Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Sunderland Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies‘ 2014 campaign is now well under way; over 3 weeks in April Liverpool played 5 games, winning 2, drawing 2 and losing 1. With the return of the new season comes my monthly round ups for This Is Anfield, so make sure you remind yourself of how the season has gone so far here: April round-up.

 Liverpool kicked off the Continental Cup group stages at home on Wednesday with a goalless draw against Everton Ladies, last year the reds also drew with Everton in the opening game before progressing on to the semi-finals after winning their next 2 group games.

 This season with the introduction of a second tier to the Women’s Super League, there are more group games before the semi-finals with 3 groups of 6 teams. The team that tops each group will progress to the semis along with the best runner-up.

Liverpool celebrate Natasha Dowie’s goal vs Man City

 Tomorrow evening Sunderland Ladies will make the trip to Widnes to take on Liverpool for the third time this year, in a pre-season friendly the reds ran out 2-0 winners with goals from Natasha Dowie and Amanda DaCosta then in The FA Cup quarter-final Dowie was on the score sheet again alongside Martha Harris.

 Since the game in Sunderland on the 13th April, Liverpool have found themselves hit by injury missing 6 first-team players. This has given players from the development squad a chance to step-up, Ashley Hodson and Claudia Walker have in particular impressed.

 Claudia Walker made her first first-team start on Wednesday night, her 3rd game in under a week. Walker worked tirelessly down the wing and went agonisingly close with a couple of efforts, missing a Gemma Davison cross by just seconds and then testing the keeper with a great effort from the edge of the area – the young Everton keeper only just tipping it over the bar.

Claudia Walker in action for the development squad

 Gemma Davison is another Liverpool player who has impressed during the mixed start to the season, impressing with her pace down the wings and surely is due a goal.

 Liverpool back four of Becky Easton, Gemma Bonner, Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder have had their work cut out throughout the last few matches. Defending well against Everton on Wednesday and keeping the dangerous Nikita Parris quiet limiting her chances at goal. The one chance Everton should probably have scored from, Danielle Gibbons made an excellent save to keep a clean sheet.

Sunderland’s Beth Mead

 Sunderland Ladies have surprised nobody with their great start to life in the second tier, last years Premier League champions sit joint top of the table alongside Doncaster Belles having played 3 and won 3 of their opening matches. Along the way they have scored 10 goals, conceding 4 with Beth Mead scoring 4 of those 10.

 Their last two outings have seen the black cats score 6 goals and concede 0 so Liverpool will not be underestimating their opponents on the night.

 Liverpool will want to use this game to get back to winning ways after 3 games with no goals, it will be no easy task against a tough Sunderland side however with the opportunities being created by the front four goals are surely due sooner rather than later!

 The game will kick off at 6:30pm, Select Stadium, Widnes. Liverpool Ladies and men’s season ticket holders are guaranteed free entry to all cup games, alternatively you can pay on the gate for £5 adults and £2.50 concessions.

 Bring your best singing voices and wear red! Da da da da Da Costa!

 Thanks for reading,

 @LFCladiesfans

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