Everton Women Season Preview: Can the Toffees survive the drop
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Many have predicted Everton as favourites for the drop in a much stronger FA Women's Super League this year, bolstered by the additions of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Last season

A slow start from Everton meant that they only picked up four points from their first thirteen league games with their best moment of the year an 88th minute winner away from home to West Ham United. A campaign in which the blues struggled saw them finish 10th on only twelve points - and if Yeovil Town had not entered administration then they would have sufferred relegation to the FA Women's Championship.

They did not manage to find their way out of the group stage of the Continental Cup - sitting third and being bettered by Manchester United and Reading. Defeat was also suffered in the FA Cup, when they departed in the third round with a 2-0 loss at home to Chelsea.

Transfer business

There have been a number of changes to Willie Kirk's side over summer, with many signings  being made. Two of those players featured for strong teams at the World CupMaeva Clemaron of France and Dutch defender Kika van Es.

26-year-old Clemaron has moved from her native France for the first time in her career. She has made a number of appearances for Saint-Ettiene and FC Fleury 91 and will be able to use this season to try and make her mark on the WSL

Kika van Es played every single match of the 2017 European Championships which she won with Holland at home. The 27 year old centre-back is also leaving her home nation for the first time, but should help to strengthen the team which conceded 38 goals in the league last year.

Player to watch

#15 - Esme Morgan

On loan from Manchester City, Morgan could impress at the back this season for the Toffees

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She featured in 10 matches for City last season whilst winning both the Continental Cup and FA Cup. Only 18 years old, the 5ft10in centre-back impressed under Nick Cushing last season, and will take this campaign with Everton to gain valuable experience in the top flight of the women's game. City has generated many talented young players in the past, and Morgan will want to follow in the footsteps of teammate Georgia Stanway who was crowned PFA Young Women's Player of the Year.

Morgan has also played in the England youth setup, and most recently captained Rehanne Skinner's Under 19 Euro side at this summer's tournament in Scotland - England falling in the group stages against difficult opposition.

One for the future

#15 - Molly Pike

The England youth midfielder will face her first season of senior football at Everton.

18, she joined the blues from Chelsea over the summer where she had made 17 appearances in the WSL Academy League. In that season, she netted fourteen goals and helped to achieve the runners-up spot with her previous club. Pike was also a member of the same England side as Esme Morgan this summer.

On the signing, Everton boss Willie Kirk said:

"Having developed well throughout the pathway at Chelsea, I’m excited to now be able to play a part in the next stage of Molly Pike’s development. This girl has huge potential and she will be a big part of Everton Ladies future, and is in my opinion, a future Lionesses."

Predicted finish

Based purely on last season, it would be fair to assume that the toffees will be fighting a relegation battle for the majority of the season in Southport

However, with the multitude of strong signings that they have made over the summer, security in the league may be a less daunting feat for Everton, even in a much more difficult division than last year's Super League.