WSL

Liverpool 2022/23 WSL season preview: How to watch, summer transfers & league prediction

Jamie Spencer
Liverpool are back in the WSL for the first time since 2020
Liverpool are back in the WSL for the first time since 2020 / Briony Painter/90min
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Liverpool have returned to the WSL for the 2022/23 campaign after winning the Women's Championship last season. It marks the end of two years out of the top flight for the Reds following their 2020 relegation on points-per-game during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liverpool have previously been a force in the women's club game in England, so plenty of eyes will be on them now to see how they get on back in the big time.

This is 90min's preview of the season ahead...


How to watch Liverpool Women on TV

Liverpool Women key players 2022/23


Star player

Liverpool had plenty to thank January signing Katie Stengel for last season, with the former Bundesliga champion reuniting with Matt Beard following a previous stint together at Boston Breakers - the American scored eight goals in the second half of the season alone.

But for the star name, look no further than Leanne Kiernan, who is still only 23. The Republic of Ireland international scored 13 times to underpin the promotion charge last term, and was named the club's player of the season.

Capable of playing out wide or through the middle, Kiernan is now getting a second bite at the WSL following an earlier spell at West Ham, where she was again managed by Beard. Goals are going to be vital if Liverpool are to survive in the top flight this season and Kiernan is their best hope.


One to watch

Liverpool's time in the Championship has seen homegrown starlet Missy Bo Kearns grow into an important player. She was just a teenager when the Reds were last in the WSL but was voted the club's player of the season for 2020/21 and is now ready to step up to a new level.

The 20-year-old midfielder became Liverpool's youngest ever captain last season when she took the armband in the Continental Cup and recently committed her future to the club with a new long-term contract ahead of the new campaign. Beard described her as a player capable of going 'to the very, very top.'


Liverpool Women manager

Liverpool were steered back into the WSL by Matt Beard, the coach previously responsible for the club's WSL titles in 2013 and 2014. He achieved promotion in his first season back and already has huge experience of this league, having been in charge of Chelsea in 2011 and 2012 prior to Emma Hayes being appointed.

Since leaving Liverpool after his first spell in 2015, the now 44-year-old has also managed West Ham and Bristol City in the WSL, plus a period in the United States in charge of Boston Breakers. During his time at West Ham, Beard guide the club to the 2019 FA Cup final at Wembley. His time there was also documented in the BBC Three reality series Squad Goals, where his passionate managerial style was made evident.


Liverpool Women summer transfers

In

  • Emma Koivisto (DF) - Brighton
  • Eartha Cummings (GK) - Charlton
  • Gilly Flaherty (DF) - West Ham
  • Shancie van de Sanden (FW) - Wolfsburg

Out

  • Jade Bailey (MF) - released
  • Meikayla Moore (DF) - Glasgow City
  • Rianna Dean (FW) - Crystal Palace
  • Evie Smith (DF) - Blackburn
  • Charlotte Clarke (GK) - West Brom - loan
  • Ashley Hodson (FW) - Birmingham - loan
  • Lucy Parry (DF) - Hibernian - loan

Liverpool haven't gone for major changes since securing promotion, retaining the bulk of the squad that got them promoted - no one has left the Reds for better things - and added top flight and international experience in key positions.

Gilly Flaherty, who reunites with Beard, and Emma Koivisto are proven WSL defenders, while three-time Champions League-winning winger Shanice van de Sanden is back for a second spell at Liverpool following two seasons with German champions Wolfsburg.


Liverpool Women WSL history

Liverpool were a founding member of the WSL, although propped up the then eight-team league in each of its first two seasons. But things changed in 2013 when they surged to the title, before retaining the trophy in 2014 by winning a dramatic three-way fight on the final day of the season. But the Reds fell away after those back-to-back titles and dropped out of the WSL in 2020.

2011: 8th
2012: 8th
2013: 1st
2014: 1st
2015: 7th
2016: 5th
2017 (Spring Series): 4th
2017/18: 6th
2018/19: 8th
2019/20: 12th (relegated)


Liverpool Women WSL prediction

Survival is the immediate name of the game for Liverpool this season and that means finishing 11th or higher. In each of the last two WSL campaigns, the newly promoted team has avoided an immediate return to the Championship but still finished within three points of the bottom.

It will be competitive, especially with clubs they are likely to be directly competing with - the likes of Aston Villa, West Ham, Reading - are now established at this level. But with key moves made in the transfer market and the experience of Beard, Liverpool should remain a WSL club come May, before looking to kick on next term.

Liverpool 2022/23 WSL prediction - 11th


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