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Mon Apr 21 06:37:12 SAST 2014

Man City start title defence at home to Saints

Sapa-AFP | 18 June, 2012 11:290 Comments
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League
Manchester City players celebrate with the trophy following the Premier League match between Man City and Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium on May 13, 2012 in Manchester, England
Image by: Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Manchester City will begin the defence of their English Premier League title at home to newly promoted Southampton on August 18, it was announced on Monday.

Manchester United, who were just pipped to the title on the final day of the 2011/12 season, are away to Everton before Fulham visit Old Trafford the following weekend.

Arsenal, third last term, start at home to Sunderland before travelling to Stoke and Liverpool.

The opening day of the season sees two Europa League rivals go head-to-head when Newcastle welcome Tottenham Hotspur, currently without a manager following the departure of Harry Redknapp, to St James’ Park.

European champions Chelsea, with Roberto di Matteo now their full-time as opposed to caretaker manager, begin their quest for the Premier League title away to Wigan. Newcastle will be the first league visitors to Stamford Bridge.

Brendan Rodgers’ first Premier League match as Liverpool manager will be at West Bromwich Albion, now managed by former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant Steve Clarke after the Baggies lost Roy Hodgson to England.

Swansea, the team Rodgers left, will have the first league game under new manager Michael Laudrup at Queens Park Rangers.

West Ham’s return to the Premier League starts at home to Aston Villa, now managed by former Norwich boss Paul Lambert.

Fellow newcomers Reading will also have home advantage in their first top flight game for four years when Stoke arrive at the Madejski Stadium.

Meanwhile Fulham and Norwich meet at Craven Cottage in Chris Hughton’s first competitive game since replacing Lambert as Canaries boss.

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Man City start title defence at home to Saints

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