Ant Waterson predicts... an away win for Sunderland!
Sunderland and Durham will entertain over one thousand fans this weekend and what an occasion it is going to be. I personally feel Sunderland will fancy their chances, Durham have been on a poor run and Sunderland have only lost once in five games. However, form goes out the window in derby games
Sunderland have the pace to really cause Durham problems. Should Emily Scarr and Maria Farrugia be fit, I can see us getting a lot of joy.
The battle for midfield will be interesting as well. I can’t wait to see the duel between Beth Hepple and Neve Herron, undoubtedly two of the best players in this league. Sunderland will also have to cope with Durhams physical game. I din’t believe for one second Durham are a dirty team, they play to their strengths and there’s nothing wrong with that.
My head says a one all draw but my heart says 2-1 Sunderland, so 2-1 it is - Scarr and Ramshaw with the goals. Enjoy the game and haway the lasses.
Charlotte Patterson predicts... honours even on Wearside!
After a three week hiatus in the league, it’s hard to say whether both sides will be feeling rejuvenated from the break or perhaps lost that little bit of edge due to no competitive matches.
Prior to the break, both teams earned a point, with Sunderland drawing 0-0 at home with Coventry and Durham drawing 3-3 against Watford in what was an unprecedented result.
It’s fair to say that Durham haven’t quite been in their usual and expected form recently, whereas the Lasses have boasted a good run of results and performances in their last few games. It was 2-0 to Durham the last time these sides met, however the result didn’t reflect what happened on the pitch. A fairly even game with both sides having ample opportunities, but ultimately Durham putting their chances away.
Beth Hepple will be the one to watch, particularly on set pieces. However, I’m confident that Sunderland can push Durham back in this derby game. The battle will ultimately come in the middle of the park, one which hopefully the likes of Abbey Joice and Neve Herron can command.
Their vision and passing will paramount and will hopefully allow the likes of Emily Scarr and Maria Farrugia (if injury free) to use their pace and beat what is a relatively slow Durham back line. A lot has changed since the sides last met, but I feel like it’ll be another tightly contested game, with minimal goals. So I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Rich Speight predicts... revenge on the road!
Both my heart and my head are pointing in the same direction for once, and thankfully it’s towards a Sunderland Ladies win. Our form of late has been really good, their form has fallen off a cliff. Whether other sides have worked out how to beat Durham, or they’ve lost a bit of motivation as Liverpool accelerated towards the single promotion spot I’m not entirely sure.
There’s no doubt in my mind that, despite all the dangers they pose, we have the tools to beat them. They will pepper our box with crosses, they will look to win free kicks around the penalty area by any means necessary, and they will crunch through tackles in an attempt to intimidate our youngsters. But we have pace, we have guile, and we’ve learned quickly how to cope with the rough and tumble of this division. If they think that we’ll be a pushover, they’ve another thing coming and I think we’ll shock them with a 2-1 win to regain the Wearside bragging rights.