Premier League 2017-18 fixtures: Chelsea host Burnley on opening day




Chelsea started their 2016-17 title-winning campaign with a 2-1 home win over West Ham

Chelsea will begin their title defence at home to Burnley when the 2017-18 Premier League season kicks off on the weekend of 12-13 August.

Newly promoted Newcastle host Tottenham, while Brighton welcome Manchester City and Huddersfield visit Crystal Palace.

Spurs’ first game at Wembley will be against Antonio Conte’s champions on the second weekend of the season.

Find all your team’s fixtures on the BBC Sport website by clicking here.

The precise date of games will be set once TV schedules have been decided.

The league season is set to finish on Sunday, 13 May 2018 – a week earlier than last season – with the World Cup finals in Russia starting on 14 June.

The English Football League fixtures will be released on Wednesday, 21 June, and Scotland’s fixtures two days later.

Opening exchanges

Questions have been raised about Tottenham’s potential to perform at Wembley after a miserable run of results there in last season’s Champions League, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side will have a tough first test at their temporary home.

The last time Spurs visited the national stadium was in the FA Cup semi-final, a game they lost 4-2 to this season’s first visitors – Chelsea.

But it could prove a tricky opening few weeks for the defending champions too, with Chelsea hosting Everton (26 August), visiting 2015-16 winners Leicester after the international break and then welcoming Arsenal (16 September).

Arsene Wenger’s Gunners have a chance to show their top-four credentials in week three when they visit Liverpool.

Another early indicator in the race for the Champions League places comes in the following round of games, with Liverpool travelling to Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.

Europa League winners Manchester United do not face another Champions League qualifier until they visit Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on the weekend of 14-15 October.

Festive fun

English football’s top-flight sides will face four league games in nine days over Christmas and new year, with eight in total from 2 December to 1 January.

The final round of the Champions League group stage also takes place during that period, as traditionally does the fifth round of the League Cup.

Arsenal welcome Liverpool two days before Christmas, while Brighton go to Chelsea on Boxing Day and Newcastle host Manchester City.

West Ham make the trip across London to face Tottenham in the round of games scheduled for 30 December, with another London derby taking place on New Year’s Day as Arsenal host Chelsea.

The new boys
Huddersfield beat Reading on penalties in the Championship play-off final to gain promotion

There will be no easing into life in the top flight for those promoted from the Championship, with Brighton’s first game in the Premier League at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Newcastle hammered Tottenham 5-1 in their most recent Premier League game at St James’ Park, and it will be last season’s runners-up Spurs who visit Rafa Benitez’s side on the opening day.

Huddersfield make their Premier League debut at Crystal Palace, before hosting fellow newcomers Newcastle a week later and completing their August schedule at home to Southampton.

The Terriers’ first game back in the top flight since 1972 is a repeat of their last, when they drew 0-0 at Selhurst Park in April that year.

Brighton, meanwhile, are back in English football’s top division for the first time since the 1982-83 season.

Chris Hughton’s side go to Leicester on the second weekend, before visiting Watford.

Champions League returnChampions League group-stage dates1. 12-13 September4. 31 October – 1 November2. 26-27 September5. 21-22 November3. 17-18 October6. 5-6 December

Chelsea did not have to contend with Champions League games on their run to the title last season, but the new Premier League fixture list means a challenging European schedule for Conte’s side.

The Blues face four of last term’s top six on their return from continental action, with home games against Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United as well as a trip to Liverpool coming immediately after Champions League fixtures.

The first Manchester derby of the season takes place at Old Trafford on the weekend of 9 December – immediately after the final Champions League group game – while City face Arsenal after the fourth group match.

Tottenham have perhaps the easiest run of fixtures following Champions League dates – at home to Swansea, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Stoke, plus a trip to Huddersfield.

Derby days and manager rivalries
Guardiola and Mourinho will renew their rivalry when City travel to United on 9 December

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will get the chance to renew their rivalry on 9 December at Old Trafford, with the return fixture at Etihad Stadium on the weekend of 7 April.

This season’s Merseyside derbies fall on the same weekends as Manchester’s, with Everton making the short trip across Stanley Park to face Liverpool in December.

FA Cup winners Arsenal return to Wembley for the north London derby in February, with Spurs first heading to the Emirates on 18 November.

Newcastle boss Benitez goes back to Stamford Bridge to face former club Chelsea on the first weekend of December, while the Spaniard returns to another one of his former employers, Liverpool, on 3 March.

Liverpool and Manchester United first meet at Anfield on 14 October, before Klopp’s side go to Old Trafford on 10 March.

Premier League derby daysNorth LondonEmirates (18 November), Wembley (10 February)ManchesterOld Trafford (9 December), Etihad (7 April)MerseysideAnfield (9 December), Goodison Park (7 April)Who will get off to a fast start?

After a sure thing for the opening day? The records suggest you should look no further than the champions.

With 54, Chelsea have won more points on the opening day than any other Premier League club and have not lost in their first game since defeat by Coventry in 1998.

The Blues host Burnley, a side with one of the worst records – they have lost all three of their Premier League opening-day fixtures and only scored one goal.

In fact, just one of the previous 25 reigning Premier League champions have lost their opening game in the following campaign – that was Leicester against Hull City last year.

Hammers on the road

West Ham face the possibility of having to play their first three matches of the season away from home.

The club have confirmed their second fixture, scheduled to be at home to Southampton, will have to be rearranged because of the World Athletics Championships being held at London Stadium.

The event takes place from 5-13 August, so the stadium will not be back in ‘football mode’ in time for the Saints game on 19 August.

The fixture could be reversed, meaning the Hammers would face three games on the road.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have said their home game against Burnley on Saturday, 26 August will need to be rescheduled as it clashes with rugby league’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

The fixtures computer

There are 2,036 matches across the Premier League and Football League over a nine-month period.

Travel plans, rail and road networks and festive holidays all play a role in deciding when the matches are played.

But how does the process work?

Every club is paired with another in regard to when they play their home and away fixtures.For every date in the season, the fixture computer knows who is at home and who is away and assigns an away side to a home side randomly.The Premier League, the Football League and Atos representatives then review the fixtures for two days to make sure they have met all the requirements.

But if there are any problems, they go back and start again – and changing one match can require 40 other changes.

In the 2012-13 season, the Metropolitan Police did not want high-profile matches played until after 8 September because of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The review process incorporates representatives from all the leagues, the FA and also a fans’ representative, from the Football Supporters’ Federation.

Find out more here.



Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40268479

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