Can Anyone Stop Chelsea in the FA WSL?
The top-flight of women’s football in England is quickly reaching its halfway stage, and already Chelsea have thrown down a massive gauntlet for the rest of the league.
The Blues have started like a house on fire and have only dropped two points through their opening seven games this season. They hold a one-point advantage at this stage of the season, but with their record of having not lost a game to this point; it looks like it will take a big challenge from another side to stop then claiming a third title.
Defensively they have been solid since the very first day, as they have only conceded three goals this campaign. However, that is still only the second-best defensive record in the league as Manchester City have eclipsed that title having only conceded once.
It is in the attacking third where the Blues are very dangerous. Nobody has scored more than their 18 goals this campaign, and their prowess in the final third was on full display when they handed out a 6-0 defeat to Birmingham City recently.
Emma Hayes has an embarrassment of riches in the attacking areas and could play any pairing with immediate rewards. Beth England is their top scorer so far this season having scored nine goals in her eleven appearances.
Meanwhile, Fran Kirby offers a creative flair in the number ten position, and there is still a certain Sam Kerr yet to make her WSL debut for the Blues.
The Australian was recently brought in after her contract expired with the Chicago Red Stars. She made 40 appearances during her time in the USA and scored 34 goals.
Before that, she played for Sky Blue FC in her native Australia and scored 28 goals in 40 appearances. However, she was adamant that she wanted to play in Europe, and she claimed that the WSL is the most competitive league in the world.
Her pedigree as a world-class striker can be seen from her international record where she has scored 38 goals in her 83 caps. Should she find her top level of performance for the Blues, then it is incredibly unlikely that anyone could stop the Blues.
Her speed and tenacity is unlike any other woman in the world, and she has already been awarded the ESPY Award for the Best International Soccer Player despite being just 26-years-old.
She adds a whole new dynamic to this Blues side and one that would have the remainder of the league running scared. Regardless, it looks likely that the title fight will go down to the bitter end, but which side could run Chelsea the closest?
In terms of challengers, it is hard to look past the 2019 double winners in Manchester City. They ran Arsenal close last season but were unable to claim the title because of their five draws. If they can replicate their cup form into the league this season, then they will be the leading challengers to Chelsea.
They have started the new season excellently and have only lost on one occasion. That defeat came against the current champions Arsenal. That 1-0 defeat was a significant result, as it remains the only goal that the Citizens have conceded this season, which is a staggering defensive record. Over recent weeks they have shown glimpses of their best with consecutive 5-0 wins over West Ham United and Bristol City.
However, maintaining this kind of form will be their biggest issue. Bookmakers certainly doesn’t believe that they can challenge the Blues, as they are isolated as favourites, just as the New England Patriots in the updated SuperBowl odds.
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.