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Sep 4, 2021 at 1.30pm UK
Everton LadiesEverton Ladies
Man City WomenManchester City Women

Bjorn (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Victoria Losada Gomez (26'), Beckie (36'), Monifa Shaw (38'), Houghton (67')

Preview: Everton Ladies vs. Manchester City Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Everton Ladies vs. Manchester City Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Women's Super League clash between Everton Ladies and Manchester City Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Manchester City Women aim to collect three points on Saturday as they start their challenge for the Women's Super League title, beginning with a trip to face Willie Kirk's Everton Ladies.

The Toffees are aiming for Champions League qualification this season, after recording their highest finish in the top flight since 2012 last season and after the division became known as the WSL.

Match preview

Kirk's side have played four warm-up games prior to the league kicking off this weekend, and confidence is high as the Toffees won all of those fixtures.

Perhaps the most impressive victory out of the games against Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa and Hibernian was the 6-1 thrashing of the Seagulls.

Everton reached the FA Cup final during the 2019-20 season and Kirk has expressed his desire to help his team back to Wembley and go one step further next time.

Other ambitions Everton hold this campaign include qualifying for the Champions League, meaning that they would have to finish in the top three of the WSL, but the Scottish manager is committing to the task ahead.

Signings such as Toni Duggan, Nathalie Bjorn and Hanna Bennison demonstrate the Merseyside club's intentions for the season, adding Champions League experience to their squad.

Everton could not pick up a point against Saturday's opponents last season, but they will feel that they have improved since then and will be ready to test themselves against one of the title favourites.

Manchester City have been in Champions League action before the domestic season begins, travelling to the Spanish capital to face Real Madrid in the second round of qualifying.

Caroline Weir had given the visitors an early second-half lead but Gareth Taylor's side allowed Los Blancos back into the tie in the 92nd minute courtesy of a strike from Real right-back Kenti Robles.

Last season's quarter-finalists will look to progress into the group stages next Wednesday, when they hope to win the second leg against Real Madrid.

However, before that, Taylor's side want to secure their first three points of the WSL season, which will be a difficult task after 12 City players travelled to Japan to compete in the Olympics this summer.

Gold medal winner with Canada, Janine Beckie, believes that the experience all of her club teammates gained from the Tokyo Games will help Man City push for top spot this season, after coming runners-up for five consecutive years.

Every game is vital in the WSL title race, no matter how early they come in the season, as the side who lifts the trophy in May is unlikely to lose more than two matches if recent history is anything to follow.

Everton Ladies form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Manchester City Women form (all competitions):
  • D

Team News

Everton could field a much changed side on Saturday to the team that was called upon last season, with many of the new signings expected to start against Manchester City.

Bjorn is likely to slot into the Toffees' back three, and Kirk could line up a new-look midfield with the signings of Kenza Dali, Bennison and Aurora Galli.

The manager has plenty of options when it comes to choosing an attacking three, with the additions of Duggan and Anna Anvegard.

Manchester City right-back Lucy Bronze will miss the beginning of the new WSL campaign after undergoing knee surgery recently, after she represented Great Britain at the Tokyo Games this summer.

Taylor also has many attacking options, with Lauren Hemp, Beckie, Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway and Ellen White being joined by Hayley Raso and Khadija Shaw, who have joined from Everton and Bordeaux respectively.

Man City have added vast experience to their midfield with the signing of Vicky Losada from Barcelona, where she won the Champions League last season, and she is likely to make her WSL debut this weekend.

Everton Ladies possible starting lineup:
MacIver; Sevecke, Bjorn, George; Bennison, Dali, Galli, Emslie; Anvegard, Duggan, Guavin

Manchester City Women possible starting lineup:
Roebuck; Greenwood, Houghton, Kennedy, Stokes; Weir, Losada, Raso; Hemp, White, Shaw

We say: Everton Ladies 2-1 Manchester City Women

Everton's squad has been refreshed with quality following their summer arrivals, and they have high aspirations for the season ahead, which will give them confidence going up against one of the title contenders.

Man City are always a tough opponent but they may experience a slow start to the WSL campaign after so many of their players travelled to Japan this summer for the Olympics, which could give Everton the upper hand on Saturday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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