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Preview: Blues Women v Everton

Blues' last away day saw them travel to Everton at the start of February.

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Blues Women are back in action as they go up against Everton at St. George's Park in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Thursday night.

The match is their third consecutive home fixture, with the clash against The Toffees twice postponed due to the weather. 

In fact, Blues' last away day saw them travel to Everton at the start of February and earn a point thanks to Jamie-Lee Napier's equaliser.

It is also the second time that Blues welcome Everton within this season's schedule after the two sides faced off in September’s FA Cup semi-final.

Carla Ward’s team come into this match knowing that a win would lift them up to eighth place ahead of a trip to West Ham United next week.

THE OPPOSITION:

In the trio of matches since playing Blues last month, Everton have recorded all three possible outcomes as they look to cement a top-half finish. This spell included an exciting five-goal game on the road at Tottenham Hotspur where Jill Scott's effort proved the winner in a 3-2 victory

The success in North London has been bookended by a 1-1 draw away to Reading, courtesy of Nicoline Sørensen's leveller 13 minutes from time, and a narrow defeat to Manchester City last weekend. At the Academy Stadium, it took a late Keira Walsh strike to end stubborn defensive resistance from Willie Kirk's team.

That result means Everton remain on 22 points and have recorded just one win in their last five with seven FAWSL matches remaining, as well as at least one Vitality Women's FA Cup tie. Last week's draw saw The Toffees paired with Durham who lie second in the Women's Championship.

After facing Blues on Thursday, Everton welcome Chelsea to Walton Hall Park before a trip to take on a Brighton & Hove Albion side currently four points behind them in the standings. And there will be a hope from the blue half of Merseyside that Kirk's players can recapture the goalscoring form that saw them start the campaign so strongly. 

In their opening seven league matches, Everton found the net 17 times. However, in the eight games that have followed, they have an average of just over a goal per game. Their top-scorer is Valerie Gauvin with five counters.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues suffered defeat in their last FAWSL outing on Sunday. Facing Arsenal at the National Football Centre, Ward's charges displayed their trademark defensive resilience but were breached twice in three minutes shortly before the break. The Gunners added to Caitlin Foord's first-half double when Vivianne Miedema added a third in the 76th minute before Lisa Evans made it two goals in each half with her effort in added time.

Everton also lost over the weekend as they were beaten by Manchester City. However, they held out the division's top-scorers until nine minutes from time in a tight affair that was settled with the game's first attempt on target. This came when Lauren Hemp's cross was swept home superbly by Walsh to make it nine straight wins in the FAWSL for Gareth Taylor's side.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Everton 1 Blues 1, Sunday 07 February 2021

Blues were rewarded with a point for their efforts against Everton when the pair met earlier this year. 

Trailing through a well-taken Danielle Turner free-kick, Blues' heads did not drop as they restored parity before the interval through Napier. The Chelsea loanee was the quickest to react when Claudia Walker's spot-kick was saved.

After the break, Blues greatly frustrated Everton and restricted them to very little in the way of clear-cut opportunities to earn a draw in the North West.

LAST FIVE MEETINGS:

FAWSL 07 Feb 2021 - Everton 1 Blues 1

FA Cup 30 Sep 2020 – Blues 0 Everton 3

Conti Cup 22 Sep 2019 – Blues 1 Everton 0

FAWSL 08 Sep 2019 – Blues 0 Everton 1

FAWSL 17 Apr 2019 – Everton 1 Blues 3

WATCH LIVE:

The game will be streamed live on the FA Player, kick-off is at 7pm.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Lisa Benn

Assistant Referees: Stuart Kane and Ceri Williams

Fourth Official: Dale Wootton

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