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England Lionesses return to the Women's Super League this weekend

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The performances of England's Lionesses at the World Cup in Canada have helped to raise the profile of the women's game.

Mark Sampson's team had the support of the nation over the last few weeks. After a devastating semi-final exit the team recovered to finish the tournament in third place, making them the most successful England team since 1966.

This weekend marks the resumption of the Women's Super League (WSL). Currently Chelsea Ladies sit top of the table with 14 points, two more than second place Arsenal. At the other end of the table Bristol Academy Women find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table with just two points from six games.

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Here's the low-down on this weekend's fixtures:

CHELSEA LADIES FC VS BRISTOL ACADEMY WOMEN

When: Sunday 12 July, 14:00
Where: Staines Town FC

Top meets bottom as Chelsea play Bristol Academy. The Chelsea Ladies will be looking to maintain their two point lead at the top of the table while Bristol will be desperate to pull themselves off the bottom. Bristol have a -10 goal difference after six games so a win for Chelsea Ladies seems likely.

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WHO'S INVOLVED?

Claire Rafferty (Chelsea)

The defender featured in five of England's seven games at the World Cup. She managed a total of 413 minutes and picked up a single yellow card.

Katie Chapman (Chelsea)

Featured five times at the tournament notching up 426 minutes of action on the pitch. The defender received two bookings during the tournament.

Eniola Aluko (Chelsea)

The sister of Hull City's Sone Aluko. After featuring in England's first two games of the tournament she fell out of favour. However she was praised for her impact in the Third Place Play-Off with Germany. She didn't manage a goal in three appearances at the tournament.

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MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN VS BIRMINGHAM CITY LADIES

When: Sunday 12 July, 14:00
Where: Academy Stadium

Two clubs in the bottom half face each other in this fixture. Just two points separate the two teams and Birmingham will be out to try and leapfrog City into sixth position in the table.

WHO'S INVOLVED?

Karen Bardsley (Manchester City)

The goalkeeper started all seven games for Sampson's side but couldn't keep a clean sheet at the tournament. She made a few notable errors but her performances were generally praised.

Stephanie Houghton (Manchester City)

England's captain played every minute of every game at the World Cup. She was a rock at the back and scored an important equaliser against Norway in the Round of 16.

Lucy Bronze (Manchester City)

The defender was England's star performer at the tournament. She struck twice including a stunning winner against Norway. She was nominated for player of the tournament but eventually missed out.

Jill Scott (Manchester City)

Played in all but one of England's games. Perhaps not the most technically gifted but she can definitely be effective.

Toni Duggan (Manchester City)

The striker played five times at the tournament but did not manage a goal in 353 minutes on the pitch.

Jo Potter (Birmingham)

Featured just twice at the tournament including an appearance in the Third Place Play-Off against Germany.

Karen Carney (Birmingham)

Appeared in six of England's games. After struggling with depression in the past she stuck twice for England at tournament.

Jade Moore (Birmingham)

The midfielder featured in all England's games apart from the Third Place Play-Off. However she did not manage a goal or assist in six appearances.

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SUNDERLAND AFC LADIES VS NOTTS COUNTY LADIES FC

When: Sunday 12 July, 14:00
Where: Hetton Centre

Notts County will be hoping to remain within touching distance of the summit as third meets fourth. However it will not be easy as Sunderland will be eager to take third spot from them with a win.

WHO'S INVOLVED?

Carly Telford (Notts County)

The goalkeeper was the only England player who did not feature at the World Cup.

Alex Greenwood (Notts County)

The defender made three appearances for England. She finished the tournament with an assist to her name and without any cautions.

Laura Bassett (Notts County)

Hopefully she will be remembered for her outstanding performances at the tournament rather than for her cruel own goal in the semi-final. She performed excellently in six games and the ordeal does not seem to have damaged her confidence too much.

Ellen White (Notts County)

The forward appeared four times for her country but could not manage a goal in 163 minutes at the World Cup.

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ARSENAL LADIES FC VS LIVERPOOL LADIES FC

When: Sunday 12 July, 18:00 (Live on BT Sport 1)
Where: Boreham Wood FC

Second place Arsenal will not want to lose ground on the leaders Chelsea as they face fifth place Liverpool in this late kick-off. Six points separate the two teams in the table and you can see this game live on BT Sport 1.

WHO'S INVOLVED? 

Siobhan Chamberlain (Arsenal)

The second choice goalkeeper featured in a single game at the tournament. She did well after replacing Bardsley in the Quarter-Final against Canada.

Alex Scott (Arsenal)

Scott played four games at the World Cup. The experienced right-back was booked once in those matches.

Casey Stoney (Arsenal)

With 122 caps to her name Stoney will have been disappointed to have only appeared three times at the World Cup. The 33-year-old is heading into the final years of her career.

Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal)

The midfielder was barely seen at the tournament. She featured just once, in the group stage victory over Columbia.

Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal)

Another that we hardly saw at the World Cup. Her most significant contribution was winning the penalty that England scored the winner from against Germany.

Fara Williams (Liverpool)

Finished as England's top scorer with three goals. Williams remained supremely cool to convert three times from the penalty spot at the tournament. Her penalty against Germany secured third place for England.

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For more information on the Women's Super League, including fixtures and player profiles, visit FAWSL.com

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