Sunday 7th November 2021
Sunderland AFC Ladies v London City Lionesses
FA Women’s Championship
Eppleton CW Ground, Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Adults £5, Concessions £2.50 available here
Programme: The club has disabled embeds on their online matchday programme, but you can still read it here.
Highlights: Highlights and a full match replay are available from Monday on the FA Player.
Podcast: Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast, as usual, live on Twitter Spaces from 8-9pm BST next Monday. Just go to @RokerReport to listen in.
MD-1 ✊— Sunderland AFC Ladies (@SAFCLadies) November 6, 2021
Be there at Eppleton...
Sunderland are fifth in the table, two points behind third-placed London City Lionesses. This game has all the features that have made the FA Women’s Championship such an engaging and unpredictable division so far - teams essentially facing one another for the first time (albeit Sunderland have played and beaten the Lionesses back in 2014 when they were part of Millwall), with long journeys being a leveller too.
No pre-match press conference again this week with a quick turn-around after the midweek fixtures, but Assistant Head Coach Steff Libbey did speak about the upcoming fixture with London City Lionesses in her post-match interview following Sunderland’s 2-1 win away at Blackburn Rovers in the Conti Cup on Thursday night:
We’re looking forward to it. The fans were fantastic last time we were at home and we’re looking forward to seeing them again. London are a great opponent, we know a lot about them, and hopefully we can go out and do a good performance.
Sunderland Faye Mullen picked up a knock that saw her substituted in the second half on Thursday, and will be assessed ahead of this fixture. After giving run-outs to a few youngsters midweek, we should expect to see captain Keira Ramshaw and regulars Neve Herron and Jessica Brown back in the starting eleven, but the competition for places in the side has certainly hotted up following Holly Manders’ goal.
Highlights of yesterday's #ContiCup win over Blackburn Rovers ⤵️— Sunderland AFC Ladies (@SAFCLadies) November 5, 2021
The Lionesses are a pioneering outfit, breaking away from Millwall FC in 2019 and changing their name and their badge to reflect their intention to do things differently. Their shirt designs, in particular, have caught the attention of football supporters who have a penchant for collecting kits, but they’re more than just a club with an eye for aesthetics - this side has performed strongly so far this season, giving high-flying Durham Wildcats their toughest test so far at Maiden Castle last weekend, penning the home side in for much of the second half and coming away feeling disappointed not to have picked up at least a point.
Lionesses coach Mellissa Philips told the club’s official website that they’ve been doing their homework on Sunderland ahead of today’s game:
[Sunderland] had a great start to their opening campaign in the Women’s Championship and it’s a credit to the coaching staff and Mel [Reay], she’s got them incredibly organised, they’re a very difficult team to break down and they’re explosive on the counter.
They’ve got different elements to their game with set pieces, so we know it’ll be a challenge for us and we’re up for that and I think we’re all hungry to get our next result. It will pose a different challenge to us than we faced before, but we’re ready for it.
The head-to-head statistical analysis on FootStats for this game makes for interesting reading, with their headline prediction going the way of London City Lionesses due to their strong away form in the league.
It’s all about fine margins, especially with only eight games to work with here and the teams separated by just two points in the FA Women’s Championship. Sunderland have scored more and conceded more than London - averaging 1 goal scored and one conceded per game as opposed to 0.75 goals per game both scored and conceded for LCL.
(last 5 FA Women’s Championship Fixtures)
Sunderland AFC Ladies - DDLLW
Sunderland’s 1-0 away win at Charlton last week got them back on track, and with the cup victory too - the form of the team overall is certainly on the up.
London City Lionesses - LDWWL
Almost every side in the FA Women’s Championship has failed to overcome the test of playing league leaders Durham, and so if we discount last weekend’s result (and focus on their really strong performance) it is clear that London City are definitely a team in good form.
Head to head...
(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies - London City Lionesses as Millwall Lionesses)
Played - 2
Sunderland Wins - 2
Draws - 0
Lionesses Wins - 0
Sunderland Goals - 8
Lionesses Goals - 0