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Predicted! FourFourTwo's 2020/21 Women's Super League table

Chelsea Women's Super League table WSL
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The Women's Super League table is getting harder to predict – with a number of big signings this summer making the league better than ever.

Chelsea are the team to topple this term – but with an extra spot opening up for Europe and some eye-catching arrivals, this year promises to be the most bitterly fought campaign yet.

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1. Arsenal

PROSPECTS 

England’s most successful club were still in reach of the title before the WSL season was cancelled, and Joe Montemurro’s side will be hungry to reclaim the prize they won in 2018-19. A lack of European competition may give the Gunners an advantage over their main rivals, Chelsea and Manchester City. 

SIGNINGS 

Swiss defender Noelle Maritz (above) has joined from Wolfsburg, along with 20-year-old compatriot Malin Gut. Australian keeper Lydia Williams and left-back Steph Catley have arrived from Melbourne City. 

VERDICT 

A strong set of transfers should secure a top-three finish – but the Gunners are capable of far more this term. No Europe could be the difference.

2. Chelsea

PROSPECTS 

The current WSL champions will be desperate to retain their crown and assert dominance over Arsenal in particular, with the sides level on three titles apiece since the league’s inception in 2011. 

SIGNINGS 

Chelsea have recruited 2018 Under-20 World Cup bronze medallist Niamh Charles from relegated Liverpool; they’ve also landed 22-year-old, 77-cap midfielder Jessie Fleming, who became Canada’s second-youngest international when she was just 15. Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg, meanwhile, is a blockbuster signing who will guarantee goals.

VERDICT 

Emma Hayes’ side will challenge for the title once again. Sidelined through illness since last November, Fran Kirby will return, and that will feel like a new signing for the Blues: 43 goals in her 65 WSL games from 2017 to the summer of 2019 says as much.

3. Manchester City

PROSPECTS 

Finishing second won’t wash for City any more. After their third consecutive finish as runners-up, new boss Gareth Taylor needs to hit the ground running after the departure to New York City FC of Nick Cushing, his well-respected predecessor. A mean defence led by Steph Houghton that leaked only nine goals in 16 games will help him out. 

SIGNINGS 

Promising England striker Chloe Kelly, 22, has been prised from Everton following a deadly season of nine goals in 12 league games, but it’s the signings of the USA’s World Cup-winners Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis that will quicken pulses most. It’s a statement of intent. 

VERDICT 

The 2016 champions will continue their run of top-three finishes and Champions League qualifications, but fall short where it matters.

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4. Manchester United

PROSPECTS 

Managed by Casey Stoney, United finished a respectable fourth in their first WSL campaign but will be especially anxious to go one better this term: a chance to compete against Europe’s elite should be strong enough motivation for the Red Devils. 

SIGNINGS 

England midfielder Lucy Staniforth has joined the party after a two-year stint at Birmingham, with Levante defender Ona Batlle and Germany Under-19 captain Ivana Fuso completing a trio of key arrivals. 

VERDICT 

Losing goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain’s experience is a big blow for Stoney. However, it shouldn’t prevent United from giving their more established adversaries another good run for their money. Can they qualify for the Champions League?

Women's Super League predicted table 2020/21 WSL

(Image credit: Future)

5. Reading

PROSPECTS 

The Royals’ fifth-place finish and subsequent move to the Madejski Stadium will add to their confidence for the 2020/21 campaign. They are capable of taking points off the teams above them, even if they didn’t do it enough last season, and are not an outfit to be underestimated. Keep a close eye on them. 

SIGNINGS 

Reading have snapped up Wales international Jess Fishlock on loan from American NWSL side OL Reign.

Striker Danielle Carter and full-back Emma Mitchell have moved to Berkshire from Arsenal, with defender Deanna Cooper hopping down from Chelsea. 

VERDICT

Reading have recruited a talented trio with league and international experience, which can only boost their status as a WSL side.

6. West Ham United

PROSPECTS 

The east Londoners were eighth last time – but with continued investment from the Hammers hierarchy, bettering that looks like a serious possibility for Matt Beard’s bright and exciting side. 

SIGNINGS 

Maz Pacheco’s switch from Reading reunites her with Beard, who gave the defender a league debut when she was a 16-year-old at Liverpool. She will rub shoulders in Dagenham with three-time Czech Player of the Year Katerina Svitkova, Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and 23-year-old defender Hawa Cissoko, formerly of PSG. 

VERDICT

West Ham’s strong additions have the potential to make them this year’s surprise package as they aim to wriggle out of the bottom half.

7. Everton

PROSPECTS 

Getting one over Chelsea in the forthcoming FA Cup quarter-finals would give Everton huge confidence as they look to progress from mid-table mediocrity to the Champions League places. An extra spot is up for grabs this campaign, as two become three.

SIGNINGS 

Valerie Gauvin, signed from Montpellier, has been hailed as a statement of intent for the Toffees, and big things are expected from the French forward.

The Norwegian right-back Ingrid Moe Wold – who remarkably played 195 league games in a row for LSK between 2010 and 2018 – looks another fine addition. Denmark internationals Nicoline Sorensen and Rikke Sevecke have also signed, while England Under-21 full-back Poppy Pattinson has signed from fellow WSL side Bristol City. 

VERDICT 

Everton will want another top-half finish, but must toughen up their defence if they’re to succeed.

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8. Tottenham Hotspur

PROSPECTS 

The north Londoners may have trouble achieving a top-half finish without adding more quality. Their strengths lie in the abilities of head coach Juan Amoros and manager Karen Hills, plus experienced stars such as Gemma Davison and Becky Spencer. 

SIGNINGS 

Centre-back Kerys Harrop has arrived after a decade in Birmingham’s first team, and she has been joined by a former Blues team-mate in Rachel Williams. The experienced striker scored 43 goals in 94 matches for her former club over two spells, and represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics. 

VERDICT 

A lack of major recruitment beyond that duo could see Spurs struggle for a top-half finish, although they should certainly have enough to survive. 8th 

9. Brighton & Hove Albion

PROSPECTS 

The FA Cup quarter-finalists – games to be played in September – will make league survival their main aim. Former England boss Hope Powell is well aware that her side will need to improve on a ninth-placed finish, having won just three of their 16 encounters before the season’s premature end in April. 

SIGNINGS 

Charlton keeper Katie Startup is a smart acquisition for the Seagulls, while forwards Katie Robinson, Nora Heroum and Inessa Kaagman should add some much-needed attacking spark to Powell’s side. 

VERDICT 

Brighton won’t find it easy against teams with deeper squads than their own, and may regret not recruiting players with more WSL experience.

10. Aston Villa

PROSPECTS 

The newly-promoted side have shown ambition in the transfer market, after cantering to last season’s Championship title under 27-year-old coach Gemma Davies with an almost perfect record: P14 W13 D1 L0. 

SIGNINGS 

Villa have snared Anita Asante, a former European champion with Arsenal, but the headline arrival is Portugal’s 58-cap forward Diana Silva, from Sporting. Dane Stine Larsen will also add some firepower, while Chloe Arthur and Ramona Petzelberger should bolster the Villans’ engine room. 

VERDICT 

With former England international Eni Aluko as sporting director, Villa have added experience and promise – but a testing season awaits. 

11. Bristol City

PROSPECTS 

City’s main aim will be to avoid relegation. A lack of firepower, which led to them netting only nine goals in 14 games last season, is their biggest concern, although they also conceded the most in the league. 

SIGNINGS 

Aimee Palmer has rejoined from Man United, while Faye Bryson has a new two-year deal after impressing on a short-term contract. Ella Mastrantonio, 28, will play outside Australia for the first time in her career. 

VERDICT 

Despite some talented new recruits, Bristol City are likely to face a battle at the bottom again. Manager Tanya Oxtoby will hope that the new faces will be enough to keep their place in the top flight. 

12. Birmingham City

PROSPECTS 

The team that finished a hair’s breadth above relegated Liverpool don’t look capable of much improvement in 2020/21. It isn’t obvious how the Blues will better the clubs already beyond them after a severe lack of squad investment this summer. 

SIGNINGS 

At the time of writing, it has been a summer of exits… but no new arrivals beyond boss Carla Ward. 

VERDICT 

Unless there are some swift last-minute squad improvements, it’s hard to envisage Birmingham fighting for anything more than survival this term. Sadly for them, it’ll likely be a losing battle.  

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