Charlotte Patterson predicts... another tough day on the road for the Lasses
The Lasses travel to Prenton Park at the weekend to face off against league leaders Liverpool.
Sunderland drew 2-2 last weekend against Sheffield, despite taking the lead twice. The lasses seemed to have built well on their game against Birmingham in the cup and deployed a 5-4-1 formation which allowed us to have some fluidity and energy going down the wings when on the attack, but to double up in defence when Sheffield were on the ball. Hopefully we see a similar formation adopted this weekend by the gaffer. Abbey Joice has been in some fine form for the lasses in recent games and will undoubtedly be one of the key players for us heading into these tough fixtures.
The lasses will be without Grace McCatty (who is still serving a suspension) and promising figure Neve Herron (Who is leaving on international duty). There is also the likes of Grace Ede, Libbi McInnes and Maria Farrugia who are leaving on international duty, but I’m not sure of when they will be leaving to join their respective national sides.
As for Liverpool, they head into this game on the back of a 3-0 home victory over Coventry and will be more than up for this game as they looked to extend their unbeaten run. Liverpool haven’t lost a game since their opening fixture against London City Lionesses, which saw the visitors come away with a surprise 1-0 win. Since then Liverpool have knuckled down and have become ruthless each match. They currently top the championship with 35 points, 9 points clear of second placed Charlton. They also boast a goal difference of +25, scoring 30 goals and conceding 5 in 14 matches. Sunderland’s biggest threat will be that of Irish forward Leanne Kiernan, who currently sits at the top goal scorer in the league with 12 goals. A dexterous player, she is confident enough to take shots on with either foot and her head when needed to, so the lasses will have to be on their toes to shut her down. This is where ideally someone like ex-Sunderland player, Charlotte Potts would have been vital.
As much as the lasses have improved over recent weeks, the notable absences, lack of depth and Liverpool's tenacity tells me that this will be a difficult game for Sunderland. So long as the lasses put up some fight, they can hold their heads high and look towards their next game against Charlton. I’m going for Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland.
Ant Waterson predicts... sadly, a loss for Sunderland
Sunderland go to Prenton Park after a hard-fought draw last week against Sheffield Utd.
Sunderland have reacted well to Mel's tactical tweak of moving to a back five and I expect the team to be pretty much the same as last week. The only change I can see is Emma Kelly coming back in for Holly Manders if Kelly is fit but I would keep it the same.
Liverpool are absolutely flying and as much as I want to see we will get something, I can’t see beyond a Liverpool win.
Liverpool 3-1 Sunderland with Maria getting our goal. Sorry lasses.
Graeme Field predicts... again, Liverpool to come out on top
Sunderland Ladies visit league leaders Liverpool women this weekend after a good performance in their last outing, a 2-2 draw at home to Sheffield United Women. The lasses will be well aware of the size of the task in hand against a side coming into the game off the back of a 3-0 win over Coventry last week. The way Sunderland are likely to set up, with a 5-4-1 without the ball, against an attacking Liverpool side should also help us hit them on the break when possible.
I’ve been impressed with the last two performances from the lasses and the team will be focused on producing again versus the reds. Abbey Joice has done exceptionally well this season. Her performances have been superb. Last week she finished off a great move for the first goal against Sheffield United. She will be a key player again this weekend, linking the play and allowing others to get beyond her to give Liverpool problems in the defensive third.
I think the quality Liverpool have, and the fact that they’re also a professional side, will give them the edge over our young side. I’m going for a 3-1 Liverpool win.