It’s that time of year, and fans have patiently awaited the release of the Barclays Women’s Super League fixtures. The action will get underway on Sunday, 1 October – with four of the six matches taking place at main stadia. The 2023/24 season will conclude on the weekend of 18th May 2024, with the fixtures currently pencilled in for the Saturday.
The Opening Day – October 1, 2023
Aston Villa v Manchester United – 12:30
The opening fixture of the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League campaign will be televised live on BBC Two for UK viewers, as Aston Villa host Manchester United. This mouthwatering fixture will be staged at Villa Park, as Carla Ward’s vastly improved Villa side look to break into the top three this season and qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
But a fierce United side will stand in their way, motivated themselves by their title race last term. Despite his best efforts, Marc Skinner and his team were pipped to the WSL trophy by serial winners Chelsea – and they’ll look to make this their year.
Everton v Brighton – 13:00
Disappointingly, this fixture will be held at Walton Hall Park as opposed to Goodison Park. Everton will look to improve on their sixth-place finish last year – but Brighton will surely prove a difficult test. Despite narrowly avoiding the drop in 2022/23, Mel Phillips’ side have secured the signatures of some incredible talent, including Vicky Losada and Pauline Bremer. Everton have pulled off something of a coup themselves, with Martina Piemonte signing for the Toffees.
Arsenal v Liverpool – 14:00
Alessia Russo’s Arsenal debut won’t be broadcast on national TV unfortunately, but fans will be able to watch live on the FA Player. But many will want to see Russo in the flesh – the Gunners have a track record of attracting huge crowds when they play in N5, and this will surely be no different.
While Jonas Eidevall’s side will still be without Leah Williamson, there is an air of optimism surrounding the club as Beth Mead and Viv Miedema may be available to return to the matchday squad for the first time in almost twelve months.
Bristol City v Leicester City – 14:00
Having won the Women’s Championship last season, Lauren Smith’s Bristol City will face Leicester City on the opening matchday. With the hosts having pledged to play the majority of their fixtures at Ashton Gate Stadium, it’ll be interesting to see just how big of a crowd floods through the turnstiles in BS3.
Leicester City will feel confident of a win here though. Despite a close-fought relegation battle, Willie Kirk’s side were able to turn things around, thanks in part to the heroic performances of Janina Leitzig. The German ‘keeper has now made her loan move permament, signing on a two-year deal – and the acquisitions of Lena Petermann and Janice Cayman will only reinforce the side further.
West Ham v Manchester City – 15:00
West Ham will welcome Manchester City to the Chigwell Construction Stadium as both sides begin their campaign. With the 60,000-seater London Stadium seemingly available, it’s a bizarre move to stage this match in Chigwell – but it’ll be an interesting game nonetheless. City fans will relish their first opportunity to watch Jill Roord play for Gareth Taylor’s side.
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – 17:30
.The final match of the day will be held at Stamford Bridge, as Emma Hayes’ Chelsea face Tottenham Hotspur. It’ll be a tough first test for Robert Vilahamn, who has recently replaced Vicky Jepson as Spurs’ Head Coach – and it’ll be broadcast live on Sky Sports for all to see.
Emma Hayes’ side have certainly been splashing the cash in the transfer window, and they will hope to attract a bumper crowd for this London Derby. Some fans may choose to head to the Bridge after Arsenal’s match earlier in the afternoon – there’s plenty of time to do so!