Kelly Smith knows Arsenal Ladies will face one of their toughest tests of the season when Birmingham visit Meadow Park on Sunday.
David Parker’s Blues led the way for large parts of last season’s Women’s Super League before eventually being overhauled by Arsenal late in the campaign.
The Blues have already been buoyed by FA Cup success this season and Smith insists Laura Harvey’s side will leave nothing to chance as they look to retain their league crown.
“They are a completely different team now to the one when I left for America [in 2009],” the striker told Arsenal.com.
“They have a few England internationals in Jade Moore, Rachel Williams, Eniola Aluko and Emily Westwood - they are stacked with international players. They have a whole different outlook from when I last played and they are now coming off the back of an FA Cup win so they will have a lot of confidence.
“I know it came down close to the last couple of games last season for the title and so they are probably our main rivals at the minute.
“I think the teams are a lot better and it has made it a lot more elite because the games are a lot closer. I have obviously not played in England for over three years now and it is different watching it to actually being a part of it. I just want to make a difference on Sunday if I get on.”
You can follow Kelly on Twitter at @kjs8eng.Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source