A team studded with England internationals need to kick on and secure European qualification after last season’s near miss

To improve on last season’s fourth place and challenge for the WSL title. If missing out on Champions League qualification on goal difference last term hurt, Gareth Taylor and his players could cite mitigating circumstances. The summer of 2022 proved turbulent at the Etihad campus with four leading City lights exiting stage left and another retiring. While England’s Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh defected to Barcelona, their international teammate Georgia Stanway departed for Bayern Munich and Ellen White, the Lionesses’ record goalscorer, hung up her boots. By then Scotland’s Caroline Weir had also already left for Real Madrid. Given that context, a top-four place represented respectability.

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