Wednesday’s matchup features two teams coming off of very different matches on Sunday. Birmingham managed to pull a scoreless draw against Brighton, despite the Gulls having the better of the play all afternoon.
Everton, meanwhile, returned to form with a convincing 4-0 win over Bristol City. The Blues and Toffees are scheduled for a midweek, 19:00 start at Damson Park. The match will be available to view on BT Sport.
The Blues are coming off a draw on Saturday in which they were outmatched but not outworked. Manager Carla Ward was pleased with the team’s effort. As she told Birmingham Live, “I said to them before the game, and at half time, ‘Leave everything out there, and no matter what the result is, we take it.’ They’ve left everything out there today.”
They head into Wednesday’s fixture with questions about their lineup. Rachel Corsie has re-joined the NWSL and new signing Veattriki Sarri could see her first start. Ruesha Littlejohn and Emily Murphy both made their Blues debut on Saturday. Murphy was a very strong presence on the right side attack and was one of the better performers for Birmingham.
The Toffees had a dominant performance on Saturday, handling Bristol City easily. Izzy Christiansen had a brace for the winners, while Megan Finnegan and Simone Magill also tallied for an Everton side that has been a treat to watch all season. The Toffees are the only WSL team to have beaten Chelsea this season, though in the Conti Cup. After a string of losses to top sides Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal, the win Saturday was of massive importance to the club.
“We aren’t getting carried away, though. Today we were much higher up the table than Bristol City, so we weren’t going to settle for anything less than three points,” Christiansen said in an interview with the FA.
“We are a relatively new team and we are still learning so we need to keep improving and keep growing and take it into next week’s game.”
Everton is looking in the current transfer window to replace Damaris Egurrola, who recently was signed by European powerhouse Lyon. The Toffees have not made any official moves yet, but Manager Willie Kirk has stated that they are actively looking to strengthen their side.
The two teams last met in the FA Cup semi-final, with Everton posting a 3-0 victory. Magill, Nicoline Sorensen, and Valerie Gauvin tallied for a dominant Everton side.
Hannah Hampton (GK), Sarah Mayling, Harriet Scott, Rebecca Holloway, Georgia Brougham, Jamie-Lee Napier, Lucy Whipp, Emily Murphy, Ruesha Littlejohn, Veattriki Sarri, Claudia Walker
Sandy MacIver (GK), Ingrid Moe Wold, Danielle Turner, Megan Finnegan, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Lucy Graham, Nicoline Sorensen, Izzy Christiansen, Hayley Raso, Valerie Gauvin, Simone Magill
Ones to watch
Claudia Walker has been a bright spot for the Blues all season. She has five goals to lead the squad, and is always a threat. She is one of the more exciting players in the league to watch when the ball is at her feet. Hannah Hampton has been tremendous between the sticks for Birmingham, and was likely the biggest reason the Blues were able to draw against Brighton. She has four clean sheets this season, and will certainly be tested by Everton’s strikers.
Christiansen now has four goals on the season, with four assists as well. Unstoppable on Saturday, look for the Toffees to aim to get the ball to her as she runs to the box. She has been deadly on those runs this season. Expect big things from Magill and Hayley Raso as well. Everton’s attack has been terrific this season, they need to shore up their defence.