After being embroiled in a fierce relegation battle last season, West Ham have some breathing room this time around and are looking to upcoming opponents Everton.
On Sunday, the Irons will host an out of sorts Everton side. The pair currently occupy 8th and 9th in the table respectively, so it’s certainly a tough one to call.
Their seasons so far
Last time out in the WSL, West Ham rallied to snatch a point away from rivals Spurs. This result becomes all the more impressive when one considers that Hawa Cissoko of the Hammers saw red in the early stages of the second half.
This game was the latest in a streak of four undefeated league games.
After being comfortably beaten by Arsenal, the East Londoners drew with Reading after throwing away a two-goal lead. They beat Tottenham and drew with Everton 1-1 the following weekend.
Icelandic international Dagny Brynjarsdottir scored the solitary goal in the game against Spurs, while Toni Duggan cancelled out a first half strike from full-back Zaneta Wyne in the latter.
On the topic of the Toffees, it has been a tough campaign for them thus far. They struggled under Willie Kirk to the point that he was dismissed in early November and now the man in charge is Frenchman Jean-Luc Vasseur.
Since the change in manager, there has been an upturn in form, but maybe not to a satisfactory point.
Everton put together a good run across November and December, in which they drew with Manchester United and West Ham as well as beating newly promoted Leicester.
Cissoko served her ban for the aforementioned dismissal in midweek and so she will be back in the mix for Oli Harder.
Young talent Emma Snerle made her debut last weekend. She is expected to start when Everton visit the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Talking of exciting players going forward, Everton have a few of their own. So much is expected of Swede Anna Anvegard on Merseyside and she has featured recently under Vasseur.
An attack that sees Anvegard join two Lionesses in Duggan and Izzy Christiansen is a very intriguing prospect.
West Ham and Everton’s ambitions for the rest of the season
It always seemed that if any side was to break the mould of the big three in the WSL, it would be Everton. However this season, Spurs and Manchester United have superseded them in this vein. Brighton are also in contention for a top three spot.
West Ham on the other hand, as previously mentioned, narrowly avoided the drop last term. Performances were poor and if it weren’t for the shortcomings of Bristol City, they would be playing in the Championship.
That is not the case though and so, going forward, their ambitions will surely be to solidify themselves as a WSL team. Only one side gets relegated every season so if they can aim for 7th-9th, that seems perfectly plausible.