Women's FA Cup Final Preview: Subplots & Narratives Ahead of Manchester City vs Everton

Oct 29, 2020, 11:45 AM GMT
Isobel Christiansen
Manchester City play Everton in the Women's FA Cup final on Sunday | Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

The Women's FA Cup final takes place at Wembley at 2:30pm on Sunday as the 2019/20 competition is finally brought to a close.

Reigning champions Manchester City face underdogs Everton in the showpiece event as both teams attempt to win last season's final piece of silverware/this season's first piece of silver.

Let's take a look at all the subplots, narratives and things to look out for in Sunday's final.

1. Two Proud FA Cup Histories

Steph Houghton
City are the cup holders | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Both finalists have previous in the competition, and whoever wins on Sunday will become the fourth most successful side in Women's FA Cup history.

Manchester City are the defending champions, having won the competition twice in the last three years. The Citizens have a 100% win rate in FA Cup finals, recording comfortable victories over Birmingham in 2017 and West Ham in 2019.

Everton are also two-time winners of the competition, first lifting the famous trophy back in 1989 as Leasowe Pacific. The Toffees were then victorious in 2010 with an extra time win over Arsenal, and have been beaten finalists on a further three occasions.

2. Can Everton Channel the Spirit of 2010?

Jodie Handley
Everton last won the competition in 2010 - they were underdogs on that occasion too | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Everton have been this season's surprise package after starting the campaign in exceptional form, eliminating Chelsea en route to the FA Cup final and sitting second in the WSL with four wins from five. Although opponents City have struggled for consistency this season, Everton will still be considered underdogs on Sunday.

The Toffees were even bigger outsiders the last time they won the FA Cup a decade ago when they came up against an all-conquering Arsenal side.

The Gunners had won the competition four years on the bounce, but Natasha Dowie scored a 119th minute winner for Everton to secure a 3-2 victory - and record one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history.

3. Which Manchester City Will Show Up?

Steph Houghton
Manchester City's performance of the season came in the FA Cup semi finals | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Under new boss Gareth Taylor and with a plethora of new summer arrivals, City have blown hot and cold this season.

The Citizens have endured frustrating afternoons in front of goal, being held to draws by both Reading and Brighton, and were comfortably beaten by Chelsea in the first big three clash of the WSL season.

However, against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi finals, City were absolutely superb. They were razor sharp, knocking the ball around with such a confidence and authority and playing an Arsenal side who no one had come close to challenging up to that point completely off the park. New signing Sam Mewis has looked unplayable in the heart of the City midfield.

If the City that beat Arsenal show up on Sunday, Everton will have a real task on their hands. But if it's the City that have been slightly unconvincing in front of goal this season, the Toffees will be in with a real shout.

4. The Chloe Kelly & Esme Morgan Paradox

Chloe Kelly
Kelly has already played in the 2019/20 FA Cup for Everton | Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan both featured for Everton in their run to the FA Cup quarter finals, with the latter finding the net for the Toffees during their fifth round win over Bristol City.

The pair could both play for Manchester City against Everton in Sunday's FA Cup final.

Morgan was on loan at the Toffees from City for the 2019/20 season and has since returned to her parent club, while Kelly left Everton at the end of the campaign to sign for the Citizens.

The FA Cup rules were adjusted in light of coronavirus and stated that six new players could be registered for the rescheduled competition, while being cup tied was scrapped. As a result, despite starting the 2019/20 FA Cup journey with Everton, Kelly and Morgan will be playing against their former side in the 2019/20 FA Cup final.

5. The Return of Izzy Christiansen... & Many Others

Izzy Christiansen
Former City star Christiansen has been excellent for Everton this season | Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Izzy Christiansen has been one of Everton's stand out performers this season. Recruiting the England midfielder in January was a real statement of intent from the Toffees, and she has started to show her class this season with a series of match winning displays.

Christiansen spent four years with City and enjoyed a career purple patch at the club, hitting the winner as City secured their first ever piece of silverware in the 2015 Continental Cup final, winning the 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year and scoring in the Citizen's 2017 FA Cup final triumph. She will be key for Everton on Sunday.

The 29-year-old is one of numerous players who could line up against their former club at Wembley - City's Jill Scott was part of Everton's 2010 FA Cup winning side and Lucy Bronze also spent a couple of seasons on Merseyside.

Alex Greenwood is a product of the Toffees academy, while Sandy MacIver and Poppy Pattinson both played for City's youth side.