Manchester City will begin the defence of their Premier League title at West Ham in the final match of the opening weekend’s fixtures. Pep Guardiola’s side will start their push for a fifth championship in six seasons at the London Stadium at 4.30pm on Sunday 7 August.
Liverpool go to Fulham in the Saturday lunchtime match, which pitches their new signing Fabio Carvalho against his former club. The following day Erik ten Hag opens his first season as Manchester United’s manager at home to Brighton.
Frank Lampard, who guided Everton to safety with one match to spare last month, comes up against his former employers Chelsea in the Saturday evening kick-off.
Nottingham Forest’s first game in the top flight in 23 years will be at Newcastle, and promoted Bournemouth, who do not face a team outside last season’s top 12 in their opening five fixtures, host Aston Villa before taking on City, Arsenal and Liverpool in consecutive matches.
For the second season running Arsenal play the season’s first game: a short trip to Crystal Palace on Friday 5 August, when Mikel Arteta will hope to avoid a result resembling last season’s chastening 2-0 defeat at Brentford. Palace appear to have one of the toughest starts because they then go to Anfield, host Aston Villa and head to City.
Liverpool and City renew their rivalry at Anfield on 15 October – after a midweek Champions League tie – with the return scheduled for 1 April. Jürgen Klopp is unlikely to be impressed with Liverpool’s fixture allocation in conjunction with their European commitments.
Their three away matches after Champions League group games are Chelsea (17 September), Arsenal (8 October) and Tottenham (5 November).
City’s post-European away trips are, in addition to their trip to Liverpool, Wolves (17 September) and Leicester (29 October). They host Spurs on 6 September.
The final weekend before the mid-season break for the World Cup sees the traditional Big Six kept apart, the most high-profile fixtures being Chelsea’s trip to Newcastle and Tottenham hosting Leeds.
When the campaign resumes on Boxing Day Leeds host City and United welcome Forest, with Newcastle fans facing the longest journey in a 376-mile round trip to Leicester.
The Manchester derbies take place on 1 October (at the Etihad) and 14 January, and for a third season in a row Everton host the first Merseyside derby, on 3 September, with the return on 11 February. Arsenal host the first north London derby on 1 October before visiting Tottenham on 14 January.
The final weekend sees City head to Brentford, Liverpool at Southampton, Tottenham visit Leeds and Chelsea host Newcastle.
All three promoted sides are away on the final day, with Forest at Palace, Bournemouth at Everton – where they were relegated in 2020 despite a 3-1 victory – and Fulham travelling to Old Trafford.
Source: The Guardian