Everton Women face fellow FA WSL side Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, February 28th at 9:00 a.m. ET/2:00 p.m. GMT, with the game being played at The Hive Stadium. This match was originally for Wednesday, January 24th but was postponed due to inclement weather sweeping through the country.
Despite slogging through a stretch in which Everton have won only once — a 4–0 rout of Bristol City — this past week brought positives to Walton Hall Park; Jill Scott became just the second player in England Women’s Football history to record 150 caps for the Lionesses, Sandy MacIver earned her first minutes for the national team, Tinja-Riikka Korpela and Finland emphatically won their European Qualifying group and Claire Emslie and Lucy Graham both featured for Scotland, with the former netting against Cyprus.
The players who are returning from international duty, and those who used the break to recharge, must use the newfound positivity of recent weeks. Everton’s main issue has been dropping fixtures that, on paper, they should have won — 1–1 draws against Birmingham City and Reading (twice) and a 2–2 tie with Brighton & Hove Albion.
“The draws we’ve had recently have been lost points,” said Everton manager Willie Kirk. “That’s where we are in terms of our expectations. It’s frustrating, but there are still a lot of games to be played. We are fully prepared and determined to make up for it.”
Since parting ways with dual head coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros in mid-November, Tottenham have enjoyed a successful two months with new boss Rehanne Skinner. Since taking over for her first match on December 6th, Skinner has led her side to a 3–0–2 record. During that span, the London outfit has defeated Brighton (3–1), Aston Villa (3–1) and West Ham (1–0) but lost to Chelsea (4–0) and Villa (1–0).
With the Toffees rested and healthy, there are two positions in question ahead of Sunday’s affair. Kirk noted that Gabby George, who has been recovering from an ACL injury suffered last year, has a chance to play. “Gabby has been ready for the last couple of games,” he said. “She is certainly in contention this weekend. As far as I am concerned, she is competing for a starting place. She is so eager to get onto that pitch, and I am sure it won’t be too long now.”
The second position battle might come as a surprise, with Korpela and MacIver competing for the starting goalie spot. Korpela started Everton’s two previous contests, making seven of nine saves and kept two clean sheets during qualifying last week, while MacIver has seen a recent drop-off in form.
“Sandy has responded really, really well to being left out of the team recently,” Kirk said. “She had a little bit of a knock before the last game, so we wanted her to focus on her rehab. She is back competing for her jersey now with Tinja.”
The January transfer window saw Tottenham bid adieu to American forward Alex Morgan — who finished her London tenure with two goals, both of which were penalty kicks — but added England international Abbie McManus and South Korean captain Cho So-Hyun on loan from Manchester United and West Ham, respectively. Spurs also signed Alana Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky permanently from Orlando Pride of the NWSL.
Back in action on Sunday.— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) February 26, 2021
Let's go, Blues! pic.twitter.com/bKz1O9cRLI
These two sides last met back on September 13, the second game of the season. Everton managed a 1–0 win courtesy of an Izzy Christiansen header, a victory that put the Toffees on an early-season winning streak. Despite earning the three points, the Blues held only 54-percent possession and were outshot nine to eight (four to three on goal). Both teams will enter Sunday’s fixture with plenty to prove and three points to earn.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Date and start time: Sunday, February 28th at 9:00 a.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. GMT
Stadium: The Hive Stadium, London, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 6,500 (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)