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Southampton FC v Sunderland - Barclays FA Women’s Championship

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Lasses Match Preview: Sunderland take on top of the table Southampton FC Women

Can the Lasses grab three important points away to the in form Southampton FC Women? We have all the latest in the match preview ahead of today’s game at St Mary’s Stadium

Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images

10th September 2023

Southampton FC Women v Sunderland AFC Women

FA Women’s Championship

St Mary’s Stadium, Britannia Road, Southampton

Kick-Off: 14:00pm

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets cost £9 for adults and £3 for under 18’s. Tickets are still available on Southampton’s website

Travel: If you’re looking to make the trip from the Northeast, then your best bet is to join onto the A1 (M) from either the A19 or A690. Stay on the A1 (M) until you pass Doncaster and then join onto the M18 in order to get to the M1. At Northampton, join onto the A43 and take this until you can link onto the A34. Finally, you join onto the M3 and follow signs for A33 into Southampton.

Whilst you can travel by train, the journey takes roughly six to seven hours and requires at three or four changes, meaning it is probably more feasible to drive.

Coverage: Get in-game updates on the match from @SAFCWomen and @SaintsFCWomen.

Highlights: The FA Player will have highlights and a full match replay from Monday afternoon.

Podcast: Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast on Twitter Spaces early this next week. Just go to @Hawaypod to listen in.

The Build-Up

This weekend sees the Lasses travel down to St Mary’s Stadium in what is their second furthest away game, but Sunderland’s season has started positively, with the side taking a draw and win in their first two fixtures. But the upcoming match will be a tough test against a side that is also undefeated and looks certain to be a contender for promotion.

It was difficult to know just how Sunderland Women would come into this 23/24 season. I have to admit, with all the changes during the summer I was sceptical about how the lasses would perform. But so far, they’re proving me wrong and giving a great account of themselves early on.

The two sides meet up for just the third time in the league; Southampton FC Women have risen like a rocket from the seventh tier of the women’s football pyramid with five consecutive promotions and announcing a full-time model, the Saints show real grit and determination to become a real force, finishing sixth in their first championship season and playing some wonderful attacking football.

They like to play a passing game, with a great attacking impetus and urge for their wing-backs to get involved in the play. A lot of Southampton’s game is played on the wings, rather than through the middle, opting to utilise the width of the field to allow open play, long balls and threats from the wide areas.

Numerous goals come from the wings, usually in the form of a Southampton player taking the ball to the by-line before either cutting it back for an attacking player to run onto or to cross the ball into the box.

They are also incredibly fast on the counter and transition, getting forward in numbers when attacking and offering various avenues for the ball to be taken forward and received.

It would be well worth the Sunderland forwards using their pace to close the defenders down on the ball to try and force a mistake, particularly with Southampton playing with a high defensive line. Indeed, at times they are guilty of playing too high up and are vulnerable to getting caught out on a quick transition or counter.

Their defenders like to get forward and involved in the play, allowing for alternative options and avenues. However, this has led to large gaps opening up in between the backline which would be perfect for pacey players from Sunderland such as Emily Scarr, Mary McAteer, Katie Kitching and Katy Watson to exploit and run into.

Recent League Form

Sunderland: D-W

Southampton: W-W

One to watch... Sophie Pharoah

Two goals in two games. The 22-year-old forward is already off to a brilliant start.

Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The FA Women’s National League Play-off Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images

Last time out

Sunderland 0-1 Southampton - 12.02.23

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