After a three week absence since their first fixture of 2019 against Tottenham Hotspur, Carla Ward’s Sheffield United will return to action at the Olympic Legacy Park, as they host third placed Charlton Athletic.
The 2-1 defeat in the hands of promotion-chasers Tottenham, was the Women’s first defeat on home soil, but definitely wasn’t a performance to leave the team tormented. Ward’s side left a lot more than sweat on the pitch, as they came narrowly short from taking a point from the game.
This Sunday’s opponents Charlton are also pushing for one of the promotion spots, after a convincingly strong first half of the campaign. In comparison to the Blades’, Charlton kept their promotion dreams alive to start 2019, with a 2-2 draw against rivals Durham.
— Sheffield United Women (@sufc_women) January 24, 2019
However, Charlton’s fixture against second-placed Manchester United two weeks ago was abandoned inside the first 15 minutes. Defender Charlotte Kerr suffered a serious injury during Manchester United’s opening goal, which forced the referee to call off the fixture following a lengthy delay.
This ensures how huge the result of this fixture may impact both team’s season, as the Addicks look to keep up the pressure on Tottenham and Manchester United at the top end of the table. Whilst, United currently sit seventh in the table with games in hand over those above.
Additionally, Ward’s team currently sit five points behind London Bees in sixth, but have two games in hand as the run-in towards the end of the season has begun.
Blades fans will be hoping to see even more from new signings Ebony Salmon and Maddy Cusack, who both impressed on their debuts against Tottenham. While, Sam Tierney, Bex Rayner, Alethea Paul, and Veatriki Sarri will all return from international duty to the matchday squad.
On the other hand, Charlton will be looking at new signing Sara Eggesvik to show her ability and boost their chances of leaving Sheffield with three points. Eggesvik signed for the club earlier this month, following a successful spell at Norwegian club IK Grand Bodo.
Sara Eggesvik becomes the first signing for the Charlton Athletic Women in the January transfer window
— Charlton Athletic Women (@CAFCWomen) January 13, 2019
This fixtures sees the beginning of a hectic schedule for United, with the FA Cup kicking off next weekend. Therefore, Ward will be hoping she can keep her squad fully fit going into this tough period.