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"It's like a derby!" Getting to know... Everton's Kenza Dali and Manchester United's Ella Toone

Ella Toone and Kenza Dali
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This article is part of our Ultimate Guide to the Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship

Everton Women host Manchester United Women this weekend in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, with both sides aiming for Champions League qualification.

FourFourTwo had chance to put 20 questions to Everton midfielder Kenza Dali and Manchester United's 22-year-old rising star Ella Toone ahead of the game...

Everton vs Manchester United, Sunday November 14, 12.30pm – Buy tickets | Watch live on Sky Sports

You’re making a pre-game playlist – what’s the first song you put on, and why?

Kenza Dali, Everton: Burna Boy – On The Low.

Meg [Finnigan] and Sandy [MacIver] are often in control of the playlist in the dressing room but I like to put my own music on my earphones.

Ella Toone, Manchester United: ABBA – Gimme, Gimme. Gimme. It gets me in the matchday mood.

Best team-mate to room with on an away game trip, and why?

Kenza Dali: Courtney Brosnan. We’ve been friends for three years and we really know each other well so it’s easy. She’s a wonderful person.

Ella Toone: Alessia Russo is like my sister – so if I don’t want to talk to her, I don’t have to. We’re always having a laugh together.

Best Barclays FA Women's Super League goal you’ve ever seen?

Kenza Dali: Caroline Weir’s goal vs Manchester United. It was a really good goal technically. Or Sophie Ingle’s goal against Arsenal, the volley, that was really good as well.

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Ella Toone: Fara Williams' halfway line goal: unbelievable player and so clever to see the goalkeeper was off her line.

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Can you describe your Barclays FA Women's Super League debut and how you think it went?

Kenza Dali: I would say difficult. It’s always hard to come to another country, another culture, the football I practised in France is so different than here. 

My first game for West Ham was against Arsenal. It was a really good game, we were close to winning and I remember the pitch, the fans, it was amazing. I have really good memories of my first game in the Barclays FA Women's Super League. I just love the atmosphere here in England. The football here is more physical because it’s more transitional. In France we keep the ball so at least you have time to recover with the ball, whereas in England it’s really direct so obviously you run a lot more in England than in France.

Ella Toone: My Barclays FA Women's Super League debut was for Manchester City. I was very nervous but felt good to get a run out and show what I could do. Probably not the best I’ve ever played! 

Which club and players do you most look forward to playing against, and why?

Kenza Dali: This season I will say Manchester United because it’s like a derby here. We both have the same objective, aiming for the Champions League, so it’s going to be an important game for both of us. I can’t wait for this weekend’s game. 

In terms of players to go up against, I will say Martha Thomas because we were team-mates last season, I was the one to always assist her so it’s going to be funny to play against her and especially in such a big game.

Ella Toone: Manchester City, always love the Manchester derby so competitive and they have great players. Always good to play against Keira Walsh as she’s one of the best holding mid fielders 

Last series you binge watched?

Kenza Dali: Power. I love 50 Cent so I was curious to know what it was like. I loved it! I’m going to watch You soon.

Ella Toone: The Only Way is Essex. I love it – love all the drama!

One thing you never leave the house without?

Kenza Dali: A good pair of sneakers. I am a sneaker-head!

Ella Toone: Vaseline.

Which of your team-mates has most impressed you this season?

Kenza Dali: Aurora Galli. We have a really good connection on the pitch, she is really composed and smart with the ball so it’s just so easy to play with her. Since the first training session with her we knew there was something between us. We can play blind together!

Ella Toone: Hannah Blundell.

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What’s your favourite place in the world, and why?

Kenza Dali: Lyon because my family is there. Now that I’m in England, I just can’t wait to have some days off to get home.

Ella Toone: Ibiza – I used to go every year with family, so have special memories. 

If you could spend the day with one person, celebrity or not, who would it be and what would you do with them?

Kenza Dali: My nephew. We are so close and love doing everything together. Everyone who knows me knows my nephew!

Ella Toone: My Granddads! Miss them so much and would just love a chat 

What would you do if you weren’t a footballer, and why?

Kenza Dali: I have degrees in Marketing and Events, so I have studied a lot for six years and I’ve always known what I want to do after football. The best job for me would be with Nike because I could travel a lot and it would be around my passion for sneakers. I love to be creative.

Ella Tooe: DJ in Ibiza, living in my favourite place and playing sick tunes.

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

Kenza Dali: Sneakers! I think I’d be good at this!

Ella Toone: Alessia Russo.

Who’s the best player currently playing in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, and why?

Kenza Dali: I will say Beth Mead. She’s been top-class for England and for Arsenal since the beginning of the season.

Ella Toone: Chelsea's Pernille Harder, class player, great dribbler with the ball and picks up great pockets and scores goals.

ALSO READ Arsenal Women: How Beth Mead has become integral to the Gunners this season

What makes you happy and what makes you sad?

Kenza Dali: Football and family. If I’m good, my family is good and my football has good results, I’m happy. Football and family is everything so when both are going well, I’m happy.

Whenever I turn on the news and see people struggling. I’m really sensitive about this. I try to help people in Africa and last season, we built eight water pumps to provide water to towns. I try to do things like this with my family. I’m doing what I can to try to help them. Some cities don’t have water so we started last season and we already have eight, which is good as 500 people can use that pump every day for 10 years. I also send pairs of boots and Nike kit for people who play football but don’t have kit or boots.

Ella Toone: Happy: Being with my friends. Sad: Being on my own.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Kenza Dali: Four years ago I got a really bad injury, really bad, I broke three ligaments and I was told by surgeons I wouldn’t play any more at a high level so I spent two years on the side trying, and that’s when I started my degrees. But I’m back, it took me two and a half years to get back to a really high level and I’m really proud of this. So even when people say you’re finished, if in your head you’re not, you can achieve things. I’m really proud of that.

Ella Toone: My England debut

If you could go back in time, would you? And if so, when would you travel to and why?

Kenza Dali: My childhood was really happy and as you get older, you think ‘I want to go back to before’. I have lost some people in my family so I would say before it was obviously better. 

In football, I would go back to my time at PSG as we had a fantastic season, played Champions League and got to the final, so PSG was my best time in terms of football and now I want to try and build this here at Everton.

Ella Toone: Wouldn’t go back in time as I love to live life in the present 

What’s your worst habit?

Kenza Dali: Sleeping late! Honestly, I can sleep to 1pm. I can sleep 12 hours straight! I’m a big sleeper and I can sleep anywhere. Give me five minutes and I’m asleep!

Ella Toone: Getting annoyed easily 

It’s a team karaoke night: who’s on the mic first and who has you reaching for the earplugs?

Kenza Dali: Nathalie [Bjorn] will be on first because she’s always dancing and singing. And the worst, I will say me. My voice is already a bit strange so imagine with the mic, it will just get worse.

Ella Toone: First on mic: Millie Turner, voice of an angel. Earplugs: Katie Zelem, sounds like a strangled cat.

What’s the best thing about Women’s Football Weekend, and how excited are you about the season so far?

Kenza Dali: For people who don’t know a lot about women’s football, it’s a good opportunity to get to know the game, find out more about the players and their history and the positive stories they have to share. People love football in England, the weekends are made for football so it’s an opportunity for us to show what we’re able to do.

Ella Toone: Women’s Football Weekend is great because there are so many games, because of the visibility of all the games, and the action. There's always big results and loads of goals. I’m excited about the season so far, feel like the United team's connecting and we’re getting points on the board. 

What can fans expect from Everton vs Manchester United this weekend?

Kenza Dali: Getting the W! We’ve been struggling with getting points against the top three teams this season so it’s a good opportunity for us to show that we’re able to compete. And for our fans to watch the game at our stadium, we’ve got a new pitch and it’s unbelievable. 

It’s going to be a really good game, it’s a big game, two teams playing good football so I hope we get plenty of support at Walton Hall Park.

Ella Toone: Can look forward to exciting football, playing for the badge, being relentless and brave.

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