Welcome to the beginning of the 2021/22 season! It should be yet another chaotically entertaining and exciting season in the Women’s Super League. Everton Women face fellow WSL side Manchester City on Saturday, September 4th at 8:30 a.m. ET/1:30 p.m. BST, with the game being played at Goodison Park.
After shuffling a total of 20 players this summer — nine players in, eleven out — Head Coach Willie Kirk will be under pressure to deliver on his goal of qualifying for the biggest club tournament in women’s football — the Champions League.
Bringing in world-class players from some of the world's top teams certainly is exciting; the bench boss will need to translate signings into results this season though.
The following players should bring an increased level of competitiveness and balance to the 2021/22 squad: Kenza Dali (West Ham United), Toni Duggan (Atletico Madrid), Anna Anvegård (Rosengard), Nathalie Björn (Rosengard), Leonie Maier (Arsenal), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham), Aurora Galli (Juventus), Cecilía Rúnarsdóttir (KIF Örebo), and budding superstar Hanna Bennison (Rosengard).
| Ahead of @EvertonWomen's first game of the season - against Man City at Goodison this Saturday! - our CEO has been speaking about a busy summer and an exciting future.— Everton (@Everton) September 2, 2021
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Add the new recruits to a team that finished fifth in the league and the Toffees are poised to make some real noise this season. The question becomes: Can they break into the top three? Historically Arsenal, Chelsea and City have been the cream of the crop in the WSL, and United was a close fourth last year. The Blues have some work to do, especially considering they went 0–8 against the top four last season.
Everton absolutely should be better than United, though, which has lost its top two players — Tobin Heath (Arsenal) and Christen Press (Angel City FC) — as well as Manager Casey Stoney (San Diego NWSL) and starting center-back Amy Turner (Orlando Pride) in the past five months.
As disappointing as last season was for the Citizens, they perhaps bring an improved squad to the upcoming campaign. Despite the losses of their three Americans — Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle, Abby Dahlkemper — City brought in Division 1’s top scorer last season in Khadija Shaw, Barcelona star Vicky Losada and former Evertonian Hayley Raso. In other words, City should be just as, if not, more formidable this year.
These two sides last met back on March 13, the final of four meetings. Everton fell, 1–0, ending a difficult season series against the Citizens. The Toffees went 0–4 against City and were outscored by a combined 10-to-2 goals. Granted, two of the fixtures were tightly contested, but City overall had their way with the Merseyside outfit.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League, Matchweek 1
Date and start time: Saturday, September 4th at 8:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. BST
Stadium: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
How to Watch/Listen
TV: NBCSN - United States; BBC One - United Kingdom; Sportsnet East/Ontario/Pacific/West - Canada, Optus Sport
Gamethread: There will be a live blog for this game
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Manchester City -