Chelsea to begin WSL title defence at Man United

Newly promoted Aston Villa faces a trial by fire in its opening game when it hosts Manchester City, which narrowly missed out on last season's title.

Chelsea FC Women

Chelsea will begin its title defence with a trip to Manchester United on September 5.   -  Twitter / @ChelseaFCW

Women's Super League (WSL) champion Chelsea will begin its title defence with a trip to Manchester United on September 5, as the league released its fixture list for the first two weeks of the new season on Friday.

Newly promoted Aston Villa faces a trial by fire in its opening game when it hosts Manchester City, which narrowly missed out on last season's title.

Arsenal, which finished third last season and is still in the Women's Champions League, will kick off its campaign at home to Reading while Tottenham Hotspur will host West Ham United.

The full fixture list will be released in early September and the season will start behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second-tier Championship begins on the same weekend as the Super League, with Liverpool, which was relegated from last season's WSL, set to face Durham in its opener before a trip to London Bees the following weekend.

READ | Aberdeen match postponed after COVID-19 outbreak

“It's a tough start to the season, which is exactly what we thought it would be,” Liverpool women's manager Vicky Jepson said.

“But we just can't wait to get started on our task for this season. It's nice to have the first game at Prenton Park.”

Since there are 11 clubs in the Women's Championship, Lewes will not be playing on the opening weekend.

The 2019-20 season was abandoned due to the pandemic, with Emma Hayes' Chelsea awarded the Super League title and Aston Villa declared the winner of the Championship on a points-per-game basis.

  Dugout videos