Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Chelsea open against Swansea ahead of City test

SoccerNews in English Premier League 17 Jun 2015

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Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea welcome Swansea City on the first weekend of the Premier League season before renewing rivalries with Manchester City.

Mourinho’s side claimed the title from City last season – finishing eight points clear at the top – and following their opener against Swansea on August 8 will make the trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini’s City begin their season against West Brom at The Hawthorns, while two of the three Premier League newcomers have home advantage first up.

Championship winners Bournemouth face Aston Villa at Dean Court, with Norwich City entertaining Crystal Palace at Carrow Road.

Watford make the trip north to Everton and the new eras at Newcastle United and West Ham start against Southampton and Arsenal respectively.

Steve McClaren and Slaven Bilic will both take charge of their debut campaigns with the clubs this term, with the former enjoying home advantage on his first competitive outing as Newcastle boss.

Bilic will need to wait until the visit of Leicester City a week later for his Upton Park bow.

Following a season when Manchester United secured a return to the UEFA Champions League, Louis van Gaal’s side face Tottenham at Old Trafford at the start of a campaign in which they will look to establish themselves as title contenders once again.

Rivals Liverpool will have a chance to make amends for last season’s 6-1 final-day drubbing at the hands of Stoke City when they return to the Britannia Stadium.

Last season’s relegation candidates Leicester City and Sunderland will hope to get off on the front foot this term, starting with their opening-day meeting at the King Power Stadium.

Dick Advocaat’s side will then have the chance to maintain their strong recent derby record against Newcastle in the first Tyne-Wear derby of the season at the Stadium of Light on October 24, while the Manchester clubs meet for the first time on the same day.

London rivalries will be renewed two weeks later on November 7 at the Emirates Stadium, while Merseyside pair Everton and Liverpool go head to head at Goodison Park on October 3.

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