Staniforth says Sunderland can cause problems for Liverpool

Sunderland forward Abbey Joice
Sunderland forward Abbey Joice
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Midfielder Lucy Staniforth believes Sunderland Ladies can get goals at Liverpool tonight.

The Lady Black Cats are three games into their Spring Series campaign and have just one goal to their name - although having kept three successive clean sheets, they do have five points out of nine.

Sunderland’s defensive resolve is expected to be put under severe pressure, though, when they take on free-scoring Liverpool.

The Reds’ potent strike force has scored 14 goals in just four games, and they will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table after remaining unbeaten, with three victories and a draw.

Liverpool have seven different scorers in all competitions this season.

After snatching a late point in a remarkable 4-4 draw against Arsenal, a match they were leading 3-1, Liverpool got back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 win over Birmingham.

Jess Clarke struck her first goal for her new club in the 48th minute before Gemma Bonner found the net nine minutes from time to end the Blues’ unbeaten run.

Staniforth, though, is looking forward to returning to her former club.

“Liverpool are definitely looking like a team to beat this year,” said Staniforth, who has scored Sunderland’s only goal so far - the penalty which sealed a 1-0 win against Bristol City last time out.

“They are scoring a lot of goals but they are conceding a lot too. We will try to keep the game nice and tight and nick one.

“Our defenders have been working really well and when you have got the likes of Abbey Joice, Keira Ramshaw and even Abby Holmes on the pitch, you can create stuff, so we are always in the game.”

Liverpool’s Jess Clarke said: “It will be my first home game for the club and I’m really looking forward to it.

“The Liverpool fans are terrific and it will be a special feeling to play in front of them for the first time.

“The win at Birmingham has given us another confidence boost and we’re in frightening form in front of goal, so hopefully we’ll keep the goals coming.

“But although we’ll probably be expected to beat Sunderland, there’s no way we’ll underestimate them.

“Sunderland have lost one or two of their big players but they’ve made a decent start to the season and we’ll have to be on our guard.”