In its final match of the 2021/22 season, Everton travels to the south coast for a matinee with Brighton & Hove Albion (7th place).
Each league team has one remaining fixture, meaning the Toffees can do no worse than 10th — Leicester City trails by six points — and no better than ninth — they need to pick up three points against Brighton and hope Aston Villa (two points ahead) falls to relegated Birmingham City.
The Blues haven't won since defeating Leicester 3-2 on March 12. In the previous seven contests, Everton is 0-2-5 with a minus-16 goal differential. One of the seven games was a 4-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.
Everton could not have been more Jekyll and Hyde this season than last; in 2020/21, the Merseyside outfit finished fifth and scored 39 goals with 30 conceded. However, this year, the Blues have managed just 17 markers and have given up 40, the third-worst in the division.
Last year, the Toffees saw two players log six goals each and had three with five. One player put up four goals this season, and four others had two apiece.
The most significant area of concern came on the wings. Hayley Raso secured a flashy move to Manchester City, and Nicoline Sørensen tore her ACL in early October. Without the speed and pace of Raso and Sørensen on the wings, there was little service into the box for Everton’s forwards, primarily Valérie Gauvin, who last season looked like one of the best transfers of the summer window.
Brighton has had a respectable campaign and is primed to finish the season middle of the table. It is level on points in seventh with Reading, although it holds the goal differential tiebreaker. Should the Gulls defeat Everton and should West Ham fall to Arsenal, a likely outcome, Brighton would finish the season in sixth.
As it stands, Brighton has an 8-1-12 record with 23 goals scored and 31 given up.
Sunday will mark the first time these two sides have met in 2022 and only the second time in all competitions this year, though Everton handily defeated Brighton, 6-1, in the preseason.
Back on Nov. 6, Brighton got the better of Everton, handing the home side a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a 61st-minute Aileen Whelan goal. The Blues did hold more possession that day, and with Brighton recently falling to Birmingham, Everton has a chance to close out the season with three points.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League, Matchday 22
Date and start time: Sunday, May 8th at 7:00 a.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Crawley, England, United Kingdom
How to Watch/Listen
TV: N/A - United States; BBC Two - United Kingdom; Sportsnet - Canada, Optus Sport, Viaplay
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