I will do it the same way as last year ie I am not giving a position but a range of positions as there is always an error for margin.
If you remember the wave particle duality in quantum mechanics, I think in the same way you cannot pinpoint a final position where a team will finish. So if I start by alphabetical order with the Arsenal Ladies
Prediction : 2nd to 4th
The side is currently in full rebuilding mode. When you consider that 14 players left in the last 2 transfer windows and 9 have arrived, the squad is a currently a little bit short in number but not in quality.
There was definitely a need to replace gradually the ageing players and the job has now been done. Not sure there was a need to replace the 20 to 30 years old players though. Shelley Kerr wanted a clear-out, she now has a squad with players she wants to work with. No excuse any more for failure.
Chamberlain in goal is a clear asset and she will certainly play a big part during the season. Murray has integrated well in midfield and should have no problems playing alongside technical players like Smith, Nobbs or Weir. Replacing Little is a tough ask but Weir is clearly equipped to do that job while Ohno will certainly the number one choice for the position. A World Champion to replace Kim is a safe option. At the back, the CB pairing of Stoney Hoogendjik will need to gel quickly as the champions league tie come quickly now. You do wonder what to make of Kinga as she plays in the same position as Alex Scott. It seems she has been earmarked to play at left back with Mitchell on the wing instead of Yankey.
The starting 11 is good enough to compete for the title but there are questions marks about the depth on the bench, although some of the youngsters are very promising. Leah Williamson England U17 captain at the Euros will surely have a breakthrough season and might be involved very quickly despite her young age. Carla Humphrey could also get games if no more forwards are signed as the attacking options are limited at the moment. A lot will depend on Smith’s fitness as if she stays healthy Arsenal will be strong with her exceptional ability to create and score.
The training conditions are good with daily training and the manager has made a clearout so that she should be able to implement her ideas without any opposition. Let’s see if things will work.
So 2nd to 4th, if things go well and might even challenge for the title. If not and players don’t gel or perform, the bottom half of the table could be a reality as competition has improved during the break with better training conditions and big signings. The Champions League poor showing just confirmed that with so many new players, it takes time to gel to create a succesful attacking team.
There is also a need to start well because last year was a disaster with a point in 2 games and 2 games behind in the program. The team spent the whole season chasing the leaders due to the bizzare schedule and failed to deliver in two home games towards the end of the season. With a very short 14 games season, a a bad start puts you out of the title contention probably after more than 1 defeat.
In 6 : Siobhan Chamberlain ( Bristol Academy), Casey Stoney ( Lincoln Ladies), Anouk Hoogendijk (Ajax Amsterdam), Christie Murray ( Glasgow City ), Yukari Kinga (INAC Kobe), Shinobu Ohno (Sayama FC),
Out 11 : Lauren Bruton (Reading WFC), Kim Little (Seattle Reign), Stephanie Houghton ( Manchester City Ladies), Gemma Davison (Liverpool Ladies), Ellen White ( Notts County Ladies), Katie Chapman ( Chelsea Ladies), Gilly Flaherty ( Chelsea Ladies), Sophie Harris ( London Bees), Cherie Rowlands ( London Bees – end of loan), Ciara Grant (Reading WFC), Yvonne Tracy (Peamount Utd)