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Chelsea to host Burnley in Premier League season opener

The Premier League champions will open the defence of their title at home to Burnley when the season kicks off in August.

Chelsea players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Premier League. Picture: Twitter/@ChelseaFC

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

The full list of fixtures was released on Wednesday with Antonio Conte’s side also slated for a follow-up game at Tottenham Hotspur, who will play all their home fixtures at Wembley while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

Manchester City travel to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening weekend, while Manchester United play West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Liverpool take on Watford, under the new management of Marco Silva, at Vicarage Road, while Spurs travel to Championship (second tier) champions Newcastle United.

The other Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town will play their first top-flight game in 45 years at Crystal Palace as Arsenal open at home to Leicester City.

Everton, who begin at home to Stoke City, face a testing opening to the campaign with games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United before the end of September.

The first weekend’s fixtures are completed by Swansea City’s visit to Southampton and Bournemouth’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester United’s first meeting with Liverpool, always one of the highlights of the season, will be at Anfield on 14 October. The first Manchester derby will be at Old Trafford on 9 December, the same weekend as the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Huddersfield manager David Wagner will have a first competitive reunion with mentor Juergen Klopp at Anfield on 28 October.

However, his side face a daunting end to the season with their final four games including trips to Manchester City and Chelsea, plus Everton and Arsenal at home.

The festive programme is typically packed, with a full round of fixtures two days before Christmas.

All the timings are subject to slight change because of TV scheduling.

Spurs’ games face further problems because of conflicting demands at Wembley and the club immediately announced that their home game with Burnley on 26 August would have to be rescheduled because it clashes with the Rugby League Challenge Cup final.

The EFL fixtures for the other three divisions will be released on 21 June.

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