Manchester United Women's team to play in front of a record crowd at Old Trafford

History will be made at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday when Old Trafford hosts its biggest crowd for a domestic women's match.

Ticket sales for Manchester United's league game with Aston Villa have already surpassed their previous best of 20,241 who watched them beat Everton 3-1 in the Women's Super League last season.

They now have Arsenal's WSL record of 47,367 - for the North London derby with Tottenham in September - in their sights.

Manchester United v Everton in WSL match at Old Trafford in March 2022 Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images

United defender Hannah Blundell says: "100% you want to get the biggest crowds you can.

"When I was younger playing at men's stadiums was never even thought about. Nowadays, especially young girls can think about playing at the likes of Old Trafford even Wembley.

"I think it's such an exciting time and we just need to embrace it. Obviously it doesn't come around too often at the moment but it would be nice to play at the bigger stadiums on a regular basis."

England team photo for their opening game of the Women's Euro 2021 at Old Trafford Credit: MI News/NurPhoto/PA Images

A crowd of 68,871 watched as England kicked off their Women's Euro 2021 campaign at Old Trafford in the summer.

As the sport continues to grow bigger attendances are vital to attract more fans.

Manchester United's Head Coach Marc Skinner says: "I'd love to consistently, in time, fill that stadium for our players like the men's team would. 

"But we have a responsibility in that as well to keep putting performances in where people go I need to go and watch that game.

"And once you have that, we will set records at this club because of the support that we have around the world."

With Lionesses like Ella Toone, Nikita Parris, Alessia Russo and Mary Earps among their ranks, this season United are challenging to win their first ever WSL title.

Hannah Blundell won four league crowns with Chelsea and believes this group has got the togetherness to go all the way.

She says: "I think that's a massive part of winning championships. Everyone is on the same wavelength, everyone has got the same goal and I think that's what we've got here.

"Everyone pushes each other on the training pitch, off the training pitch and everyone really wants it for each other."

Manchester United co-owners Joel (right) and Avram Glazer Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images

United's women are playing at Old Trafford while the men's team are on their World Cup break.

Despite their American owners the Glazer family putting the club up for sale, the commitment to the women's team has not changed.

Marc Skinner says: "Right now we are business as usual and I think that's really important to stress.

"You look at the inclusion of Polly (Bancroft) as Head of Women's Football for us to keep progressing.

"That's a sign from the club that we are continuing to grow and it's an investment in what we're doing.

"So for us it's hugely important we're part of that but I don't think there's any question of that.

"We all fit under the same Manchester United banner and I think that's a given now, that we are part of that club and investment for us to succeed is going to continue to grow into the future for sure."       

For United's Head Coach and his players, the opportunity to play at Old Trafford is always a special occasion for both them and their families.

Marc says: "There's a moment before the game where you take a second and you do realise that you are doing it in front of your family which is so proud.

"My daughter will probably grow up a Manchester United fan because of that experience."

United's women's team only formed four years ago. They've made great strides in that time but much more still needs to be done.

This game will be another big step on that journey.