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WSL Preview: Arsenal Women v Everton

Arsenal Women v Everton

We head back to Meadow Park this afternoon for our penultimate Women's Super League fixture before the Christmas break, taking on a young and dynamic Everton side.

Boosted by the return of Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza to the matchday squad, we'll be aiming for three points to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester United at the top of the table, and to build momentum going into our three remaining Champions League group games. 

Those not at Meadow Park can cheer on our Gunners at home by watching live on Arsenal.com, starting with Breakdown Live coverage and analysis from 1.30pm onwards.

Everton's start

Everton celebrate a goal

After last season's disappointing run, which saw Everton finish tenth in the WSL table, Brian Sorensen's side have shown gradual improvement but their performances have yet to secure consistent results.

So far, the Toffees have won three games in the campaign (against Liverpool, Leicester, and Aston Villa), lost four and have yet to record a draw. They have won their last two games on the road, but the last time they won three away WSL fixtures on the trot was in August 2012.

Everton's squad is centred on the future, with promising young talent including Hanna Bennison and a host of loan signings: Jess Park (Man City), Aggie Beever-Jones (Chelsea), and our own Gio Queiroz. 

Last time around

Caitlin Foord celebrates her goal against Everton

We recorded 3-0 wins in both of our clashes with Everton last season. In our most recent fixture, goals from Vivianne Miedema, Jordan Nobbs and Caitlin Foord were enough to secure victory on an April afternoon at Walton Hall Park.

The last time we hosted the Toffees at Meadow Park, Frida Maanum bagged her first-ever WSL goal with a glorious long-range strike. Katie McCabe and Lotte Wubben-Moy were also on the scoresheet that afternoon. 

How to watch

Jonas Eidevall

Our clash with the Toffees will be streamed for free on Arsenal.com with live commentary. Shebahn Aherne and Adrian Clarke will be hosting Breakdown Live coverage and analysis from 1.30pm onwards, with kick-off set for 2pm (UK time). 

What the managers say

Brian Sorensen

Eidevall on Everton: "They have a very clear identity. You can see that [Sorensen] is trying to build something long-term in the way that they are very consistent in how they do things, almost regardless of what opponents they play. They ask some interesting tactical questions of the teams they play against, so I'm always looking forward to playing against them." - read every word from Eidevall's press conference

Sorensen on us: "[Arsenal] are big favourites and they've been doing really well this season. I think the loss against Manchester United could have gone either way. Arsenal are a really good team, so we have to be at our very best to be able to compete in this game."

Team news

Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza in training

There's finally some good news on the injury front, as both Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza are set to be in the matchday squad to face the Toffees.

Fellow centre-back Teyah Goldie joined the pair in training at London Colney, but her recovery from an ACL injury means it will be a while before she is available for selection. Kim Little, Lina Hurtig, and Beth Mead remain sidelined due to injury. 

Facts and stats

Arsenal celebrate at Meadow Park

  • We've won our last 13 WSL fixtures against Everton, scoring 36 goals and conceding just six. It's the joint-longest winning run one team has had against another in the competition, with Man City also on a current run of 13 against Everton
  • We were beaten by Everton in our first-ever WSL meeting back in July 2011 – since then, the Toffees have taken just one point from us out of a possible 48
  • We have scored in each of our last 15 WSL games, netting 51 goals in total. In our 3-2 loss against Man Utd in November, we conceded as many goals as we had in our previous 15 league games combined
  • Everton have the youngest average starting XI in the WSL so far this season, at 25 years and 83 days
  • Vivianne Miedema has never gone five WSL games without scoring a goal. Our Dutch forward has not been on the scoresheet for her last four WSL appearances, though the last three of these have been as a substitute
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