By Chris Wright
The fixture schedule for next season’s Premier League has been announced this morning at 9am on the dot and, as per usual, we’re not actually allowed to post the calendar in full for piffling legal reasons.
Here are a few choice dates for you to jot down in your diaries…
1. Manchester United will begin their title defence against West Brom at the Hawthorns on August 13th, with the reigning champions’ next two games coming against Tottenham and Arsenal respectively.
2. Chelsea get their season underway against Stoke on August 13th, before welcoming West Brom to Stamford Bridge the game after – an inauspicious start to 2011/12 for the Baggies!
3. Newcomers Swansea travel to Eastlands to face Manchester City on the opening day, while QPR will play Bolton at home and Norwich travel to Wigan.
4. Arsenal will travel to Newcastle on Aug 13th – fingers crossed for another 4-4 draw – before facing Liverpool (home) and Man Utd (away) in their next two fixtures.
5. Liverpool begin at home to Jordan Henderson’s former employers Sunderland, while the Black Cats’ first home game is against good buddies Newcastle the following weekend.
6. The opening day also sees Tottenham squaring off against Everton at White Hart Lane, Fulham and Aston Villa meeting at Craven Cottage and Blackburn playing host to Wolves at Ewood Park.
7. Man Utd play Chelsea at Old Trafford on September 17th, with October chock-full of heavyweight clashes…
8. First up, United will play Liverpool at Anfield on October 15th, before Man City travel to Old Trafford for the first Manc Derby on the 22nd and Chelsea meet Arsenal at The Bridge on the 29th.
9. The Boxing Day fixtures read thusly… Arsenal vs Wolverhampton, Bolton vs Newcastle, Chelsea vs Fulham, Liverpool vs Blackburn, Man Utd vs Wigan, Norwich vs Tottenham, Stoke vs Aston Villa, Sunderland vs Everton, Swansea vs QPR, West Brom vs Man City.
10. Man Utd’s final game of the season will be against Sunderland on May 13th, while Chelsea will play Blackburn at home, Man City finish at home to QPR, Arsenal travel to West Brom, Spurs host Fulham and Liverpool play Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.