The fixture schedule for the 2022-23 Premier League season was released on Thursday, with champions Manchester City starting at West Ham and the Erik ten Hag era at Manchester United beginning with a home match against Brighton, kicking off a tough-looking run to start his new job.
City clinched the 2021-22 title in extraordinary fashion on the final day, coming from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and edge Liverpool in a thrilling race. Pep Guardiola's side are vying to become the first Premier League team to win the trophy three seasons in a row since Manchester United in 2009; their campaign starts at the London Stadium, before hosting newly promoted Bournemouth.
The first meeting between last season's top two comes on Oct. 15 when Guardiola's men visit Anfield, with the corresponding fixture set for April 1. Jurgen Klopp's side kick off their campaign against newly promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Manchester United endured a nightmare 2021-22 season, finishing with their lowest points tally of the Premier League era. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked midway through the campaign and Ralf Rangnick took over on an interim basis, only to leave the club this summer before the end of his two-year advisory role.
Ten Hag is the latest man trying to stop the rot at Old Trafford, and he has a difficult start to life at United. A home match against Liverpool is the club's third game of the season, on Aug. 20. In that fixture last season, Solskjaer's side suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in their history when Liverpool won 5-0.
United's first 10 matches of the campaign also include trips to Leicester and Everton as well as the visit of Arsenal. The first Manchester derby of the season comes on Oct. 1 at the Etihad, with the Old Trafford fixture set for Jan. 14.
The 2022-23 season kicks off with Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal on Friday, Aug. 5, and then a further programme of seven matches on the Saturday, including Frank Lampard's Everton hosting former club Chelsea.
Antonio Conte's Tottenham beat Mikel Arteta's Arsenal to the remaining Champions League place last season, and they open with a home match against Southampton, with the first North London derby of the season at the Emirates on Oct. 1.
The Premier League is in its 30th year since its inception in 1992, and the new season takes a different shape to previous campaigns, with the league on hiatus in November because of the World Cup in Qatar. The final league fixtures before the tournament take place on Nov. 12-13, and the English Football Association submitted a formal request to the Premier League asking for matches between the Big Six not to be scheduled on the weekend before the World Cup starts, sources told ESPN.
There are no Big Six contests on that weekend, with City hosting Brentford, Liverpool at home to Southampton, Chelsea at Newcastle, Tottenham hosting Leeds, Arsenal travelling to Wolves and United facing Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The World Cup final is on Dec. 18. The Premier League returns on Dec. 26 with a full programme of fixtures including Liverpool at Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa, Leeds vs. Manchester City, and a London derby between Arsenal and West Ham. The following round of fixtures will not be until New Year's Eve this term, to ease the workload on teams following the World Cup.
Elsewhere on the opening day, Nottingham Forest, back in the top flight for the first time in 23 years, begin with a trip to St James' Park to face Newcastle, while fellow new boys Bournemouth host Aston Villa.
The fixtures are subject to change, owing to matches being moved for television purposes and how teams might progress in domestic and European cup competitions.