HETTON LE HOLE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 18: General views of Eppleton Colliery Welfare ground during the FA WSL 2 match between Sunderland AFC Ladies and Bristol Academy Women at the Hetton Center on April 18, 2015 in Hetton Le Hole, England. (The FA via Getty Images)

PREVIEW: Sunderland v Birmingham City

Birmingham City will be hoping to avoid a cup upset when they face Sunderland in their Women’s FA Cup fifth round tie at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground this afternoon.

The Blues were Women’s FA Cup winners in 2012 while their last appearance in a final came in 2017 when they were defeated 4-1 by Manchester City in-front of over 35,000 fans at Wembley.

Marta Tejedor’s side come up against a Sunderland outfit who are searching from promotion to the FA Women’s Championship this season. The Black Cats were a top flight outfit until 2018 when they were cruelly demoted two divisions after not being granted an FA Women’s Super League or FA Women’s Championship licence.

Sunderland have tasted a level of Women’s FA Cup success themselves in the past. The Wearsiders were finalists in 2009, losing 2-1 to Arsenal at Pride Park. Kelly McDougall went down in Sunderland history that day when she netted the club’s first goal in a Women’s FA Cup final.

The home side go into this afternoon’s match in superb form. Melanie Reay’s side have won all of their last 10 matches in all competitions. Birmingham City arrive in the North East in very different form. Whilst the Blues defeated second tier side Sheffield United 3-0 in the fourth round of the competition, Tejedor’s side have lost all four of their matches in the FA Women’s Super League in 2020 and relegation remains a possibility.

Birmingham City lost on their last visit to Sunderland in 2018. The home side were 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Dominique Bruinenberg, Hayley Sharp and Abbey Joice.

This afternoon’s fixture kicks-off at 2pm with admission available on the turnstiles.

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