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Preview: Everton v Blues Women

Blues Women return to Barclays FA Women's Super League action as they travel to Everton on Saturday morning.

The trip to Walton Hall Park is Blues' second away day of the season after visiting Tottenham Hotspur on the opening weekend, but the team's first appearance live on Sky Sports - the league's newest broadcast partner.

Kick-off, as a result, is at 11.30am, with the fixture presenting the opportunity for Blues to land their first BFAWSL points of the season. And Scott Booth will have a series of players with bolstered international experience following the recent Women's World Cup qualifiers at his disposal, including Lucy Quinn who scored on her international debut for the Republic of Ireland.

Like the visitors, Everton are seeking a result to get them off the mark and lift them off the foot off the table after two heavy defeats in the campaign's opening rounds. The Toffees have felt the full force of Manchester City and Chelsea in recent weeks, being unable to find the net themselves in either contest.

They will also have to make history if they are to overcome Scott Booth's side. The Merseysiders are yet to beat Blues on home soil in the top flight, with the matchup delivering the lowest percentage of home wins for a fixture played more than ten times in the BFAWSL.

THE OPPOSITION:

Everton have their ambitions set at cracking the top four this term after finishing in fifth position last season, 15 points behind Manchester United in fourth. But achieving that will be tough going after shipping eight goals in back-to-back 4-0 defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea. 

However, Willie Kirk's summer business leaves reason for optimism as the Toffees prepare for the next run of matches. Toni Duggan returned to Merseyside after spells with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, bringing genuine experience of the game's upper echelons, whilst the arrival of Aurora Galli marks the first Italian import to the BFAWSL.

The Scotsman also made further headlines with his capture of 18-year-old Hanna Bennison, with the Swede arriving from FC Rosengard for what was widely reported as a club record fee in their final signing of the summer.

Such arrivals join an already exciting squad and Everton will be hoping that from these players Valerie Gauvin is able to remain injury-free after her time on the sidelines during the 2020/21 campaign dented Everton's form.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues were unable to avoid successive defeats as Brighton & Hove Albion took the points at St. Andrew's nearly a fortnight ago. Hope Powell's team ran out 0-5 winners in the West Midlands, with Victoria Williams' early goal and disputed Inessa Kaagman penalty giving the Seagulls a half-time advantage. And before Booth's charges were able to respond after the break, Danielle Carter extended the lead ahead of further strikes from Emma Koivisto and Kayleigh Green. Despite these setbacks, Blues continued to search for a moment to cheer and a Lucy Quinn effort cleared off the line was the closest they came in the second-half.

Everton also tasted defeat before the international break, losing to the reigning Champions at Kingsmeadow. Chelsea led through a solitary Fran Kirby effort at the interval but Emma Hayes' side turned up the heat in the second period to add three further counters. Sam Kerr struck a brace to put the game beyond the away side before Bethany England added real gloss to the win as the substitute scored with her first touch.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Everton 1-1 Blues, Sunday 07 February 2021

A fighting Blues outfit were rewarded with an addition to their points tally as they took on Everton earlier this year. 

Trailing through an accurate Danielle Turner free-kick, Blues remained positive and went on to restore parity before the break. Chelsea loanee Jamie-Lee Napier was the quickest to react when Claudia Walker's spot-kick was saved, bundling home the loose ball from close range.

After the break, Blues greatly frustrated Kirks team and limited them to little if any chances of note to collect a well-earned draw in the North West.

LAST FIVE MEETINGS:

BFAWSL 11 Mar 2021 - Blues 0-4 Everton

BFAWSL 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

BFAWSL 08 Sep 2019 – Blues 0 Everton 1

WATCH LIVE:

The game is available to watch live on Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage beginning at 11am.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Thomas Reeves

Assistant Referees: Abby Dearde and Melissa Burgin

Fourth Official: Lucy May

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