City to open EPL title defence at West Ham

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Premier League champions Manchester City will begin the defence of their title at West Ham in the final match of the opening weekend's fixtures.

Pep Guardiola's side will start their bid for a fifth championship in six seasons at the London Stadium on Sunday August 7, after all their rivals have begun their campaigns.

Main rivals Liverpool go to Fulham in the Saturday lunchtime match, which pitches the Reds' new signing Fabio Carvalho against his old club first up.

Old Trafford gets to see new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag first as the Dutchman opens his maiden season in England 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.

Nottingham Forest's first match in the top-flight in 23 years will be against Newcastle at St James' Park.

Promoted Bournemouth, who do not face a team outside last season's top 12 in their opening five fixtures, host Aston Villa first game back before taking on City, Arsenal and Liverpool in consecutive matches.

For the second season running Arsenal have the honour of kicking-off the new campaign with a short trip to Crystal Palace on Friday August 5, when manager Mikel Arteta will hope to avoid last season's chastening experience of a 2-0 defeat at newcomers Brentford.

Palace look like having one of the toughest starts of any club as after the Gunners they go to Anfield, host Aston Villa and then head to Manchester City.

Liverpool and City renew their rivalry at Anfield on October 15 - after a midweek Champions League tie - with the return fixture scheduled for April 1.

Reds boss Juergen Klopp is unlikely to be impressed with their fixture allocation in conjunction with their European commitments.

Their three away matches following Champions League group games are Chelsea (September 17), Arsenal (October 8) and Tottenham (November 5).

In addition to their trip to Anfield, City's post-European away trips are Wolves (September 17) and Leicester (October 29), while they host Spurs on September 6.

The Manchester derbies take place on October 1 (Etihad Stadium) and January 14 (Old Trafford), while for a third year in a row Everton host the first Merseyside derby of the season on September 3 with the return on February 11.

Arsenal host the first north London derby on October 1, with Tottenham's home game against the Gunners on January 14.

The final weekend before the mid-season break for the World Cup in Qatar sees all the traditional 'Big Six' kept apart, with the campaign resuming on Boxing Day.

ROUND ONE FIXTURES:

Friday August 5

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Saturday August 6

Fulham v Liverpool

Bournemouth v Aston Villa

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leicester City v Brentford

Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton

Everton v ChelseaOn Sky

Sunday August 7

Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion

West Ham United v Manchester City

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