Everton Women face fellow WSL side Birmingham City on Wednesday, January 20th at 2:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Damson Park. This will be Everton’s second meeting with City this season but first in the domestic league.
Following an uplifting 4–0 win at the weekend against Bristol City, Everton look poised to continue their newly minted momentum when they travel to the West Midlands to take on eighth-place Birmingham.
After Willie Kirk’s longest spell at the club without a win ended on Sunday, Everton’s manager talked about the importance of “getting players back on the pitch” — the Toffees didn’t play for just under one month due to cancelations and the holiday break — and was focused on keeping his rotations “fresh” heading into a three-match week.
With a three-game stretch that began on Sunday against Bristol, Everton travel to Solihull at the midweek and end a hectic period on Sunday in London at the Hive against Tottenham. Before the holiday break, Everton lost games to Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, allowing 11 goals and scoring none. With a more forgiving portion of the schedule ahead, taking nine of nine points from the next three matches is vital to Everton’s contention hopes.
Regardless of the outcome to Wednesday’s contest, the two teams will have a chance at redemption in two and a half weeks’ time when they meet again in the WSL, this time at Walton Hall Park. Needless to say, these teams will become oh-so-familiar with each other in the coming weeks.
| "Everybody’s come through Sunday. We’ve got @GauvinValerie and Rikke Sevecke back on the pitch.— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) January 19, 2021
"@emslie22 will hopefully be back on the bench tomorrow so things are getting back to where we were in terms of good numbers to choose from and good competition." - @WillieKirk.
Despite sitting a comfortable eight points clear of the relegation zone, Birmingham have not won a league or cup match since November 14 when they beat Aston Villa 1–0. In three contests since, City lost to Arsenal 3–0 in the league, dropped out of the Continental Cup after losing 6–5 on penalties to Leicester and drew 0–0 versus Brighton this past weekend.
As a fixture-frenzied week intensifies on Wednesday, Kirk will have to be strategic with his starting XI. With several key players — Valérie Gauvin and Rikke Sevecke — returning from injuries and regaining fitness, it is yet to be determined how Everton’s bench-boss will adjust his formations for the games ahead.
Sandy MacIver should be a lock in net, as should Megan Finnigan, Ingrid Moe Wold and Danielle Turner on the back line; Izzy Christiansen and Lucy Graham should maintain their spots in midfield. Regardless of who plays, the Toffees are regaining the depth that made them so formidable to start the season.
Birmingham feature a slew of former Evertonians, notably forward Lucy Whipp (one season), Georgia Brougham (currently on loan and therefore ineligible to play against Everton), Mollie Green (one season) and Claudia Walker (four seasons). City’s defense is led by England goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and center-back Rachel Corsie, and their midfield is run by captain Christie Murray, who pulls the strings and always is a threat to push the ball forward in dangerous areas of the field.
These two sides last met on September 30th in the FA Cup Semifinal — the penultimate stage of the cup competition went Everton’s way in a 3–0 away victory. On a saturated night in the West Midlands, Everton looked comfortable for long stretches of the game but allowed Birmingham to break on the counter far too often. With an experienced core group of players, Birmingham have the talent to compete with any team in the Super League, and Wednesday’s affair won’t be any different.
Starting 2⃣0⃣2⃣1⃣ as we mean to go on! pic.twitter.com/a27LTj8f87— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) January 17, 2021
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Date and start time: Sunday, January 20th at 2:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 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 Center: evertontv
Live stream: evertontv (free for members, registration required), FA WSL (free, registration required)
Lineups - TBD