Arsenal welcome Sunderland on Sunday just a few hours before the men face Chelsea in yet another scheduling balls-up that in no way helps increase interest in the women’s game.
Anyway, the Gunners will be looking to carry on their good run of form and will be optimistic about grabbing their third win in a row and consolidating their Champions League place ahead of a title push.
It’s Matchday 4 in the FA WSL and Arsenal Ladies will be at home to Sunderland in a game between second and third place. With Chelsea having a tough away game at Birmingham, there could be a possibility to reach the top of the table by Sunday evening.
Sunderland are a very resilient side, difficult to beat and hard working. They can also score on the break.
When they take the lead, they make it really hard for the opposition to get back into the game.
Arsenal will need to be careful defensively and creative to find space in Sunderland’s defense and clinical in front of the goal.
Sunderland were promoted as FA WSL 2 Champions. They had a managerial change as Carlton Fairweather took over from long serving coach Mick Mulhern and signed three players in Brooke Chaplen, Victoria Williams and Suzanne Mulvery.
Stability has been a key word in the winter window as they lost only their back-up goalkeeper to Durham Women.
Sunderland are the surprise package of the FA WSL 1 with six points from there games having beaten Champions Liverpool and relegation candidates Bristol.
Who would you have
No one really.
Opposition key players
Rachael Laws is the only player to have won the FAWSL 1and 2 title as she was on loan at Liverpool in 2013, and the young goalkeeper has improved over the years.
Stephanie Bannon is Sunderland’s club captain and the cente back is a long-serving player at the heart of the defence.
Abbey Joice is Sunderland’s creative hub must be kept quiet as she can deliver quality passes.
Beth Mead, while questions have been raised on her ability to make it to the top international level after her poor showing at the u20 world cup, she did score a wonder goal but also failed to score crucial goals when presented with big chances that would have sent England through to the knock-out stage. She has shown that she can definitely score goals at WSL 1 level but can she make it at senior level?
Arsenal: Byrne, Scott, Stoney, Rose, Mitchell, Williamson, Losada, Nobbs, Carter, Sanderson, Yankey.
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon (c), Sharp, V. Williams, Furness, McFadden, Chaplen, Joice, Ramshaw, Mead.
Playing both sides
Victoria Williams also known as Tori or as Trev when she was at the Arsenal Academy.
Her nickname comes from the uncanny resemblance/lookalike between her dad and the TV broadcaster Trevor McDonald.
She has also played for Chelsea and Doncaster in FA WSL 1 as well as Arsenal and Sunderland.
Arsenal have never played Sunderland in a WSL 1 game.