Women's Super League: Chelsea start title defence at Doncaster

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Highlights: Chelsea Ladies 4-0 Sunderland Ladies

Chelsea will begin their Women's Super League title defence at newly promoted Doncaster Belles on Thursday, 24 March.

Doncaster, promoted as WSL 2 runners-up, make their top-flight return after being controversially demoted in 2014.

Reading, who come up as WSL 2 champions, face a double header away from home, starting at Arsenal before going to Sunderland three days later.

Manchester City, who narrowly missed out on the title last season, start their campaign against Notts County.

The season begins on Wednesday, 23 March with Liverpool hosting Birmingham City.

In a major change, the final for the revamped Continental Cup has been moved to October, meaning that the top-flight campaign will mark the end of the 2016 domestic league season.

The FA Cup final - to be hosted at Wembley Stadium for a second year - moves back to its traditional date in May.

WSL 1 opening week fixtures

Wednesday, 23 March

Liverpool v Birmingham City

Manchester City v Notts County

Arsenal v Reading

Thursday, 24 March

Doncaster Rovers Belles v Chelsea

Saturday, 26 March

Sunderland v Reading

WSL 2 opening week fixtures

Jessica Fishlock of FFC Frankfurt (left) holds off Bristol's Christie Murray
Bristol City's season opener against Yeovil in WSL 2 comes a year after the club, playing as Bristol Academy, were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage

In the second-tier, relegated and renamed Bristol City host West Country rivals Yeovil Town in their opening game.

Sheffield FC, the first team to be promoted to WSL from the Women's Premier League, kick-off against Durham.

Wednesday, 23 March

Bristol City v Yeovil Town

Sheffield FC v Durham

London Bees v Watford

Thursday, 24 March

Everton v Aston Villa

Oxford United v Millwall Lionesses

Saturday, 26 March

Bristol City v Sheffield FC

Sunday, 27 March

Aston Villa v Oxford United

Watford v Yeovil Town

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