The FAWSL is back this weekend, and Arsenal get their 17/18 campaign underway on Sunday.

Moving to a winter season, Arsenal have been active in the transfer window as they attempt to address the squad balance issues that affected them so badly last season. With a tough start that includes games against Birmingham (home) and Manchester City (away) Pedro Losa’s charges will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season that saw them out of the title race after just three games.

It was a busy summer for the team. Four players arrived (Vivianne Mediema, Lisa Evans, Jessica Samuelsson, Josephine Henning) while four players had their contracts extended (Sari Van Veenendaal, Alex Scott, Louise Quinn, Danielle Carter).  Taylor Hinds was also promoted from the Development team and she will compete with Emma Mitchell and Dominiue Janssen for the leftback slot.

There were also a number of departures, with Carla Humphrey, Charlotte Devlin and Fara Williams all leaving the club permanently, while Chloe Kelly and Katie McCabe left on loan.

Speaking to Arsenal.com ahead of this weekend, Losa said, “We also have competitive players like Vivianne.

“She is one of the top young players in Europe, and we’re expecting her to perform very well.

“We needed to sign players to make the team more competitive, more solid. From an offensive point of view, we thought that we could add some top quality with Vivianne.”

Going into the season, Manchester City are favourites to retain their title, while Chelsea will be there or there abouts after finishing second last time out. Arsenal finished third but are expected to mount a strong title challenge.

Whether they do or not remains to be seen but at the very least they will be expected to compete for a return to the Champions League.

Arsenal v Birmingham kicks off on Sunday, 24 September 2017, at 2pm and three former Arsenal players – Hayley Ladd, Meaghan Sargeant and Freda Ayisi – are expected to be involved for the Blues.

The last time the two sides played each other, Arsenal ran out 4-2 winners with Heather O’Reilly, Danielle van de Donk and Louise Quinn (2) all getting their names on the scoresheet.

@ArsenalWFC will be tweeting all the action live as the game is not being televised We will have reports and reaction to the result here on DailyCannon.com after the final whistle.

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