JACQUI OATLEY’S WSL GUIDE: Chelsea and Arsenal will fight for the title when women’s football returns

JACQUI OATLEY’S WSL GUIDE: Chelsea and Arsenal will fight for the title when women’s football returns

JACQUI OATLEY’S WSL GUIDE: Chelsea and Arsenal to battle for the title, Man United’s new signings could sneak them into the top three… and watch out for England’s latest debutant Lauren James!

  • The Women’s Super League season begins on Friday when Arsenal host Brighton
  • Reigning champions Chelsea face competition from the Gunners for the title
  • Manchester rivals United and City will battle it out for the final Champions League spot
  • But it could be a difficult year for Leicester in just their second season at this level

After being postponed last weekend, the new Women’s Super League season begins on Friday night when Arsenal host Brighton.

After England’s historic triumph in European Championship 2022 this summer, the clubs hope to take advantage of increased interest in the women’s game.

Broadcaster Jacqui Oatley gives her guide to the campaign ahead Sportsmail.

Current champions Chelsea face competition from Arsenal for the Women's Super League title

Current champions Chelsea face competition from Arsenal for the Women’s Super League title

FIVE STARS TO SEE

Lauren James (Chelsea)

Turning 21 later this month and she’s only started 11 league games, James is such a talent, having already scored nine WSL goals. I am excited to see what she can bring to Chelsea and England.

Deyna Castellanos (Manchester City)

Burst onto the scene at a young age and made FIFA’s best shortlist for the best women’s players in 2017. City need the Venezuela striker and other signings to do that as they have lost so much talent and experience.

Lauren James has only started 11 league games but has already scored nine WSL goals

Lauren James has only started 11 league games but has already scored nine WSL goals

Jess Park (Everton)

Fast, exciting dribbler who can play on both wings. Started eight league games last season for Manchester City but the loanee, 20, will want to be a regular part of the Everton team. Exciting prospects for England.

Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)

Left back for England, but very much a centre-forward at club level. Brilliant signing who will add character and an innovative edge – just what Villa need.

Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool)

Scouser, 21, who has been in the Liverpool set-up since he was eight and was hugely influential in promotion to the WSL. Manager Matt Beard says she’s on her way to the top – and he’s usually right.

Rachel Daly won Euro 2022 with England this summer and has signed for Aston Villa

Rachel Daly won Euro 2022 with England this summer and has signed for Aston Villa

WHO WILL WIN THE LEAGUE?

Most people look at Chelsea, but they might be building a squad for the Champions League.

Arsenal must hope Chelsea are so focused on Europe that they can win the title. It’s between the two.

TOP THREE MATCHES

Manchester United have made some very good signings and kept Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, which should set up a really good match with rivals City.

Tottenham have also been fantastic in the transfer market.

WHO’S IN TROUBLE?

Leicester don’t have superstars, which isn’t necessarily a big deal, but it’s only their second season at this level. Reading have a small budget but Kelly Chambers works miracles every season.

Brighton have lost important players this summer and need their replacements to step up.

Manchester United have invested well and will fight for the last Champions League place

Manchester United have invested well and will fight for the last Champions League place

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