Chelsea host Burnley on opening day of Premier League

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Chelsea champs
Chelsea champs

Chelsea will begin their title defence at home to Burnley when the 2017-18 Premier League season kicks off on the weekend of 12-13 August.

Newly promoted Newcastle host Tottenham, while Brighton welcome Manchester City and Huddersfield visit Crystal Palace.

Spurs’ first game at Wembley will be against Antonio Conte’s champions on the second weekend of the season.

The precise date of games will be set once TV schedules have been decided.

The league season is set to finish on Sunday, 13 May 2018 – a week earlier than last season – with the World Cup finals in Russia starting on 14 June.

The English Football League fixtures will be released on Wednesday, 21 June, and Scotland’s fixtures two days later.

Questions have been raised about Tottenham’s potential to perform at Wembley after a miserable run of results there in last season’s Champions League, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side will have a tough first test at their temporary home.

The last time Spurs visited the national stadium was in the FA Cup semi-final, a game they lost 4-2 to this season’s first visitors – Chelsea.

But it could prove a tricky opening few weeks for the defending champions too, with Chelsea hosting Everton (26 August), visiting 2015-16 winners Leicester after the international break and then welcoming Arsenal (16 September).

Arsene Wenger’s Gunners have a chance to show their top-four credentials in week three when they visit Liverpool.

Another early indicator in the race for the Champions League places comes in the following round of games, with Liverpool travelling to Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.

Europa League winners Manchester United do not face another Champions League qualifier until they visit Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on the weekend of 14-15 October.

English football’s top-flight sides will face four league games in nine days over Christmas and new year, with eight in total from 2 December to 1 January.

The final round of the Champions League group stage also takes place during that period, as traditionally does the fifth round of the League Cup.

Arsenal welcome Liverpool two days before Christmas, while Brighton go to Chelsea on Boxing Day and Newcastle host Manchester City.

West Ham make the trip across London to face Tottenham in the round of games scheduled for 30 December, with another London derby taking place on New Year’s Day as Arsenal host Chelsea.

There will be no easing into life in the top flight for those promoted from the Championship, with Brighton’s first game in the Premier League at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Newcastle hammered Tottenham 5-1 in their most recent Premier League game at St James’ Park, and it will be last season’s runners-up Spurs who visit Rafa Benitez’s side on the opening day.

Huddersfield make their Premier League debut at Crystal Palace, before hosting fellow newcomers Newcastle a week later and completing their August schedule at home to Southampton.

The Terriers’ first game back in the top flight since 1972 is a repeat of their last, when they drew 0-0 at Selhurst Park in April that year.

Brighton, meanwhile, are back in English football’s top division for the first time since the 1982-83 season.

Chris Hughton’s side go to Leicester on the second weekend, before visiting Watford.

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