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West Brom first up for Manchester United


Manchester United will start the defence of their English Premier League football title with a trip to West Brom on Saturday, August 13.

Arsenal begin with a match at Newcastle, while Chelsea, last season’s runners-up, travel to Stoke and Liverpool host Sunderland.

Swansea’s first ever Premier League match is at Manchester City, while QPR open with a home clash against Bolton.

Norwich, back in the top flight after six years, travel to Wigan.

Elsewhere on the opening day, Tottenham and Everton meet at White Hart Lane, Fulham and Aston Villa face each other at Craven Cottage, while Blackburn host Wolves.

After facing West Brom, Manchester United play home games against Tottenham and Arsenal.

Of the sides that finished in the top four last season, Arsenal’s is perhaps the toughest start.

Arsene Wenger’s men follow up their opener at St James’ Park with a home game against Liverpool before a trip to Old Trafford.

The game between Liverpool and Sunderland means Reds midfielder Jordan Henderson could get an immediate run-out against the team he signed from earlier this month in a £20m deal.

On September 17, Manchester United host Chelsea, with other big games coming thick and fast the following month.

United visit Liverpool on October 15, Manchester City travel to Old Trafford on October 22 and Chelsea host Arsenal on October 29.

Neil Warnock, boss of last season’s Championship winners QPR, predicted “a very close and very exciting” campaign.

“It doesn’t matter who you play, the Premier League is where we all want to be. It’s just fabulous to be involved,” he said.

“I’m really glad I’m in the Premier League and I’ve got to make sure whoever plays us it’s difficult for them.”
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins emphasised the Premier League season was a marathon, not a sprint.

Jenkins said: “Everyone talks about a good start but it’s a long season and you’ve got to be consistent.

“The aim is to keep the club moving forward and luckily we’ve got an opportunity to do that.”

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said he was “relishing” the visit to Anfield on the opening day of the season.

“Anfield is always a tough place to go, but we have acquitted ourselves well against the big boys in the past and going there is a test I will relish,” said Bruce.

“Then it doesn’t get much bigger than a derby game on the first home date of the season (the Black Cats play Newcastle on August 20).”

Opening weekend – Saturday August 13
Blackburn v Wolves, Fulham v Aston Villa, Liverpool v Sunderland, Man City v Swansea, Newcastle v Arsenal,QPR v Bolton, Stoke v Chelsea, Tottenham v Everton, West Brom v Man Utd, Wigan v Norwich

Saturday August 20
Arsenal v Liverpool, Aston Villa v Blackburn, Bolton v Man City, Chelsea v West Brom, Everton v QPR, Man Utd v Tottenham, Norwich v Stoke, Sunderland v Newcastle, Swansea v Wigan, Wolves v Fulham

Saturday August 27
Aston Villa v Wolves, Blackburn v Everton, Chelsea v Norwich, Liverpool v Bolton, Man Utd v Arsenal, Newcastle v Fulham, Swansea v Sunderland, Tottenham v Man City, West Brom v Stoke, Wigan v QPR—BBC Sport

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