Chelsea will be looking to retain the Women’s Super League title for a third season in a row and Emma Hayes’ side will be the favourites once again to be crowned the champions.
Hayes showcased her broad knowledge of the game as a pundit for ITV during the Euros, giving fans who might not be so invested into the women’s game an understanding into why she is so highly regarded. After that eventful summer she is now back to business at Kingsmeadow, and she will be working tirelessly to ensure her side get off to the best start this season to lay the foundations of another title charge.
It will be interesting how she incorporates newcomer Lauren James, the life-long Blues supporter signed from Manchester United, to bolster the attack. With 22 goals in 40 appearances at United, the sister of Reece James will be hoping that she can deliver the goods to hand them their third league title on the spin.
The club maintains its strong spine with German goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger, who conceded just ten league goals last season and has agreed a new three-year contract, and captain Magdalena Eriksson in the heart of defence.
Hayes will also have a headache, albeit a good one with James, Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr fighting to lead the line. The latter pair drew comparisons to Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke from Hayes last season, with Kirby bagging 16 goals and 11 assists, while Kerr took home the Golden Boot with 21 goals and seven assists. The arrival of James will only strengthen Chelsea and working alongside the likes of Kirby and Kerr will only help her development, and thus benefit the side in their quest for domestic and European glory.
Another strength that Hayes’ Chelsea has is their versatility. They can easily transition from a back four to a back three which allows them to plan for any opponent, giving them a huge advantage heading into the 2021/22 season.
Their squad depth is far better than any of their title challengers in Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United which is setting them up for another dominant domestic season, but while Hayes will want to add a sixth league title to her CV, she will be prioritising the one that got away last year - the Champions League, having agonisingly fell short in the final against Barcelona.
In the league though, Chelsea’s dominance doesn’t look like it’ll be coming to an end any time soon and they are quite rightly the favourites to claim the WSL crown once again in the 2021/22 season.