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7 stars to watch this season

7 stars to watch this season

As the new Barclays FA Women’s Super League kicks off on BT Sport, here are the players to watch out for

From heroic captains to deadly strikers, find out which players you should be keeping an eye on this season

Barclays FA Women’s Super League, from Saturday 7 September, 2.30pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)

With record numbers of us tuning in to watch the 2019 Women’s World Cup (we don’t want to talk about England’s painful semi-final defeat), women’s football has never been more popular. Got an appetite for more? Your timing couldn’t be better, because the new Barclays FA Women’s Super League season is ready for lift-off on BT Sport!

 

England’s top domestic league starts this Saturday when Manchester City take on newly promoted Manchester United in a hotly anticipated derby at the Etihad Stadium, before champions Arsenal start their title defence at home to West Ham the following day. Two games, one epic weekend of drama.

 

The WSL is packed with plenty of the national team’s summer stars, plus loads of other top internationals from around the world. But who are the players you really need to know about in 2019-20? With lots of action to come on BT Sport throughout the course of the season, we’ve picked out seven names to remember…

Steph Houghton (Manchester City)

Manchester City player Steph Houghton


England and Manchester City’s sensational skipper is among the most celebrated and visible stars in the WSL. Heroic defensive performances are the centre-back’s calling card, and Houghton will be desperate to lead City to only their second WSL title this campaign. This is a player who thrives on pressure.

 

Fara Williams (Reading)

No English footballer, male or female, has won more international caps than Williams. Having represented her country 171 times, the 35-year-old midfielder – now at Reading after spells at Chelsea, Charlton, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal – is one of the most respected players in the women’s game. And despite being in the twilight of her career, goals and match-winning performances remain a key part of Williams’ repertoire.

 

Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)

Arsenal player Vivianne Miedema


Last season’s top scorer in the WSL with 22 goals (and ten assists to boot), Dutch international Miedema is, in footballing parlance, lethal. With quick feet, composure in the box and an absolute rocket of a shot, she’s the complete package. The Gunners will be looking for the 23-year-old – who also became her country’s record goalscorer this summer – to propel them to another title this season.

 

Jill Scott (Manchester City)

If you like box-to-box midfielders, look no further than this England international. But Scott, who has won over 140 international caps, has more to her game than endless running over 90 minutes. A handy goalscorer – at 6ft tall, she’s blessed with aerial prowess – and tough in the tackle too, her midfield talents know no bounds.

 

Ellen White (Manchester City)

Manchester City player Ellen White


Admit it, you mimicked White’s “goggles” celebration when you scored a goal in five-a-side over the summer. She was the WSL’s top scorer two seasons ago with 15 and bagged six more last year after returning from a back injury to help the Blues finish fourth – but the England striker became an international star in 2019 by finishing the Women’s World Cup as joint top scorer. Big things are expected of her at new club Manchester City.

 

Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal)

Along with her international teammate Miedema, Dutch midfield maestro Van de Donk was integral to Arsenal’s title win last term. Eleven goals and six assists give a statistical sense of her impact, while her silky skills and nimble footwork made a mockery of many a defender. One of the true entertainers currently in the WSL.

 

Fran Kirby (Chelsea)

Chelsea player Fran Kirby


England playmaker Kirby comes alive in the final third, ghosting past defenders and providing a creative link between midfield and attack. While she struggled to make her mark at the World Cup, expect the 26-year-old to spearhead her club’s attempt to regain the league trophy they won in 2018.

 

This weekend’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League games on BT Sport

 

Manchester City v Manchester United
Saturday 7 September, 2.30pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)

Arsenal v West Ham United
Sunday 8 September, 2.15pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)

 

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