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Man City begin title defence, ManU open at home to Chelsea

Man City begin title defence,  ManU open at home to Chelsea

London: Champions Manchester City begin the defence of their Premier League title away at West Ham, while Manchester United will host Chelsea in a blockbuster meeting to start the campaign after next season's fixtures were revealed on Thursday.

City will be confident of a fruitful start after scoring four times in each of their last three visits to the London Stadium, but face a tougher clash when Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur visit the Etihad on the second weekend of the season.

Runners-up and Champions League winners Liverpool begin with a home game to newly-promoted Norwich. Last season's top two meet at Anfield on November 9 with the return at the Etihad scheduled for April 4, subject to TV confirmation.

Chelsea will begin life without the influential Eden Hazard at Old Trafford with United in need of a fast start after a dismal end to last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

On their return to the top-flight Aston Villa host Spurs, whilst Sheffield United are away at Bournemouth.

City only edged Liverpool by a point in last season's thrilling duel but would appear to have the easier run-in this time round should the title go down to the wire once more.

Pep Guardiola's men do not face any teams who finished in the top half last season in their final six matches, following the visit of Liverpool.

In contrast, the European champions travel to Arsenal and host Chelsea before a visit to Newcastle in their final three games of the campaign.

For the first time in Premier League history, the clubs will get a short mid-season break in February.

Over a two-week period, there will be only five matches on one weekend, with the other five games taking place the following weekend, ensuring that each team gets one week off.

Arsenal travel to Newcastle United while Sheffield United, the other promoted club, start at Bournemouth.

Leicester City host Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley face Southampton, Crystal Palace host Everton and FA Cup runners-up Watford are at home to Brighton and Hove Albion. The upcoming top flight season will be the first to include a brief mid-season break. A set of fixtures will be spread over a two-week period in February, meaning all clubs get a week off.

It will also feature the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system for the first time.

The season will end on May 17 when City host Norwich, Liverpool are at Newcastle, Tottenham go to Crystal Palace and Chelsea host Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Agencies

Agencies

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