Monday, 18 June 2012

Premier league fixtures 2012/2013 season released

Champions Manchester City begin their defence of the Premier League title at home to newcomers Southampton when the season kicks off on August 18.

 Roberto Mancini's team - who clinched the title with two injury-time goals against QPR on the final day of last season - then face a tough away trip to Anfield.

 Manchester United, pipped at the post by their neighbours, begin the season with a visit to Everton.

 Roberto Di Matteo's first match as the permanent Chelsea manager is away to Wigan, who were so impressive in escaping from danger during the latter stages of the season, while Arsenal host Sunderland and Newcastle are at home to Tottenham.

 Brendan Rodgers takes his bow as Liverpool manager on the road at West Bromwich Albion - where last season's Anfield assistant manager Steve Clarke is now in charge - and Reading kick off their Premier League return at home to Stoke, with play-off winners West Ham providing Paul Lambert's first test as Aston Villa manager at Upton Park.

 New Norwich manager Chris Hughton takes the East Anglians to the banks of the Thames for a match against Fulham. The Cottagers' near neighbours QPR, who escaped relegation on the final day, begin their season at home to Michael Laudrup's Swansea.

 Liverpool lock horns with Manchester United at Anfield on September 22, when Manchester City are at home to Arsenal, while Everton and Liverpool meet in a Goodison Merseyside derby on October 27, and on November 17 Arsenal play Tottenham in the North London derby at the Emirates.

 The Boxing Day fixtures see Arsenal at home to West Ham, Manchester United hosting Newcastle, Manchester City at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland, Tottenham away at Aston Villa and Chelsea at Norwich.

 If Manchester City find themselves needing to repeat the last day, last-minute dramas of last season, they are at home again - the Canaries the opposition this time - while United are away to West Brom, Chelsea at home to Everton, Newcastle host Arsenal and Tottenham face Sunderland at White Hart Lane. 

 The fixture computer has conjured up a Lancashire derby at Burnley for Bolton's first game back in the Championship.

 Blackburn travel to Portman Road to take on Ipswich and Wolves get a big occasion at Elland Road against Leeds and Neil Warnock as they attempt to pick up the pieces following a thoroughly demoralising campaign.

 Blackpool begin their bid to shrug off the disappointment of play-off final defeat with a trip to the Den to play a Millwall side that finished the campaign strongly after struggling for much of it, and Steve Bruce gets back into management with a home game for his Hull team against Brighton.

 Sheffield Wednesday, the winners of a thrilling battle for automatic promotion with city rivals Sheffield United, go to Pride Park to play Nigel Clough's Derby, and League One champions Charlton are also on the road, travelling to Birmingham City.

 Portsmouth fans must feel that their FA Cup final triumph happened in another lifetime or a parallel universe, with reality for a club that has gone through huge recent turmoil now a trip to Bournemouth in League One.

 Sheffield United - so near but so far last time around - are at home to Shrewsbury, and Coventry resume life in the third tier at Yeovil.

 Newly-promoted Crewe open up at home to Notts County, elevated Crawley are also at home, playing Scunthorpe, Paolo Di Canio takes his champions Swindon to Hartlepool and Uwe Rosler's increasingly assured-looking Brentford go to Bury.

 In League Two, the first Football League game in Fleetwood Town's history is at home to Torquay, who for so long looked likely to be promoted before falling in the play-offs, while York face Wycombe on their own patch as they resume league life.

 AFC Wimbledon start their second season as a league club at home to Chesterfield, and two recent under-achievers, Gillingham and Bradford, meet at Priestfield.


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