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 published.
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 London.
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.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have two testing fixtures on the third and fourth weekend of matches – hosting Arsenal and then an away trip to Manchester City.
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.
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 season.
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. -- AFP