Sunday’s game kicks off at midday in Charlton’s ground The Oakwood in Kent. I commend anyone who makes the journey from the North-East to the match - a moment’s silence for Amy Goddard, whose height will be of particular detriment on the bus down. Although the players will be travelling in more style than a Megabus, as someone who has done that trip, long legs are of little help.
Charlton and Sunderland have an identical record with 6 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss so far this season. However, Charlton’s home form has been shaky, producing only 1 win, 2 draws and their only loss. They have also failed to produce a single clean sheet at The Oakwood too, a fact that Liz Ejupi will eye with interest.
After a frustrating previous match, will the Lasses be looking to pick up points and prove themselves this Sunday? We certainly think so and with rumoured returns from injured players it might just be enough to turn the tide.
Sunderland will have to contend with a question of our backline.
After Megan Beer came off at half-time against Blackburn to be replaced by Jess Brown, and a recovering Louise Griffiths subbed on in the second half, the question we’re also asking is... who starts today?
The issue facing the coaching team is to decide if Griffiths is fully fit again and to risk playing her against one of the best sides in the league who will be looking to score goals.
Grace Ede has done well at full-back, but is she better placed on the wing?
Looking to exploit any gaps will be Charlton’s Kayleigh Green who sits 3rd in the top scorers table with 5 goals. Her last 3 goals have been converted from penalties so Brianna Westrup will need to be wary in bringing her down around the box.
Expect a measured game this weekend.
It is probable that both sides will be hoping for an early goal and to sit deep to see out the win and secure 1st place. Fortunately for the Lasses, we still have the best defensive record in the league, and Charlton haven’t managed to replicate that at The Oakwood yet.
A resounding comeback and 3 points? We certainly hope so.
Haway the Lasses!