Manchester City will start their Premier League title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures, announced on Thursday morning, handed Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of 11-12 August – a fixture that will be Unai Emery’s first competitive match as Arsenal manager.
City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017-18, do not face another top-six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against the newly promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence that also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton – the three teams who came up last year.
It is a similar story for Manchester United, who begin at home to Leicester. The 2017-18 runners-up have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early-season opponents.
Liverpool’s start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Jürgen Klopp’s side face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run that also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton.
Tottenham start their second successive campaign at Newcastle before hosting Fulham at Wembley on 18 August. Their new £850m stadium at White Hart Lane will not be ready until the 15 September fixture against Liverpool.
Arsenal face a tough first two games without Arsène Wenger. After hosting the champions, they are at Chelsea for a London derby.
Chelsea travel to Huddersfield on the opening day and, after the trip to Arsenal, come Newcastle, Bournemouth, Cardiff, West Ham, Liverpool and Southampton.