Injury to clubmate generates better chance for Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans, the Bayern Munich forward, will not have to concern herself with the hefty challenges of club team-mate Stefanie van der Gragt when Scotland play Netherlands in a friendly at the Tony Macaroni Arena in Livingston tomorrow night (7pm).

Bayern Munich's Lisa Evans. Picture: SNS
Bayern Munich's Lisa Evans. Picture: SNS

The 24-year-old Dutch central defender travelled to Scotland unaware that her jaw had been broken in Bayern’s 1-0 league win over SC Sand on Sunday.

“She had a head clash with one of their players,” Evans, pictured, said. “She got subbed, had an ice pack put on and we thought she’d be fine. She’s a big girl who is aggressive and goes into challenges like no-one else. Then she comes over to Scotland, has an X-ray and she’s broken her jaw.”

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Van der Gragt, whose height and heading ability caused Hibernian huge problems in their Women’s Champions League last 32 tie, has flown back to Munich and may require an operation.

Scotland have difficulties of their own in central defence. They go into the friendly against the Euro 2017 hosts without Rachel Corsie, who has a knee injury, and Manchester City’s Jenny Beattie, who has had to pull out with flu.

That could be to the advantage of another of Evans’ Bayern team-mates, striker Vivianne Miedema. Still just 20, the player, who models her game on that of Robin van Persie, has scored 23 goals in 34 games for Holland.

“I would regard her as one of the best strikers in Europe, for sure,” Evans said. “She’s 
absolute quality, a natural predator.”

Scotland have played Netherlands five times in the last three and a half years, winning three but losing the two which really counted – the play-off games for the last European place in the 2015 World Cup.

Evans scored a hat-trick in just 18 minutes in one of the other games, a 4-3 Cyprus Cup win in 2014. Kim Little also scored a hat-trick when the sides met in the same tournament 12 months later, but the midfielder has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s game by a hamstring problem.

Former Hibs defender Chloe Arthur, who is now at Bristol City, has been called into the squad to replace Beattie.