Chelsea look for revenge against Everton Women Sunday as they return to WSL action. The Blues intent will be further buoyed by their recent form and a return to Kingsmeadow. Though Everton have had a strong start to the season, they’ll be without a couple of key figures for Sunday’s matchup.
Date / Time: Sunday , November 8, 2020, 12:00 noon BST; 7:00am EST; 5:30pm IST
Referee: Abigail Byrne
Forecast: Cool, Overcast, Light winds
Chelsea FCW team news: Sunday will mark four weeks since the Blues last played a WSL match, a 3-1 victory over rivals Manchester City. Chelsea have only played one match since that time, last Tuesday’s Continental Cup group stage victory over Tottenham. While many of the players have been involved in international action in the meantime, the lack of matches could have an impact on our form.
Emma Hayes appears to have found a preferred pairing for her forwards in Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder, though I’m still unsure how Bethany England isn’t finding more opportunities to start. Erin Cuthbert has been a constant menace to opponents this season and is almost certain to feature in wide midfield. In the absence of Fran Kirby, Niamh Charles was rewarded with a start opposite Cuthbert in Chelsea’s previous match, though Hayes has other options as well. Ji So-yun is likely to start and take up positions all throughout the midfield as Chelsea look to break down an Everton defense conceding less than a goal per match. Melanie Leupolz and Sophie Ingle will both hope for the final midfield place, though Leupolz may have the edge given her form.
The “Blue Wall” of Millie Bright and Magda Eriksson have been nigh impenetrable this season, allowing Maren Mjelde and Jonna Andersson opportunities to support Chelsea’s attacks down the flanks. The Blues will likely look to the high press to take control of the game early. After being beaten by Everton last time out, we will hope to kill Everton’s belief by halftime.
Everton Women team news: Though both teams have been in fine form, Everton came away victorious when we squared off in the (postponed 2019-20) FA Cup, back in September — though they would fall to Manchester City after 120 minutes in the last weekend’s final, 3-1. That victory will no doubt have increased Everton’s expectations of taking points from Chelsea at Kingsmeadow.
However, facing Emma Hayes’ Chelsea is a monumental task with a full arsenal, and Everton will be missing a couple important players. Both captain Lucy Graham and forward Valerie Gauvin, who scored the winning goal against Chelsea last time out, picked up injuries in the aforementioned FA Cup Final, and will be unavailable. In Graham’s absence, midfielder Izzy Christiansen will be expected to shoulder even more responsibility than usual in midfield. Further up the pitch, Everton are likely to turn to Hayley Raso and Claire Emslie in pursuit of goals.
Previously: Despite Erin Cuthbert’s early opener, Everton were able to get back on level terms, before Valerie Gauvin put away the FA Cup semifinal in the second half.