BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 24, 2022: Liverpool's captain Niamh Fahey lifts the Championship trophy after the FA Women’s Championship Round 21 match between Liverpool FC Women and Sheffield United FC Women at Prenton Park. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

“Liverpool will not struggle” – Chelsea boss backs Reds to thrive upon return to WSL

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes says she does not expect Liverpool to struggle upon their return to the Women’s Super League, ahead of their season opener at Prenton Park on Sunday.

Matt Beard’s side are back in the top division after a two-year absence, having won the Championship by an 11-point margin last season.

They were due to begin their league campaign with an away trip to Reading last weekend, only for the game to be postponed, meaning they will now host champions Chelsea in their WSL opener.

This season will bring about a completely different challenge, but there is optimism aplenty, and for good reason.

The Reds have strengthened their squad with six summer signings, and Hayes, who has won the league on five separate occasions with Chelsea, believes Liverpool will be competitive in the top division.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, February 11, 2022: Chelsea's manager Emma Hayes during the FA Women’s Super League match between Chelsea FC Women and Arsenal FC Women at Kingsmeadow. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think they’ll be more than fine,” Hayes told reporters in her pre-match press conference.

“They’ve got an experienced manager who knows the league and you can see from the players that he has brought in that he knows what it takes at this level.

“Liverpool will not struggle, I think they will be very competitive this year.”

In the WSL, the champions automatically qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, while second and third secure a qualification spot, and there is only one relegation position at the bottom.

The meeting with Chelsea is swiftly followed up by a trip to Anfield to host Everton in a Merseyside derby next weekend, in what will be a brilliant showcase of women’s football on Merseyside.

WALLASEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 28, 2021: Liverpool's manager Matt Beard during a training session at The Campus as the team prepare for the start of the new 2021/22 season. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the Lionesses success at the Women’s Euros this summer, there is a groundswell of support for women’s football, and Liverpool will be hoping to benefit from this as they return to the top division.

Beard’s message is simple.

“Come [watch], because the product is fantastic on the pitch, the players will run through a brick wall for the badge,” he told This Is Anfield last month.

With the Reds back in the WSL and the women’s Merseyside derby on the horizon, there is no better time to get on board and follow this talented and spirited group of players.

* Tickets for next weekend’s women’s Merseyside derby at Anfield are available from the official club site here.