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Aston Villa vs Man City – WSL preview: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Aston Villa and Manchester City kick off their WSL campaigns at Villa Park on Sunday, with the pair both expected to field new-look sides after a busy transfer window.

Villa have brought in eight new players – including a couple of eye-catching, high profile arrivals – during the summer window, while 10 players have departed the club permanently or on loan.

City have also had a summer of high turnover, with eight permanent exits – five of whom were regular starters – plus seven new recruits of international calibre.

When is kick off? Sunday 18 September, 12:30 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Villa Park
TV channel/livestream? BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport (UK), FA Player (international)
What time does coverage start? 12:15 (BST)
Referee? Louise Sanders

Villa will be without long-term absentees Simone Magill and Remi Allen as the pair continue their recovery from ACL injuries, and Ruesha Littlejohn is sidelined with a foot injury. The Villans will also be without Meaghan Sargeant due to a back injury, Chaney Boye-Hlorkah and Tash Harding, while Sarah Mayling will be assessed having not trained all week.

Statement signing Rachel Daly is one of five new arrivals who could make their Villa debuts on Sunday. The versatile England international was utilised at left back during the Euros, but was a prolific forward for previous club Houston Dash. “Make no bones about it, she comes in as a forward for us,” said Villa boss Carla Ward.

City will be without young centre-back Ruby Mace due to a thigh injury, as well as new signing Yui Hasegawa, who has an ankle problem. Alanna Kennedy is also a doubt.

Steph Houghton and Esme Morgan both returned to first team action for City during the Champions League qualifiers, having missed the bulk of the 2021/22 season through injury.

Aston Villa (4-3-3): Hampton; Turner, Corsie, Patten, Pacheco; McLoughlin, Harding, Dali; Lehman, Daly, Hanson.

Man City (4-3-3): Roebuck; Morgan, Houghton, Greenwood, Ouahabi; Aleixandri, Losada, Fowler; Kelly, Shaw, Hemp.

Villa have really strengthened this summer, with the smart additions of Rachel Daly, Kenza Dali and Kirsty Hanson really addressing last season’s goal scoring issues. However, current injury problems have left them looking a little light in midfield ahead of the visit of City.

City will likely undergo an adjustment period following a busy summer of exits and arrivals, but should still just edge it here all the same.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Man City

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