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City will begin quest to retain league crown against Arsenal

 

By Simon Lovell

Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal.

The 2018-19 fixtures, announced yesterday, handed Pep Guardiola's team an Emirates opener on the weekend of August 11-12 - a match which will also mark the bow of the Gunners' new boss Unai Emery.

City do not face another top six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against newly-promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton.

It is a similar story for neighbours United, who begin at home to Leicester. They have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle other early season opponents.

Liverpool's start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Jurgen Klopp's men face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton.

Tottenham have been given an away opener, starting at Newcastle for the second successive campaign.

Arsenal face a tough first two games without Arsene Wenger. After the Gunners host the champions, they are at Chelsea.

Antonio Conte's Blues travel to Huddersfield on the opening day.

Championship winners Wolves have a home opener against Everton, Cardiff start at Bournemouth and Fulham begin at home to Crystal Palace.

The other first day fixtures see Southampton host Burnley and Watford take on Brighton.

Belfast Telegraph

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