Manchester City look to defend their Women’s FA Cup title as they take on North-West rivals, Everton at Wembley Stadium in the 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup Final.
Taking place 176 days after the originally scheduled Final date after Coronavirus pandemic delayed the closing three rounds of last season’s competition, Man City and Everton are both vying for a third Women’s FA Cup title.
Everton will be without ex Man City star and now Orlando Pride loanee, Claire Emslie due to rules preventing the Toffees from registering all of their new signings for the final three rounds of 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup, which had spilled over into 2020-21 season due to lockdown preventing the competition being completed last season.
Gabby George is also sidelined as she continues to recover from a knee injury.
Man City have no fresh injury concerns to report following the international break with former Toffees, Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan in line to start against their old club.
Aoife Mannion (knee), Megan Campbell (tendon) and Lauren Hemp (hamstring) are ruled out.
- Everton won their last Women’s FA Cup meeting against Manchester City, defeating the Citizens 5-1 in Fifth Round of 2011-12 tournament.
- Man City are yet to lose a Women’s FA Cup Final, having defeated Birmingham City and West Ham in their two previous such Finals whilst scoring seven goals in total across both Finals.
- Everton have won two of five FA Cup Finals of which both were won by 3-2 results over AFC Wimbledon and Arsenal in 1988-89 then 2009-10 Finals respectively with the Toffees having faced non London opposition in just one of five previous Women FA Cup Finals – losing 3-1 to Doncaster Belles in 1987-88 season.
- Man City are unbeaten in their 13 meetings against Everton in all competitions since joining the Women’s Super League in 2014 (W13).
- Valerie Gauvin has scored four goals in her last six Everton appearances, of which two came in this competitions in Quarter then Semi-Final wins over Chelsea and Birmingham respectively.
- City’s Georgia Stanway has scored four goals across two of her four FA Cup appearances in this edition.
Compared to Women’s FA Cup Finals of recent seasons, this match has the hallmarks of potential cracker with players from both teams facing their former clubs in the battle for silverware, on top of Everton’s post-lockdown reconnaissance which has seen them mount a serious early season challenge for the WSL title unlike City who are still adapting to life under Gareth Taylor.
I have in particular been impressed by how Everton have been able to mix it up tactically this last couple of months depending on player availability and opposition, especially because they have looked dangerous in not just open play but from set pieces too with a high tempo pace to boot across all three thirds of the pitch.
Man City meanwhile do have quality strikers in Ellen White and Chloe Kelly who will be key up front to continuing their impressive form against Everton in all competitions since joining the WSL in 2014, although they will need their midfield and particularly Sam Mewis to be super creative in order to create those chances against a difficult Toffees team with their defence getting stuck in when required.
Goals therefore should be a certainty here given the quality of both teams and Everton would of learned something from their Continental Cup clash a few weeks ago which they lost 3-1, despite taking a first-half lead because City have been quite unpredictable this season which is a slight concern heading into this match with a defeat and draw from their last two games.
I however feel that City’s experience and unbeaten record in Women’s FA Cup Final could be significant despite their wobbly form under Taylor but my instinct says that Everton might very well spring a surprise here if can turn up and deliver a strong performance.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Manchester City