SSE Women’s FA Cup preview – 14. Charlton Athletic v Portsmouth

The fourteenth and final tie of this year’s Women’s FA Cup second round pairs together Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth, both of the WPL Southern Division.

This will actually be the third time Portsmouth have travelled to Charlton this season, in the third different competition. Remarkably, both of the previous two encounters ended with 4-2 victories for the Addicks. The first meeting came on 6th November, when a Kit Graham hat-trick helped Charlton reach the quarter-finals of the WPL Cup, then three weeks later Charlton won a Southern Divsion encounter between the teams by the same scoreline.

Charlton are the highest-placed of the two teams in the league, currently sitting in fourth place with seven wins from eleven games, while Portsmouth are down in seventh with ten fewer points than the Addicks. Charlton finished as Southern Division runners-up last season just two points behind newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion, who will be making their WSL debut in this year’s Spring Series, while Pompey managed a respectable fifth.

Since the FA Cup first round, Portsmouth have had one postponement and one defeat in the WPL – a 4-0 reversal at the hands of league leaders Tottenham Hotspur. In the same period Charlton won a penalty shoot-out with West Bromwich Albion in the WPL Cup quarter final, the game ending 1-1 after extra time, and lost 4-1 to Cardiff City in the league. That defeat cost Charlton second place in the table, with Coventry Untied and Cardiff leapfrogging them and the Addicks falling to fourth.

My prediction: There’s an old cliché that the form book goes out the window when the FA Cup rolls into town, but with two wins over Pompey already in the book this season and the superior league record, it would be difficult to see Charlton as anything other than strong favourites. Portsmouth are a capable side, but I think we’re going to see a home win here.

The stats

Charlton Athletic (@CAFCWomen)

FA Women’s Premier League, Southern Division (level 3)
League form: w7 d2 l2 gd+13 = 4th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
1R – Crystal Palace (level 3) 1-2 Charlton Athletic

2015/16 FA Cup
2R – Charlton Athletic 9-0 Plymouth Argyle (3)
3R – Charlton Athletic 10-0 Newcastle United (3)
4R – Durham (2) 3-1 Charlton Athletic

Portsmouth (@PompeyFCLadies)

FA Women’s Premier League, Southern Division (level 3)
League form: w4 d1 l6 gd-9 = 7th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
1R – Luton Town (level 4) 1-4 Portsmouth

2015/16 FA Cup
2R – Portsmouth 2-0 Cardiff City (3)
3R – Aston Villa (2) 1-0 Portsmouth

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