After the excitement of last season’s Premier League campaign and incredible achievement of reigning champions Leicester City, the plot for next season’s drama is already forming with the release of the fixtures for the 2016/17 campaign. And of course, we can’t wait!
As it turns out, marquee managers Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will not have to wait long to renew their rivalry with the first Manchester derby of next season to take place at Old Trafford on September 10, with the return leg at the Etihad on February 25, 2017.
As the fiercest managerial rivalry gets a Mancunian flavour, fans of the English game should brace themselves for a season quite like no other, with other top-class managers – Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and Claudio Ranieri – poised for a number of explosive encounters.
Champions Leicester begin their defence at promoted Hull City on August 13, while Mourinho takes his team to Bournemouth and Guardiola’s City host Sunderland.
However, the standout clash of the opening day (August 13/14) is undoubtedly the tie between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates.
Following Arsenal’s acquisition of Granit Xhaka and links with Leicester duo Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante, Arsene Wenger’s side has made a statement of intent going into the season and what better way to walk the talk than a strong showing against an almost rampant Kloop’s Reds.
Ronald Koeman will also take charge of his new club for the first time when Everton take on Tottenham at Goodison Park, while new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte faces a fiery opening game as dangerous London rivals West Ham come to town.
Mourinho will make an emotional and possibly combustible reunion with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 22, while former Southampton boss Koeman must wait until November 26 before his return to the south coast, where he may take on former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez.
Manchester United, who played the last game at Upton Park last season, will be the last visitors to White Hart Lane as Tottenham say goodbye to the famous ground on May 13.
Opening Day Fixtures (August 13/14 )
Arsenal v Liverpool
Bournemouth v Manchester United
Burnley v Swansea City
Chelsea v West Ham United
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
Hull City v Leicester City
Manchester City v Sunderland
Middlesbrough v Stoke City
Southampton v Watford
Final Day Fixtures (May 21)
Arsenal v Everton
Burnley v West Ham United
Chelsea v Sunderland
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City v Bournemouth
Liverpool v Middlesbrough
Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Southampton v Stoke City
Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion
Watford v Manchester City
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