Chelsea FC Women get our Barclays FA Women’s Super League title-defence underway with a trip to Manchester United this weekend.

We preview Sunday’s season opener here…

When and where?

The Blues begin the 2020/21 campaign by travelling north to face Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday. The match will kick-off at 2.30pm and will be played behind closed doors.

How to follow and how to watch live

This week our fixture is being broadcast live on BT Sport and coverage begins at 2pm. If you are unable to watch us in action on television, fear not as there will be plenty of match coverage via our social media channels. This includes live commentary on our Twitter account, plus regular updates on Instagram and Facebook.

Simply search ‘ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date!

Please remember this game is being played behind closed doors due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus, therefore, we encourage all fans to follow the match from home.

The form

There are six trophies up for grabs in all competitions this term, with the Community Shield already being scooped up by us last weekend, and Chelsea will have our sights set on collecting the remaining five, including defending our Women’s Super League crown.

History was made at the home of English football last Saturday when our season curtain-raiser against one of our strongest rivals, Manchester City, resulted in a convincing 2-0 triumph. After several missed opportunities from the Blues in the first half and with Manchester City also hitting the post, it somehow remained 0-0 at the break.

Our opponents went down to 10 players when Jill Scott was dismissed after a second bookable offence and from then on Chelsea took full control of the game. Minutes later centre-back Millie Bright unleashed a powerful strike which flew into the top corner to put us ahead and substitute Erin Cuthbert sealed the win with a quality stoppage-time finish inside the 18-yard-box.

The Blues enjoyed an unbeaten league campaign last season with 12 victories and three draws – a run that resulted in us being crowned the 2019/20 Women’s Super League champions following the termination of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Casey Stoney’s team finished fourth in their maiden top-flight season, based on the points-per-game system. The Red Devils played 14 matches, which consisted of seven wins, two draws and five losses. As part of their pre-season our opponent had friendlies against Glasgow City, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Liverpool. They have also added to their squad with signings Ona Batlle, Ivana Fuso and Lucy Staniforth.

The past results of Chelsea Women v Manchester United Women

Chelsea v Manchester United is a relatively new fixture in women’s top-flight football with the northern club only founded in May 2018. United began their journey by joining the Women’s Championship and in their first season they were promoted to the WSL as league champions.

Last season we faced each other twice, with both of those encounters resulting in 1-0 victories for the Blues. We hosted Manchester United in front of a sold-out Kingsmeadow last November and courtesy of Maren Mjelde’s second-half spot kick we claimed all three league points. Then in January we drew the Reds away in the semi-final of the Continental League Cup. It was Mjelde who was once again the match-winner when she curled in a brilliant shot in closing stages of the contest.

Elsewhere in the WSL

All Women’s Super League clubs will be in action over the course of the weekend. Newly-promoted Aston Villa will host Manchester City on Saturday at 2.30pm. On Sunday there are five fixtures taking place including ours. Arsenal begin their campaign against Reading at an earlier kick-off time of 12.30pm, Tottenham Hotspur welcome West Ham United, Everton will travel to Bristol City while Brighton & Hove Albion face Birmingham City and all three matches take place at 2pm.

Every club across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have agreed to conduct a minute’s applause ahead of their respective matches to thank the NHS, and to remember those who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chelsea’s WSL fixtures

The full schedule of the 2020/21 Women’s Super League season has now been announced. Chelsea’s first home game of the season is against Bristol City next Sunday at Kingsmeadow. The match kicks off at 12.30pm and has been selected to be shown on the BBC Red Button.

To see the Blues’ full fixture list click here.