Brian Sorensen will ring the changes for Wednesday’s FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup tie with neighbours Liverpool but has insisted the team will be doing everything they can against their rivals.
Karen Holmgaard has become the latest to join Everton’s Women’s ever-growing injury list, with the West Ham matchwinner set to miss the derby clash and Sunday’s WSL game with Manchester City due a niggling hip and lower back injury.
And the Blues boss is ready to hand out chances to a number of his younger stars, as he admits that he is looking to get as many of the first team ready for the visit of Citizens, although he is positive that the XI he fields against the Reds will be competitive.
“I think we have to get the team ready for City game. We will see a lot of young players who you may not know about coming in tomorrow,” said Sorensen. “Liverpool are probably in better condition than we are; they can swap their starting XI and probably still do very well in the league.
“It will be very, very tough for us but we are focused on doing everything we possibly can with a very young squad.
“It’s important we get all the players fit. The injuries aren’t too serious but unfortunately they aren’t ready for these two games, but we have a Christmas break where we will do everything we can to get them ready for the first game back which is the FA Cup game.”
Matt Beard’s side have arguably been the WSL’s surprise package so far, with just two defeats in nine. Indeed, one of those reverses came in October at the hands of the Blues, who continued their excellent record at Anfield thanks to a Megan Finnigan goal.
Beard may well ring the changes himself but has a host of good performers at his disposal, including Sophie Roman Haug. The Norwegian forward has settled into English football well and, along with Natasha Flint and record appearance holder Gemma Bonner, provides the Reds with a lot of attacking prowess, something which sees them in fifth place in the league.
Conti Cup form
Both Merseyside clubs are 0-2 in this year’s competition courtesy of defeats by both Manchester sides.
Everton and Liverpool may be prioritising the league, but a derby is a derby and with elimination facing the loser of the tie, as well as bragging rights, it would not be wrong to expect a competitive encounter in this one.
Should the game end in a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will determine the who gets the extra point.
Everton will face Aston Villa away in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup on the weekend of Saturday 13 January.
The tie at the Poundland Bescot Stadium and the match date, kick-off time, and ticket details will be announced on the club’s official channels in due course.