Premier League fix­tures 2018-19: Manch­ester City to start at Ar­se­nal

The Guardian Australia - - Sport -

Manch­ester City will start their Premier League ti­tle de­fence at Ar­se­nal. The 2018-19 fix­tures, an­nounced on Thursday morn­ing, handed Pep Guardi­ola’s record­break­ing team an Emi­rates Sta­dium opener on the week­end of 11-12 Au­gust – a fix­ture that will be Unai Emery’s first com­pet­i­tive match as Ar­se­nal man­ager.

City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to fin­ish­ing 19 points clear of Manch­ester United in 2017-18, do not face an­other top­six side un­til the trip to Liver­pool in Oc­to­ber. Games against the newly pro­moted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Ful­ham are part of a se­quence that also in­cludes Hud­der­s­field, New­cas­tle and Brighton – the three teams who came up last year.

It is a sim­i­lar story for Manch­ester United, who be­gin at home to Le­ices­ter. The 2017-18 run­ners-up have Tot­ten­ham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burn­ley, Wat­ford, Wolves, West Ham and New­cas­tle their other early-sea­son op­po­nents.

Liver­pool’s start ap­pears more chal­leng­ing. Af­ter host­ing West Ham, Jür­gen Klopp’s side face Tot­ten­ham, Chelsea and Manch­ester City in a run that also in­cludes Crys­tal Palace, Brighton, Le­ices­ter and Southamp­ton.

Tot­ten­ham start their sec­ond suc­ces­sive cam­paign at New­cas­tle be­fore host­ing Ful­ham at Wem­b­ley on 18 Au­gust. Their new £850m sta­dium at White Hart Lane will not be ready un­til the 15 Septem­ber fix­ture against Liver­pool.

Ar­se­nal face a tough first two games with­out Arsène Wenger. Af­ter host­ing the cham­pi­ons, they are at Chelsea for a Lon­don derby.

Chelsea travel to Hud­der­s­field on the open­ing day and, af­ter the trip to Ar­se­nal, come New­cas­tle, Bournemouth, Cardiff, West Ham, Liver­pool and Southamp­ton.

The pro­moted sides were spared a daunt­ing se­quence of games to start the sea­son – al­though all face

one of the top six in their open­ing four matches. The Cham­pi­onship ti­tle win­ners Wolves have a home opener against Ever­ton, be­fore trips to Le­ices­ter and West Ham sand­wich the visit of Manch­ester City to Mo­lineux.

Cardiff start at Bournemouth and have New­cas­tle at home and Hud­der­s­field away, be­fore the visit of Ar­se­nal. Ful­ham, who se­cured their place in the top flight with vic­tory over As­ton Villa in the Cham­pi­onship play-off fi­nal, be­gin at home to Crys­tal Palace, be­fore the trip to Spurs is fol­lowed by Burn­ley at home and Brighton away. The other first-day fix­tures are Southamp­ton v Burn­ley and Wat­ford v Brighton.

Among the fi­nal round of matches, sched­uled for 12 May, Manch­ester City are at Brighton – where they started last sea­son – while Cardiff and Wolves are at Manch­ester United and Liver­pool re­spec­tively.

Manch­ester City open their ti­tle de­fence at Ar­se­nal. Pho­to­graph: Martin Rick­ett/PA

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