Merseyside derby set to open WSL season

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The 2017 WSL 2 Spring Series title was Everton’s first silverware since they won the 2010 Women’s FA Cup

Everton’s return to Women’s Super League One will start with the first Merseyside derby in the competition for three years when they host Liverpool.

The new winter season, starting on 23-24 September, sees Everton in WSL 1 after their successful bid to replace the now defunct Notts County Ladies.

Manchester City, the 2016 champions, travel to Yeovil Town on the opening weekend, while Reading host Sunderland.

Chelsea, who won 2017’s one-off WSL 1 Spring Series title, host Bristol City.

Meanwhile, 2011 and 2012 title winners Arsenal will host May’s beaten Women’s FA Cup finalists Birmingham City.

Both Yeovil and Bristol City were promoted from WSL 2 at the end of 2016 – the final summer campaign before the top two tiers of the women’s game in England switched to a winter calendar – and featured in the WSL 1 Spring Series between April and June.

Everton, who were relegated from the top tier in 2014, were crowned WSL 2 Spring Series champions in May.

The Spring Series was established as a transitional competition to bridge the 10-month gap created by the shift between summer and winter seasons.

In WSL 2, promoted Tottenham Hotspur begin life in the second division with a trip to Durham, while Brighton, who first featured at that level in the Spring Series, travel to Aston Villa.

Doncaster Rovers Belles, relegated after one season back in the top flight in 2016, travel to London Bees for their opening game.

Opening fixtures


  • Arsenal v Birmingham City
  • Chelsea v Bristol City
  • Everton v Liverpool
  • Reading v Sunderland
  • Yeovil v Manchester City


  • Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Durham v Tottenham
  • London Bees v Doncaster Rovers Belles
  • Millwall Lionesses v Watford
  • Oxford United v Sheffield FC

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