Manchester City kick off their WSL campaign, hoping to dislodge champions Chelsea and claim their second league title.
The blues agonisingly missed out on the WSL title last season by just two points, and the blue girls will be looking to go one better this season. And following a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in the Champions League qualifying stage, where City conceded a late goal, Gareth Taylor’s girls will want to get their season off to the ideal start at Everton on Saturday.
City suffered in midfield against teams like Chelsea, and manager Taylor has taken steps over the summer to address that situation with some excellent signings, making City’s business in the market a very successful one.
City have been very active in the transfer market over the summer. Jamaican striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw was the first to arrive, joining the blues from Bordeaux, and Barcelona midfielder Vicky Losada followed at the beginning of July.
Australian attacker Hayley Raso joined the blues in mid-August, along with her compatriot Alanna Kennedy, with the defender arriving at the end of the month. Defender Ruby Mace and Swedish midfielder Filippa Angeldal completed City’s summer signings.
American trio Rose Lavelle, Same Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper have all returned to the States, while Megan Campbell left the club to join Liverpool. Gemma Bonner said an emotional farewell to City in April as she crossed the Atlantic to join Racing Louisville.
Much will depend on keeping key players such as Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze fit, but the blues will once again rely on the striker force of Ellen White, Caroline Weir and Janine Beckie, with Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly being the outlets on the wing.
City have made some excellent signings and came so close to taking the title last season. They lost points in a surprise 0-0 draw at home to Brighton, lost and drew with Chelsea, drew 1-1 at Reading and threw away a 2 goal lead away to United to draw 2-2. However, Chelsea’s excellent form saw them also only lose once which meant the dropped points cost the blues dearly.
Chelsea will once again be the blues main rivals for the title, however Arsenal have signed form blue Nikita Parris and USA star Tobin Heath and cannot be discounted from the race. United fell away towards the end of the season and can’t really see them doing much again this season.