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Coventry United Ladies v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship

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Lasses Roundtable: Are you nervous about today’s big match?

Coventry United have lost nine in a row in the league. We won at Butts Park last season. Today should be nothing to worry about, right?

Photo by Morgan Harlow - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Rich Speight says...

Aye, I’m nervous - if only because the consequences of this going pear-shaped are potentially so disastrous.

But like I wrote a couple of weeks back, the law of averages means we’re surely due a win and the stats, this time anyway, back me up. We have an xG away from home of 1.48 and their xGA at home is almost 3. We’re pretty hard to break down, and they have been scudded a fair few times already including by fellow strugglers Sheffield United.

I’m not complacent, however. They can score goals, they even managed a last-minute consolation against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. But despite our propensity not to defend set pieces at crucial moments and not to be able to retain possession for more than a few passes at a time, we’ll surely have too much quality and too much know-how for them.

It will be interesting to see how we cope with a team that might sit back in a low block. We’ve played on the counter in almost every game so far, so this will be a new challenge if they do park the proverbial bus and hope to catch us on the break.

There’s a fine line between nervous and excited, and I’m sure that the coaches will be looking to frame any pre-match butterflies from the players in that light. For me, this has got a three-nil away win written all over it and I expect the Lasses to go out there, take the opportunity, and show their class. No more excuses.

Manchester City Women v Sunderland Ladies - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Ant Waterson says...

The short answer is no. The long answer is, ask me after the match.

I will be keeping an eye on the game whilst watching the Under 23s who also have a huge match Sunday away to Consett.

Going into the game, I’m quite confident we will get the job done. Although we lost last week to Man City, the defensive shape was excellent and a repeat of that will probably see us keep Coventry out.

My main worry is whether we will score. We haven’t scored since beating Palace five games ago and we really need to start hitting the back of the net soon.

Today is absolutely huge for both sides. A win would see us move seven points clear of Coventry and I don’t think they will claw that back. However, a win for them will close to gap to one point and will have has us looking over our shoulders. I’ll probably be a bit nervous then.

Crystal Palace Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
It’s been a long time since we had that scoring (and winning) feeling
Photo by Henry Browne - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Graeme Field says...

I’m not nervous, but I am concerned about where a defeat would leave us in the context of the whole season.

I know we’re good enough to win the game, but I just hope the team goes into it looking to keep the ball and work our opponents, which will likely give us more opportunities as the game goes on.

Mel will be using all of her experience to both select and set up a side capable of picking up an away win. She will have noted the weaknesses Coventry showed with set pieces and crosses into the box when conceding ten goals in their last two games.

With these issues in mind, the likes of Neve Herron, Grace McCatty, Bri Westrup, and Abby Holmes, will all feel they can get a goal with the right quality of delivery.

We’re almost at the halfway point in the league season and a win would boost the confidence of a side that is probably better than our league position suggests.

However, there will be alarm bells ringing if we were to lose against Coventry. So, I’m not nervous, I’m just concerned. There are goals in this team and I believe we’ll get the win that will start our push up the table.

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