Everton Women return to WSL action this weekend with a visit of Manchester City to Walton Hall Park.
The fixture presents a perfect chance for Brian Sorensen’s side to buck a trend that sees success against the sides in and around the Blues followed by defeat to one of the league’s big four. Reverses against both Chelsea and Manchester United have followed positive results over Liverpool, Leicester, and Aston Villa, but Toffees defender Elise Stenevik sees this as a great opportunity for the team to show its potential.
“I think we have the potential to beat them,” she said. “But it requires us to be at our best level.
“It is fun to play against teams like Man City and it is a good test for us to show us that we can compete with them.
“Three points against them will be a good morale boost for us for the rest of the season.”
Everton’s game with Tottenham was subject to a late postponement two weeks ago, so Sorensen’s side will be champing at the bit to get back out there. Jess Park will be a certain absentee being unable to play against her parent club, while Nicolene Sorensen has returned to training but is not yet ready to play.
Katrina Veje is also out as she recovers from injury, but there is plenty of strength in depth as a number of fringe players will be desperate to prove their worth.
Unbeaten since September, and Gareth Taylor’s team will be keen to keep that going on Saturday. Khadija Shaw has been in great scoring form with seven goals already. The Everton backline will have to be at their very best if they are to keep her quiet. The Citizens are more than just a one-player team though, former Blue Alex Greenwood and Steph Houghton are amongst the side’s most consistent performers.
A debut goal for Shaw was one of four in the corresponding fixture last season. The Blues’ record against their Manchester rivals is not a happy one, they lost by the same margin at the Academy Stadium as well as in the FA Cup.