United, Chelsea clash in season opener

MANCHESTER United face Chelsea in a crunch opening clash in the 2019-20 Premier League season, while newly-promoted Norwich City begin their campaign with a difficult trip to Liverpool.

The sides meet at Old Trafford on Sunday August 11, two days after Daniel Farke’s Norwich tackle the ominous task of containing Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane at Anfield.

Aston Villa mark their return to the top-flight after a three-year absence with a trip to Tottenham, while fellow promoted side Sheffield United travel to Bournemouth.

Champions Manchester City begin their defence with a home clash with West Ham, with Newcastle welcoming Arsenal to St James’ Park.

The Premier League will feature a short winter break in February for the first time, with fixtures staggered over a two-week period to ensure each team gets a week off.

The season’s curtain raiser takes place on August 4 as Manchester City face Liverpool in the Charity Shield at Wembley Stadium.

City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title by a solitary point last season, defying the odds to go on a high-pressure winning run which included successes against Tottenham, Manchester United and Leicester.

However, the fortunes are flipped this season as City appear to have a more favourable run-in than Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Liverpool’s final three games see hosting duties against Chelsea sandwiched between trips to Arsenal and Newcastle. Meanwhile, City’s biggest challenge in the final six matches – on paper anyway – is a trip to Watford, who they crushed 6-0 in the FA Cup final last month.

The title rivals first meet in the league on November 9 at Anfield, with the return trip at the Etihad on April 4. – Eurosport

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