The 2021/22 season of the English Premier League will kick off in a grand way with two high-profile matches, Manchester United playing Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur taking on Manchester City right on the opening day of the season.
City are among the sides heavily linked with Spurs striker Harry Kane, throwing up the tantalising possibility that the England captain could line up against his boyhood club on the opening weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side won the league by 12 points last season ahead of rivals Manchester United, who face old foes Leeds at Old Trafford. Both clashes were played behind closed doors on Leeds’ return to the top flight last season, but hopes are high for significant crowd numbers for the coming season.
The first fixtures will take place on 14 August with newly promoted Brentford playing host to Arsenal in their first top-flight game since the 1946-47 season. Meanwhile, Norwich and Watford, the other two newly promoted sides will face Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively.
European Champions Chelsea meanwhile welcome local London rival Crystal Palace and FA Cup Champions Leicester City take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.
There are a number of early meetings between the ‘big six’. Liverpool host Chelsea on the third weekend of the season before the Blues host Manchester City in a repeat of the Champions League final on September 25.
Liverpool renew their rivalry with City on October 2 at Anfield and their clash at the Etihad on April 9 could be key in the title race.
United and Liverpool face off at Old Trafford on October 23 and March 19 at Anfield.
All fixtures are still subject to change for TV coverage.
While a 40,000 crowd will witness the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley in July as part of a UK government pilot scheme, there has been no clarity if fans would allowed inside the stadium from next season.
PREMIER LEAGUE OPENING WEEKEND FIXTURES
Saturday 14 August
Brentford v Arsenal
Burnley v Brighton
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Southampton
Leicester v Wolves
Man Utd v Leeds
Newcastle v West Ham
Norwich v Liverpool
Spurs v Man City
Watford v Aston Villa
(With Agency Inputs)