It’s Gameweek 7 in the FA Women’s Championship. The stats may be pointing to a home victory for a strong Charlton Athletic WFC side, but our panel of writers have other ideas...
Charlotte Patterson predicts... a tight score draw
With Grace McNatty and Charlotte Potts set to be back, the side will be bolstered by their return. The lasses will likely be in good spirits still following their penalty shootout win over Sheffield in the cup. Neve Herron has been in some great form and there is the welcome addition of exciting young prospect Grace Ede getting some more minutes.
Charlton do have a lot of talent on their team, but they had seven of their players out in action during the international break, so we may well see Charlton starting the game with a more rotated squad than they would like.
That being said, the side does still have an array of talent on the team who will be quick to punish any Sunderland mistakes. Charlton are joint first in the league for goals scored, with 11 in 6 games. Prediction: Charlton 1-1 Sunderland.
Katie Hume predicts... Herron to strike for Sunderland
We are once again venturing into unknown territory with Charlton, I expect the girls to still be buzzing from the Sheffield United win.
The game will be difficult as Charlton have some experienced players with WSL experience, but I’m expecting our lasses to once again step up. I think it will be a 2-1 win, with a Neve worldie.
Graeme Field predicts... a high-scoring draw.
This is a really tough one to call. The manager will have had time to work on the game plan against a good Charlton side. Hopefully, Potts and McCatty will be back in the centre of defence and that will be a big boost.
Playing away from home is always tough in this league but there is not a lot to separate the sides. The lasses will be looking to create more chances than we have done recently. I think Mel will go with a very similar lineup to that which started their last league game, which came at home to Durham Women.
The first goal is going to be very important in this match. I think if we get it, we’ll come away with a very good draw. Match prediction 2-2
Rich Speight predicts... a win for the Lasses against the odds!
All the stats are pointing in the wrong direction - Charlton are unbeaten at home, score goals, and don’t concede many. But there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, there’s nothing like a confidence-boosting win on pens in the cup, followed by a good old rest, to re-set the stumbling league form.
I said on the Lasses Podcast Live last Monday that that break would give Mel Reay and Steph Libby time to sit down with the analytics department and review where we’re up to so far, and I expect that we will see one or two interesting evolutions of the squad in this game. I said then that thought that we’d win 2-1, so I’m going to stick with that.
Ant Waterson predicts... history made with a narrow win!
A tough one to call this, and history will be made as Sunderland take on Charlton for the first time in a competitive fixture.
It seems like ages since Sunderland beat Sheff Utd in the Conti Cup and hopefully all the international players have come back fit.
Charlotte Potts and Grace McCatty should be back from injury and humanitarian work respectively, and that should see Neve Herron move to midfield. I would be quite confident of seeing the team that started the Durham game starting this one.
As for a result, I’m always confident so I’ll say 2-1 Sunderland.