Coombs: United rise has helped make WSL the best in the world
Manchester City midfielder Laura Coombs sees the rise of Manchester United as a major force in the Women's Super League as something to be welcomed.
After being relaunched in 2018, winning the Championship and then coming fourth in the WSL for three successive seasons, United are enjoying their best top-flight campaign to date.
Marc Skinner's side had been top of the table and are close to securing Champions League qualification for the first time.
City, who United face in Sunday evening's derby at Leigh Sports Village, are in danger of missing out on Europe.
But on the topic of United's rise, Coombs said: "I think every player prefers the league more competitive.
"I think it now puts our league as probably the best in the world, because it's the most competitive. So the more teams that can rise up, the better in my opinion."
With two rounds of games to go, United are second in the table, two points behind champions Chelsea.
Arsenal, Chelsea's opponents at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, are three points further back in third, with fourth-placed City another three points behind in the battle for the three Champions League berths.
Asked about the fact that if the Blues win, City could then end their derby rivals' title push, Coombs said: "We want to beat United.
"We just want to go in and get the result to give us every chance to get the top three, that's our main motivation."
City are looking to avoid what would be a first finish outside the European places since 2014, in their inaugural WSL campaign.
Yet to be beaten by United in six WSL meetings, winning three, City take them on a week after Skinner's side lost 1-0 to Chelsea in their debut Women's FA Cup final appearance.
Coombs, who scored the equaliser in December's 1-1 Manchester derby draw at the Etihad Stadium, has no doubt United will "come all guns blazing".
The 32-year-old ace added: "Like us, they lost their last game so they want to put that right straight away.
"They always give us a good game and I think every year the games between us are getting more and more competitive. It's really exciting to be a part of."