She said: “It’s exciting. I think everybody has been dying for a Manchester derby in the Women’s Super League.
“Obviously last year when Manchester United said they were going to be in the Championship and they were fighting for promotion, as players and staff we got excited by the prospect of having them in our league.
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“And now to have it as our first game – I think it is going to do this game the world of good.
“I think we need to push rivalries, we need to push derby days and there is no bigger than this one coming on Saturday.”
United won the Women’s Championship in their first campaign since forming last year and will look to maintain their place in the top-flight this season.
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When asked about the intensity of the newly-formed rivalry, Houghton said: “I feel as though it is already there to be honest, that’s how I personally feel.
“All the talk has been about a Man City-Man United women’s derby and we have finally got that.
“I think it’s important that we start history right on Saturday in terms of we want to make Manchester blue.”
Steph Houghton accused Lindsey Horan of being ‘disrespectful’ for interrupting her talkSPORT interview in the wake of England’s Women’s World Cup semi-final defeat by the United States.
The US booked their place in their third successive World Cup final on Tuesday evening by beating the Lionessess 2-1 in Lyon, with Alex Morgan scoring the winning goal after Ellen White had earlier cancelled out Christen Press’ opener.
Houghton, who captained Phil Neville’s side to the last four, missed a late penalty which could have taken the match to extra-time, and said after full-time she let her team down by wasting a chance to equalise from the spot.
“I was confident,” the Manchester City defender said. “The goalkeeper coach told us I was on them today, and I felt confident enough to take it.
“I’ve been taking them in training every single day, and I believed in my technique.
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“But today I just got it wrong, and let my team down.
“But at the same time I can be proud of my team and how we fought and tried to get back into the game.”
Houghton also discussed England’s progress to reach the semi-finals, but her chat with talkSPORT was cut short when Lindsey Horan – who set up Morgan’s winning goal – interrupted the interview with a loud cheer in the background.
Horan is understood to have been celebrating with Alyssa Naeher, the United States goalkeeper, in the mixed zone – something Houghton found disrespectful.
“Well there was no need for that… ridiculous,” she continued. “It’s disrespectful man.”
Houghton then requested to end the interview with talkSPORT’s Faye Carruthers, asking: “Can I go now please?”
You can listen to Steph Houghton’s full interview with talkSPORT, including Horan’s interrruption, above
The American side have been making headlines both on and off the pitch and are one of the favourites to retain their World Cup title.
England have been going from strength to strength and, although slight underdogs, have what it takes to progress on Tuesday night, with commentary live on talkSPORT.
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Here at talkSPORT.com we have taken a look at the key battles set to take place during the match in Lyon.
Lucy Bronze vs Megan Rapinoe
Bronze hit the headlines with her sensational strike in the quarter-final, in what was arguably her best performance of the tournament so far.
The right-back has been superb for England so far and is one of the best players in the world, something her boss Neville agrees with.
She will have her hands full with USA’s quarter-final hero Rapinoe lining-up against her.
The winger scored twice in the France match and was their best player during the match.
Rapinoe has also been hitting the headlines off the pitch with her comments about not wanting to go to the White House if they won the World Cup, which predictably provoked a response from Donald Trump.
Steph Houghton vs Alex Morgan
Houghton has been imperious at the back for the Lionesses this tournament and has led by example as captain.
Without her last ditch tackles and goal line clearances, the 3-0 win against Norway would not have been so comfortable.
She will have Alex Morgan to contend with on Tuesday night, who is currently leading the golden boot race.
Morgan has five goals and three assists with Rapinoe and England’s Ellen White currently tying on five as well.
The USWNT striker may have got all five of her goals in their 13-0 thrashing of Thailand and been quiet since but she will be a constant threat.
Jill Scott vs Julie Ertz
The veteran England midfielder has had a fine World Cup thanks to her tireless running, important tackles, key passes – and the opening goal in the quarter-final.
Her battle with the USA’s midfield will be an interesting one, particularly with Julie Ertz in there.
Ertz was named in the All-Star team from the 2015 World Cup but as a central defender. She has since moved further up the pitch and into centre midfield but has been as equally successful.
The 27-year-old was nominated as the US Female Player of the Year in 2018.
Nikita Parris vs Crystal Dunn
It will be interesting to see how Parris responds after her second penalty miss of the tournament.
The winger has shown glimpses of the talent she possesses but we are yet to see her reach her full potential at this World Cup.
Parris will have a good test against USA left wing-back Crystal Dunn who likes to go forward.
Dunn has 24 goals in 90 games for her country but may have more defensive duties on her mind when dealing with the England player
England Women have the chance to make their third straight semi-final at a major tournament when they take on Norway at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday night – a match you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT.
The Lionesses reached the semis of Euro 2017 and at the 2015 World Cup and they’re just one win away from grabbing a place in the last four in France.
Their latest triumph saw them get a 3-0 victory in a controversial last-16 match against Cameroon.
To make preparations more difficult for Phil Neville’s side, the manager has had a few concerns regarding the fitness of some of his players.
Captain Steph Houghton may not be available for the Norway game because she sustained an ankle injury during the closing stages of the Cameroon game following a nasty challenge from Alexandra Takounda.
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Meanwhile, the England camp have also been hit by a sickness virus with Houghton’s partner at centre-back Millie Bright confined to her hotel room. Bright did not train with her team-mates on Wednesday night.
So a mini-injury crisis greets England before arguably their biggest game since Euro 2017 but maybe this is where Neville’s rotation policy at the tournament will be hugely beneficial.
talkSPORT.com has predicted how England will line up against Norway which you can see below.
Neville does like to alternate between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 but because Norway are a threat on the counter-attack, England may go for the latter option which is slightly more conservative.
Karen Bardsley is England’s No.1 so is a shoo-in to start this game, while right-back Lucy Bronze has started every World Cup game for England so far.
Alex Greenwood, who scored England’s third against Cameroon will probably play left-back as she’s started three of England’s four matches at the tournament.
As for the centre-back slots, it’s likely to be too soon to see Bright play but given Houghton trained on Wednesday, that could be enough to see the captain start.
Manchester City midfielder Keira Walsh has started every single match so will surely play this one and Neville could opt to play her club team-mate Jill Scott alongside her in a defensive midfield role to combat the counter-attacking ability of the Norwegians.
However, Neville will want to maintain his attacking threat as well so Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris will play on the wings.
The gifted Fran Kirby could play in the No.10 role and that could make for an interesting battle as she’s likely to come up against Chelsea team-mates Maria Thorisdottir and Maren Mjelde, who are Norway’s centre-back pairing.
And striker Ellen White, who has scored four goals in three games at these finals is in red hot form so has to start up front.
England have reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup after beating Cameroon 3-0 in their last-16 match in Valenciennes.
On a sweltering hot day, tempers were frayed and emotions ran high after a series of contentious calls marred the action on the pitch.
Phil Neville’s side will now face Norway following a remarkable, ill-tempered clash in the north of France.
The Lionesses went ahead in the 14th minute at the Stade du Hainaut when Cameroon were deemed guilty of a back pass and, from the resulting indirect free-kick, Toni Duggan teed up a strike by England captain Steph Houghton.
Extraordinary scenes then followed as Cameroon made their displeasure known about two VAR decisions that went against them.
After Ellen White’s finish in first-half stoppage time was ruled out for offside and the decision was subsequently overturned, Cameroon’s players remonstrated at length with the officials and there appeared some doubt over whether they would resume playing.
Their anger then increased shortly after the interval when Ajara Nchout fired the ball into England’s net and a VAR review saw that effort chalked off for offside. The game was held up once more as Cameroon made further angry protests, with Nchout in tears.
England survived some scares soon after, then extended their advantage in the 59th minute through Alex Greenwood’s finish, before referee Qin Liang made another VAR check following a Ysis Sonkeng challenge on Fran Kirby, with no penalty being given.
Having come through a test that also saw them receive some rough treatment and Duggan being spat on, England will now face Norway on Thursday in Le Havre for a place in the semi-finals.
England Women were given a World Cup wake-up call as their final warm-up match ended in a shock 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in Brighton.
Phil Neville’s Lionesses fly to France on Tuesday with ambitions of bringing home the trophy for the first time in history.
But the team ranked third in the world were left with plenty to ponder after failing to capitalise on prolonged spells of pressure and being sucker-punched by Sarah Gregorius’ strike early in the second period.
Head coach Neville said on Friday that he had trust in each member of his 23-player squad.
The former Manchester United defender has now given all of them ample opportunity to impress and made 10 changes from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Denmark for the final fixture of the ‘Road to France Series’.
Forward Nikita Parris, who opened the scoring against the Danes, was the only player retained, while captain Steph Houghton, Champions League-winning Lyon defender Lucy Bronze and Barcelona forward Toni Duggan were among those brought in.
The next time the Lionesses take to the field will be on June 9 for the Group D opener against neighbours Scotland in Nice.
At a sun-drenched Amex Stadium, which has been selected as a venue for Euro 2021, the hosts began brighter and dominated for most of the afternoon.
Jodie Taylor was denied a ninth-minute penalty after replays suggested she may have been brought down by Erin Nayler as she tried to get a shot away following poor distribution from the New Zealand goalkeeper.
Reign FC forward Taylor was causing plenty of problems for the visitors’ shaky rearguard.
After racing on to Alex Greenwood’s forward pass, she rounded Nayler but had no team-mate available to cut the ball back to, before seizing on a risky back pass from Katie Bowen only to see her dinked attempt smothered.
New Zealand, who begin their own World Cup campaign on June 11 against the Netherlands in Le Havre, have a further warm-up game, on Tuesday against Wales in Cardiff.
They were struggling to cope with the one-way traffic. However, with defender Houghton down in the area having been struck by the ball, Lionesses keeper Carly Telford was forced to tip over from Betsy Hassett just before the interval.
The away side then stunned England by opening the scoring against the run of play five minutes after the restart.
Telford failed to hold a drive from Rosie White and forward Gregorius was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range.
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The 22-degree heat provided far from ideal footballing conditions, yet it is likely to be considerably warmer during the Lionesses’ opener at the Allianz Riviera.
England almost an immediate response but Lucy Staniforth’s free-kick from wide on the left whistled narrowly over.
With things not going to plan, Neville turned to the old guard, introducing experienced duo Jill Scott and Karen Carney from the bench.
After winger Carney tested Nayler at the end of a flowing team move, the pair – who are set to feature in their fourth World Cups – combined for midfielder Scott to nod narrowly wide.
In front of a crowd of 20,076, Tom Sermanni’s New Zealand appeared to tire in the closing stages.
But they resolutely dug in for an unlikely win which dents England’s momentum at a crucial stage and leaves Neville with a lot to think about ahead of the big kick-off.
Speaking to the Daily Mail about her World Cup hopes, Houghton said: “I’m here because I feel I’m right to be here and it’s driven by Stephen.
“He wants me to go. He says, ‘Get out of the house’.
“Because it happened so quickly, (my future with England) would all depend on how Stephen is. He’s my priority. If anything were to change in the near future, my job is to be the best wife that I can be and to look after him. But at the moment, everything is great. He’s as good as ever.”
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The World Cup runs from June 5 to July 6, across their anniversary – and she admits her priorities have changed in the last six months.
She said: “It’s obviously been a really, really tough year on a personal level, but I can be honest and say I’m sitting here in England colours and I am really focused on England. Of course Stephen’s my no.1 priority and he always will be.
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“My focus is the World Cup now and fingers crossed it never ever gets to the moment where I have to step away.”
Houghton was preparing for England’s friendly with Spain on Tuesday but has withdrawn from the squad with a groin injury.
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