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Champions to host Saints in opening round

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jun 2012

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English Premier League champions Manchester City will open the 2012/13 season at home to newly promoted Southampton.

The fixtures for the upcoming season were released on Tuesday, and pitted Nigel Adkins’ Championship winners against a City side who claimed the Premier League crown on the final day of the season in dramatic circumstances.

Runners-up Manchester United face a tricky trip to Goodison Park to face Everton in their season opener, while Champions League winners Chelsea travel to Wigan Athletic.

West Ham United and Reading celebrate their return to the English top-flight with home matches against Aston Villa and Stoke City respectively, while Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool will be the visitors at The Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.

Also on the opening weekend, Arsenal host Sunderland and Newcastle United welcome Tottenham, while Norwich City and Swansea City visit Fulham and Queens Park Rangers respectively.

Northeast rivals Sunderland and Newcastle will do battle on October 20, while the first Merseyside derby of the season between Liverpool and Everton will be played at Goodison Park on October 27.

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium will be the venue for the first battle of north London when Tottenham are the visitors on November 17.

The two Manchester derbies are scheduled for Etihad Stadium (December 8) and Old Trafford (April 6), with the latter placed tantalisingly close to the end of the season.

On the final day of the season, Manchester City are at home to Norwich while rivals Manchester United go to West Bromwich Albion.

Chelsea will battle Everton at Stamford Bridge and Newcastle United host Arsenal in the other notable clashes on the last day.

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