Everton Women travel to Villa Park on Sunday November 26 in search of three crucial points after a slow start to the season has hindered the Blues’ top six hopes.
Brian Sørensen’s side sit 10th in the Women’s Super League having collected five points from their opening seven fixtures.
Their opponents find themselves a place above in ninth with one point more than the Toffees.
It has been a disappointing start to the campaign for both sides, with both managers feeling the pressure.
The conclusion of last season seems a long time ago, when the pair battled it out for fifth place and to be named ‘best of the rest’ after the ‘big four’ dominated the top flight once again.
Everton should have claimed their first home win of the season last time out, but were held to a point by bottom side Bristol City, who equalised in the 82nd minute to leave Sørensen “very frustrated”.
The Villains have experienced an upturn in form recently though, having won their last two league games after five consecutive defeats, to then thrash Blackburn Rovers 7-0 midweek in the FA WSL Cup.
— Aston Villa Women (@AVWFCOfficial) November 22, 2023
Speaking to MerseySportLive after his side lost to Chelsea 3-0 in a battle of the blues, Sørensen assured fans “there is a lot of points coming our way”, with this clash certainly one the Dane will view as winnable.
The weekend’s fixture will also be the first since winger Nicoline Sørensen announced she will be retiring from professional football aged 26 at Christmas.
Ones to watch:
Aston Villa Women – Rachel Daly
Who else but last season’s top scorer, Rachel Daly? The England international claimed the Player of the Season award last year after a record-breaking 22-goal campaign.
A prolific finisher, the 31-year-old already has three to her name this season and got on the scoresheet twice in the Brummies destruction of Blackburn Rovers midweek.
The forward notched the winner in the Midlands outfit’s last league outing, striking in the second minute of injury time to secure a 3-2 victory over West Ham United in the dying seconds.
Let’s relive that Rachel Daly goal…😍 pic.twitter.com/N8bsfkvdK9
— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) November 22, 2023
Everton Women – Martina Piemonte
Martina Piemonte has been a revelation on Merseyside since making the switch from AC Milan in the summer. The Italy international opened her account for the Blues last time out against the low-flying Robins, and has been a real handful for defenders throughout the season.
“This team, these fans are similar to me. They have that fire, that ‘never stop’ attitude. I’m so happy to score my first goal for this team and I hope this is just one of many goals to come.”
– MP.18 🇮🇹🔥
— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) November 22, 2023
Her manager backed the 26-year-old post-match. He said: “Good to see she got the first goal and hopefully we will see her cracking on”.
A physical presence up top, the striker has slotted in perfectly and will be relishing the challenge presented by Aston Villa.