Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea kick off defence against Clarets while City face newcomers Brighton

 

By Simon Lovell

Champions Chelsea will start their 2017/18 Premier League campaign at home to Burnley. The new season's fixtures, which were announced yesterday morning, saw Antonio Conte's team given a Stamford Bridge opener on the weekend of August 12/13.

Runners-up Tottenham start away from home for the seventh successive season. The trip to newly-promoted Newcastle is a repeat of the 2012/13 opener, which the Magpies won 2-1.

Brighton host Manchester City, while the other Premier League newcomers, Huddersfield, open at Crystal Palace.

Manchester United begin at home to West Ham, 2016 champions Leicester visit Arsenal, while Liverpool go to Watford.

Everton host Stoke, Southampton face Swansea and West Brom are at home to Bournemouth in the other opening day matches.

Tottenham's first Premier League match at Wembley sees Chelsea provide the opposition in the pick of the following weekend's fixtures.

The big games continue with Liverpool hosting Arsenal the following weekend, before Jurgen Klopp's men travel to Manchester City. The Gunners then head for Stamford Bridge in the highlight of the fifth weekend's action, while West Ham tackle Tottenham on the weekend of September 23/24.

As for derbies, Arsenal have home advantage in the first north London showdown on November 18, with the return taking place at Wembley on February 10.

The weekend of December 9/10 sees Liverpool host Everton and City visit United in the first Manchester derby of the season. The returns are scheduled for April 7/8.

Christmas and New Year sees teams lined up to play four matches over 10 days between December 23 and January 1 - Arsenal against Chelsea on New Year's Day looks the pick of the festive matches.

Looking ahead to the end of the season, the promoted trio all appear to have a challenging run-in.

Huddersfield, out of the top flight since 1972, face Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal in their last four matches, while Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool are the opponents in three of Brighton's final four.

Although Newcastle's run-in appears less intimidating, they do not get off lightly on the final day - with Chelsea the visitors to St James' Park.

Tottenham finish at home to Leicester, Manchester United host Watford, Manchester City are at Southampton and West Ham take on Everton.

Shortly after the release of the fixtures, Tottenham revealed they would be rescheduling their second home game on August 26 because rugby league's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final is due to take place at Wembley on that day.

A tweet from the club read: "Please note: Burnley (H) Aug 26 is the same day as the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final and will need to be rescheduled. We are currently in discussions with Burnley on this matter."

Burnley last season had their matches against Liverpool reversed.

The Reds had been scheduled to host the Clarets on August 20 in their first home game of the campaign, but, due to Main Stand renovations at Anfield, the match took place at Turf Moor instead.

West Ham will play their first three matches of the season away from home.

The club have confirmed their second fixture, scheduled to be at home to Southampton, will have to be rearranged due to the World Athletics Championships being held at the London Stadium.

Premier League fixtures

Opening day fixtures (weekend of 12 Aug, kick-offs tbc): Arsenal v Leicester City, Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City, Chelsea v Burnley, Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town, Everton v Stoke City, Manchester United v West Ham United, Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton v Swansea City, Watford v Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth

Six key games (dates subject to change, kick-offs tbc): Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea (19 Aug), Liverpool v Arsenal (26 Aug), Manchester City v Liverpool (9 Sep), Liverpool v Manchester United (14 Oct), Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur (18 Nov), Manchester United v Manchester City (9 Dec).

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