Chelsea Women head into the 2023/24 Women’s Super League (WSL) season aiming to win the title for the fifth successive season.
The Blues lost just twice last term on their way to claiming top spot and are the favourites to emerge victorious this time around.
Two victories over Manchester United ultimately proved to be the difference, and the Red Devils will likely be the nearest challengers again.
Chelsea have lost a couple of key players this summer, with Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder exiting the club.
However, the arrivals of Catarina Macario and Ashley Lawrence should compensate and Chelsea are expected to be firmly in the mix.
Manager Emma Hayes has been bullish about her team’s chances of making it five in a row in the WSL but says success in Europe is also important.
The Blues reached the semi-finals last season before coming up short against eventual winners Barcelona. Hayes is eager to go all the way this season.
“That belief to win the Champions League is there every year,” Hayes told talkSPORT. “The objective doesn’t change. The focus doesn’t change.
“I think with the improvements we’ve made off the pitch and with the personnel we’ve brought in, I suspect training will become more competitive and for me, everything is done in training.
“So, the better that can become, the better prepared the team will be to compete for things such as the Champions League.”
With Hayes eyeing Champions League glory, Man United will be hoping they can take advantage of any slip-ups on the domestic front.
United finally broke into the top three last term, but those damaging defeats against Chelsea scuppered their title hopes.
While they have undergone a significant squad overhaul this summer, they still look capable of mounting a serious challenge to Chelsea’s supremacy.
Alessio Russo’s exit to title rivals Arsenal was a blow, but they have filled the gap by shelling out a hefty fee to sign Geyse from Barcelona.
The Brazilian forward is a top-class performer and should have a field day against WSL defences during the upcoming campaign.
The Gunners will be eager to put last season’s disappointments behind them, with a succession of injuries to key players leaving them lagging behind the top two.
In addition to Russo, manager Jonas Eidevall has bolstered his squad with another four top-class players and Arsenal should mount a strong title bid this term.
Manchester City could push for a top-three spot if everything falls into place, but it’s difficult to imagine them winning the title.
Aston Villa may finish closer to the top four after retaining the services of WSL top scorer Rachel Daly, and they could cause a few upsets this term.
Everton finished sixth last season but could come under pressure from several teams this term, including Liverpool and West Ham United.
Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion will also have their sights set on navigating into the calmer waters of mid-table.
Newly promoted Bristol City will be eager to make their mark back in the Women’s Super League but will find it tough to compete again at this level.
WSL 2023/24 Matchday 1 Fixtures
- Aston Villa vs Manchester United
- Everton vs Brighton and Hove Albion
- Arsenal vs Liverpool
- Bristol City vs Leicester City
- West Ham United vs Manchester City
- Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
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