…EPL champions Liverpool will clash with Championship winners Leeds United on the opening weekend
The English Premier League (EPL) resumes with the champions, Liverpool dueling the newly-promoted Leeds United on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 season, as both Manchester clubs relax in the first round of fixtures.
It’s promises to be an exciting opener to life back in the top flight for Marcelo Bielsa’s Championship winners Leeds, with their trip to Anfield on Saturday, September 12, while fellow Premier League new comers Fulham host Arsenal in a first EPL and London derby and West Brom lock horns with Leicester City at The Hawthorns.
However, Manchester City/Aston Villa and Burnley/Manchester United matches are deferred to allow City and United have supplementary period to recuperate from their recent European campaigns – Champions League and Europa League respectively, which ended last weekend, just four weeks before the 2020/21 Premier League season commences.
Therefore, Manchester City’s first match will be at Wolves on September 19, while Manchester United play Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on that same weekend.
There are also postponements for Chelsea, who travel to Brighton, and Wolves, who begin with a trip to Sheffield United, because of their European participation, which ended around a week earlier than the Manchester sides. Those games will hold on Monday September 14.
In another opening encounter, Crystal Palace take on Southampton at Selhurst Park, Tottenham host Everton and West Ham face Newcastle at the London Stadium.
It is quite interesting to see Liverpool engaging in an intriguing start to their title defence. After that opener with Leeds, their next fixtures are Chelsea away, Arsenal at home and Aston Villa away before a Merseyside derby with Everton at Goodison Park on October 17. Their first showdown with Manchester City comes on the weekend of November 7.
In the same vein, it is a threatening start for FA Cup holders Arsenal, too, with some testing away days early in the season. After a trip to Fulham on the opening weekend, their next away games are against Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Leeds and then north London rivals Tottenham on December 5.
Having both sat out the opening weekend, Manchester City and Manchester United will clash in Manchester derbies scheduled for the weekend of December 12 and March 6. United’s first meeting with fierce rivals Liverpool comes on January 16 at Anfield, with the return fixture at Old Trafford their fifth-from-last on May 1. They renew their rivalry with Leeds on December 19.
Chelsea will travel to Liverpool on the second weekend of the season and will play at Manchester United at the end of October following a second international break. Frank Lampard’s side have also been given a headline-grabbing fixture on Boxing Day with a trip to Arsenal, and will begin 2021 with a clash against Manchester City on January 2.
The season will commence behind closed doors but some fans could return to venues on a socially-distanced basis later in the year.
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The condensed season will comprise of rounds of fixtures across 32 weekends, five midweeks and one bank holiday as it compares to a usual Premier League season of 34 weekends, three midweeks and one bank holiday.
The Premier League has agreed with its United Kingdom transmission allies to increase the number of matches shown live from 200 to 220 for the 2020/21 season only. Of the additional live matches, 12 will be shown on Sky Sports.
The UK broadcast choices for the initial match circles will be confirmed next week.
Source: Sky Sports