UPDATE: Today’s game has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Everton face fellow WSL side Birmingham City on Sunday, December 13th at 9:00 a.m. ET/2:00 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Damson Park. This will be the second meeting between the two sides in all competitions but first in the league.
Everton have not won a league match since October 11; a two-month winless streak has seen the Toffees record an 0–2–2 record and a goal differential of minus-seven. The lone win in the past two months came against Championship side Liverpool in the Continental Cup, which was a 1–0 Merseyside Derby victory.
Over the past five games — four in the league and one in the cup — Everton have had only three players score: Izzy Christiansen, Valérie Gauvin and Simone Magill. With Gauvin nursing a muscle injury sustained in the FA Cup Final and Magill not featuring since the 14th of November, Head Coach Willie Kirk has been without his first- and second-choice strikers in recent fixtures.
Following a promising 4–0 start to the WSL season, injuries have highlighted the depth issues at Walton Hall Park. Against City last weekend, Gareth Taylor had the luxury of bringing Sam Mewis and Georgia Stanway off the bench as substitutes. And while Everton have a formidable squad, Kirk simply does not have the ability to use a World Cup champion as a 65th-minute substitute.
Having slogged through a disappointing string of results, Kirk this past week was candid in characterizing the importance of Sunday’s contest. “We need to pick up three points on Sunday,” he said. “There is no other result that will be acceptable – we need to win the game.” With the expectation established, the players are aware that anything but a win will be considered a disappointment.
With Kirk setting the mandate, the Toffees must find goals outside of Christiansen. Whether that is Hayley Raso (two league goals and one league assist) or Nicoline Sørensen (one and two), the Toffees must generate more offense after being shut out last weekend. Captain Lucy Graham again will be tasked with pulling the strings in midfield. In the defense, Everton will hope for the return of starting center-half Rikke Sevecke, who missed last Sunday’s clash against City after picking up an injury in training leading up to the match.
Birmingham enter Sunday’s game with a record of 3–0–3 in their previous six fixtures. With wins against lower-level squads such as Bristol City and Aston Villa, Birmingham have struggled against the top teams in the division — losses against Chelsea and Arsenal have left the Blues in seventh place, a mere five points back of Everton. With a team led by goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, center-back Rachel Corsie and a duo of former Evertonians in midfielder Mollie Green and forward Claudia Walker, Birmingham have the talent to stifle the best of teams.
The last meeting between these two sides was in the FA Cup Semifinal held on September 30. After having defeated Chelsea in the quarterfinals, Everton made quick work of Birmingham, winning 3–0. The last time these two sides met, Gauvin, Magill and Sørensen each netted against the Blues. Everton will hope the memories of the semifinal victory — also held at Damson Park — will spark a slumbering offense.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Date and start time: Sunday, December 13th at 9:00 a.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Damson Park, Solihull, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 5,500 (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 - TBD