Manchester United kick off title defence at West Brom

Manchester United will kick off their title defence away to West Bromwich Albion on 13 August, the Premier...

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Picture: AFP.

Manchester United will kick off their title defence away to West Bromwich Albion on 13 August, the Premier League said on Friday.

Runners-up Chelsea are also away from home on the opening day of the 2011/12 season, when they head to FA Cup finalists Stoke City.

Newly promoted Swansea City will get an immediate taste of the high life with a trip to big-spending Manchester City, who finished third last season and will be appearing in the Champions League for the first time.

Arsenal have a tricky start to the season, travelling to Newcastle United with whom they shared a thrilling 4-4 draw last season, before matches at home to revitalised Liverpool and away to champions United.

Arsene Wenger's side are also not helped by having to play in the Champions League playoff round in August, having missed out on qualifying directly for the group stage after finishing fourth.

Last season's top two do not have long to wait before their first match against each other, with Chelsea heading to Old Trafford on the fifth weekend of the season.