Women's Super League: Manchester derby and Chelsea v Tottenham moved to men's stadiums

Two of the biggest opening matches of the Women's Super League season, including the Manchester derby, will take place at the men's venues.

Steph Houghton

Manchester City captain Steph Houghton with the FA Cup   -  Getty Images

Manchester City will meet Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium and Chelsea will face Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in the opening weekend of the Women's Super League season.

The first top-flight Manchester derby between the women's teams will take place on September 7 and allow under-16s to attend for free with a paying adult.

Chelsea's match with Tottenham, meanwhile, will offer free tickets to fans of all ages.

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City captain Steph Houghton said in a statement, "We are all very excited to play our first home game of the season at the Etihad Stadium and, better yet, in a Manchester derby.

"Big games like this are the ones you want to be in as a player and every one of us Manchester City players is looking forward to getting on that pitch and giving you all a performance to be proud of."

United won the Championship last season, its first since the team was launched.

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City, who usually plays its home matches at the Academy Stadium of the Etihad Campus, won the Women's FA Cup and League Cup and finished second in the top flight to Arsenal.

The decision to relocate the games to the men's stadiums is part of a wider initiative by the Football Association to capitalise on the interest in women's football generated by the World Cup.

England finished fourth at the finals in France, where the United States defended its title of four years ago by beating Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday's final in Lyon.