UK Women's Super League

Women’s Super League: The Race Is On

The WSL season may be in the early stages, but it seems there is an exciting title race unfolding with potentially five teams involved. There are five points separating Manchester United in top position and Manchester City in fifth, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton sat in second, third and fourth, respectively.

We will look at those five team’s seasons so far and their potential title credentials.

Manchester United

Casey’s Stoney side are in their second season in the top tier of domestic football, after the club was founded in 2018 and they won promotion from the Championship in the 2018/19 season. They finished fourth last season and this season have had a promising start to the campaign as they have 17 points from their first seven games and are unbeaten in the league so far this season.

They have picked up points against their rivals, with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, a 1-0 win against Arsenal and a 2-2 draw in the Manchester Derby.

Manchester United have not had to rely on one player to score the goals with nine goal scorers in the league this season, with Ella Toone, Kirsty Hanson and Alessia Russo scoring three goals each in the league.

Manchester United have also had several players create goals this season with two-time World Cup winner Tobin Heath adding two assists to her two goals this season. Alessia Russo, Leah Galton and Jackie Groenen also have two assists to their name this season.

Manchester United seem to have the quality to challenge, the only query could be they are searching for their first WSL title, which could come with added pressure, though with the impressive Casey Stoney in charge, this may not be an issue.

Stoney has been manager since the club was founded, she has only lost 12 games in 59 games as manager and has won 41 of those games, with her side scoring 178 goals and only conceding 43.

Manchester United seem serious contenders this season.

Arsenal

Arsenal are in second place with 16 points from their first seven games and are one point behind Manchester United. They have lost just one game this season, which was against Manchester United.

Arsenal have won five of their seven league games and are the highest scorers in the league with 30 goals scored, and they have the league’s top scorer in their ranks in the form of Vivianne Miedema who has scored 10 goals this season. Her Dutch teammate Jill Roord has scored six in the league this season for Arsenal.

Arsenal has seen three players with five assists this season, with those players being Caitlin Foord, Beth Mead and Katie McCabe.

Arsenal have pedigree with winning the WSL as well, as they won the first two editions of the rebranded league in 2011 and 2012. They won the 2018-19 title as well.

Arsenal’s free scoring will likely continue throughout the season and they will be an exciting team to watch in the title race.

Chelsea

They have played one game fewer than the other title challengers, but still find themselves in third place and they are the other unbeaten team in the league. Chelsea have won four of their six games this season, that have included impressive wins over Manchester City and Everton.

Emma Hayes’ side won the 2019-20 WSL after the league was curtailed early.  Hayes has guided the London side to three WSL titles and will be looking to add a fourth to her and Chelsea’s collection.

Chelsea have been solid defensively as they have conceded only three goals this season and they have still been effective going forward with 19 goals scored from their six league games.

They have a talented side, with their top scorers being England Internationals Beth England and Fran Kirby who have scored three goals each and Australian International Sam Kerr who has also scored three league goals this season.

Erin Cuthbert has proved to be the top creator this season for Chelsea in the league with three assists to her name in the league. Beth England and Fran Kirby have two assists each this season.

Emma Hayes side will be challengers this season and their solid defence will prove important in the race for the WSL title.

Everton

Everton are currently in fourth place after winning four of their seven games and only losing once this season. Everton may find it tough to be in the title race as the season progresses, but they showed they can compete with the best domestically by reaching the 2019-20 FA Cup Final. They lost that final in extra-time to Manchester City.

Everton have had impressive wins over Aston Villa and Bristol City with 6-0 and 4-0 wins, respectively. They face Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in three of their next four league games and that will prove an important set of fixtures to prove their ability to compete near the top.

Everton have had several scorers this season with Lucy Graham scoring four in the league and Valérie Gauvin scoring three goals this season.

Izzy Christiansen has assisted three goals this season, with Lucy Graham, Claire Emslie and Nicoline Sørensen assisting two goals each.

Everton proved in last season’s FA Cup they can compete with the top sides in the country and though doing that in the league will be difficult, they could challenge for the European places at the very least.

Manchester City

Manchester City are surprisingly in fifth place, but are only five points off their Manchester rivals.

They have drawn too many games, with three draws this season. They have only lost once so if they can turn more draws into wins, they will move up the table.

They have also had several scorers with Chloe Kelly leading the side scoring four goals. Ellen White and Georgia Stanway have scored three goals each.

Assists have been provided from all areas of the side with four players having two assists each. Forward Ellen White, midfielder Keira Walsh, defender Lucy Bronze and defender Steph Houghton have all provided two assists.

Manchester City know how to win trophies, as they are the current FA Cup holders, and they won the WSL in 2016.

Manchester City will be looking to add more wins and less draws, and that will certainly enable them to challenge for a title.

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