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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 Sunderland get back on track against Sheffield United?

A trip to Chesterfield this afternoon gives Mel Reay’s Lasses the chance to plus last weekend’s defeat in Lancashire behind them. But will they beat the Blades today?

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Graeme Field predicts...

I was gutted we didn’t follow up the excellent win against Charlton by continuing with a positive result at Blackburn. It wasn’t to be though and manager Mel Reay wasn’t happy with the performance. I’m sure the lasses will have felt the same.

The games come around quickly though and they’ve got another chance to put more points on the board against Sheffield United this weekend.

The Blades are improving as the season progresses. They possess a real attacking threat with the talented duo of Sweetman-Kirk and Watson. It means that the lasses will need to be at their best defensively to take anything from the game.

With Towers and McCatty in the centre of the defence I’m confident that we can keep a clean sheet and keep the attacking threat of the Blades at bay. The team are more than capable of getting a win and I’m going for a 2-0 success, with Kelly and Joice getting the goals.

Sunderland Ladies v Blackburn Rovers - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rich Speight predicts...

For my prediction this week, I’ve decided not to go with my gut (as that didn’t serve me too well last week) and look at the stats and go broadly with what they suggest.

Sunderland and Sheffield United have been evenly matched over our encounters this season - a 2-2 draw at Eppleton in the League following a 1-1 draw and penalty win in the Conti Cup at Chesterfield earlier in the season.

Over the course of the season, Sunderland have won less than a quarter of their away games and scored under a goal a game, conceding over 1.5 goals a game on the road. Whilst Sheffield United have scored two goals a game at home, although their xG is only 1.07 - which is probably a testament to the quality in front of goal of players like Sweetman-Kirk and Watson.

Winning against the impressive London City Lionesses last week I think will have given Neil Redfern’s side a huge confidence boost and therefore, with us missing our captain through Covid, unfortunately, I think this time around we’ll go down to a 2-1 defeat.

Sunderland v Sheffield United: FA Women’s Championship
Neve Herron goes up against Courtney Sweetman-Kirk of Sheffield United
Photo by Nigel Roddis - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Charlotte Patterson predicts...

As the season nears to an end and neither team has anything to play for, I can see both sides potentially experimenting with their teams. Perhaps introducing young or less inexperienced players into the fold.

However, Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 2-1 loss to Blackburn last weekend. The game fell way below the standards that the lasses set themselves and know (judging by the player reactions on Twitter) that they can do better. If Sunderland can find that form and performance they displayed against Charlton, then they can certainly give Sheffield a run for their money.

The Blades head into the game on a seven-match undefeated run, winning three and drawing two of their last five. It’s hard to ignore that clinical finishing and skill that Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Lucy Watson have been showing for their side, with 18 goals between them in the league.

Sunderland will be without Captain Kiera Ramshaw after contracting Covid and questions still remain around Neve Herron after her niggle last weekend. Whilst no news has been announced that she will be out of the game, gaffer Mel Reay may rest her as to not exasperate any minor injury she may have. That being said, Herron is a trooper and will not want to be left out of the squad.

Sheffield United are susceptible on the counter and don’t appear to be the fastest side. If the lasses can pressure them on the ball and dispossess them, they may well find themselves with an opportunity through on goal. Sheffield United 1 - 1 Sunderland


Ant Waterson predicts...

Sunderland may have to travel to Sheffield without their inspirational captain Keira Ramshaw as she came down with Covid this week. Fingers crossed she makes a speedy recovery. Louise Griffiths also misses out due to suspension but the return of Megan Beer should ease that blow.

If Ramshaw doesn’t make it, I would like to see Holly Manders start as she has impressed from the bench the last few weeks.

Sheffield United are a very good side and are in form. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk will be looking to add to her tally of three goals already against us this season.

I think a draw would be a terrific result for the lasses and I think they will sneak a 1-1 draw with Emily Scarr scoring.

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