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Preview: Marc Skinner defends Ella Toone ahead of Brighton match

by Zoe Hodges

Marc Skinner’s side has been dealt a fresh injury blow ahead of their away trip to Brighton as Irene Guerrero is ruled out with an MCL injury.

Guerrero made her debut in United’s last match before the international break where they beat Everton 5-0 but unfortunately will be sidelined for a couple of weeks.

A number of key members of the squad came down with a sickness bug before the Everton clash which ruled them out, but Skinner told the press on Friday that everyone is now healthy and available.

Long-term injuries to Aoife Mannion, Gabby George and Emma Watson still see them out of the squad.

United have had a mixed start to the season, winning their opening game against Villa before being held to a draw by Arsenal and Leicester. They then thrashed Everton, picking up their first clean sheet of the season.

Meanwhile, Brighton have only won one of their opening four games and will be eager to get a result at home.

“I think Mel [Phillips] is transitioning her team from a very different type of team, they are very technical in how they set up,” Skinner said.

“Mel, I think is trying to take ownership in how she wants to play. They play some very good stuff. They have brought in some great players.”

The recent form of Ella Toone had also come under scrutiny recently but Skinner stood by the England international.

“Ella will judge herself on assists and goals because that is the type of player that she is.”

She started the Leicester game on the bench, the first time she’d been sidelined since February 2020.

“The reality is that against Leicester City we were rotating the squad. I am absolutely happy with Ella, I am absolutely happy with where she was at.”

United will take on Brighton at 18.45 at the Broadfield stadium.

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