Jordan Nobbs speaks to talkSPORT: ‘I’ve never been prouder and more privileged to pull on an Arsenal shirt’

11 Sep

After nine months of heartbreak, sweat and tears, Jordan Nobbs has something of a point to prove.

“I want to be the best midfielder in the league this year,” Nobbs says with the swagger you expect from someone who has been capped 56 times by England.

And with her talent and ability, you certainly wouldn’t back against her doing just that.

Nobbs is delighted to be back in action for Arsenal

Nobbs, 26, is determined to make up for lost time after she was robbed of a place in England’s Women’s World Cup squad this summer and Arsenal’s title run-in having ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament against Everton last November.

That unfortunate incident came when Nobbs was in the form of her life, having scored nine goals in her first eight league games last season, and such a horrendous injury proved difficult to come to terms with for the midfielder in such a crucial year.

Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, she said: “I knew straight away [that it was serious]. I heard it pop. I think probably because Kim Little and Danielle Carter had done theirs, I heard what they felt and I definitely knew that my feeling was very similar.

“I just kept swearing and saying, ‘I’ve done it, I’ve done it’, because I knew I had done it. No footballer wants to do their ACL.

“I’ve had nine months of some terrible days – days where I’ve come into the training ground and I’ve wanted to leave straight away.

“There’s been days where I’ve been in the gym and I’ve got upset because I’ve seen all the girls go out training and I’m doing the bare minimum in there but I’m in there for very long periods of the day. I think it does make you stronger and it does make you appreciate every single bit of being a footballer.

“I felt probably in one of the best places I’ve been in; I was scoring goals and felt physically in a great place. Injuries happen and come and these last few weeks, I’ve felt back to myself again.

“I’m pretty sure there’s some good times for me to come but 100 per cent it’s been one of the hardest times of my career.”

Nobbs has been part of the England set-up for six years, winning 56 caps

Nobbs has been a mainstay in the England set-up since making her debut in 2013, and she would have undoubtedly been a shoo-in for Phil Neville’s squad at the World Cup in France last summer had she been fit.

In a cruel twist of fate, this is the second World Cup in a row which has been disrupted by injury for the Arsenal midfielder, as a hamstring issue in the build-up to the previous tournament in Canada back in 2015 restricted her to just one appearance, against Colombia in the group stage.

It is an injustice that Nobbs has never been able to show what she can really do on the world stage and, understandably, she initially wanted the tournament to finish as quickly as possible so she could focus on her recovery.

However, the England international feels the opportunity to work as pundit during the tournament helped her come to terms with the task ahead.

“There’s going to be periods in your life where you miss out as a footballer and I guess it’s about how you deal with them but also allowing yourself to be emotional that you’ve missed something so major,” she continues.

“It was heartbreaking for me but looking back now, time has healed that. Right now I want to put that into the back of my mind and carry on looking forward to the rest of the season. It was tough then but now I’m not thinking or talking about the World Cup.

Nobbs had to watch the World Cup from the stands

“In probably a selfish way, working as a pundit actually made the World Cup go quicker and I wanted the World Cup to go in a week if it could, so I could be back at Arsenal playing football again.

“It allowed me to concentrate on a job role and I couldn’t be more grateful to the BBC for giving me that opportunity because it honestly allowed me to get fit and come back stronger.”

Her road to recovery has been documented in a fly on the wall documentary on Arsenal’s YouTube channel, which shows just how gruelling and mentally draining it is to get back to full fitness following such a serious injury.

During her rehabilitation, the midfielder developed a close relationship with Rob Holding, which is shown during the documentary, who coincidentally ruptured his ACL just a few weeks after Nobbs while playing against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Holding is a little bit behind Nobbs in terms of his recovery, but for the midfielder, having someone to go through the same experience with proved to be just what the doctor ordered.

“Me and Rob did our coaching licence together so when we did our knees a few weeks apart, it was incredibly unfortunate luck,” she explains.

“We were in the gym a lot and he’s been a massive part of my rehab. He’s one of the most positive, smiley people I’ve ever met. He was the perfect person to be around in the gym and just talk about things at times in terms of feelings I had in my knee. It’s nice to hear someone else have the same feeling that you do and something is not wrong.

“Obviously, the likes of Ivan Gazidis and the people higher up at Arsenal all messaged me as I’ve been here for nine years and they know how much I love this club.”

Nobbs is now back fit and nine months of hard work paid off when she made a dream return to action against Arsenal’s arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly, grabbing the headlines after scoring just five minutes after coming off the bench.

She was also among the substitutes for Arsenal’s first Women’s Super League game of the season against West Ham, being introduced late in the 2-1 win on Sunday.

Nobbs, furthermore, is set to feature against Fiorentina on Thursday when Arsenal get their Champions League campaign under way.

“The fact that it came in the first five minutes was incredible,” said Nobbs of her goal against Spurs, which came from her first shot.

“At the end of the game, I couldn’t remember how I scored it because I think it was just the build-up of nine months of emotion.

“Even now, I think some things are still a little bit raw and you just want to be playing 90 minutes all the time. But that moment for me to come on at Boreham Wood again was an incredible feeling, not emotionally, but more just the thrill of playing football again.

“I’ve never been prouder and more privileged to pull on an Arsenal shirt. My loyalty hopefully shows how much this club means to me and with the amount of trophies I’ve won, I want to keep winning with an Arsenal shirt on.

“Hopefully, there’s more of that to come.”

The challenge for the midfielder and her team-mates now is to claim back-to-back WSL titles after the Gunners won the division for the first time in seven years with a 4-0 win over Brighton.

Free-scoring Vivianne Miedema’s form will undoubtedly be key to Arsenal’s chances of retaining the title, having finished as the WSL’s top scorer with 22 goals, but having Nobbs back in the side alongside her England team-mates Leah Williamson and Beth Mead will be a huge boost to head coach Joe Montemurro.

Interest in women’s football has never been so high, especially after England’s progression to the semi-finals of the World Cup, with Chelsea and Manchester City playing their opening matches of the season at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad Stadium respectively last weekend.

Playing in front of bigger crowds is something Nobbs would like to see and she believes Barclays’ landmark sponsorship of the WSL will undoubtedly take the league to new heights.

She said: “It’s incredible that they’ve come in and said they want to work with women and support women. It’s the only way we’re going to keep going. More sponsorships and more TV games are a big part of showing the world what we can do.

“With the way it’s going, it’s trial and error with things. I think yes, we want to be playing at big stadiums but also, is it right for the women’s game?

“I think we will only see now that we’re trying it and I think it’s great that we’re being given the opportunity to be able to do that. But I think we also need to be doing things for the right reasons.

“If we’re getting big crowds in or we’re getting a lot more people coming to watch because we’re playing at bigger stadiums, then we need to keep doing it. Hopefully, the likes of the big clubs will keep pushing that.”

Women’s Super League results: Chelsea edge Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal hang on against West Ham, Liverpool beaten by Reading

8 Sep

Bethany England’s stunning fourth-minute strike sealed victory for Chelsea over London rivals Tottenham in the Women’s Super League in front of just under 25,000 fans at Stamford Bridge.

England’s early long-distance shot was enough for the Blues to secure a 1-0 win in a match they dominated for long periods in their first game of the season.

England netted a stunner at Stamford Bridge
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Spurs goalkeeper Becky Spencer kept her side in the game in the first half, making two good saves to deny Hannah Blundell and Guro Reiten.

Tottenham started to come back into the contest and came close to scoring the equaliser with their best chance of the match just four minutes after the restart when debutant Rachel Furness hit a low shot but Ann-Katrin Berger managed to dive low and make the save.

Chelsea hit the woodwork twice in the 58th minute, as Drew Spence hit a powerful strike onto the crossbar, before Reiten’s follow-up header hit the post.

The attendance figures did not break the 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium for the Manchester derby on Saturday, but dwarfed the previous season’s record of 5,265 at Brighton last season.

Elsewhere, Arsenal held on for a 2-1 victory over West Ham to begin their title defence with a win.

Beth Mead and Jill Roord’s goals were enough despite Martha Thomas’ strike for the visitors.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start at Stamford Bridge
Getty Images - Getty

WSL results

Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham

Birmingham 0-1 Everton

Liverpool 0-1 Reading

Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

Arsenal star Jordan Nobbs reveals how Rob Holding helped her through injury hell

8 Sep

Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs has revealed how club-mate Rob Holding helped get her through the last nine months of injury hell.

The Gunners pair suffered serious knee injuries early last season, just weeks apart, and both are easing their way back into action at the start of the new campaign.

Nobbs missed the Lionesses’ World Cup campaign during the summer and the 27-year-old admits there were seriously difficult days as she battled her way back to fitness.

Jordan Nobbs is one of England’s most gifted players
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But, in a bittersweet stroke of fortune, she had a close friend to keep her company.

“Me and Rob did our coaching licenses together, so when we did our knees a few weeks apart, it was incredible luck,” Nobbs told talkSPORT.

“We were in the gym a lot and he’s been a massive part of my rehab. He’s one of the most positive, smiley people I’ve ever met.

“He was the perfect person to be around in the gym. It’s nice to hear someone else have the same feeling you do and know something’s not wrong.

“The likes of Ivan Gazidis and people higher up all messaged me. I’ve been here for nine years and I think they know how much I love this club.”

Prior to her injury, Nobbs had established herself as one of the best players in the Women’s Super League and her quality was sorely missed by England in France.

She added: “Especially with how well I was performing before I got injured, I was in one of the best places I’ve been in, scoring goals and physically in a great place.

Holding is yet to feature in the Premier League this season but he has returned to training
Getty Images - Getty

“These last few weeks I’ve felt back to myself again. I’m sure there’s some good times for me to come, but it’s 100 per cent been one of the hardest times of my career.

“I’ve had nine months of terrible days. Days when I’ve come into the training ground and wanted to leave straight away. Days when I’ve been in the gym and I’ve got upset because all the girls are going out training.

“But I think it does make you stronger. It makes you appreciate every single bit about being a footballer.”

Women’s Super League Round-Up: Manchester City edge Manchester United in historic first derby, Brighton draw at Bristol City

7 Sep

Here is a round-up of the opening day action in the Women’s Super League…

Steph Houghton clearly enjoyed the win
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Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United

Caroline Weir’s 48th-minute strike sealed a historic derby victory for Manchester City in front of a record Women’s Super League crowd of 31,213 at the Etihad Stadium.

Weir’s left-foot shot from outside the box proved enough to take the points but only after Manchester United, who dominated the first half for long periods, came agonisingly close to snatching a draw.

City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck saved brilliantly to deny Jane Ross before the break, then was fortunate to see a late Jackie Groenen effort rebound back off the base of a post and into her arms.

Featuring in the top-flight for the first time after cruising to the Women’s Championship title last season, Casey Stoney’s side did enough to suggest they can be a significant force this season.

Caroline Weir was the hero
Getty Images - Getty

Bristol City 0-0 Brighton

In Saturday’s other match, the deadlock was not broken and both teams came away with a point.

Goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley saved a penalty for Bristol in the first half and Brighton could not find the net later on.

There was a 31,000 crowd at the Etihad
Getty Images - Getty

Man City vs Man United: First ever professional women’s Manchester derby to take place this weekend

5 Sep

The first ever professional women’s Manchester derby will take place on Saturday.

Man City face newly-promoted United at the Etihad Stadium on the opening day of the 2019/20 Women’s Super League season.

Steph Houghton is set to lead Manchester City out against Manchester United on Saturday
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The two clubs are expected to play in front of 20,000-plus supporters.

City and England captain Steph Houghton is relishing the prospect of the historic occasion.

She said: “It’s exciting. I think everybody has been dying for a Manchester derby in the Women’s Super League.

“Obviously last year when Manchester United said they were going to be in the Championship and they were fighting for promotion, as players and staff we got excited by the prospect of having them in our league.


Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

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  • Coventry City vs Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

“And now to have it as our first game – I think it is going to do this game the world of good.

“I think we need to push rivalries, we need to push derby days and there is no bigger than this one coming on Saturday.”

United won the Women’s Championship in their first campaign since forming last year and will look to maintain their place in the top-flight this season.

When asked about the intensity of the newly-formed rivalry, Houghton said: “I feel as though it is already there to be honest, that’s how I personally feel.

“All the talk has been about a Man City-Man United women’s derby and we have finally got that.

“I think it’s important that we start history right on Saturday in terms of we want to make Manchester blue.”

Women’s Super League 2019/20: Spurs and Arsenal to go head-to-head in first-ever north London derby in November

10 Jul

The first-ever north London derby in the Women’s Super League will be held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November.

The reigning WSL champions will face their promoted neighbours on November 17, with the rest of the fixtures for the 2019/20 WSL reason also released on Wednesday morning.

Arsenal have won 15 league titles, three of which have come in the WSL era

Spurs were promoted from the Championship last season along with champions Manchester United, and they start their first ever top flight campaign away at neighbours Man City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Red Devils’ tough start continues over the following matchdays by hosting the Gunners a week later before a visit from Liverpool.

Other fixtures could yet be relocated but it appears there will be no WSL and Premier League double-headers, with the north London derby in November taking place over an international weekend in the men’s game.

Last season’s top two clash at Meadow Park on October 27 as Arsenal host Manchester City, with the return game pencilled in for February 2 at City’s Academy Stadium.

The second Manchester derby of the season will take place on March 29 at Leigh Sports Village.

If the title race goes until the last day of the season, two of the 2018/19 top three are at home – Arsenal hosting Everton and Chelsea facing Liverpool, while City are away at Brighton.

Women’s Super League: Stadium and ticket information for every club, plus more

9 Jul

The Women’s World Cup has been a huge success in France with England’s Lionesses uniting the nation.

We all got behind Steph Houghton and her team-mates as they reached the semi-finals.

England celebrate scoring against the United States – though they were defeated by the eventual champions in the semi-finals
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Eventual winners the United States knocked Phil Neville’s side out but the players did themselves proud and are now set to create a brilliant legacy.

This season the Women’s Super League has Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United joining its ranks meaning all of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ have counterparts in the top flight.

The joining duo are making waves in the transfer market too, with the Red Devils signing up West Ham and Scotland ace Jane Ross, Man City and England defender Abbie McManus and World Cup finalist Jackie Groenen.

Spurs, meanwhile, have added experienced internationals like Gemma Davison and Ria Percival to complement their young talents like Rianna Dean and Jessica Naz.

But how can you watch the Women’s Super League this season? Find out stadium and ticket details for every team below.

Arsenal – Champions last season

Stadium: Meadow Park (4,500 capacity)

Ticket information: Membership which costs £70 for adults and £35 for concessions allows access to all home friendlies, FA WSL, Conti Cup and FA Cup fixtures taking place at Meadow Park. UWCL is not included in the 2019/20 membership package. There are also lots of extras as part of the membership.

World Cup hero: Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Netherlands’ forward Vivianne Miedema shoots against Japan
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Twitter: ArsenalWFC


Birmingham City – Finished fourth last season

Stadium: Damson Park (3,050 capacity)

Ticket prices:

Adults £7 online/£8 on the gate

Concessions £4 online/£5 on the gate

Family £18 online/£20 on the gate

World Cup hero: Lucy Staniforth (England)

Lucy Staniforth celebrates Engalnd’s Round of 16 victory over Cameroon
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Twitter: BCFCWomen



Brighton & Hove Albion – Finished ninth last season

Stadium: Broadfield Stadium (6,134 capacity)

Ticket prices: Matchday pricing has yet to be confirmed but season tickets are being sold for just £30.

World Cup hero: Danique Kerkdijk (Netherlands)

Danique Kerkdijk applauds fans after Netherlands’ win over Japan
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Twitter: OfficialBHAFC


Bristol City – Finished sixth last season

Stadium: Stoke Gifford Stadium (1,500 capacity)

Ticket prices: There is currently no ticket information available but it will appear here

World Cup hero: Danique Kerkdijk played for the Netherlands while with the Robins before joining Brighton in July.

Twitter: Bristolcitywfc


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Chelsea – Finished third last season

Stadium: Kingsmeadow (4,850 capacity)

Ticket prices: Home matches in the WSL cost £9 for adults and £1 for juveniles and senior citizens.

World Cup hero: Fran Kirby (England)

Fran Kirby runs with the ball during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup third place play-off match
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Twitter: ChelseaFCW



Everton – Finished 10th last season

Stadium: Haig Avenue (6,008 capacity)

Ticket prices: Last season’s admission prices for home games were £5 for Adults and £3 for concessions.

World Cup hero: Kika van Es (Netherlands)

Kika van Es is a summer signing for the Toffees
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Twitter: EvertonLadies


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Liverpool – Finished eighth last season

Stadium: Prenton Park (16,587 capacity)

Ticket prices: All home games are £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. Season tickets are £25

World Cup hero: Christie Murray (Scotland)

Murray in action for Liverpool
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Twitter: LiverpoolFCW



Manchester City – Finished second last season

Stadium: Academy Stadium (7,000 capacity)

Ticket prices: A season card can be purchased for £55-£65. The pricing for individual tickets for their opening day fixture with Manchester United are £7 for adults with up to three Under-16s permitted to attend for FREE with each adult ticket.

Tickets for any additional Under-16s are priced at a reduced rate of £2 each.

World Cup hero: Ellen White

Ellen White scored six goals at the tournament but it wasn’t quite enough to win the Golden Boot
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Twitter: ManCity


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Manchester United – Promoted as Championship winners

Stadium: Leigh Sports Village (12,000 capacity)

Ticket prices: Season Tickets are priced at £39 for adults and £20 for Under-16s/65+. Any home cup games in 2019/20 will need to be actively purchased and will be optional throughout the season.

Meanwhile, a new Family Season Ticket has been brought out and for the 2019/20 season it is £98 for two adults and two Under-16s.

Individual tickets are now £6 for adults and £3 for Under-16s/65+ for advance purchases and £6.50 for adults and £3.50 for Under-16s/65+ if you buy on the day

World Cup hero: Jackie Groenen (Netherlands)

Groenen celebrates scoring in their semi-final against Sweden
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Twitter: ManUtdWomen


Reading – Finished fifth last season

Stadium: Adams Park (9,617 capacity)

Ticket prices: Last season online individual match tickets were £6 for an adult, £3 for a child or concession, while the club offered a family ticket (2x Adults & 2x Children) which cost £12.

World Cup hero: Jade Moore (England)

Jade Moore during England’s win over Argentina
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Twitter: ReadingFCWomen


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Tottenham Hotspur – Promoted as Championship runners-up

Stadium: The Hive (6,500 capacity)

Ticket prices: Information is yet to be announced about pricing

World Cup hero: Ria Percival (New Zealand)

New Zealand’s defender Ria Percival at the World Cup
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Twitter: SpursWomen


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West Ham United – Finished seventh last season

Stadium: Rush Green (2,000 capacity)

Ticket prices: Season tickets are £25 for adults and £15 for children but those who are Men’s team Season Ticket Holders or Claret Members get a £10 discount.

World Cup hero: Cho So-Hyun (South Korea)

Cho So-Hyun after South Korea’s defeat to Nigeria
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Twitter: westhamwomen


Karen Carney: England and Chelsea midfielder to retire at end of Women’s World Cup, aged 31

5 Jul

Karen Carney has announced she will call time on her playing career when England’s Women’s Women Cup campaign ends on Saturday.

Carney, the Chelsea midfielder, has decided to retire when Lionesses finish their tournament with a clash against Sweden to determine the third-place side.

Carney joined Chelsea in 2015 and was part of their 2017/18 double winning squad

Now 31, Carney, who played for Birmingham, Arsenal and Chincago Red Stars before joining Chelsea in 2015, says it’s time to do something else.

“I am incredibly proud to have achieved so much in the game but now is definitely the right time to retire,” said Carney, who will hope to win her 142nd England cap in Saturday’s clash with Sweden.

A scorer of 32 international goals, Carney also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics and won bronze at the 2015 World Cup with England, as well as lifting this year’s SheBelieves Cup.

“To have played for England was my ultimate ambition and to do so at four World Cups and represent Team GB at a home Olympics was beyond the wildest dreams I had when first starting out,” she added.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has made this all possible from my family and friends, everyone I have played for and worked with and, of course, the England squad and staff. I owe everything I have to all of them.”

England manager Phil Neville added: “Karen deserves all the plaudits that will come her way. It’s been a privilege to work with her over the past 18 months, but even more special has been the chance to get to know someone who is an incredible person and a special team-mate.

“While she will not want a fuss, Karen is someone who deserves total recognition and respect as a true legend of the game.”

Carney’s international career lasted 14 years, with her debut coming against Italy all the way back in 2005

The Football Association has plans to honour Carney at a future international.

Only Fara Williams has won more England caps than Carney, and Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s women’s director, said: “Karen will be regarded as one of English football’s great names. Her humility, despite all she has achieved on the world stage, is one of many endearing qualities.

“She’s played a huge part in the Lionesses’ incredible progress on the pitch and the inspirational impact the squad has had off it.

“I know Karen will be much missed by everyone at Chelsea and England, but I’m certain she’ll stay in the game as she has so much to offer.

“She’ll always be welcome at Wembley and St George’s Park and it’s right and proper that we mark Karen’s wonderful career in a fitting way in the months to come. We’re all so very proud of her.”

Women’s Super League fixtures: Manchester City vs Manchester United and Chelsea vs Spurs scheduled for 2019/20 season opening round

1 Jul

Manchester United will begin their first ever Women’s Super League season with a trip to local rivals Manchester City.

Casey Stoney guided United to promotion from the Championship in their debut season as a club, and they start their life in the top flight against the 2018/19 runners-up.

Man United’s debut season ended in perfect fashion under manager Casey Stoney

City finished seven points behind winners Arsenal last term, and will be hoping to get off to a winning start against their local rivals as they hunt for their first WSL title since 2016.

As well as a Manchester derby in the opening round of fixtures, two London rivals also face off to open the new season.

Chelsea, who finished third in 2018/19. host Spurs at their Kingsmeadow home, with the Lilywhites playing in the WSL after winning promotion from the Championship as runners-up last season.

Elsewhere, reigning champions Arsenal welcome West Ham in another all-London clash, while Liverpool are at home against Reading.

Women’s Super League 2019/20 opening round fixtures in full

Arsenal vs West Ham United

Birmingham City vs Everton

Bristol City vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool vs Reading

Manchester City vs Manchester United

*Matches scheduled for September 7/8

Arsenal head into the new season as reigning WSL champions
Getty Images - GETTY

The Women’s Championship opening round fixtures have also been announced, with Charlton beginning the season with a free week due to there being 11 teams in the division.

Women’s Championship 2019/20 opening round fixtures in full

Aston Villa vs Sheffield United

Crystal Palace vs Coventry United

Leicester City vs Durham

Lewes vs Blackburn Rovers

London Bees vs London City Lionesses

Free Week: Charlton Athletic

*Matches scheduled for August 17/18

Kelly Simmons, Director of the Women’s Professional Game, said: “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.

“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 full fixture list for both leagues will be confirmed on Wednesday, July 10.

Chelsea and West Ham stars reveal the difficulties of being in love off the pitch – but bitter rivals on it

15 May

Ramona Bachmann and Alisha Lehmann have opened up on the difficulties of being in love off the pitch – but rivals on it.

The couple live together, but faced one another in the Women’s Super League back in November.

Bachmann and Lehmann’s relationship came to light last year

Lehmann’s West Ham United side welcomed Bachmann’s Chelsea to Rush Green in a London derby.

The duo were interviewed in the latest instalment of BBC Three documentary titled ‘Britain’s Youngest Football Boss’ which follows 19-year-old Jack Sullivan in his journey as managing director.

Lehman joined the Hammers last summer, while Bachmann is in her second season with Chelsea having helped the club win the Women’s Super League and FA Cup in her first year.

Speaking of the pair, Sullivan said: “We’ve never had partner up against partner in the men’s game.”

The duo prepare to face off at Rush Green in November

Both forwards are regulars for the Switzerland national team – picking up 93 caps and scoring 46 goals between them.

After their relationship came to light last year, Swiss boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said: “The situation is not exceptional in women’s football.”

While Bachmann said of her relationship: “There are a lot of positives with having someone who does the same thing.

“I am not going out at the weekends because I have games, she knows what I am going through and I understand her as well.”

The Blues came out on top in the game courtesy of a 2-0 win

Lehmann – who admitted Bachmann was her idol growing up – claimed she was feeling nervous ahead of their clash, as she desperately wanted her girlfriend to succumb to the pressure.

She said: “She is really, really good, technical and fast. I am a little bit nervous but I think it will be a good game.

“If she scores I will feel really bad!”

However, it was heartbreak for the youngster as Bachmann scored twice in a 2-0 win for Emma Hayes’ side.