City begins title defense vs. Southampton
Fourteen weeks after winning its first English title in 44 years in the most dramatic of circumstances, Manchester City will return to the Etihad Stadium to begin the defense of the championship with a match against newly promoted Southampton on Aug. 18.
City, which scored twice in injury time on the final day of last season to pip archrival Manchester United to the title, then travel to Liverpool for their second game in the fixture list that was released by the Premier League on Monday.
United starts against Everton away, with the Manchester clubs meeting in derby matches provisionally scheduled at City on Dec. 8 and United on April 6.
City arguably has the easier run-in, with games against promoted pair West Ham and Reading as well Swansea and Norwich in its last four matches. In the same period, United must play Arsenal away and Chelsea at home.
Roberto Di Matteo's first match as permanent manager of European champion Chelsea will be at Wigan while new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will take his team to West Bromwich Albion for the first game. Arsenal, which finished third last season, hosts Sunderland.
Perhaps the most eye-catching opening-day match is Tottenham's trip to Newcastle, bringing together teams that both finished last season in the top six.
Rodgers will bid to turn around Liverpool's dreadful home form of last season but the team's first three matches at Anfield are against City, Arsenal and United.
The Liverpool-Man United game is on Sept. 22, which will potentially be the first meeting between Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and United defender Patrice Evra since Suarez's snub of his counterpart during a pre-match handshake at Old Trafford in February.