Everton Women manager Brian Sorensen is looking forward to the remaining quartet fixtures of the WSL season, with the Blues scheduled to take on three of the top four this month.
The Toffees coach, who this week was nominated for WSL Manager of the Month for April, hopes his side play with a sense of freedom in the remining fixtures against a trio of title hopefuls, as well as a fixture with relegation-threatened Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, 21 May, at Walton Hall Park.
First up is Chelsea at Kingsmeadow. Emma Hayes’ side are chasing the double and the West London club’s ambitions are something which Sorensen hopes will play into his team’s hands.
“Hopefully we can play freely,” he said. “They (Chelsea) are the favourites and have a lot to play for so hopefully we can play our style of football and see how far that takes us.
“We are looking forward to these games; it has been a while since we have played one the top, top teams and we are looking forward to seeing where we are at in our process and development.”
Gabby George will definitely be an absentee after being ruled out for the season with a hamstring injury. Sorensen and his backroom team are also keeping an eye on a number of players following a sickness bug that has hit the squad. The Blues boss named no names but did reveal the situation ‘looked hopeful’.
Should she be fit, Nicoline Sorensen looks set to retain her place. The Dane has been in inspired form since her return from injury and her performances have earned her a nomination for WSL Player of the Month for April. The impressive displays since her return include her stunning winner against Reading that completed Everton’s comeback against Kelly Chambers’ side.
Currently sat in third place in the WSL and with two games in hand over leaders Manchester United, Chelsea will be treating every fixture as a cup final as they look to retain their crown.
Hayes’ team will also do battle with the Red Devils in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup final on 14 May as they continue a run of fixtures which sees them playing two games a week until the penultimate weekend of the season.
A squad packed with quality and experience and with just two league defeats all season, Sam Kerr has been in devastating form in front of goal, notching her 25th goal of the campaign on Wednesday with the winner against Liverpool.
Kerr and Chelsea have been able assisted by Guro Reiten and the Norwegian winger will be another one to watch if Everton are to get a result this weekend against the league’s second best defence and third highest scorers.
A Kerr double either side of goals from Fran Kirkby and Beth England condemned Everton to a 4-0 defeat at Kingsmeadow last season, something the Blues will be desperate to avoid this time out.
The Toffees have not enjoyed much recent success against their weekend hosts, with just one win in the last 14 games in all competitions, failing to find the net in the last ten of 12.
In-form Katja Snoeijs could break a record should she find the net on Sunday by becoming Everton’s first player to score in three consecutive WSL games, as the ever-improving Blues look to put a dent in Chelsea’s title hopes.
Everton take on Chelsea this Sunday at at 6.45pm (BST) and will also be televised by Sky Sports.