Women’s Super League 2019/20 preview: What you need to know including teams, fixtures, transfers and odds

5 Sep

After a successful Women’s World Cup this summer, the domestic season in England gets back under way this weekend.

Twelve teams will fight it out to call themselves Women’s Super League champions, with Arsenal looking to defend their title.

Can Arsenal retain their crown this season?
Getty Images - GETTY

But the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, who had dominated the competition in recent seasons, will be determined to get back on top.

This season will welcome Manchester United to the top flight – a club that made a return in March 2018 following a 13-year absence and they will open their campaign with a trip to their local rivals.

The game is growing all the time, with the FA announcing the Barclays WSL will be broadcast overseas for the first time in its history earlier this summer.

And below you can read talkSPORT.com’s ultimate guide to the 2019/20 WSL season.


Arsenal

Manager

Joe Montemurro

One to watch

Vivianne Miedema (striker)

Miedema scored three goals at the World Cup and was the WSL’s top scorer last season
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Who have they signed?

Jen Beattie (defender, Manchester City)

Leonie Maier (defender, Bayern Munich)

Jill Roord (midfielder, Bayern Munich)

Fran Stenson (goalkeeper, Manchester City)

Manuela Zinsberger (goalkeeper, Bayern Munich)

First five games

West Ham (H), Manchester United (A), Brighton (H), Chelsea (A), Manchester City (H)

Title Odds

6/4

Predicted finish

1st

What are they saying?

“There is a lot we can improve on this year though and I think that we will definitely have to get stronger because the teams in the league are getting stronger.

“We also have the Champions League to deal with too and more games so it will be important that we continue to get better if we want to be successful again this season.” – Kim Little, Arsenal midfielder


Birmingham City

Manager

Marta Tejedor

One to watch

Lucy Staniforth (midfielder)

Staniforth played for England at this summer’s World Cup

Who have they signed?

Abbi Grant (forward, Anderlecht)

Rebecca Holloway (midfielder, Nashville Rhythm)

Adrienne Jordan (defender, Atalanta)

Brianna Visalli (midfielder, West Ham)

Claudia Walker (midfielder, Everton, after initial loan deal)

Lucy Whipp (attacking midfielder, St John’s University)

First five games

Everton (H), West Ham (A), Reading (H), Manchester City (A), Liverpool (H)

Odds:

20/1

Predicted finish

5th

What are they saying?

“Obviously we had a good season last season, finishing fourth. So to go above and beyond that is the aim really. You don’t want to take steps backwards. There are obviously some great teams in the league, but I think we can compete with anyone on our day. We will take
every game as it comes and look to get as many wins as we can.” – Lucy Whipp, Birmingham midfielder


Brighton & Hove Albion

Manager

Hope Powell

Ex-England boss Powell has been in charge of Brighton since July 2017

One to watch

Ellie Brazil (forward)

Who have they signed?

Lea La Garrec (midfielder, Guingamp)

Danique Kerkdijk (defender, Bristol City)

Matilde Skovsen (defender, Aarhus)

Megan Walsh (goalkeeper, Yeovil Town)

First five games

Bristol City (A), Chelsea (H), Arsenal (A), West Ham (H), Everton (A)

Title Odds

66/1

Predicted finish

12th (relegation)

What are they saying?

“I think last year was a learning curve, especially with the restructuring of the division but this year, I think everyone is more ready and excited to play.

“We will be going into most games as the underdog, but I think that is so exciting. We know we have nothing to lose. I think we could do very well this year.” – Megan Connolly, Brighton midfielder


Bristol City

Manager

Tanya Oxtoby

Oxtoby and Bristol City will be hoping to build on their sixth-placed finish last season
Getty Images - Getty

One to watch

Sophie Baggaley (goalkeeper)

Who have they signed?

Olivia Chance (midfielder, Everton)

Yana Daniels (forward, Liverpool)

Jasmine Matthews (defender, Liverpool)

Ebony Salmon (striker, Manchester United)

Meaghen Sargeant (defender, Birmingham City)

Vita van der Linden (midfielder, Ajax)

Charlie Wellings (striker, Birmingham City)

First five games

Brighton (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham (H)

Title Odds

50/1

Predicted finish

10th

What are they saying?

“Everyone always wants to win something each season and it feels like everyone here has got high hopes after last season went so well.

“It’s going to be such a competitive league this time around and it’s going to be so close between all the clubs.” – Charlie Wellings, Bristol City striker


Chelsea

Manager

Emma Hayes

One to watch

Fran Kirby (forward)

England international Kirby is arguably Chelsea’s most gifted player
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Who have they signed?

Guro Reiten (forward, LSK Kvinner)

First five games

Tottenham (H), Brighton (A), Bristol City (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A)

Title Odds

4/1

Predicted finish

3rd

What are they saying?

“We had a look at ourselves after last season and I think Emma and her coaches decided that actually we could be improving off the pitch as well as on it.

“After the summer I had to look at myself in the mirror and regroup a little bit because the World Cup hurt me a little bit – I needed to get over that.” – Erin Cuthbert, Chelsea midfielder


Everton

Manager

Willie Kirk

One to watch

Kika van Es (defender)

Everton avoided relegation to the Championship after Yeovil received a ten-point deduction for going into administration
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Maeva Clemaron (midfielder, FC Fleury)

Lucy Graham (midfielder, Bristol City)

Tinja-Riikka Korpela (goalkeeper, Valerenga)

Esme Morgan (defender, Manchester City)

Kika van Es (defender, Ajax)

Molly Pike (midfielder, Chelsea)

First five games

Birmingham (A), Bristol City (H), Manchester City (H), Reading (A), Brighton (H)

Title Odds

50/1

Predicted finish

11th

What are they saying?

“I think things can only get better from last season – obviously we didn’t finish anywhere near where we wanted to or achieve what we wanted to.

“We just want to get on the ball and play more than we have recently – a lot of our games we’ve just been defending but now we’re going to go out and show we can actually play.” – Gabby George, Everton defender


Liverpool

Manager

Vicky Jepson

One to watch

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (forward)

Sweetman-Kirk scored ten goals for Liverpool last season
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Jade Bailey (midfielder, Chelsea)

Becky Jane (defender, Reading)

Mel Lawley (winger, Manchester City)

First five games

Reading (H), Tottenham (A), Manchester United (A), Bristol City (H), Birmingham (A)

Title Odds

25/1

Predicted finish

6th

What are they saying?

“I think we’ve built a really solid foundation, so we want to finish higher in the league, do as well as we can and play a good style of football and know what we’re about.

“Each game is different so we’re just going to take it one game at a time – no game is a given at all but to be able to try and get a good run and start the season well would be massive for this team.” – Niamh Charles, Liverpool winger


Manchester City

Manager

Nick Cushing

One to watch

Ellen White (striker)

White finished joint-top scorer at the World Cup alongside USA’s Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe
Getty

Who have they signed?

Laura Coombs (midfielder, Liverpool)

Matilde Fidalgo (defender, Braga)

Lee Geum-min (forward, Gyeongju KHNP)

Aoife Mannion (defender, Birmingham City)

Tyler Toland (midfielder, Sion Swifts)

Ellen White (striker, Birmingham City)

First five games

Manchester United (H), Reading (A), Everton (A), Birmingham (H), Arsenal (A)

Title Odds

11/4

Predicted finish

2nd

What are they saying?

“I am a winner so I want to win every game – we won the titles last season but of course everyone wants more and we know that we we’re close to winning the league as well last year.

“We lost too many points to teams below us in the table and did well against Arsenal and Chelsea so that is something we need to work on this season for sure.” – Tessa Wullaert, Manchester City forward


Manchester United

Manager

Casey Stoney

Stoney’s side could cause a few upsets this season
GETTY IMAGES - GETTY

One to watch

Jackie Groenen (midfielder)

Who have they signed?

Mary Earps (goalkeeper, Wolfsburg)

Jackie Groenen (midfielder, Frankfurt)

Hayley Ladd (midfielder, Birmingham City)

Abbie McManus (defender, Manchester City)

Lotta Okvist (defender, Hammarby)

Jane Ross (striker, West Ham)

First five games

Manchester City (A), Arsenal (H), Liverpool (H), Tottenham (A), Reading (H)

Title Odds

6/1

Predicted finish

4th

What are they saying?

“I think there’s something really special going on here and it can be a huge club – not just in men’s football, but in women’s football in years to come. So I’m excited to be a part of that.

“If people are expecting a lot of us it means they think we’re capable of a lot. We just need to go out there, express ourselves and show what we can do.” – Mary Earps, Manchester United goalkeeper


Reading

Manager

Kelly Chambers

One to watch

Jade Moore (defender)

Defender Moore represented England at the World Cup
Getty Images

Who have they signed?

Maxime Bennink (midfielder, PEC Zwolle)

Kristine Bjordal Leine (defender, Roa IL)

Amalie Eikeland (midfielder, IL Sandviken)

Angharad James (midfielder, Everton)

First five games

Liverpool (A), Manchester City (H), Birmingham (A), Everton (H), Manchester United (A)

Title Odds

28/1

Predicted finish

7th

What are they saying?

“I am excited for the start of season and to see the players bring everything together they have learned and gained and to really be a force to compete with in the WSL.

“We have obviously added some fantastic players to the group we had last season to improve us as a squad, but I believe this group have added and gained so much during pre-season that will make us stronger than last year.” – Kelly Chambers, Reading manager


Tottenham Hotspur

Manager

Karen Hills and Juan Amoros

One to watch

Coral-Jade Haines

Tottenham came up from the Championship with Manchester United last season
Getty Images - Getty

Who have they signed?

Rosella Ayane (forward, Bristol City)

Gemma Davison (midfielder, Reading)

Hannah Godfrey (defender, University of South Alabama)

Kit Graham (forward, Charlton)

Chloe Peplow (midfielder, Brighton)

Ria Percival (defender, West Ham)

Lucy Quinn (forward, Birmingham City)

Becky Spencer (goalkeeper, West Ham)

Siri Worm (defender, Everton)

First five games

Chelsea (A), Liverpool (H), West Ham (A), Manchester United (H), Bristol City (A)

Title Odds

40/1

Predicted finish

9th

What are they saying?

“We’ll go out there and give it our all, we’ve got high standards at this club and we want to make our fans proud.” – Gemma Davison, Tottenham forward


West Ham United

Manager

Matt Beard

One to watch

Kenza Dali (midfielder)

Sam Allardyce slams 'disgusting' West Ham leak and reveals unhappiness with Jack Sullivan conduct
The managing director of West Ham’s Women’s team is Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham co-owner David Sullivan

Who have they signed?

Katharina Baunach (defender, Wolfsburg)

Courtney Brosnan (goalkeeper, Le Havre)

Kenza Dali (midfielder, Dijon)

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (forward, Perth Glory)

Cecilie Kvamme (defender, IL Sandviken)

Laura Vetterlein (defender, SC Sand)

Martha Thomas (forward, Le Havre)

First five games

Arsenal (A), Birmingham (H), Tottenham (H), Brighton (A), Chelsea (H)

Title Odds

33/1

Predicted finish

8th

What are they saying?

“We just have to be ruthless and learn to be clinical. We want to challenge at the right end of the table and, to do that, we have to take our chances and keep clean-sheets. We want to be a team that prides ourselves on being hard to break down.” – Gilly Flaherty, West Ham defender