Everton Women boss Brian Sorensen believes his side have to continue playing the same style of football they have done all season when they host Arsenal on Wednesday, but has called on his players to be more clinical against the Gunners.
The Blues are coming off the back of a 7-0 reverse to league-leading Chelsea but Sorensen was quick to highlight a number of opportunities the Toffees created, but squandered, in the opening ten minutes. The wasted chances were ruthlessly punished by the defending champions, who scored five in the first half with just a quintet of shots on target.
Sorensen is adamant about sticking to the style Everton have become known for this season though, but has called for improvements at both ends of the pitch.
“I think we have to play the same that of football but me more clinical,” he said. “The same chances Chelsea had, we had three or four similar in the first ten minutes, but we never capitalised on it.
“Football is about scoring goals.
“Then there’s defensive part; we need to get stuck in more and work together as unit, (against Chelsea) there were too many gaps between us. And we need to put more pressure on the ball, which is something else that we have been working on.”
Gabby George and Toni Duggan remain out until the end of the season, while the Blues were this week rocked by the news that Jess Park has suffered a shoulder injury that has also ruled the England star out for the remainder of the campaign, with the England international returning to parent club, Manchester City.
Jonas Eidevall’s side head to Merseyside knowing full well that the prospect of a first top-flight title since 2019 is still possible. The Gunners will also be missing key personnel, with Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Leah Williamson and Laura Wienroither all falling victim to anterior cruciate ligament curse.
Kim Little is also sidelined for the visitors, while Giovana Queiroz is a doubt to face the side she spent a loan period with this season. The Brazilian was withdrawn against Brighton after less than half-an-hour due to injury.
With just one league defeat in nine, Arsenal are in good form and arrive off the back of hammering Brighton 4-0. Stina Blackstenius netted a brace in the win over the Seagulls and will have to be watched closely by Everton’s rearguard.
Frida Maanum has also enjoyed a good season, the versatile Norwegian getting into double figures in all competitions, something also achieved by Caitlin Foord, who made a return to action against Brighton following a hamstring injury she sustained in April.
Foord opened the scoring in a 3-0 win for Arsenal in last season’s fixture. Mead and Jordan Nobbs were also on target that day in April last year.
Everton have lost the last 14 WSL games v Arsenal, scoring six and conceding 37. The Blues have never kept a clean sheet against the Gunners in the WSL.
But records are there to be broken (apart from Dixie Dean’s of course) and Sorensen will want to ensure his side secure a top-half finish this season as early as possible. Something a result against Arsenal will go a long way to guaranteeing.