Molly Sharpe of Durham WFC and Sammy Quayle of Lewes LFC Durham Women v Lewes Women, Women's Championship football match, New Ferens Park, Durham, UK - 13 Sep 2020 Photo: Richard Lee for The FA

Three talking points ahead of next weekend’s Championship action

The FA Women’s Championship returns next weekend with what promises to be five action-packed fixtures.

With just seven points separating nine of the league’s 11 clubs, it is very much a division where anything can happen.

FA Women’s Super League Full-Time takes a look at three big talking points ahead of next weekend’s action as the FA Women’s Championship makes a welcome return following the international break.

 

Can Liverpool break down Lewes’ stubborn defence?

With the likes of Rinsola Babajide, Mel Lawley and Rachel Furness in the Liverpool attack, nobody can deny that The Reds boast Barclays FA Women’s Super League class in their ranks.

Life in the FA Women’s Championship has been far from easy so far for Vicky Jepson’s side though with Liverpool already dropping points against two of their promotion rivals.

Next Sunday, The Reds face another particularly tough assignment against a Lewes side who have really impressed so far this term. Simon Parker’s side go into the match on the back of a goalless draw at Sheffield United last time out while the Lewes defence has now not been breached for 360 minutes of second tier football.

Can Liverpool break down the stubborn Rookettes or will Lewes continue to offer opposition sides so little in their defensive third? It will certainly be a fascinating fixture at The Dripping Pan for sure.

 

Will Coventry United record a first clean sheet in 19 attempts against Blackburn Rovers?

While Coventry United are well-known for their goalscoring exploits, the Warwickshire club have an unwanted tag when it comes to clean sheets.

Coventry United have failed to prevent their opponents from scoring in each of their last 18 FA Women’s Championship fixtures, a sequence dating back to the opening day of last season when the club drew 0-0 at Crystal Palace.

On Sunday, Jay Bradford’s side take on a Blackburn Rovers side who have failed to score in two out of three games on the road so far this season. It is a great opportunity for the home side to begin to build some defensive stability, although equally, Blackburn Rovers will surely see the game as one in which there will certainly be goals for them if they perform well.

 

Can Leicester City and Sheffield United crank up the pressure on league leaders Durham?

With Durham being next weekend’s ‘odds ones out’, promotion rivals Leicester City and Sheffield United have the opportunity to leapfrog The Wildcats into top spot.

Durham currently lead the FA Women’s Championship table by three points but have played a game more than their promotion rivals. They have the same goal difference (+7) as Sheffield United while Leicester City (+10) boast the greatest goal difference in the second tier overall.

Next weekend sees Leicester City travel to Princes Park to face a London City Lionesses side who have been a little out of sorts so far this season, a winnable fixture for Jonathan Morgan’s side, while Sheffield United host a Crystal Palace side who haven’t hit top gear yet but do have players who can hurt The Blades.

It is impossible to predict who will be celebrating promotion to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League ¬†at this stage and expect the changable title race to again take another turn next weekend.

 

FA Women’s Championship Fixtures – Sunday 1 November

Lewes v Liverpool (Midday)

Coventry United v Blackburn Rovers (2pm)

London Bees v Charlton Athletic (2pm)

London City Lionesses v Leicester City (2pm)

Sheffield United v Crystal Palace (2pm)

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