Preview: Toffees hope to redeem form with win over Birmingham

Everton will hope to bank three points against Birmingham this afternoon

(Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Falling behind the top four with just one win in their last six games, the Toffees will be determined to return to winning ways when they host Birmingham City this afternoon. 

Both teams are coming into this match off the back of a 2-0 loss to Manchester United. However, the expectations from both sides are very different.

Willie Kirk has said his team is somewhat disappointed with their league position – fifth place, six points behind Arsenal – and are determined not to drop any more “silly points” against teams outside of the top four.

Carla Ward is looking to exploit that pressure and utilise her side’s underdog status as a positive.

“We will go into it fearless,” the manager said. “The pressure will be on them not us.”

Their most recent clash was an FA Cup semi-final in September. The Toffees secured a 3-0 victory but the trajectory of both clubs has arguably changed since then. Everton experienced a post-cup final crash that saw them looking lacklustre and deflated in heavy defeats against the top four clubs.

READ: In-form Man City vie to punish Arsenal on the road

Birmingham on the other hand, if not yet achieving consistent success, are gaining a reputation as a tough team to break down; they conceded just one goal to reigning champions Chelsea in October.

Everton managed some fairly impressive business in the January window. WSL legend and former Toffee Jill Scott made her return to the club on loan from Man City. Swiss winger Alisha Lehmann also left West Ham to spend the rest of the season in Merseyside.

Lehmann in particular stood out in her debut against Man United. She added a pace and creative energy that Everton had been lacking when she came off the bench. With their star striker Valerie Gauvin back from injury, Everton will be able to field a formidable attacking lineup. 

Birmingham’s small squad will benefit from the addition of talented youngster Ruby Mace and experienced midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn. Additionally, they will reaps the rewards of having Abbi Grant from injury.

Despite the final result, the Blues were impressively organised against the star-studded United side they faced last month. They will be looking to frustrate Everton in a similar way. 

Predicted lineups 


MacIver; Wold, Finnigan, Sevecke, Turner, Scott, Christiansen, Graham, Lehmann, Guavin, Sorensen.


Hampton; Scott, Brougham, Lawley, Holloway, Walker, Green, Whipp, Littlejohn, Napier, Murphy.

The match will kick off at 2pm and be streamed live on the FA Player.

MORE from Her Football Hub: