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Southampton FC v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship

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Lasses Preview: SAFC Women take on Southampton to kick off 2024!

After a substantial break for Christmas and New Year, the Lasses are back at work with a home game against promotion rivals Southampton in an evenly-matched FA Cup fixture.

Sunderland at Southampton in their last fixture against Sunday’s opposition
| Photo by Steve Bardens - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Sunderland Women will kick off at home in Hetton this Sunday at 13:00 in their first fixture this calendar year.

The winners of this round will receive an expected £67,000 with manager Mel Reay noting the importance of the financial rewards, and that “It’s important we get as far as we can in this competition” in her most recent press conference.

She also added that the players have been following a Christmas fitness plan despite a number of them visiting family away from the North East recently and had motivated the squad by having them upload their sessions to Strava.

With the transfer window open and the possibility of some extra income pending Sunday’s results, might we expect to see a new signing in the coming weeks?

The Lasses have played Southampton once in the league so far this season with a well earned three points at St Mary’s in a 1-0 victory featuring a Jenna Dear goal.

In the league, Southampton have maintained a consistent top of the table presence with an average of 1.75 goals scored per game but mediated by their concession rate of 1.25 goals per game. The Lasses in contrast have scored but also conceded fewer by comparison.

Southampton FC v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
Jenna Dear at St Mary’s where she scored Sunderland’s winner
Photo by Steve Bardens - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Of concern to watch for is Southampton’s habit of scoring in the final minutes of games. 24% of their total league goals, 5, have been made between the 81st minute and the final whistle. The Lasses meanwhile have conceded a majority of their goals in the final 20 minutes of games, 55%, which amounts to 5 goals, between 71st minute and final whistle. Expect Claudia Moan to be busy.

Although injury news is always sparse in this league, the winter break will have hopefully allowed a number of ill-affected players to return after we started to lag in December. Also to keep an eye on will be any of our talented U23s coming through for minutes as we can expect the team to continue prioritising the Championship over cup games, despite of the benefits of the competition.

Ha’way the Lasses!

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