To think it is only 26 days since the final day of the Premier League season. With the whole country baking in glorious sunshine, earlier this week next seasons fixtures were released.The season will consist of 34 weekends along with three midweeks and one bank holiday. Everything will kick off on Saturday 14th August, with the final day drama unfolding on Sunday 22nd May.
There will be one blank Saturday of no Premiership action which will fall on the 29th January 2022. This forms part of the FIFA International Match Calendar. Round 37 has been scheduled for Sunday 15th May to avoid a clash with the FA Cup Final, 24 hours earlier.
Fascinating round of opening fixtures
The opening round of fixtures has thrown up some fascinating games. Champions Manchester City will open up their campaign with a tough trip to London to face Tottenham. The current champions have a tricky start to the defence of their title. City will face Tottenham, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool in their opening seven games.
If they can get through those tough matches then that will set them up nicely for another tilt at the Premiership. With Pep’s troop’s clear favourites for the title.
Manchester are odds on to win back to back Premiership titles with Chelsea second favourites, click here for more odds.
It isn’t just City who on paper have a tough opening to the campaign. Champions League winners Chelsea have a London Derby against Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City to come. All of that following their opener against Crystal Palace. The Blues will relish facing Crystal Palace first up after winning 16 of their last 20 Premier League meetings with Palace.
Brentford back in the top flight again
Newly promoted Brentford will host a mouth-watering London derby against Arsenal at the Brentford Community Stadium. It will be the Bees first top-flight game since the 1946-7 season. In the same season Arsenal beat Brentford 1-0 at Griffin Park. That could certainly be a good omen for Arsenal fans.
Bad news for Bees fans is the final five games of the season are tough. Tottenham, Manchester United, Southampton, Everton and Leeds. Not a favourable run in for the new boys.
Of the two other promoted sides, Norwich face Liverpool whilst Watford are at home to Aston Villa. In another interesting opening day fixture Everton face Southampton. Both sides last season promised much early on then failed to deliver.
Remarkably, this will be the fourth time that Norwich City have faced Liverpool in their opening top-flight match of the season. City, who are already one of the favourites to come straight back down, have lost the other three opening day matches against Liverpool.
Big test in opening games for the Canaries
For any side newly promoted back to the top flight it is imperative to get off to a good start. Aside from starting the season against Jurgen Klopp’s boys, Norwich then will face three daunting games. Manchester City, Leicester City and Arsenal follow. Not exactly the easiest of starts for the Canaries.
Other intriguing opening weekend fixtures will see two giant clubs go toe to toe when Manchester United face Leeds United. Newcastle United go against West Ham United at St. James Park with West Ham looking to start the season as they ended it.
It’s the end to the season that stands out for Newcastle. From April 2nd, six of their last eight games are against Spurs, Wolves, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal. Steve Bruce’s side will really need to make sure the points are on the board by then.