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Manchester derby scheduled for opening weekend of Women’s Super League season

Manchester United will make their Women’s Super League debut against near neighbours Manchester City when the season begins in September.

Casey Stoney’s side won the Championship title by nine points in their inaugural campaign and will make their maiden top-flight appearance at City, who finished runners-up and won the SSE Women’s FA Cup and Continental League Cup last season.

Champions Arsenal are at home to beaten FA Cup finalists West Ham, while Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea start at home to WSL newcomers Tottenham.

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The opening round of matches will be played on the weekend of September 7 and 8.

Other opening-weekend matches see Birmingham host Everton, Bristol City at home to Brighton and Reading go to Liverpool.

“It’s a very exciting time for women’s football with the country currently swept up in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Lionesses performing brilliantly,” said Kelly Simmons, director of the women’s professional game.

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“We’re looking forward to this increased interest carrying over into our domestic game next season and beyond.

“Opening weekend is packed full of great fixtures that are sure to set the tone for what promises to be the biggest and most exciting domestic season yet and we look forward to releasing the full fixture list next week.”

The remaining fixtures will be announced next Wednesday.