It’s Matchday Three in the Conti Cup, and Sunderland welcome WSL side Aston Villa to Eppleton CW. We’re well placed in the group, but with a week of drama and injuries behind the Lasses, what do our panel think the result will be?
Katie Hume predicts... a win for the Lasses
The game vs Aston Villa is our first time facing a WSL side since promotion to the championship but we have every reason to be confident. Aston Villa haven’t been in the best form this season and tend to put out a team that features heavily on youth development.
With Grace McCatty ruled out of the side due to work commitments it gives Mel a chance to rotate players from their normal positions allowing the side to become more versatile. I’d like to see our new signing Daisy Burt given some game time as well as youngster Grace Ede. I’m predicting a 2-1 win with Emily Scarr and Holly Manders to both score a goal to give Mel a selection headache for our league games.
Ant Waterson predicts... a big win for Sunderland Ladies
Sunderland return to Conti Cup action on Sunday after a difficult couple of games in the league. Mel Reay has used this competition as a chance to blood some fringe players but I’m not sure she will this week after a break and a league game next week I think a strong side will be named.
Villa have used this competition to play their development side and I think Sunderland may prove too strong for them.
I’m going to go for 3-1 Sunderland with Blakey, Potts and Scarr scoring. Haway the lasses.
Graeme Field predicts... it all depends!
What a great opportunity for the team to test themselves against WSL opposition. Although it’s already been mentioned that Villa may play some of their development side, there could be some first team players in the starting line up.
As ever in the Continental Cup, Mel may look to play some of the squad that haven’t seen as many minutes as others so far this season. Although with the team having just had an international break, it will be interesting to see what she decides to do, and may go with a side similar to that which starts in the league.
Grace McCatty is not able to play due to work commitments, but with the excellent news that Daisy Burt has been added to the squad, Mel Reay will have another great option for the defence.
I feel that the manager is still looking at getting the best from her squad when we have the ball and I would like to see Emily Scarr out wide if fit, with Eve Blakey up front. The pressure will be off Eve and she can play her game.
I’d also like to see Claudia Moan back in goal to get some minutes under her belt, after the superb performance of Alison Cowling against Liverpool last time out.
I’m going for 1-1 if Villa bring their first team squad or 4-1 to Sunderland if they bring a mixture of their first team and development squads.