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FA WSL Preview: Everton vs Chelsea | Toffees look to continue strong start to domestic campaign

Everton face formidable challenge against current champions Chelsea on Remembrance Day

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Women’s FA Cup: Quarter Final Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Preview

Everton face fellow WSL side Chelsea on Sunday, November 8th at 7 a.m. ET/12 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Kingsmeadow. Both teams will be wearing the Royal British Legion’s Poppy on their jerseys this weekend as part of the Remembrance Day memorial.

For the first time in the league season — but second in all competitions — Everton meet a Chelsea squad brimming with some of the biggest names in European football. For the first time since 2012, Everton are riding a five-game streak without a loss (four wins and one draw) and will look to stifle a potent Chelsea offense at the weekend.

The last time Everton were playing a league match, they were conceding in the 70th to a Brighton side in what was a winnable contest. With a midweek Continental Cup postponement, this will be the Toffees’ first game since a heartbreaking loss in the FA Cup Final last weekend to Manchester City — the added time off should benefit Everton both physically and mentally.

Despite additional recovery time, Everton will be without Valérie Gauvin and Lucy Graham — the two goal scorers the last time these two sides met — as both picked up injuries in Sunday’s loss to City.

Ahead of this Sunday’s fixture, Everton sit second place in the league with 13 points (two behind Arsenal and ahead of Manchester United on goal differential). This will be Everton’s first league match against a Big Three opponent — although the Toffees have met City twice and Chelsea once in cup competitions.

Sitting a mere three points — which could be recouped this weekend — behind Everton are Chelsea, who would leap Willie Kirk’s side with a win by more than one goal. Chelsea have had a mixed start to the 2020/21 season, with convincing league wins against Bristol City and Manchester City juxtaposed with a tie against Manchester United and a narrow 1–0 victory over Birmingham City.

With Friday’s injury report including both Gauvin and Graham, Kirk will turn to the considerable depth he possesses within his squad to offset the losses. Simone Magill undoubtedly will be tasked with pacing Everton’s attack, something she is more than capable of doing — two goals in all competitions. In midfield, Kirk can turn to Abbey-Leigh Stringer or Maéva Clemaron to assume Graham’s central defensive midfield position.

Moving Emma Hayes’ side, the Chelsea coach has players such as Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby in attack, can lean on Sophie Ingle, Ji So-Yun and Melanie Leupolz and can rely on England international Millie Bright and Swedish captain Magdalena Eriksson anchoring the defense.

Last Meeting

The last meeting between these two sides was a scintillating come-from-behind Everton win in the FA Cup Quarterfinals. Going back to the 27th of September, Everton fell behind 1–0 within five minutes. In a match that looked all but one by the Blues, Everton chipped away at the lead — first through a Lucy Graham header — and would earn the game-winning goal courtesy of summer acquisition Valérie Gauvin. This win — perhaps more than any — illustrated not only Everton’s ambitions at challenging for the league, but also reaffirmed their legitimacy as contenders.

Match Details

Competition: FA Women’s Super League

Date and start time: Sunday, November 8th at 7 a.m. ET / 12 p.m. BST

Stadium: Kingsmeadow, London, England, United Kingdom

Capacity: 4,850 (behind closed doors)

How to Watch/Listen

TV & Radio: N/A

Match Centre: evertontv

Live stream: evertontv (free for members, registration required), FA WSL (free, registration required)

Lineups

Everton -

Chelsea -