the country’s top teams?

Le Tissier did just that, and her joy was plain to see. The youngster narrowly missed out on a call-up to Sarina Wiegman’s senior Lionesses squad, with the Dutch coach explaining that Le Tissier’s attacking qualities were not required for her position in the England team.

But since lining up in United’s back four, Le Tissier has only conceded one goal, in the Continental Cup, while keeping two clean sheets on WSL duties.

On Sunday, Le Tissier will face up against her former side the Seagulls, where she made over 50 appearances in her four-year stint.

Will the centre-back be on target again? Or will Hope Powell’s side find a way to break down the second-placed Reds?