Graeme Field predicts... a hammering at home!
The lasses face fellow FA Women’s Championship side, Liverpool, in the Continental Cup on Wednesday. The timing of the tie is not ideal for a Sunderland squad suffering from illness and injury. They will however be boosted by the 1-0 Women’s FA cup win over Brighouse last Sunday.
Sunderland manager Mel Reay has indicated that she may have another couple of players available to her, which will be great, as only two outfield players were named on the bench against Brighouse. I think the manager will go with a side as similar to her league side as possible. For me, that means as much experience as she can field in the side against league table-toppers Liverpool. I believe she may go with the in-form Emily Scarr up front by herself, with a player in behind supporting her when we are in possession, possibly Maria Farrugia.
Liverpool may decide to put out a stronger side than they’d planned initially. This is due to their league game against Charlton this weekend having been postponed. They will want to keep their players as sharp as possible for their promotion push in the New Year.
Sunderland manager Reay has already stated the league is the priority this season for the lasses, and rightly so in my opinion. She will however want to keep confidence as high as possible for their next league game away to Sheffield United women on Sunday. A side Sunderland are one place and one point ahead of in the league table.
Prediction - Sunderland 0-4 Liverpool. Sorry
Rich Speight predicts... a surprise home win!
There’s a buzz around Sunderland AFC at the minute. The weekend just gone, with the men’s and women’s teams both winning and all the positive vibes emerging from the Soup Kitchen and Five for Five fundraising appeal, has created an atmosphere of positivity that I think will carry over to the pitch under the lights at Eppleton.
I’m usually burying myself in stats and form tables, comparing xG and xGA for the home and away sides. Yes, they’re unbeaten in 13 games. Yes, they’re fully professional with some top international players. Yes, we’re down to the bare bones of our squad.
But today I’m letting my heart rule my head for once and predicting a 2-1 win with a last-minute winner scored against the run of play, by youngster Grace Ede.