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FA WSL Preview: Everton vs Manchester City | Toffees hope third time’s the charm

Everton enter Sunday’s matchup looking for a win against Manchester rivals after two previous defeats

Everton Women v Brighton & Hove Albion Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

Preview

Everton face fellow WSL side Manchester City on Sunday, December 6th at 9:30 a.m. ET/2:30 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Walton Hall Park. For the third time in all competitions, but first in the domestic league, Everton will meet a Manchester squad that have given Willie Kirk’s side fits to date.

Despite having dropped points in the Continental Cup and suffering a crushing defeat in the FA Cup Final at the beginning of November, Everton have been fierce competitors, even if the scores aren’t particularly kind; in two games against City, Everton have conceded six goals and have scored only twice.

After starting off the league season with a record of 4–0, scoring 14 goals and conceding only once, Everton have seen a dip in form in recent games. Since the 18th of October, Everton have a league record of 0–2–1, which has seen the Toffees plummet out of first place and into fourth. Should City win this Sunday, they would overtake Everton in the standings by one point.

To get back on track, Everton undoubtedly will turn to veteran midfielder Izzy Christiansen, who has spent time at some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including a four-year spell in Manchester.

“We want to stay at the top end of the league and in order to do that, we need to keep making our supporters proud. It’s a great club to be part of in terms of the support.”

While Gareth Taylor’s team have enjoyed tremendous success in recent cup competitions, City occasionally have stumbled in league play — three wins are accompanied by three draws. Perhaps, and recent form will attest to this, City merely needed some time to jell as a team. At their best, City are legitimate title contenders and titans of Europe.

Following a two-week break — during which time players participated in the most recent set of European qualifying matches — Everton should be well-rested. While Valérie Gauvin is still recovering from an injury sustained in that FA Cup Final, the rest of the team should be fit and raring to go.

Sandy MacIver will look to bounce back from a couple underwhelming performances and will rely on center-back duo Megan Finnigan and Rikke Sevecke in front of her. Christiansen and Lucy Graham will run the midfield and look to connect with Hayley Raso and Nicoline Sørensen on the wings. In Gauvin’s place up top, Simone Magill will be called to add to her tally of two league goals.

Everton fans will be familiar with this City side, as Taylor deploys one of the most formidable back lines in all of Europe: Demi Stokes, Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze. In midfield, Sam Mewis has made an instant impact since her move from the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL. Look for Rose Lavelle, who has struggled with fitness while at City, to play a role after her sensational goal helped the USA defeat the Netherlands in Breda last week. Georgia Stanway and Ellen White will lead the attack for the Citizens.

Last Meeting

The last meeting between these two sides was Everton’s lowest moment of the season — the FA Cup Final on November 1st. Despite conceding six goals to City over two fixtures, Everton led in the Continental Cup, only to see City score twice in the final 20 minutes of the game. In the cup final, City scored in the 111th and 120th minute after what was a highly-competitive affair. Sunday’s match will be a litmus test for an Everton side desperate to establish themselves as title contenders in the best league in Europe.

Match Details

Competition: FA Women’s Super League

Date and start time: Sunday, December 6th at 9:30 a.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. BST

Stadium: Walton Hall Park, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Capacity: 2,200 (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