Not long now
For lovers of domestic football, for those unaffected by the nose and excitement of the international scene, of Euro 2012 and its nationalistic rivalries, it will come as welcome news that the Premier League fixture list has been announced for the 2012/2013 season. Not long now.
The first round of fixtures will be held on Saturday August 18:
Arsenal v Sunderland
Everton v Manchester United
Fulham v Norwich City
Manchester City v Southampton
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Reading v Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea
Manchester City will begin the defence of their first title since 1968 at home to newly promoted Southampton.
Meanwhile their Manchester rivals start with a tough test against David Moyes’ Everton. Though whether they will still be David Moyes’ remains to be seen, with the Scotsman’s name linked to the job at White Hart Lane.
It is not the only tough away test for Alex Ferguson’s side. Manchester United will have to play away from home five or six times after Champion League group matches. Hardly ideal for a team challenging on multiple fronts, domestically and in Europe.
Roberto Martinez, another man linked to the Tottenham job, will welcome European Champions Chelsea to Wigan in their first game of the season.
Last season was about a battle for supremacy between Manchester’s giants. This upcoming season will be no different. The first Manchester derby will take place on December 8 with the return fixture on April 6.
Brendan Rodgers first game as Liverpool boss will come against a familiar face and former Liverpool assistant coach in the form of Steve Clarke at West Brom. Clarke was loyal to former Reds’ coach Kenny Dalglish and left along with the Scot when he was sacked at Anfield.
Two other new bosses will be eager to start their reigns with positive results. Paul Lambert will take charge of Aston Villa for the first time against play-off Champions West Ham. Chris Houghton, newly in charge of Norwich, starts with a challenging game away to Fulham.
It’s not long until the return of real football.
Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Aston Villa v Everton
Chelsea v Newcastle United
Liverpool v Manchester City
Manchester United v Fulham
Norwich City v Queens Park Rangers
Southampton v Wigan Athletic
Stoke City v Arsenal
Sunderland v Reading
Swansea City v West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion
Saturday, September 1st, 2012
Chelsea v Reading
Liverpool v Arsenal
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Southampton v Manchester United
Swansea City v Sunderland
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City
West Bromwich Albion v Everton
West Ham United v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Stoke City
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