SAINTS FC Women defender Paige Peake insists their upcoming FA Cup tie against Manchester United is an opportunity to test themselves against the country's elite.

Southampton are set to take on last season's FA Cup runner's up at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium on Sunday.

They head into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, a defeat which saw them miss a chance to go top of the Championship.

After that defeat, manager Marieanne Spacey-Cale outlined that Saints have to focus on their next league game against Birmingham and described facing Manchester United as a "free-hit."

Peake echoed the same sentiment when speaking to the Daily Echo: "We are very much looking forward to facing United.

"It is a one off game, the FA Cup is nice because it gives you a chance to play teams you don't normally get to face.

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"Hopefully it will be a good contest. For us it is about momentum, the league is our priority focus. The games we have played against WSL teams are quicker - it is a better standard.

"We performed better in the Arsenal game then we did in the Tottenham game, but we are quite a young squad.

"This is a great opportunity for us to test ourselves and see where we are. Hopefully we can put in a good performance to carry momentum into the next game against Birmingham."

As Peake eluded to, Saints have already faced WSL opposition three times this season - all three games coming in the continental cup.

Spacey-Cale's side secured a bonus point win over Bristol City (having drawn 1-1 in regular time), before falling to a late defeat 2-1 against Arsenal and a 3-0 loss to Spurs.

"From a personal stand point, I've learned that you need to be quicker in those games," Peake continued.

"If you switch off for one second, like in the Arsenal game, where they scored right after we did and late on from a corner, those teams will capitalise."