Manchester City to start title defence at West Ham

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Premier League champions Manchester City FC will begin the defence of their title at West Ham in the final match of the opening weekend’s fixtures.

Pep Guardiola’s side will start their bid for a fifth championship in six seasons at the London Stadium at 4.30 p.m. (1430 GMT) on Aug. 7, after all their rivals have begun their campaigns.

Main rivals Liverpool FC go to promoted Fulham in the early Saturday match, which pitches the Reds’ new signing, Fabio Carvalho against his old club first up.

Old Trafford gets to see new Manchester United FC manager, Erik ten Hag first as the Dutchman opens his maiden season in England at home to Brighton on the Sunday.

Frank Lampard, who guided Everton to safety with one match to spare in May, comes up against his former employers Chelsea in the Saturday evening kick-off.

Nottingham Forest’s first match in the top-flight in 23 years will be against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Promoted Bournemouth, who do not face a team outside last season’s top 12 in their opening five fixtures host Aston Villa first game back before taking on City, Arsenal and Liverpool in consecutive matches.

For the second season running Arsenal have the honour of kicking-off the new campaign with a short trip to Crystal Palace on Friday Aug. 5, when manager Mikel Arteta will hope to avoid last season’s chastening experience of a 2-0 defeat at newcomers Brentford.

Palace look like having one of the toughest starts of any club as after the Gunners, they go to Anfield, host Aston Villa and then head to Manchester City. (dpa/NAN)

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