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Everton Women vs Aston Villa: Continental Cup Preview

Great chance to utilise strength in depth during busy schedule

West Ham United v Everton FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Everton Women begin their Continental Cup campaign on Wednesday night, with the Blues welcoming Aston Villa to Walton Hall Park.

The Villans will be out for revenge, having fallen to a 1-0 defeat against the hosts in the FA WSL last Saturday.

Lucy Graham’s second-half goal settled matters in favour of the Toffees, in what was Brian Sorensen’s side third win and clean sheet of the season. Speaking ahead of the clash, the three-time Danish Women’s Cup winner was hoping to continue his cup success in England, and views this as a great opportunity to utilise Everton’s strength in depth.

“I think if we look at the quality of our bench, if we put any of those players in we won’t look any weaker. There is competition in our squad and the quality we have is really high.

“It is maybe an opportunity for those players who have not had as many minutes as they would like, so It is a chance to show that they are ready, which I know they are.”

With a WSL fixture looming against second-placed Manchester United on Sunday, this represents the perfect opportunity for those players to get some game time and provide Sorensen with the nicest of selection headaches.

One of the players desperate for that chance is Chelsea loanee, Aggie Beever-Jones. A training ground injury followed by being ineligible against her parent club has limited her game time. The forward enjoyed a 15-minute run out against Villa on Saturday – her first appearance since starting on the opening day of the season away to West Ham – and is relishing the chance of a potential home debut.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

“I haven’t actually played in the blue strip yet. Plus, it will be great to play in front of the Everton fans at home, I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully, if I train well and keep doing what I’m doing, then I could be in.

“I think Villa will be fired up after losing to us on Saturday. But it is up to us to keep our heads and play the football we want to play.

“Any game we play as Everton, we want to win, no matter what the competition. This mentality is in the team, it is important for us to play our football and win every game possible.”

Continental Cup last season

Sorensen will be looking to avoid exiting at the group stages this season, a fate that Everton suffered in 2021/22. A lacklustre run in the competition was summed up by a 3-0 defeat by Sunday’s upcoming opponents, Manchester United.

With competition and confidence running high throughout this Everton side, Sorensen will be quietly confident and may well be eyeing more cup success to his already impressive resume.