The 2023-24 Women’s Super League fixtures have been released and there is plenty for fans to get excited about, from a London derby at Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend through to a meeting of two title rivals on the final afternoon of the season.

There will be four of the clubs’ men’s or ‘main’ stadiums in use for the opening set of games – Ashton Gate, Stamford Bridge, The Emirates and Villa Park – as the sport seeks to build further momentum off the back of a World Cup summer.

The WSL’s title race has gone down to the wire and been decided on the final day of the campaign for three years running. This season, if that happens again, viewers could be in for a very dramatic afternoon, because last season’s top two – Manchester United and Chelsea – will play each other on the final day in May.

All Sunday, October 1

Aston Villa v Manchester United (Villa Park), 12.30pm, Live on BBC Two
Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion, 1pm
Arsenal v Liverpool (Emirates), 2pm
Bristol City v Leicester City (Ashton Gate), 2pm
West Ham United v Manchester City, 3pm
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (Stamford Bridge), 5.30pm, Live on Sky Sports

The season’s final-day fixtures

All Sunday, May 18

Arsenal v Brighton, 2pm
Aston Villa v Manchester City, 2pm
Bristol City v Everton, 2pm
Leicester v Liverpool, 2pm
Manchester United v Chelsea, 2pm
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, 2pm

Key fixtures for the ‘big four’

Champions Chelsea suffered only two league defeats last term. One of those came at Manchester City and that is their first away fixture this term: Manchester City (a), October 8.

Manchester United, runners-up last term, have a tricky-looking start, going first to Villa Park to face ‘the best of the rest’ in Aston Villa, before a home game against rivals Arsenal, but fans will be looking forward to their first derby: Manchester City (h), November 19.

December looks like a crucial blockbuster month for Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal, with a trip to neighbours Tottenham on December 17, a week after the one they always want to win to try to claim back the title they last won in 2019: Chelsea (h), December 10.

Manchester City missed out on Europe last season and will need big results in the head-to-head meetings with their closest rivals this term to stop that happening again. This trip should provide a thorough test of their credentials: Arsenal (a), November 5.

What about newly-promoted Bristol City?

Last season’s promoted side, Bristol City, will start their campaign with two matches against sides who were under threat of relegation last term, before then going into back-to-back challenges against potential title contenders. Here are the West Country club’s opening six matches:

Leicester City (h), Oct 1
Tottenham Hotspur (a), Oct 8
Manchester City (a), Oct 15
Arsenal (h), Oct 22
West Ham United (a), Nov 5
Aston Villa (h), Nov 12

When is the winter break?

The final set of WSL fixtures in 2023 will be held on Sunday, December 17, including a north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal, and a clash between Manchester United and Liverpool.

After its traditional winter break, the WSL will then resume on Sunday, January 21, with Chelsea versus Manchester United topping the billing.

What are the full WSL fixtures for next season?

When does the Championship start?

The second tier of the pyramid, the Women’s Championship, gets underway on Sat, August 26, just six days after the World Cup final, with Blackburn Rovers hosting Birmingham City at Ewood Park.

The rest of the second tier’s opening-weekend fixtures will be played on Sunday, August 27 and are listed as follows:

Watford v Durham
Sunderland v London City Lionesses
Crystal Palace v Reading
Charlton Athletic v Sheffield United
Lewes v Southampton

The Championship season ends earlier than the WSL, with the second tier finishing on April 28. This season, in a change from previous campaigns, two teams will be relegated from the bottom of the Championship, an increase from one.