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Everton Women vs Chelsea: WSL match preview

Injury concerns aplenty ahead of clash with the champions

Arsenal FC v Everton FC - Barclays Women´s Super League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Sara Holmgaard is the latest addition to the Everton Women injury list and will miss this weekend’s trip to Chelsea due to a dead leg suffered against Leicester City.

Blues boss Brian Sorensen confirmed the injury is worse than expected, with the Denmark international set to be out for an as yet unknown period of time.

More positive news concerns her sister Karen, who continues to progress well in her rehabilitation, but is not ready for the weekend.

Kat Veje & Emily Ramsey remain on the sidelines, while captain Meg Finnigan and Karoline Olesen will be assessed ahead of the clash with Emma Hayes’ side, with both having not trained due to illness.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Barclays Women´s Super League Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images

The Toffees were recently boosted with the signing of Eleanor Dale. The 21-year-old completed a move to the Blues on deadline day following the conclusion of her studies at the University of Nebraska in the USA, where she spent three years playing for the Nebraska Huskers.

Previously representing Middlesborough and Durham before moving Stateside, Dale will provide more competition for a forward line that is currently the lowest scorers in the WSL, and is available for selection this weekend.

Injuries aside, the task couldn’t get much tougher for Everton, who are searching for a first league win since December.

The Opposition

Chelsea will go into the weekend’s fixture as hot favourites to claim all three points over Everton. The West London outfit is currently competing on four fronts and will want to make Hayes’ final season in charge as memorable as possible.

Three points clear at the top of the table and with just one WSL defeat in 12, the defending champions are strong in every department, with Lauren James in impressive scoring form with 12 goals already this campaign.

Everton will be familiar with Aggie Beever-Jones, who enjoyed a successful loan spell on Merseyside last season, while Nathalie Bjorn will line up against her former employers for the first time since her move to the capital should she be selected.

Chelsea FC Women’s Unveil New Signing Nathalie Bjorn Photo by Chelsea/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Previous Meetings

Everton last beat Chelsea in the league came in September 2013 when Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah scored a late winner in a 3-2 thriller.

Veteran forward Toni Duggan has fond memories of the fixture; her hattrick in June 2013 secured a 4-1 triumph in the capital.

Everton have failed to score in 12 of the last 14 games in all competitions against Chelsea, with one of those games being the 2-1 FA Cup quarter final win in September 2020 at Goodison, when goals from from Lucy Hope and Valerie Gauvin secured passage into the last four.

Last season’s fixture at Kingsmeadow saw Everton hit for seven without reply as Chelsea closed in on a fourth consecutive title in what was a day to forget for Sorensen’s side.

But the battling Blues remain full of heart and are well overdue a big result against one of the league’s elite.

Now wouldn’t be a bad time to get it!

Chelsea vs Everton takes place on Sunday, 5 February, at Kingsmeadow, kick-off is 18.45 (BST).