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Spurs Women host United Sunday in first-ever top flight encounter

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A fully professional Tottenham will try and take points off of their new Manchester rivals this season.

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Manchester United Women: WSL 2 Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Women will get a good look at just how much they’ve improved from last season as they host their new rivals Manchester United Women on Sunday at The Hive.

United were clearly the best team in last year’s FA Women’s Championship season and Spurs established a nascent rivalry with them during that campaign. United were in their first season of existence, having been formed as a fully professional club with the goal of immediate promotion. Spurs were still a semi-professional side but had gone through three promotion campaigns in the last decade to reach the cusp of the top fight for the first time ever.

United and Spurs finished the campaign 1-2 and both promoted to the WSL, but the matches between the two sides weren’t particularly close. Spurs fell at United 4-1 in a match that was streamed on Manchester United TV, and followed with a 5-1 home loss at Cheshunt.

This season, Spurs are hoping that the scorelines will be a little closer. Tottenham are now a fully professional side with eight new players on their roster, and currently three points ahead of United in the table — however, United’s two losses were narrow 1-0 defeats to WSL heavyweights Manchester City and Arsenal.

United are no slouches. Their roster features several internationals, including England World Cup players Abbie McManus and Mary Earps, and United also signed Dutch World Cup finalist Jacke Groenen this summer and feature several Scottish internationals. They also have striker Jess Sigsworth, the only player to score more goals that Spurs’ Rianna Dean in the FAWC last season. McManus and Groenen are just coming back into the side after missing the international break through injury.

Spurs head coach Karen Hills told Tottenham’s website that she and co-head coach Juan Amoros are aware of the challenge ahead of them.

“We’ve come a long way since we competed against them in the Championship. We’ve almost got a completely new team, they’ve also recruited extremely well and they’ve had some tough games at the start of their campaign but they’ve done excellently.

“We know it’s going to be an extremely tough game and we’re ready for the challenge, we’ve prepared the girls as best as we can, and they’re excited to play in front of our home crowd against another top team.

“Another three points would do nicely for us. It’s not always going to go our way, we know there’s going to be highs and lows throughout the season but the challenge for us is to get as many points on the board as possible.”

How to Watch

Tottenham Hotspur Women vs. Manchester United Women
Sunday, October 13, 2019
The Hive, Edgware
7:30 a.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. BST
TV: BBC Red Button
Stream: The FA Player