❤️ Ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday, the #SAFCLadies players and staff have given their best wishes to all the mothers out there... as well as a little push for Sunday's game pic.twitter.com/96NB4PTVcs— Sunderland AFC Ladies (@SAFCLadies) March 25, 2022
Graeme Field predicts... Herron to score in a Sunderland win!
What a win last week against Sheffield United. A team that was improving as the season goes on…… is beaten by a team that is improving as the season goes on!
The lasses were excellent and thoroughly deserved their 4-1 away win. We just need to keep going, one game at a time. As I’m sure manager Mel Reay is stressing, you can’t get ahead of yourself in this league or you’ll come unstuck.
Sunderland will go into the game as favourites and that’s not something that has happened too often this season. Hopefully, there’ll be a large crowd at Eppleton to cheer the team on.
Watford are also coming into the game off the back of a fantastic win last week. A superb 1-0 home victory against London City Lionesses. Watford will come north looking for three points. Although they are second-bottom of the table, it will take a very good performance from the lasses to enable them to take three points from the game.
Sunderland are boosted by the return from the suspension of defender Louise Griffiths. Hopefully captain Keira Ramshaw will also return after having COVID. I think we’ll gain a hard-fought three points, in a 2-1 win. Maria Farrugia and Neve Herron with the goals.
Charlotte Patterson predicts... a comfortable home win for the Lasses!
Despite the fact that both teams are heading into this fixture on the back of some impressive wins, I think the lasses have just enough about them to see this game off. The win over Sheffield United last week was likely a huge confidence boost for the lasses and one which reaffirms to them that they are a good side and deserve the victories they fight hard for.
We’ve spoken time and time again about how good Sunderland have looked since the turn of the year and whilst they have not always got the three points they deserved, they have put in some resolute performances and donned a never say die attitude. Always continuing to fight hard, despite the opposition or score.
On paper and statistically speaking, Watford are a weak side. Conceding the most goals in the league and scoring the fewest. Throughout highlights and clips I have watched, Watford are particularly vulnerable when being pressed. If Sunderland adopt the same fast and high-intensity attacking football that they did last week, I cannot see Watford’s backline coping.
Emily Scarr, Abbey Joice, Maria Farrugia, and Neve Herron were excellent last time out and were relentless in their press and willingness to get forward. If those four can link up again, especially with long balls over the top or through balls in between the backline, Watford will not be able to catch up with the likes of Scarr and Farrugia with their pace and technical ability. With both of the aforementioned lasses on the scoresheet as well last week, it should hopefully bolster their spirits and confidence heading into this match.
Louise Griffiths will be returning into the side, following her one-match suspension due to card accumulation. It is unclear yet as to whether captain Keira Ramshaw will be returning to the squad following positive tests for covid.
With Sunderland securing safety and another season in the Championship, we may well see some experimentation from gaffer Mel Reay and her staff, giving some of the younger and less experienced players some minutes.
But, finishing the season on a high and getting as many wins as possible, may well create confidence heading into next season. Regardless, it should be a good game and one in which Sunderland comes out on top. I’ll go for 3-1 to Sunderland.
Rich Speight predicts... a hatful of goals for the Wearsiders!
Having seen Watford play live once this season on the opening day at Durham and watched the return fixture back in October, it’s clear we’re a much stronger and more savvy team than they are.
The talismanic figure of Helen Ward and tricky forward Rosie Kmita have both been in and out of the side, but bringing in quality in terms of Andrea Georgiou and the experienced Gemma Davison is surely a sign that their club’s hierarchy has finally realised that the risk of relegation is still very much there for Watford.
Victory over the pros of London City Lionesses will have given them a huge boost - but our form is so good at the minute, and with a vocal home crowd behind us, I can see only one result today.
Maria Farrugia has broken her duck for the season and I expect that the confidence that finally finding the back of the net brings will carry over, and she’ll grab a brace with Neve Herron popping up with a goal or to as well. I’ll be brave and go for 4-0 to Sunderland.
Ant Waterson predicts... another win for Sunderland Ladies!
Sunderland welcome Watford on Sunday on a game that promises to be a cracker. Both teams are coming off the back of brilliant victories. Sunderland arguably got their best result of the season in the 4 1 demolition job of Sheffield United last week whilst Walford were superb 1-0 winners over London.
Sunderland will hopefully welcome back captain Keira Ramshaw to the squad after illness and Louise Griffiths through suspension. I think Griffiths will come straight back in but given Ramshaw has had covid, possibly a subs appearance is what we can expect from our captain.
Grace Ede misses the game after being called up by England so no pitch invasion from the ultras this week! I’m taking my nephew for his first game this week, he can’t wait to meet the players after the game. This is what football is all about.
I think Sunderland will win 3-1 with Scarr, Farrugia, and Ramshaw from the bench to score. Confidence seems high and I’m sure Mel Reay and Steph Libbey will be making sure they take the game seriously and get the three points.