It’s Gameweek 10 in the FA Women's Championship, and Sunderland face top-of-the-table Liverpool in an evening clash at Eppleton that gives the Stadium of Light crowd the chance of a dodge up the A690 to watch the second in a double header tomorrow. Here’s our team’s predictions for this big match...
Graeme Field predicts... a draw!
A game against the league leaders Liverpool Women, under the lights at Eppleton on a Saturday evening. Brilliant. I’d urge you to buy a ticket for what will be a high quality, very technical game between two very good sides.
I watched Liverpool play at Durham Women in their last league outing and was very impressed with them. They have the dual qualities of a side that are able to play attractive football but can be physical when required. Mel will know that we are up against a side that are essentially WSL quality. However, I know that Mel and Steph will have done their research on this Liverpool side and will have a game plan to stop them being as effective in the final third.
At the time of writing I’m not aware of any further injury issues other than Maria Farrugia and the long term injury to Emily Hutchinson. Based on that, if Abbey Joice has recovered from illness, I would name her in the starting line up ahead of talented youngster Libbi McInnes and bring Jessica Brown in to replace Eve Blakey, with Emily Scarr moving back to lead the line. We will look to play our passing game, keep things as tight as possible as a unit and with our intense work rate, excellent organisation and the quality we have in our side, we can come away with at least a point. I’m going to predict a 1-1 draw, Emma Kelly with the goal for the lasses.
Gav Henderson predicts... a shock home win!
I admire the underdog spirit of this group of Lasses, who for many years have been shit on by the establishment despite their proud history of developing some of the best players in the country.
Liverpool, to me at least, represent the other side of the coin - a professional outfit that have been handed everything on a plate in recent years, and have the advantage in almost every area simply due to who they are.
Hopefully, Sunderland can harness some of that underdog spirit and show Liverpool - and the establishment - why they mean business. Liverpool may well be top of the table, but who cares? It’s a one off game, and our players will give anyone a game on their day.
It’s a Saturday night game under the lights, and hopefully that can add to a special atmosphere. I’m going for Sunderland 2-1 Liverpool.
Ant Waterson predicts... a score draw!
Sunderland take on league leaders Liverpool in what promises to be a very big test for the lasses. We managed to show brilliant character against Durham and London and despite losing those games, Sunderland at times looked the better side.
I expect Abbey Joice to come back in if she is fit but I would stick with Eve Blakey up top. I know she missed a great chance at the end but I thought her hold up play was terrific on Sunday.
As always I think we will give it everything and with a bit of luck get a draw out of the game. 1-1 with Herron scoring.
Rich Speight predicts... a narrow loss!
As much as I hate to say it, but having watched Liverpool last weekend and looked at some of the stats in detail, I fear this game might be a bridge too far for the Lasses. The Merseyside outfit are a serious proposition, fit, pacy, technically excellent and very well drilled.
Sunderland have proven themselves to be a really good Championship side, but there’s a reason why nearly half way through the campaign Liverpool are top of the table. I do think we’ll give them a hell of a game, and it will be a close run thing, but a 2-1 loss is probably the most likely outcome. Let’s hope they prove both me and the bookies wrong.