Everton Ladies face their toughest challenge this season yet on Sunday when they play Chelsea Ladies in an early kickoff, with the game televised live on BBC. No pressure, but it’s highly likely that the newly appointed head coach of the England Lionesses, Phil Neville, will be watching and taking notes. Or… let’s hope that he is.
Chelsea are WSL champs and have not suffered a league loss yet this season. They are in 2nd place behind Man City Women by only two points and have the best defensive record. Chelsea’s roster includes not only the league’s top goalscorer of last season (Fran Kirby) but of the 2016 season (Eniola Aluko) as well.
Everton can boast of two strikers in good form: WSL Player of the Month award winner for November Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and top goal scorer Chloe Kelly, who officially became a Blue yesterday when Everton signed her to a two year deal.
The last time these two sides faced off was for a pre-season match that was held behind closed doors in September and ended in a 2-1 defeat for Everton, with Dan Turner scoring the lone goal.
Midfielder Megan Finnigan is certain that Everton will be competitive against the WSL champs:
“We have to learn from our defeat at Bristol City and have two weeks to sort things out and put things right. We played Chelsea in pre-season and we showed over the first half of the season that when we come up against the top teams, we can compete and give them a good run.”
“There’s no reason we should be going to Chelsea feeling fearful.”
Everton’s back line has consistently included Gabby George, Georgia Brougham and Dan Turner but will new signing Taylor Hinds be included too?
Hinds has already begun training with the team and looks forward to playing against top teams like Chelsea:
“I know I am new to the team so I have to work hard to prove that I can be in the starting line up. I want to show I can play against the top teams but even if I’m not selected, hopefully the girls can go out and get the result against Chelsea.”
“When I get my chance, I will work hard for the team. You don’t just go to a club and get offered game time so I need to work hard in training. I have a lot of fire in me, and I will be playing against the top players in the country, so I need to make sure I am playing as well as I can.”
How to Watch:
Chelsea Ladies vs Everton Ladies
When: January 28th, 2018
Time: 12:30 pm (Local) 7:30 am (ET)
Where: Kingsmeadow Stadium