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FA WSL Preview: Everton vs Arsenal | Toffees look to end 2020 on a high note

Everton travel to Meadow Park with hopes of holiday cheer

Everton Women v Manchester United Women - The FA Women’s Continental Cup Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton face fellow WSL side Arsenal on Sunday, December 20th at 7:30 a.m. ET/12:30 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Meadow Park. This will be the first meeting between the two sides in all competitions in the 2020/21 season.

With last Sunday’s Super League match against Birmingham City being postponed due to inclement weather in the East Midlands, Everton were unable to put an end to their two-month winless streak in the WSL. With a date for the game against Birmingham yet to be announced, the focus will turn to a challenging matchup against third-place Arsenal.

While recent results in the Super League have been nothing short of frustrating, a midweek win against league-leading Manchester United in the Continental Cup has Everton trending in the right direction ahead of Sunday’s contest. Despite being far from dominant against United, Everton deservedly earned a win against the Manchester outfit.

Since a 6–1 dismantling of Reading to open the season, Arsenal’s season has been one of mixed results. The Gunners lead the league with a plus-26 goal differential, but wins against Reading, West Ham (9–1), Brighton (5–1) and Tottenham (6–1) certainly skew the results. While Joe Montemurro’s side have had little trouble against weaker sides, they have seemed to struggle when meeting the league’s top clubs.

In the Super League, Arsenal have failed to win against the three clubs that sit above them in the table: a 1–0 loss to Manchester United, a 1–1 draw with Chelsea and a 2–1 loss to Manchester City. And Arsenal’s form is even worse in league competitions: a 2–1 defeat to City in the FA Cup Semifinal and a 4–1 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea in the Continental Cup.

After seeing three points evaporate last weekend against City, courtesy of a 94th-minute Caroline Weir goal, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back this weekend. In a matchup between an Everton team trending upward and an Arsenal side looking for a statement win, Sunday’s fixture will undoubtedly be a highly-contested affair.

A matchup between the third- and fifth-place teams in the Super League will see some of the brightest names in Europe compete in a heavyweight bout. Fresh off an assist in the Continental Cup, Hayley Raso will look to run at a stout Arsenal defense; Izzy Christiansen and Lucy Graham, the goal-scorer against United, will look to stifle Arsenal’s attack and push the ball forward. Arsenal, meanwhile, are led by center-back Leah Williamson, captain Kim Little in the center of the field and forward Vivianne Miedema, who recently was named the second-best player in the world by The Guardian.

Last Meeting

These two sides met just over one year ago, with the last match being played at Haig Avenue — Everton’s former stadium — on December 15, 2019. A Miedema brace sunk the Toffees, with the home side suffering a 3–1 defeat. More than a year on, however, Willie Kirk has overhauled his roster; Everton should prove to be formidable opponents for one of the Super League’s top teams come Sunday.

Match Details

Competition: FA Women’s Super League

Date and start time: Sunday, December 20th at 7:30 a.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. BST

Stadium: Meadow Park, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Capacity: 4,500 (behind closed doors)

How to Watch/Listen

TV & Radio: N/A

Match Center: evertontv

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