Women’s Super League champions Chelsea start new season against Arsenal
Champions Chelsea will start the 2021-22 women’s Super League season with a trip to London rivals Arsenal.
Emma Hayes’ side retained the title and won the League Cup last season, while the Gunners named Sweden’s Jonas Eidevall as their new manager last month after Joe Montemurro left.
Clubs will start the new campaign on September 3, 4 or 5, with kick-off times and TV shows not yet finalized.
Manchester United, who are currently without a manager following the resignation of Casey Stoney, welcome Reading, while newly promoted Leicester start their first Super League season at Aston Villa, now coached by Carla Ward.
Elsewhere, Manchester City, finalists in the last term, travel to Everton, Tottenham play at home against Birmingham and West Ham travel to Brighton.
Sky Sports and the BBC will be host broadcasters for the next campaign, while fans are expected to return after the coronavirus restrictions eased.
Kelly Simmons, director of women’s professional football, said in a statement: “This season will see record levels of exposure and audiences thanks to our exciting new partnership with Sky Sports and the BBC, and I look forward to seeing our elite athletes. show their talent to the nation.
“The feedback from the fans is extremely exciting and I’m so happy that we can welcome you back. You are the heart of our sport and we missed you last season.
“Your feedback will show how special our leagues are and I can’t wait to see you back where you belong, to cheer on your favorite team.”
Four-time winner Chelsea will end the season at home against Manchester United on May 7 or 8.
The Blues’ second leg against Arsenal is set for the weekend of February 11-13, while they face City on November 12-14 and February 4-6, with the first of those away games.
The Manchester derbies are October 8-10 and February 11-13, with United at home first.
Leicester, who have amassed 50 points in 20 league appearances on their way to the league title, ends the campaign at Tottenham with their first top home game against Manchester United.
The Championship kicks off on August 28-29, with League Cup finalists Bristol City relegated last season traveling to Crystal Palace and last season finalists Durham hosting Watford.
In the other opening matches, the Blackburn Rovers face Sheffield United, Coventry host Sunderland, Charlton travel to Lewes and Liverpool meet the London City Lioness.