New Premier League fixtures released


    By Tom Witham

    The fixtures for the new Premier League season have been released, with champions Manchester City handed an opening day test against newly-promoted Southampton.

    Roberto Mancini's men will entertain the Saints at the Etihad Stadium on August 18th, while local rivals Manchester United have been handed a trip to Everton to open their campaign.

    Meanwhile, London giants Chelsea and Arsenal will start the new season with games away to Wigan and at home to Sunderland respectively.

    Elsewhere in the top flight's opening day schedule, Reading host Stoke, West Ham entertain Aston Villa, Fulham face Norwich, QPR play Swansea and Tottenham make the trip to the north-east to take on Newcastle.

    The title race is likely to centre on the clashes between the Manchester clubs, with these due to take place on December 8th at the Etihad Stadium and on April 6th at Old Trafford.

    Last season, City were able to wrestle the trophy away from their rivals, helped in no small part by a 6-1 triumph at Old Trafford and a decisive 1-0 win at home.