What to keep an eye out for as the WSL resumes: new additions and the battle for the championship.

Estimated read time 5 min read

Chelsea is leading the way in the race for the championship.

In contrast to last season’s focus on Chelsea’s comeback, this year has seen Emma Hayes’ team in the lead. However, this does not mean that their season has been perfect – their 4-1 defeat at the Emirates in December was a significant setback. As they aim for their fifth consecutive title, they are well aware of the challenges ahead. Their upcoming match against Manchester United on Sunday will be a tough start to the season. Additionally, they have a Champions League group-stage game next Wednesday, which means a busy schedule for a team that must also adjust to the absence of Sam Kerr and captain Millie Bright, whose return date is uncertain.

Manchester City’s impressive run of form since defeat to Brighton in early November has been notable as they’ve clawed themselves up to second and are widely regarded to have one of the most potent attacks in the division. They are level on points with Arsenal who will still be kicking themselves for allowing Chelsea to open a gap back up. The confidence boosting victory over their title rivals was followed up by a shock defeat to Tottenham, essentially giving the Blues a free pass to regain their advantage. Both chasers will have fewer games to contend with which could work in their favour.

A tense fight for avoiding relegation lies ahead.

The competition for the last few spots in the rankings is becoming intense, setting the stage for a captivating fight against relegation. In the previous two years, the team at the very bottom of the rankings did not manage to gain any points before the mid-season break. This was the case for Leicester last season, but they managed to make an impressive comeback.

This time, Bristol City is staying competitive and keeping up with the others with a total of five points. West Ham had difficulties finding their rhythm before the winter break and are currently ahead on goal difference, despite already making good signings during this transfer window. Brighton has also been pulled into the mix, despite showing promise under the leadership of Melissa Phillips.

The next two weekends seem crucial in shaping the fight for survival. The Robins travel to Brighton while West Ham host a buoyant Tottenham before the current bottom two meet in a showdown at Ashton Gate.

Kristie Mewis is among West Ham’s January signings as the club look to stave off relegation.

Which team will secure a spot in the Champions League?

At the moment, it appears that the three designated spots for the upcoming Champions League season are secured. However, things can change rapidly in the WSL, as we have already seen this season. Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal currently hold advantageous positions, in whichever order they ultimately finish.

The team of Manchester United, on the other hand, may still believe they have a strong chance of winning. Though their chances of clinching the title appear unlikely, there is only a four-point difference between them and the third-ranked team. Unfortunately for English teams this year, the current situation means that the reigning champions will have to compete in the second round of Champions League qualifiers instead of automatically advancing to the group stage.

Teams are being reinforced by the arrival of new members during the winter season.

In January, clubs have a great chance to improve their team and West Ham has taken advantage of this by adding experienced players Katrina Gorry and Kristie Mewis, as well as bringing Shelina Zadorsky on loan.

Robert Vilahamn has recently added several new players to the Tottenham Hotspur team, including Wang Shuang from Racing Louisville, Australian player Charlotte Grant, and promising young Swedish talent Matilda Vinberg.

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In other news, Nathalie Björn, a player from Sweden’s national team, has transferred to Chelsea, leaving Everton in need of defensive support despite adding Rikke Madsen and Kathrine Kühl on loan. Leicester, Arsenal, and Aston Villa have also made new acquisitions.

The transfer period will continue for an additional two weeks, meaning there may be further changes occurring.

Shuang Wang, who impressed for China at the World Cup, has joined Tottenham.

Some young players to keep an eye on:

Promising young athletes to keep an eye on:

In this season, young athletes have been gaining recognition as managers are giving them opportunities to display their abilities. This trend is expected to continue for the rest of the season.

Aggie Beever-Jones, a product of the academy, has emerged as a talented player for Chelsea. At just 20 years old, she has already scored five goals in the WSL, solidifying her position within the team after spending time on loan.

Grace Clinton, currently on loan from Manchester United to Tottenham, has stood out with her performances. As a result, she has been selected to play for England, along with Khiara Keating. At just 19 years old, Keating has secured the starting goalkeeper position at Manchester City.

Everton’s Karoline Olesen will be another one to watch over the next few months with the teenager highly rated by the manager, Brian Sørensen.

Source: theguardian.com

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