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Five things we have learned from the WSL season so far
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Danny Ryan
LiveScore
Chelsea's Lauren James has been a standout performer in the Women's Super League this season
Chelsea's Lauren James has been a standout performer in the Women's Super League this season

The Women's Super League returns on January 20 when title challengers Arsenal host Everton.

With the Gunners and Manchester City both three points behind champions Chelsea, it is set up to be an enthralling second half of the campaign.

Here are five key takeaways from the first 10 matchdays of the season.

Chelsea still the team to beat

With 12 rounds of matches left to play, Chelsea look on course to retain their WSL crown and make it five consecutive triumphs.

The Blues' sole defeat came at Arsenal and they bounced back from the 4-1 loss at the Emirates with a convincing 3-0 victory at Bristol City.

Chelsea are comfortably the top scorers in the division with 32 goals, seven of them courtesy of young superstar Lauren James.

Sam Kerr's serious knee injury sustained at the warm weather training camp in Morocco is a significant blow for manager Emma Hayes but the West Londoners should have more than enough firepower to cope in her absence.

Competitiveness

With quality levels rising across the entire division, the WSL is now a place where anyone can beat anyone.

Brighton's 1-0 victory at City was perhaps the best evidence yet of the newfound competitiveness.

Elsewhere this season, Tottenham claimed a first-ever league triumph in the North London derby, while Liverpool came from a goal down to secure a maiden win over fierce rivals Manchester United.

The increased levels of unpredictability are only serving to make the WSL an even more appealing product.

Goals, goals, goals

Goals have certainly not come at a premium in the WSL this season.

As previously mentioned, Chelsea lead the way in the scoring charts, while Arsenal, City and United have all registered more than 20 goals in their 10 matches.

Only 25 clean sheets have been kept in the 60 games played so far, with Chelsea, City and United the only teams to boast a total of four.

Perhaps the only surprising aspect of the attack-heavy football on show is the fact no player has reached double figures for goals, with Khadjia Shaw leading the Golden Boot race with nine strikes.

Khadjia Shaw has scored hat-tricks against Tottenham and Everton this season
Khadjia Shaw has scored hat-tricks against Tottenham and Everton this season

Signings of the summer

City midfielder Jill Roord and Spurs striker Martha Thomas have taken the WSL by storm after arriving last summer.

Roord, who previously represented Arsenal, joined Gareth Taylor's side from Wolfsburg for a club-record fee in excess of £300,000 and has been worth every penny.

The Netherlands international, 26, has netted six times and registered two assists in the league, while Thomas has scored seven of Spurs' 15 goals this term — including the winner against Arsenal.

Robert Vilahamn's outfit would almost certainly not be sitting sixth in the table had they not signed the Scottish striker from United.

Inconsistent crowds

Despite the competitiveness and exciting football on show, crowd numbers remain inconsistent.

Arsenal's victory over Chelsea was watched by a record 59,042 fans at the Emirates, while 43,615 supporters turned up to enjoy the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

However, they are two of only 10 games to attract a crowd of more than 10,000 this season, with three matches seeing an attendance of less than 1,000.

Smaller stadiums and inconvenient kick-off times are certainly not helping the cause and it will be interesting to see how the FA plan to tackle the issues moving forward.

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