By Max Winters & Luke Augustus
Manchester United and Chelsea will meet in a mammoth clash on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 English Premier League season after the fixtures for the new campaign were revealed on Thursday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season in charge of the Red Devils begins with a tough game at Old Trafford on August 11, 2019 against the Europa League champions, who finished third in the Premier League last season, three places above United.
Tottenham also face a difficult start to the new season with the Champions League runners-up to play Manchester City and Arsenal away from home during their first four games. Manchester City are looking to win a third consecutive Premier League title – having clinched the trophy on the final day of last season. Pep Guardiola’s side won the league by one point ahead of Liverpool following their 4-1 win at Brighton and they will be confident of getting off to a flying start this time around. City have been given a relatively comfortable opening few games against West Ham, Spurs, Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich and Watford.
Things get an awful lot trickier in November though. Liverpool, who pushed City so close last season, welcome their title rivals to Anfield on the weekend of November 9-10. City then host Chelsea two weeks later before rounding off the month with a trip to Newcastle. The first Manchester derby of the season takes place in December before City and United meet again in March. Liverpool will kick off the new Premier League season with a Friday night match against newly-promoted Norwich at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side will be hoping to maintain momentum after their Champions League final win over Tottenham and then play at Southampton and at home to Arsenal in their first three fixtures. Liverpool and Manchester City then meet in the reverse on April 4, which could have major implications for next season’s title race.
The Reds and their Merseyside rivals Everton meet for the first time on December 4 at Anfield before renewing their rivalry at Goodison Park on March 14. For the first time in eight seasons there will be no Eden Hazard gracing the Premier League following his £150million switch from Chelsea to Real Madrid, but after heading to Old Trafford in week one, things open up nicely for the club. They host Leicester next and then face a pair of promoted teams in Norwich and Sheffield United. Champions League runners-up Tottenham claimed fourth last year and Mauricio Pochettino’s side host Aston Villa in their lavish new stadium to kick off the season before a tough run of games sees them play away at City on August 17 and Arsenal on August 31, either side of hosting Newcastle.
Arsenal will be hoping to usurp their fiercest rivals after finishing fifth last season and their second meeting of the season against Spurs takes place on April 25. The Gunners, meanwhile, head to Newcastle on the opening weekend, then host Burnley before travelling to Anfield and welcoming Spurs to the Emirates on week four. Unai Emery will not be looking forward to Christmas this year though as his side play at home against Chelsea and United on December 28 and January 1 respectively.
While those aforementioned six clubs will be fighting for the title, Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa’s aims will be to emulate Wolves in staying up the season after winning promotion. All three teams have sampled Premier League football before and will hope their current time in the top flight extends beyond the 2019-20 campaign. Norwich, the Championship winners, face a difficult start to life back in the big time when they travel to Anfield.
There is definitely a chance to pick up some early points for Daniel Farke though as his side then have two home games against Newcastle and Chelsea before heading to West Ham.
Sheffield United will also fancy themselves to get some points on the board in the early stages of the season. Their first game in the Premier League for 12 years will be a trip to the south coast to take on Bournemouth before they have two home matches against Crystal Palace and Leicester. Aston Villa’s return to the top flight starts with a trip to Spurs before they welcome Bournemouth and Everton to Villa Park.
Culled from MailOnline