Soccer-Man City begin Premier League title defence at Chelsea


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City Victory Parade - Manchester, Britain - May 26, 2024 Manchester City fans with flags during the victory parade Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

(Reuters) - Manchester City begin their fifth straight title defence with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Aug. 18, the Premier League said on Tuesday.

Chelsea's newly appointed manager, Enzo Maresca, will face a familiar side as he previously assisted Pep Guardiola during their treble-winning season and also coached City's youth team.

FA Cup winners Manchester United host Fulham in the first match of the season on Aug. 16 while last season's league runners-up Arsenal host Wolverhampton Wanderers in their first match on Aug. 17.

Among the other opening fixtures, Championship winners Leicester City host Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United entertain play-off victors Southampton.

Ipswich Town, who are returning to the Premier League after 22 years following back-to-back promotions, host Liverpool in an early kick-off on Aug. 17.

The Premier League will begin in mid-August after the mid-season break was removed from the calendar in order to allow for a longer close-season break.

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Kolkata; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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