A home win at Walton Hall Park could lift Everton above fifth-placed West Ham on goal difference, but the hosts will have to do without Katrine Veje, who has suffered a set-back in friendly game and will be out for a few weeks. The blow has been somewhat softened following the return of Sara Holmgaard from her loan spell with Fortuna Hjørring, with the defender available for the visit of the Royals.
Sorensen also believes that the winter break is a good thing and has been pleased with the way his players have returned Finch Farm ahead of the second half of the season
Speaking to the media ahead of the weekend’s clash with Reading, the Dane addressed the issues of transfers and whether the winter break is a good thing. He said:
“We are really happy with the squad we have. We let Gio (Queiroz) go, which we didn’t have to do, but Arsenal wanted her back.
“In terms of a replacement, we are always looking at things but we do have Nicoline (Sorensen) back who missed the first few games, so her return is like an extra player for us.
“If we do something (in the transfer market) it has to be right for the team, but we have every confidence in what we have.”
Speaking about the winter break, the Blues boss continued, saying:
“The players return refreshed, we don’t have the biggest of squads, so that time of year it’s good with a break.
“The days are darker and you are training in a rougher environment, so I think the break is useful.”
One piece of transfer news that has been done though, is the loan spell of Midfielder Clare Wheeler being made permanent. The Australia international has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal until the end of June 2025, having initially joined the Club on loan from Danish side Fortuna Hjørring in August last year.
With just two WSL wins in ten, Reading sit in tenth place and will have been as glad of the Christmas break as anyone. More prolific then their weekend hosts, Kelly Chambers’ team has found keeping them out a much tougher problem. The Royals have leaked 23 in the WSL this season, with only lower-placed Brighton and Leicester conceding more.
One name that will be very familiar to Everton will be Natasha Dowie. The former Toffee has four goals this season and would like nothing more than adding to her tally against her former employers.
Midfielder Sanne Troelsgaard has also been in good scoring form with five, meaning the Blues will need to be keeping eyes on these two if they are to begin the second half of the season with three points.
Dowie was on the scoresheet in this fixture last season. The England international cancelled out Anna Anvegard’s opener, before Tia Primmer’s first senior goal claimed all three points for the visitors.
Here’s hoping that the points will be staying on Merseyside this weekend.
And staying on the subject of hope, Royal Blue Mersey would like to say congratulations to Lucy Hope, nee Graham, who tied the knot just before Christmas.
The Scotland international will still wear the number 17 shirt for the Blues, but the name will now have her married name of Hope on the back.