Everton face fellow WSL side West Ham United on Sunday, April 25th at 10:00 a.m. EST/3:00 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Victoria Road. The Blues have three remaining league fixtures to end the season, with games against the Hammers (9th), Arsenal (3rd) and Manchester United (4th). Heading into the final stretch of the season, Coach Willie Kirk claimed a goal of 15/15 points from the final five games; so far, the team is 6/6 after two league matches (they also defeated Durham FC in the FA Cup, 2–1).
In their last two fixtures, the Toffees have won twice, scored eight goals and conceded only one — a 90+4’ cheap giveaway against Aston Villa two weekends ago. Should the Merseyside outfit lose their final three matches, they would sink to sixth in the table. That, however, is a worst-case scenario. The best-case sees the Blues qualify for the Champions League. Yes, it’s still possible, by the smallest of percentages.
Chelsea and Manchester City are locked into spots one and two, leaving third — which guarantees qualification to the Champions League — up for grabs. The current table, ahead of Sunday’s action, is as follows: 3rd — Arsenal (38 points, 18 games played). 4th — Man United (38, 19). 5th Everton — (31, 19). The Toffees need to win out and hope ARS/MNU go a combined 0–7, but a third-place finish is not out of the question since two of their final three fixtures come against the pair of teams directly ahead of them.
West Ham represent the flip side of the coin; the London-based club is in a relegation battle with only a handful of games remaining. In their last five outings, the Hammers are 1–2–2, failing to defeat Birmingham City (2–2) and Villa (0–0) but trouncing Reading, 5–0. Their final four matches include a winnable one versus the Villains and unfortunate draws against Arsenal and Man City. West Ham sit just one point above the relegation zone.
Everton appear to be fully healthy outside of Danielle Turner, who is out for the remainder of the season with a leg injury. Sandy MacIver is a lock in net, as are Megan Finnigan and Rikke Sevecke in front of her. Izzy Christiansen and Jill Scott will patrol the midfield, and a combination of Claire Emslie, Valérie Gauvin, Simone Magill, Hayley Raso and Nicoline Sørensen will feature up top.
For all their struggles in the league this season, the Hammers have several outstanding national team players on their roster. Mackenzie Arnold is one of Australia’s top keepers; Grace Fisk (England) and Cecilie Kvamme (Norway) represent their national teams on the defensive end; Katerina Svitková (Czech Republic) and Kenza Dali (France) are two decorated midfielders; Adriana Leon (injured) pushes for minutes with Canada, Martha Thomas features for Scotland and Emily van Egmond is a starter for the Aussies.
The last time these two sides met was back at the season’s dawn. The chilly afternoon of October 11 saw Everton, playing at home, handle the Hammers, 3–1. Sørensen scored within 10 minutes, and, despite Dali leveling the score in the 24’, Lucy Graham’s second-half brace put the game out of reach.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Date and start time: Sunday, April 25th at 10:00 a.m. ET/3:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Victoria Road, Dagenham, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 6,078 (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)