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Lasses Match Preview: Everything you need to know as SAFC Ladies take on Crystal Palace today!

Eighth-placed Sunderland play fourth-placed Crystal Palace in the FA Women’s Championship at Hetton this afternoon. All your pre-match information is right here... Ha’way the Lasses!

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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Sunday 9th January 2022

Sunderland AFC Ladies v Crystal Palance Women FC

FA Women’s Championship

Eppleton CW Ground, Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland

Kick-Off: 14:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Adults £5, Over 65s £2.50, Under 16s £1. Tickets are available on the club website. Home and away supporters can purchase tickets on the game but only pay by card.

Travel: All the details of how to get to the ground and parking are included in the club’s pre-match Supporter Guide.

Coverage: No streaming or radio commentary available for this one, so get yourself down to Eppleton if you can and if not, follow @SAFCLadies for updates.

Highlights: All the action will be on the FA Player from Monday, including highlights and a full match replay.

Podcast: The Roker Report Lasses Podcast Live will return this week, 8.30-9.30pm on Twitter Spaces - and it’s now recorded too. Listen in live and join the discussion, or listen back afterwards.

The build-up...

The FA Women’s Championship returns to action this afternoon as we move second half of the season, in what will be Sunderland’s first game since the win on penalties against Liverpool in the Conti Cup on 15 December last year. The cancellation of the game against Sheffield United due to Covid-19 in their squad was a disappointing way to end an excellent few months for the Lasses.

Jess Brown is fit again, the covid-19 cases have cleared up and Grace McCatty should be back after her latest adventure in Africa, but Dutch striker Iris Achterhoff has left the club and her Instagram suggests that she’s actually retired from the game. As yet no more players have been recruited in the January transfer window, but we may see more of Grace Ede in the coming weeks.

In her programme notes for today, which you can read in full below, manager Mel Reay gave an update on what’s been happening over the last few weeks:

The festive period gave us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we’ve achieved so far, so we’re ready to set out our stall and keep building in the new year. We know what we want to achieve over the remainder of the season.

We had a couple of sessions over Christmas just to retain that sharpness and to keep in touch with the girls on a regular basis when we weren’t playing games.

Today, this month and this season will be a read squad effort.

Sunderland Ladies v Blackburn Rovers - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

For Crystal Palace, manager Dean Davenport will be looking for his team to bounce back after a couple of pre-Christmas disappointments. Two goals away at Blackburn in November were enough to give them the win in their last league game, but they were shocked by Bridgewater United in the FA Cup before losing on penalties in the Conti Cup to Bristol City in their two games in December.

However, their strong league form saw Davenport named November’s manager of the month, and their position just behind the top three makes them one of the more dangerous opponents we’ll see at Eppleton this year.

The Stats...

Fourth-placed Crystal Palace have a lot of numbers that point in their direction. Their away form is mixed, having won two and drawn one of their five games on the road this term, but their xGF is above 1 per game in those matches and they’ve scored at 1.8 goals a game on average away so far. Indeed, they have scored in all but one of their league games this season and scored every away game.

They also concede at the same rate, and their xGA is almost a goal and a half on average across the season - so they will be looking to tighten up what has been a loose defence at times. They have no clean sheets away from home.

Sunderland’s lack of goalscoring threat is surely their biggest concern, with less than a goal a game scored at home and a home xGF of 0.86, whilst their home xGA is over 1.3 and actual goals conceded is 1.6 - which is slightly better than Crystal Palace do on their travels.

Overall, the stats come down in favour of a Palace win, they are 75% better in terms of Points Per Game and their scoring rate is far superior, so expect another big challenge for the Lasses this afternoon.

The full set of head-to-head statistics for this fixture are available on

Sunderland Ladies v Liverpool Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

League Form... (home and away)

Sunderland AFC Ladies - LWLDL

Crystal Palace Women - WDWWW

Head to head...

(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies)
  • Played 1
  • Sunderland Wins: 0
  • Draws: 1
  • Palace Wins: 0
  • Sunderland Goals: 1
  • Palace Goals: 1
Crystal Palace Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Last time out...

Crystal Palace 1-1 Sunderland

Farrow, Ramshaw

12 September 2021, Selhurst Park

One to watch... Millie Farrow

Palace forward Millie Farrow has top-flight experience, having played in the WSL for Chelsea, Bristol City, and Reading, and getting promotion from the Championship with Leicester City. She’s won the FA Cup with Chelsea too and represented England at age-group level.

Farrow is currently the joint top scorer for the club with four league goals, including the one she scored against Sunderland back in September 2021. Now aged 25, she’s got experience and the nack of being in the right place at the right time, as evidenced by her goal in the London derby in November.

Undoubtedly she is rated as one of the best players in the FA Women’s Championship and Sunderland’s defence will do well to keep her quiet today.

Crystal Palace Women v Charlton Athletic Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images


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