Everton star hoping for Anfield Liverpool

Megan Finnigan knows more than anyone about the significance of a Merseyside derby.

The nine-year-old defender became a member of Everton and went through the academy before making her senior debut in 2015. Since then, the 25-year-old has made more than 150 appearances for the Blues, and manager Brian Sorensen elected him club captain during the summer.

Her goal, a thunderous header in front of the Kop, served as the impetus for Everton’s incredible performance at Anfield the previous season. And Finnigan is optimistic that this weekend’s journey across Stanley Park could be just what the Blues need to ignite their campaign following a difficult start to the season for Sorensen’s team.

The centre back expressed his excitement to the ECHO. “We head there after two losses and Liverpool after two victories, but we prevailed 3-0 in a similar circumstance the previous year. We went there, I believe, as the underdogs. We have a great opportunity to go there and put pressure on Liverpool because, in my opinion, they are under pressure from the outside.

Naturally, Finnigan is correct. In their first game back in the top flight, Liverpool defeated Chelsea, the current Women’s Super League (WSL) champions, to go into the Anfield match as the clear favourites last season. Everton, on the other hand, entered League Four following a close loss to West Ham on the first day of play.

This season, it’s the same situation; in the Blues‘ first two games, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City have defeated them. On the other hand, Liverpool leads the table after wins against Aston Villa and Arsenal, and the Reds haven’t let up a goal in the WSL.

Nevertheless, the form book means very little when a derby occurs, as the saying goes. Finnigan also believes that the Blues are prepared to face the challenge that Matt Beard’s team will present this weekend.

“Everyone is desperate (to get back on track),” she stated. “The season may not be off to the start we had hoped for, but now is not the time to mope around. We must never give up.

“We need to demonstrate a mindset that allows us to advocate for ourselves and truly show others what we are capable of.” For instance, I felt we deserved to win that match against Leicester because we dominated the entire game. We simply weren’t able to complete our opportunities, but they all go in on another day.

Finnigan’s remarks perfectly capture the reasons behind the defender’s selection as Everton’s new club captain. Her ambition to establish the Blues as a major force in the WSL is evident. She is a leader both on and off the field and, in the words of her manager, “sets the standards” in the dressing room.

“Obviously I was very proud when Brian told me I was going to be captain and it is added responsibility now,” she stated. “There is obviously that extra pressure when we lose games, but that’s only part of it. I definitely feel even more hurt when we lose.” However, for someone who had been a member of the club for so long, it was a truly proud moment.”

Undoubtedly, in light of Everton, Finnigan’s experience is very important.

The Blues’ test run of games begins on Sunday with the Merseyside derby. Up next, they take on Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United. Even while Finnigan acknowledges that every game is difficult due to the league’s increasing level of competition, she thinks Everton is more than capable of defeating any opponent.

“The WSL is definitely a lot more competitive,” she stated. “There’s no denying the power of the teams surrounding us. We must be prepared to step up because the league is powerful. I’m not going to lie—the season has had a dismal start, and that hurts. But in my opinion, there’s no better match to recover from than a Merseyside derby.”

Additionally, Finnigan is optimistic that this weekend’s derby at Anfield will see an even higher turnout than the one that occurred last year, which drew over 27,000 spectators.

“It’s the men’s international break so hopefully it’s a good chance to attract some fans who maybe haven’t been before for both clubs,” she stated. “It would be great to surpass last year’s attendance of nearly 30,000 at Anfield, as it would add to the enjoyment of the day for all.” Our supporters will undoubtedly be present in large numbers.

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