Women Super League 2019-20 Season Preview: Part Two

In our second of two posts, 24/7 football looks at the potential prospects of football clubs from Liverpool through to West Ham United ahead of the Women’s Super League that kicks-off on the 7/8th September.

No 7: Liverpool

First match of the season: Reading (H)

Last Season: 8th   Predicted Finish: 4th

I think they will certainly improve this season; they were also showing some good signs and developing quite well towards the end of the last campaign and have looked strong in pre-season.

What happened last season?

It proved to be a difficult season for Liverpool, having to contend with several injuries and a change of manager, Vicky Jepson taking over from Neil Redfern. They also had the challenge of several squad players leaving right at the start of the season.  The reds lost twice to their local rivals, Everton over the course of the campaign, which was a major low point.  One of their best results of the season was a 5-2 win over Bristol City.  They will definitely be looking for improvements this time around.

Key Player last season: Sophie Bradley-Auckland

The current club captain was named player’s player of the year for 2018 and the centre back played every single game for the reds last season. She has provided a huge boost for the club by signing a new contract over the summer.

Player to watch: Melissa Lawley

Signed from Manchester City over the summer.  Melissa is a proven Women Super League player and is also an England international.  The winger has impressed during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the USA and will be looking to continue her good form.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Liverpool scored 58% of their goals in the first half last season.

No 8: Manchester City

First match of the season: Manchester United (H)

Last Season: 2nd  Predicted Finish: Champions

I think they will go one better this time round with Arsenal having to focus on the Champions League this season.

What happened last season?

The Citizens only lost one game all season however ended up finishing seven points behind eventual champions Arsenal.  Ultimately the number of drawn games against the likes of Bristol City and Reading proved costly.

Key Player last season: Steph Houghton

The England and Manchester City Captain was voted player of the year last season and also collected the Goal of the Season award by scoring a crucial late equaliser against Bristol City.

Player to watch: Georgia Stanway

Georgia was named the PFA Young Player of the Year last season, and is one of the most exciting rising talents in the women’s game at the moment.  The 20 year old has been with the club since she was 16 and has recently signed a new deal keeping her at the club until 2022 – definitely one to watch this season.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Steph Houghton was the only Women Super League player to play every minute of the 20 league games in 2018/19.

No 9: Manchester United

First match of the season: Manchester City (A)

Last Season: Women’s Championship Champions  Predicted Finish: 9th

This season will certainly prove a step up in class for The Red Devils, think they will have enough to stay in Super League however the loss of last season’s captain, Alex Greenwood to Lyon is a blow.

What happened last season?

In Casey Stoney’s first season as a manager, The Red Devils clinched the Women’s Championship title with two games to spare.  They were beaten just once in the league all season losing to Durham in December.

Key Player last season: Katie Zelem

Katie proved a crucial part of Manchester United’s Championship winning side last season.  She scored 11 goals from 23 appearances last season resulting in her winning the Player of the Year award.

Player to watch:  Jackie Groenen

Jackie became Manchester United’s first overseas signing this summer.  The 24-year-old Dutch Midfielder has already achieved over 50 caps for her country and played a pivotal role for them at the Women’s World Cup. This included scoring the winner against Sweden in the semi-finals.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Last season Manchester United scored 98 goals in the Women’s Championship and conceded just seven times.  This resulted in them finishing with a goal difference of 91.

No 10: Reading

First match of the season: Liverpool (A)

Last Season: 5th    Predicted Finish: 8th

May struggle to match what they achieved last season.

What happened last season?

Last season proved to be a success for The Royals, achieving a fifth place finish in the league as well making a first ever appearance in the FA Cup semi-finals against West Ham United.

Key Player last season: Rachel Furness

The Northern Ireland midfielder played a key role for The Royals over the course of the season. This included scoring a header in the FA Cup Semi-Final against West Ham United.

Player to watch: Rachel Rowe

The Welsh midfielder has recently made her return in pre-season from a serious cruciate ligament injury that kept her out of most of last season.  Rachel will be looking to repay the faith that the club have shown in her by offering a new contract at the end of the last campaign.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Reading achieved a record attendance in the FA Women’s League Cup Quarter–final last season against Manchester United, 4,835.

No 11: Tottenham Hotspur

First match of the season: Chelsea (A)

Last Season: Women’s Championship Runners– Up     Predicted Finish: 12th

 Not sure they have what it takes to remain in the Super League this season.

What happened last season?

Tottenham secured promotion to the Women Super League for the first time by finishing runners-up in the Championship.  Karen Hill’s side managed it with a game to spare following a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Key Player last season: Rianna Dean

Rianna was the Championship’s joint top scorer last season, scoring 14 goals in 19 appearances, including a hat trick against former club Millwall.  She will be looking to continue that impressive scoring form in the Super League.

Player to watch: Ashleigh Neville

Ashleigh started 19 of Spurs’ 20 games in the Championship last season and scored four goals, including two against Charlton back in April.  This result proved crucial in Tottenham securing promotion to the Super League.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Tottenham Hotspur only had one draw in the whole of the Women’s Championship last season and that was in the second to last game against Aston Villa.

No 12: West Ham United

First match of the season: Arsenal (A)

 Last Season: 7th     Predicted Finish: 10th

Another club who I think may struggle to match expectations and performance from last season.

What happened last season?

The high point of the Hammers’ season was reaching the Women’s FA Cup final where they ended up losing to Manchester City.

Key Player last season: Gilly Faherty

Gilly was chosen as The Hammers’ Player of the Season and the club captain played a crucial part in their run to the FA Cup final.

Player to watch: Alisha Lehmann

The Swiss international was signed from Young Boys last season and is coming from an impressive first campaign for the Hammers.  She contributed nine goals and eight assists in her first campaign, resulting in her being nominated for Young Player of the Year for her efforts.

Interesting Statistic for pub quizzes:

Managing Director of West Ham United Women, Jack Sullivan – son of West Ham United owner David Sullivan is currently the youngest football boss in football at the age of just 19.

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