Ladies Preview: Taking on the Toffees

Chelsea Ladies return to league action today, with Everton the visitors to Kingston…

THE FORM

Although we were eliminated from the Continental Tyres Cup by Manchester City in our last match, we come into today’s game unbeaten in six WSL1 matches this term. The most recent of our league fixtures came at the start of January, when we welcomed Arsenal to Kingsmeadow, and the Blues eventually won a five-goal thriller despite being pegged back twice. That result means we are only two points behind Man City at the top of the table.

Everton were crowned WSL2 Spring Series champions last year but they struggled to adjust to the higher level of the top flight in the early part of the season, losing their opening four matches. However, although they sit second from bottom in the standings, two wins from their last three has given them six points and they are now within touching distance of fifth-place Sunderland. Former Blues midfielder Jodie Brett has appeared in every WSL2 match for the Toffees this term.

 

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Blues captain Katie Chapman doesn’t believe the recent setback against Manchester City will affect the mentality of the squad.

‘We'll put the City game behind us – we've looked at the video and what we can improve on because we always want to improve as a team and I'm sure we will,’ she said.

‘We'll remain positive because it was the first loss that we've had, we've just got to remain positive going forward. You're going to lose a game every now and then and if we folded after losing one game then we wouldn't be a great team, but we are a great team with a great spirit.

‘I think Everton are a young and very enthusiastic team and they've got a good fight in them. Every game is going to be a tough game for us because everybody who plays Chelsea knows that we're the team to beat and they up their game when they play us. I think we've got to be ready for every game and every opponent.’

 

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Aside from playing each other in pre-season, this will be the first meeting between the sides since October 2014. On that occasion the Blues ran out 5-2 winners at Wheatsheaf Park thanks to a brace apiece from Eni Aluko and Rachel Williams, with Hannah Blundell also on target. England international Nikita Parris was on target for the Toffees.

It was a high-scoring affair in the previous season, too, although not for the right reasons as far as Chelsea were concerned. A hat-trick from Toni Duggan helped the Toffees to a 4-1 victory; Helen Ward scored a late consolation for the Blues.

There was another treble when the sides met in May 2012, this time scored by a Chelsea player as Ward struck all three of our goals in a 3-1 victory, and the centre-forward was also on target in a home game against Everton in the maiden season of the WSL. However, the Blues slipped to a 3-1 defeat, which was followed a week later by a 4-0 loss in the Continental Cup to close out the campaign.

Today’s game is live on the BBC, via the red button