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Sheffield United Women v Sunderland Ladies - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup

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Lasses Score Predictions: Can Mel Reay’s girls salvage a bit of pride for Sunderland AFC this weekend?

No ifs, no buts... we love a good bit of FA Cup action and an underdog story on Wearside. But do our panel think that Sunderland stand a chance in Birmingham this lunchtime?

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Graeme Field predicts... a narrow loss

The team will be looking to put a poor performance last week against Lewes, firmly behind them. The lasses never really got going and they have a great opportunity to put in an improved performance against WSL side Birmingham in the FA cup. The transfer window closed with striker Katy Watson being added to the squad from the RTC. She joins fellow newcomer Grace Boyes in the squad. It will be interesting to see how both players are handled by manager Mel Reay in terms of how much action they’ll get until the end of the current campaign.

We’ve got a talented young squad and a couple of further experienced additions would really have helped until the end of the season. It wasn’t to be though and geography isn’t on our side as a part time team.

Away from transfers, Emma Kelly has been excellent this season and her former club will know all about the quality she has and her dangerous set piece deliveries. Playing a professional side once again this season will be another great test for the team.

Reay will likely set up her side with one up front, with possibly Emily Scarr as the lone front player after being on the bench last week. I think we’ll see an improved performance, but Birmingham might be just too strong. Prediction 2-1 Birmingham win.

Sunderland Ladies v Liverpool Women- FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup
Former Blue Emma Kelly
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ant Waterson predicts... a goal-fest

Sunderland really have nothing to lose Sunday so I’m expecting them to throw caution to the wind. A nice big pitch with ensure we can play to our strengths.

We don’t have a centre half so I’m expecting Neve Herron to continue at centre half with Lou Griffiths moving across to help her. Daisy Burt can play full back so I would bring her in aswell.

We have signed RTC Katy Watson who has a tremendous goalscoring record so I hope she goes well. I think she will make her debut off the bench.

I think we will lose, but I’m hoping the lasses just play with a bit freedom after a hard few weeks. Good luck lasses, but I have to go with Brum 3-2 Sunderland with Ramshaw and Watson with the goals.

Watford Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Richard Heathcote - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Rich Speight predicts... a Lasses win on penalties

Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with the romance of the FA Cup and the hope that it brings to even the most cynical football fans.

I’m not looking into the stats for this game, I’m going with what I think will make the most dramatic story. Birmingham are really struggling this season, and cup folklaw is littered with giant-killing feats where lower league opposition come up against the relegation candidates from the top flight and emerge victorious.

I can see Sunderland scoring early, holding the lead until towards the end but being pegged back not long before the end. Then a nervous period of extra time followed by the glory of a penalty shootout victory.

Sheffield United Women v Sunderland Ladies - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

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READER'S CORNER!

Reader’s Corner: Let’s hope the wise men are looking down on us under the arch

OPINION!

Let’s do the job in ninety minutes and avoid any penalty shootout drama!