At the start of the season, Arsenal looked to be the team to beat as they enjoyed a run of eight consecutive league wins. Unfortunately, their luck proved too good to be true when their squad was struck two long-term injuries to key players. Beth Mead, star of the England Lionesses at the 2022 Euro’s, suffered an ACL injury, in November, which would surely see her out for the rest of the season. A few weeks later, forward Vivianne Miedema also ruptured her ACL, leaving Arsenal’s attacking line in complete disarray. Both Mead and Miedema are undoubtedly Arsenal’s biggest goal threats and with them both wiped out, the team was surely going to struggle…and they have.
Manager Jonas Eidevall failed to recruit a much-needed striker in the January transfer window and the Gunners are lacking a calm and clinical presence to ‘stick in the net’, which has ultimately been their downfall. Despite only dropping points on 3 occasions, these are points that Arsenal simply can’t afford to give away, considering they lost the title last year by only 1 point. With only 10 more matches to play, they currently sit 4th in the table and they are going to have to dig deep to beat the other teams to victory.
Title holders Chelsea appeared to have a shaky start to their season after losing their first match to newly promoted Liverpool. Yet despite this, they are since unbeaten in the league and their hope of achieving their 7th WSL title (4th consecutive) is still very much in sight. Thanks to the likes of Sam Kerr, Guro Reiten and Lauren James, Chelsea have enjoyed many goal-filled victories. Also, huge props to their manager, Emma Hayes, who has established a strong winning mentality amongst her team which is evident every time they step out onto the pitch.
Although they currently sit second in the table, Chelsea still look like the favourites to win the WSL this season, assuming their attacking line remains fit. Not to mention, their confidence levels are off the chart and that winning mentality will surely stand them in great stead going into the final half of the season.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention the dark horse, Manchester United, who shockingly have only been re-established as a team since 2018. Mark Skinner’s side have slowly been creeping up the table for the past few seasons, but this year they have proved a force to be reckoned establishing themselves as title contenders. They currently sit top of table and show no signs of letting up with stellar performances from key players such as Alessia Russo, Ella Toone and Ona Batlle.
Given that both Chelsea and Arsenal have games in hand, it appears unlikely that Manchester United will win the title, however they shouldn’t be ruled out of contention. At the moment the title remains unclear- who will cinch victory in the end? Only one thing is for certain, in the WSL, title races are sure to be wildly dramatic and nail-bitingly close.