Birmingham City Women Season Preview: Is a tough season inbound for a changed Blues side?
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Birmingham finished fourth in the WSL last year, and just seven points outside of the Champions League places, but have suffered a difficult summer in which they have lost a large number of their strongest players.

They contest their first match of the season on Sunday against Everton, a side who they have won each of their last four games against. Birmingham played the same fixture as the opener of the 18/19 season, where they won 1-0 after a 44th-second opening goal.

Last season

The blues had a very good year in 18/19, finishing one higher than in their previous season and in fourth place. They fell 2-1 to Reading in the fourth round of the Women's FA Cup - who made it to the semi-finals of the competition. As well as this, they lost out to Continental Cup finalists Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the competition

Charlie Wellings was the side's top scorer, but she left the squad in the summer to move to fellow top-flight side Bristol City.

Transfer business

The blues have had a number of their players leave the squad over the summer transfer window so far. 2 players who were nominated for the final PFA Player of the Month award - Ellen White and Aoife Mannion have both departed and moved to Nick Cushing's Manchester City. Lucy Quinn, Hayley Ladd, Emma Folis, Paige Williams, Shania Hayles and Marisa Ewers have also left.

The losses of White and Mannion could impact their season heavily, with both playing a large role in last year's campaign. Mannion appeared in every single match of the 2018/19 WSL, netting twice whilst helping the blues to concede only 17 goals in the season.

Player to watch

#11 - Abbi Grant

Joining Birmingham this summer, Grant could provide the squad's firepower this season

The Scotland international joins the club from a spell in Belgium where she scored 8 in her 12 games at Anderlecht. Before that, she won four titles over two spells with Glasgow City, scoring 47 in the Scottish Premier League.

Speaking to, coach Tejedor said this:

"Abbi is a young and talented player who'll give speed and versatility to our attack in different positions of the field

"Her outstanding athletic qualities, together with the fact that she can play off both feet and sides, makes her a very interesting and valuable acquisition for next season."

One for the future

#1- Hannah Hampton

The 18-year-old has already made a number of WSL appearances and could prove to be one of England's top keepers in the coming years.

Hampton was selected for Rehanne Skinner's Under 19 Euros side for England, and played for England U21s in the Nordic tournament. She became Birmingham's first-choice goalkeeper near to the end of the season, recently signing a 2-year contract extension with the blues.

If she can use this season to prove herself in the Women's Super League, then it will give her a chance to try and get into the England side for the next European Championships.

Predicted finish

After Birmingham's extensive changes to their squad from that of last season, it is difficult to predict what will happen with a very different team.

Without White, Mannion or Wellings, the side might find the league more difficult than last year - and they also have to deal with a strengthened division.

It would be reasonable to expect that Birmingham will finish in a mid-table position, but safe from the drop.