The team at Her Football Hub recently took to Twitter to share their predictions for this upcoming WSL season. Here’s each choice and the reasoning behind them.
Drew Diamond (@DrewDiamondLtd)
Winners and Champions League place: I was originally leaning towards Chelsea or Arsenal, but both teams’ poor preseason start made me hesitate. I feel Liverpool have strengthened their weak areas through great new signings. Those returning from injury will also bolster Liverpool’s attacking threat.
Arsenal will give every top club a run for their money. Vivianne Miedema’s goal contributions alone will be enough to secure them Champions League football.
Golden Boot: Vivianne Miedema is on track to become one of the best players on the planet. Her goal tally for her age is unheard of. I think she will only continue to improve this season.Embed from Getty Images
Golden Glove: Mary Earps will relish the challenge of competing with Siobhan Chamberlain for the No.1 spot once she returns. Earps’ time to shine is upon her and I feel she’s going to grab the chance with both hands.
Player of the Year: Danielle van de Donk to me is in the top four players in the whole league. She’s going to have a fantastic season. Period.
Breakthrough Player: I’m convinced Rinsola Babajide is a future Ballon d’Or winner. Even on a bad day, she has the raw talent and potential to be the best player on the pitch. She will turn a lot of heads that haven’t already been turned.
Relegation: Despite having a good 2018/19 season, Birmingham are in a really sticky situation following their summer exodus. They haven’t recruited enough to fill the gaps and I feel the negativity around the club’s financial state is also a huge factor to why they could go down this season.
Georgia Goulding (@gjgoulding)
Winners and Champions League place: I think the battle for glory this time will be similar to last season’s. Man City have recruited well with the likes of Ellen White and Laura Coombs and this could tip the scales in their direction. Arsenal have also done well to bag Jill Roord. It will definitely be a close one.
Golden Boot: Another repeat from 2018/19. Vivianne Miedema was too clinical in front of goal for her opposition to handle. With Arsenal’s strengthened side and Jordan Nobbs fit again, there will be even more creative play on offer for Miedema to put away.
Golden Glove: Karen Bardsley had a great World Cup with England but unfortunately had to forfeit her semi-final place due to injury. I think the World Cup disappointment will definitely be a motivator for Bardsley to have another brilliant season with City.
Player of the Year: After watching Ellen White at the World Cup, it’s impossible to deny her work ethic. Whether she scores a load of goals or not, I think White will be Man City’s star player.
Breakthrough Player: There’s a long list of upcoming talent in the WSL this season. However for me, Rinsola Babajide is my one to watch. She was Liverpool’s second highest goalscorer last season and she’s had a superb pre-season. If Vicky Jepson starts her every game, I can see her getting into double figure scoring.Embed from Getty Images
Relegation: Despite their impressive run last season, I have to go with Birmingham based on their exodus. Almost all of their star players have left the club and they haven’t brought in enough replacements. I think they will struggle to stay up.
Taylor Kujawa (@TayKuj)
Winners and Champions League places: Following a 2018/19 campaign that saw Arsenal run away with it, the upcoming WSL season is sure to have its share of surprises.
However, I expect both Arsenal and Manchester City to maintain their strong run of form with Arsenal winning it all and Man City coming in second.
Golden Boot: Courtney Sweetman-Kirk managed to score 10 goals last season for Liverpool. In an unstable WSL campaign marked by many personnel changes, her goal tally was impressive.
Now imagine a more consistent style of direction from the get-go under manager Vicky Jepson and who knows what heights CSK’s goal tally may reach.Embed from Getty Images
Golden Glove: With Sari van Veenendaal now at Atlético Madrid, it’s Pauline Peyraud-Magnin’s year to shine for Arsenal. She has added competition at the club too, through the likes of Bayern Munich regular Manuela Zinsberger and rising English talent Fran Stenson. With a goalkeeper’s union like that, we should see great things in goal for Arsenal this season.
Player of the Year: After a strong World Cup and a very successful tenure at LSK Kvinner in the Toppserien, Guro Reiten is someone to keep a close eye on this season. The Norwegian international is a midfielder with an eye for goal that should stand out brilliantly alongside the likes of Ji So-yun and Fran Kirby in Chelsea’s attack.
Breakthrough Player: Another promising player new to the WSL this season is Australian international Jacynta Galabadaarachchi. At only 18 years of age, West Ham United’s new starlet has exhibited great footballing abilities and a driven mentality both on and off the field.
The WSL is sure to offer Galabadaarachchi the right kind of opportunity to breakout.
Relegation: After finishing second from the bottom last season, it’s pretty easy to point the finger at Everton and say they’ll be relegated at the end of this season. Then again, extreme player movement can certainly reshape the bottom half of the league table. I’m looking at you Birmingham City.
Tom King (@tomking_smfc)
Winners and Champions League place: I think Arsenal will recreate their title-winning 2018/19 season. They’ve made great additions to their squad and I think their experience will get them comfortably over the line. Man City won’t be far behind. However, I think the deciding factor will be Nikita Parris leaving the club.
Golden Boot: Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is incredible in front of goal and is a natural finisher. With Leighanne Robe and Jemma Purfield supplying crosses into the box, CSK will be putting goals away with ease.
Golden Glove: Mary Earps’ time to step up is now. With Siobhan Chamberlain unavailable, she has the chance to show her worth. From what I’ve seen of her at Birmingham and Reading, she is more than capable of getting that Golden Glove.
Player of the Year: Danielle van de Donk is in the peak of her career and Arsenal’s system really plays to her strengths. She will definitely be up there on the goals and assists tally this season. Her link-up play with Vivianne Miedema will be frightening.Embed from Getty Images
Breakthrough Player: Rianna Dean will help take Tottenham to the next level and lead them to a top half finish. She had a really positive season last year and will be keen to show what she can do in the WSL.
Relegation: I think it’s going to be close between Brighton and Everton, but the Seagulls will be the ones to go down. Brighton have lost a few good players this summer and it might be their tipping point.
Toni Afoke (@Naps_LDN)
Winners and Champions League place: Arsenal possess a very strong squad with the likes Danielle van de Donk, Kim Little, Katie McCabe and of course Vivianne Miedema. They look on course to repeat last season’s success.
Last season’s FA Women’s Cup & FA WSL Continental Cup winners Manchester City will get Champions League football again. Losing Nikita Parris would hurt any WSL team, however bringing in the experienced Ellen White will help City fight against Arsenal for the title this forthcoming season.
Golden Boot: A tough prediction but I have Ellen White just edging this one. She’ll be competing against the likes of Beth England and last season’s Golden Boot winner Vivianne Miedema. However, coming off a very good World Cup, I think she will carry on form and be the top scorer for a very attacking City side.
Golden Glove: Part of Casey Stoney’s reinforcements for Manchester United’s first WSL season is Mary Earps. The 26-year-old was part of Phil Neville’s World Cup squad and looks to be a sure starter for United this upcoming season. With a good defence in front of her through the likes of Amy Turner and Kirsty Smith, I’ve tipped Earps to keep the most clean-sheets.
Player of the Year: Most POTY awards are given to the best player in the best team that season. For me, this will be Arsenal’s Danielle van de Donk. The technically gifted midfielder enjoyed a superb 2018/19 campaign, recording 11 goals and 6 assists in the WSL last season. She also had a very good World Cup with The Netherlands, who reached the final.
Breakthrough Player: Remember the name Lauren James… The 17-year-old forward played 18 times for Manchester United last season in which she recorded 14 goals. She was also voted FA Women’s Championship POTM for September.Embed from Getty Images
She got her first call up for England U19s in January as she rises up through England’s development system. In United’s first season in the WSL, James is one to watch as she gets to showcase her talent on one of the biggest stages in women’s football.
Relegation: Finishing 9th out of the 11 teams in the WSL last season I have tipped Brighton & Hove Albion to be relegated this season. Hope Powell’s team survived relegation last season but didn’t look promising.
As the WSL looks stronger than ever this season, I don’t think Brighton have enough in them to stay out of a relegation battle.
Kara Cutshaw (@KCuts10)
Winners and Champions League place: Arsenal and Man City have proven to be the top dogs in the league. They aren’t strangers to winning and aren’t foreign to the Champions League finals either. They could easily repeat their success last season.
Golden Boot: Vivianne Miedema put up big numbers last season with 22 goals and 10 assists for Arsenal. Should be another strong WSL season for her.
Golden Glove: Having three Women’s World Cup matches under Carly Telfords belt, I predict that this has given her confidence moving into the season. Last season she came up with 68% goals saved.Embed from Getty Images
Player of the Year: Danielle van de Donk is another Gunner who had a fantastic 2018/19 season. She scored 11 goals and played a huge creative part in Arsenal’s victory.
Breakthrough Player: The 2019 PFA Young Player of the year will continue to be a play maker for Man City. Georgia Stanway had one assist for the Lionesses this WWC and will continue to create goal scoring opportunities for City this season.
Relegation: Brighton have finished near the drop-zone for the last couple of seasons. They had big victories over Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa but would prove to have better success if they dropped down.
All predictions made prior to the latest Ellen White and Karen Bardsley injury news.