The 2019/20 Vitality Women’s FA Cup will finally be settled on Sunday with Manchester City and Everton facing off in the 50th edition of the final.
Everton have enjoyed a bright start to the 2020/21 Women’s Super League season and have generally been the league’s surprise package so far. The Toffees remain unbeaten in the league and are second in the table, two points behind leaders Arsenal. In contrast, City have underwhelmed so far. Despite heavy investment and the arrivals of stars such as Rose Lavelle and Lucy Bronze, they have only been able to reach fifth in the table.
Both sides will have fully fit and available squads.
Gareth Taylor will be able to call upon both Esme Morgan and Chloe Kelly after rules on cup-tied players were amended due to the delayed final. Both players joined City from Everton during the summer window and will both be set to face off against their former clubs.
As for Everton, they will be able to rely on the form of their own recent arrivals. Striker Valerie Guavin and central midfielder Damaris Egurrola have both been in fine form in the league and will be looking to upset the odds and secure an early trophy.
Taylor has preferred a 4-3-3 formation in recent matches and will likely stick with it for the final. However, his selection in defensive areas has been erratic so it is difficult to predict which players will play where.
Predicted Manchester City XI:
Ellie Roebuck (GK), Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Gemma Bonner, Alex Greenwood, Sam Mewis, Kiera Walsh, Rose Lavelle, Jess Park, Ellen White, Chloe Kelly
As for Everton, Willie Kirk favours a 4-2-3-1 system. However, he changes the two holding midfielders around every game.
Predicted Everton XI:
Alex MacIver (GK), Ingrid Moe Wold, Megan Finnigan, Rikke Sevecke, Danielle Turner, Izzy Christiansen, Damaris Egurrola, Hayley Raso, Lucy Graham, Claire Emslie, Valerie Guavin
The two sides have already met this season in the Conti Cup. Goals from Rose Lavelle, Jess Park and former Toffee Chloe Kelly gave the Cityzens a 3-1 win.
Their last league encounter came in January, with Pauline Bremer grabbing a brace in another 3-1 win for City.
Ones to watch
In all the glitz and glamour of world stars such as Sam Mewis and Lucy Bronze, it can be easy to overlook the homecoming of Chloe Kelly.
She has already come back to haunt Everton once this season and her strong start to life in Manchester will surely be giving her confidence going into the final. She has netted three goals in her first five league games for City and Everton will have to be aware of her threat.
Similarly, Valerie Guavin has had a strong start to her Everton career. She has a strike rate of five in eight games, just over a goal every other game and has been central to Everton's success this season.
Where to watch
The match will be broadcast to UK viewers on BBC One and BT Sport with kick-off at 2:30 PM.
Additionally, the match will be shown to viewers outside of the UK for the first time. Viewers in North, South and Central America will be able to watch on ESPN, as will those in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Australian audiences will receive the match through Optus, Scandinavian viewers will be able to watch on NENT and South Africa will receive the game through SABC.
The game will also be streamed worldwide via the FA Player.