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Everton Women vs Manchester United: WSL Match Preview

Bjorn ready for Red Devils following ‘massive three points’ in Merseyside Derby

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Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Nathalie Bjorn has admitted that Everton Women’s WSL game against Manchester United will be really tough but wants more clean sheets like the one earned in the win over Liverpool at Anfield last Sunday.

The Toffees head into the fixture against Marc Skinner’s side with mixed news on the injury front, with Martina Piemonte back training ahead of schedule and in contention to face the Red Devils this weekend.

It is not good news for Lucy hope though, who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in the derby win. No surgery will be required, but Brian Sorensen has said it’s ‘too early’ to say exactly how long the defender will be missing for.

Elise Stenevik & Sara Holmgaard also remain unavailable.

But with the team’s first three points in the bag, Bjorn has insisted that the hard work will continue, with Sunday’s game against United being no exception.

“It was a massive three points, we know we have been struggling a little bit in previous games. We went into Sunday knowing it was a big game,” she said.

Liverpool FC v Everton FC - Barclays Women’s Super League
Heather Payne slides into a tackle
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“We want to keep the clean sheets like we did on Sunday, that is something we work a lot on. We have a really tough game coming up against Manchester United but we will give all we can.

“The team is working so hard for each other right now, especially on Sunday and it felt really good.

“We want to give everything we have for the jersey and for the fans. ”

The Opposition

Skinner’s squad have had a mixed start to the campaign, with exit from the Champions League courtesy of Paris Saint-Germain Féminines, as well as draws in the WSL with both Arsenal and Leicester City.

So far, the only victory for United has come away at Aston Villa.

Loanee Melvine Malard looks a great prospect, but it is at the back where the coach will be currently most concerned.

One player who will not be facing her old club will be Gabby George, who sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury - her second of her career - during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Foxes. The former Everton star joins fellow Aoife Mannion on the sidelines, who is also another victim of the ACL curse.

Manchester United Women Training Session
The Blues will not have to go up against former captain Gabby George
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - MUFC/Manchester United via Getty Images

Skinner will continue to assess the rest of his squad and has admitted there may be some ‘tired legs’ following Wednesday’s trip to Paris.

Previous Meeting

The visitors ran out comprehensive winners last season, with former Blue Nikita Parris opening the scoring in a 3-0 win.

Everton are one of just one of only two teams since April 2022 to stop Sunday’s opponents scoring in their last 37 games. The Blues earned a hard-fought 0-0 away at Leigh Sports Village in February of this year, with Chelsea the only other team to successfully shut out United in both the WSL and FA Cup final.

Everton don’t boast a great record against Sunday’s guests, with only one win in their last 13 games all competitions; Lucy Hope being the hero in a 1-0 Continental Cup win in December 2020.

Everton Women v Manchester United Women - The FA Women’s Continental Cup
Lucy Graham in action against United a couple of years ago
Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

The first goal will be all important if Everton are anything to go by. The Blues have won nine of their last 10 WSL games when scoring first, with the only exception being last season’s 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby at Goodison.

Everton take on Manchester United this Sunday (1pm BST) at Walton Hall Park. Tickets for the clash are still available and can be purchased HERE.