The Premier League fixtures are released today, and we take a look at some selected matches as Manchester City attempt to defend their title.
Following the Community Shield match against Chelsea, the champions kick off their season with another trip to London to face Arsenal, where the blues won convincingly 3-0 last season. This is followed with a home match against Huddersfield Town on 18th August.
After Arsenal, City’s next match against the so called ‘top six’ doesn’t arrive until 6th October when the blues travel to Anfield. It will be their first trip to Merseyside since Liverpool fans attacked the City team bus in the Champions League tie. They will be hoping to finally secure their first win there since 2002.
The first Manchester Derby will be played on 10th November at Eithad Stadium. The blues will seek revenge for United’s 3-2 at the Etihad last season, which delayed City’s title party. The return at Old Trafford is on 16th March, where City will be hoping to continue their recent good record, having won five and lost one of seven league games in Stretford,
The Promoted Sides
Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham all re-join the Premier League and City’s first match against a promoted side is at the end of August when they travel to Wolves.
The last time City lost to a promoted team was March 2015, when Burnley beat the then defending champions 1-0 at Turf Moor, however Cardiff will have fond memories of playing City at home, when they beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side 3-2 in their first home Premier League match. City face Cardiff on 22nd September, a week after a home match against Fulham.
Christmas and Easter
Manager Pep Guardiola blasted last season’s Christmas fixtures, saying the festive period will ‘kill players’ after his team beat Watford 3-1, their tenth fixture in a month. The blues face Crystal Palace at home in their final match before Christmas, while Boxing Day sees a trip to the Midlands to face Leicester.
City’s final game of the year is a long trip to Southampton, the scene of City’s last minute winner a month ago.
Easter falls on 21st April and the blues face Spurs at home the day before
City have finished their season away from home for the last three seasons, Swansea, Watford and Southampton, and they make it four away finishes with another trip to the south coast to face Brighton on the final day.