Graeme Field predicts... a win and a clean sheet
With Brighouse playing in the league below Sunderland, it may allow the manager to ask the team to approach the game in a slightly different way to that of the recent games against top of the FA Championship Liverpool and WSL side Aston Villa. Manager Mel Reay is hopeful of having a couple of players back from injury, possibly including captain Keira Ramshaw. Sunderland will go into the game as favourites, but will have to play well to proceed into the next round. Brighouse will be a difficult test having only lost two league games this season.
Whilst Sunderland have struggled to gain more possession than their opponents in their last two games against Liverpool and Villa. I’d expect them to have more of the ball in this game and to hopefully be on the front foot in the cup tie.
The Sunderland manager will likely play with one up front, but the player in behind will be a lot closer to them than usual. Also, the midfield should be able to get up to provide support to those two in greater numbers. I would play Eve Blakey as the most advanced forward with Keira Ramshaw, if fit, in behind her. Both players will be desperate to get on the scoresheet. In defence Beer, Potts and Griffiths are likely to start and the manager will have a decision to make as to whether Herron plays centre half, or she plays in midfield, with perhaps Daisy Burt slotting into the back four in what would be her second game for the first team. Prediction - Brighouse 0-3 Sunderland
Ant Waterson predicts... progress in the Cup
Another cup game for the lasses this time in the FA Cup. Brighouse are doing well in their league and this won’t be easy, but Sunderland should be capable of winning this comfortably.
Team-wise, I would like to see Grace Ede start the game. Ede was superb when coming off the bench last week and I would like to see her given a chance.
Daisy Burt is another who may come in if Mel wants to move Herron back into midfield.
I would give captain Keys as much rest as possible ahead of the league game next week so I would move Emma Kelly into a more advanced role supporting Eve Blakey.
Brighouse 2-4 Sunderland is going to be a cracker. Enjoy the game.
Rich Speight predicts... a decent win for the Lasses
Sunderland Ladies have had a hard time of it in the last two games against the pros, now they face a Brighouse team from the National League that are on the up.
We’re due some goals, we will surely set up in a more attacking formation, and this squad knows how to score hat-fulls against FAWNL sides. But having heard what Katie’s dad had to tell us on Monday’s Lasses Pod, I don’t think it’s going to be a one way street. So I’m going for a 3-1 win for the Lasses on Sunday.