It is a decade since Everton last won this or any other significant trophy, but in the opening weeks of this season Willie Kirk’s side have reestablished themselves among the elite with some excellent performances and results in the league, and victory today would put the sweetest seal on it. Manchester City are the reigning champions and have won the FA Cup twice in the last three years, and despite some decidedly dodgy league form – they have already dropped points three times this season, including in their last two games – are heavy favourites for this game. “I think 10 years is too long for a club this size and we are determined to get back to the days where Everton were competing for trophies,” tubthumped Kirk in the build-up. “It would be even bigger, managing to topple one of the teams that are serial trophy winners right now.” Esme Morgan starts for City, and Chloe Kelly is on the bench – both started the 2019-20 season (and this is the 2019-20 FA Cup final) at Everton, and played in this competition for the team they face this afternoon, which is awkward. Anyway, and most importantly, hello!
The teams have already been announced, and here they are:
Everton: MacIver; Wold, Finnigan, Sevecke, Turner; Christiansen, Egurrola, Graham; Sorensen, Gauvin, Raso. Subs: Korpela, Boya-Hlorkah, Magill, Stringer, Pike, Clemaron, Clinton, Pattinson.
Manchester City: Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Greenwood, Stokes; Walsh, Mewis, Lavelle; Kelly, White, Weir. Subs: Bardsley, Taieb, Bonner, Coombs, Scott, Stanway, Beckie, Morgan, Park.
Referee: Rebecca Welch.
Assistant referees: Sian Massey-Ellis & Natalie Aspinall.
Fourth official: Abi Byrne.
Reserve assistant referee: Emily Carney.