London - Premier
League champions Chelsea will be the first opponents for runners-up
Tottenham at their temporary home of Wembley on the second weekend of
the 2017/18 campaign it was revealed on Wednesday when the fixtures were
Spurs - who were beaten by Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final at
Wembley and lost two of their four European matches last season when
they played 'home' matches there instead of White Hart Lane - are using
Wembley while their new state of the art ground is developed in north
Chelsea begin the defence of their title with a home fixture at
Stamford Bridge on the weekend of August 12/13 against Burnley, who had a
terrible time away from home last season.
The challenge for Burnley is even greater as the champions have not
lost on the opening day of the Premier League since going down to
Coventry in 1998.
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have two testing fixtures on the third and
fourth weekend of matches - hosting Arsenal and then an away trip to
Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger will be firmly in the sights of
the disgruntled Gunners fans who didn't wanted him to sign a new
contract, face a tricky trip to Chelsea the weekend after.
Arsenal will host Antonio Conte's champions on January 1 in the usual
packed festive period programme which will see the teams play four
matches apiece between December 23 and New Year's Day.
For those Arsenal fans who are superstitious the omens are good for
the Europa League campaign as the Gunners open their league programme at
home to 2016 champions Leicester - the last time they did that in the
1999/2000 season they went on to reach the UEFA Cup final (the
predecessor of the Europa League), losing to Galatasaray.
Three weeks before that sees a mouthwatering couple of derbies with
Liverpool hosting Everton and the Manchester derby - Pep Guardiola's
City travelling to take on Jose Mourinho's United at Old Trafford.
For the trio of newly-promoted clubs, their opening fixtures see
second tier champions Newcastle host Spurs, whilst Premier League
debutants Brighton entertain Manchester City and Huddersfield are away
at Crystal Palace.
With both Brighton and Huddersfield favoured to be mired in a
relegation battle they both face daunting run-ins at the end of the
Huddersfield, out of the top flight since 1972, face Chelsea,
Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal in their last four matches, while
Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool are the opponents in three of
Brighton's final four games.
Bookies reacted to the fixtures publication with William Hill making
Chelsea 3/1 second favourites to retain their title, with Manchester
City 2/1 favourites.
Huddersfield are 4/5 favourites for the drop with Brighton and Burnley favoured to join them at 6/5 and 5/4 respectively.
OPENING DAY FIXTURES (August 12, 2017)
Arsenal v Leicester City
Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City
Chelsea v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town
Everton v Stoke City
Manchester United v West Ham United
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton v Swansea City
Watford v Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth
FINAL DAY FIXTURES (May 13, 2018)
Burnley v Bournemouth
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Huddersfield Town v Arsenal
Liverpool v Brighton and Hove Albion
Manchester United v Watford
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Southampton v Manchester City
Swansea City v Stoke City
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City
West Ham United v Everton