A day after the Everton men’s side lost in humbling fashion away at West Ham United, the Women’s side host the Hammers. Manager Brian Sorensen has spoken of the threat posed by West Ham United from set pieces as his Everton Women side head into Sunday’s fixture with the East London outfit.
The Blues head into the game following a home win over Reading, a game in which they conceded two from set-pieces, something Sorensen knows this weekend’s opponents are strong in.
Currently fifth in the WSL table, a win at Walton Hall Park over the Hammers, who currently lie one place below, will firmly strengthen Everton’s position, with the visitors having already played one game more and having a superior goal difference.
Speaking to the media ahead of Sunday, Sorensen discussed the opening day fixture - which saw West Ham claim all three points - as well as the threat Paul konchesky’s side will pose, saying:
“We played them (West Ham) in the first game and lost. We had the majority of the chances, but it was the first game and we had a new team, a bit like West Ham.
“For us, it is about keeping the momentum. We played well against Reading but conceded a couple from set pieces, something West Ham are good at. But we are looking at the fact that we are in good form and have the advantage of being at home.
“And a win will put us in a good position going forward.”
Nathalie Bjorn, who was withdrawn at half-time with a small problem, is expected to be available for Sunday, meaning only Katrine Veje and Toni Duggan remain out.
With six goals in the last two league games, confidence will be high for Everton, and a win over a rival with similar ambitions will send a positive message to those teams vying for that spot just below the WSL top four.
It’s worth noting though, Everton and West Ham are two of five teams in the WSL yet to draw a league fixture this season. So while it should be a close one, something will have to give, and a winner emerge.
No doubt Konchesky will look towards set pieces if his side is to get a result from the fixture. The Hammers are strong and well-drilled in that area and will view that as a potential weak spot for their opponents.
Dagný Brynjarsdóttir aerial prowess will be of concern for the Blues, while Viviane Asseyi has also been in decent scoring form.
A 1-0 defeat to Manchester City made it three league defeats from the last five for the Hammers, but they are more than capable of producing a result when required.
The pattern has gone loss, win, loss, win, loss... so the Blues will need to be on their game from the first whistle.
Lisa Evans’ goal on the opening day of the season settled matters in what was a hard-fought victory for the hosts. Toni Duggan’s equaliser cancelled out Zaneta Wyne’s opener in last season’s encounter at Walton Hall Park. The fixture was another tight encounter, which tends to be the order of play between these two sides.
And with Sunday’s fixture presenting a real chance for Everton to put some distance between them and West Ham, expect that to continue.