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Premier League

Champs Chelsea start against Swansea

Chelsea begin the defence of their Premier League title at home to Swansea City

By Martyn Herman

Bournemouth’s first ever top-flight fixture will be at their humble south coast seaside home when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League on the weekend of August 8-9.

The Cherries, close to liquidation in 2008, follow up their opener with a trip to Liverpool a week later, according to the 2015-16 fixtures released on Wednesday.

Champions Chelsea begin the defence of their title at home to Swansea City, while runners-up Manchester City kick off at West Bromwich Albion.
With 12 wins from their last 13 opening-day fixtures Chelsea boast the best record in the league.

The first big clash between those clubs expected to fight for the title sees Chelsea visit Manchester City on the second weekend of the new season.
Arsenal, who finished third last season, host Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United in an all-London opener, as Manchester United, whose opening to the season will be complicated by a Champions League playoff tie, take on Tottenham Hotspur at home.

Liverpool have an immediate opportunity to avenge a 6-1 loss to Stoke City on the final day of last season with a return to the Britannia Stadium on the opening weekend.

Bournemouth will provide the novelty factor though after they were promoted as Championship title winners under up-and-coming young manager Eddie Howe.
Their fans will already be pencilling in a home date against Manchester United, who they famously beat as a third-tier side in 1984, although they will have to wait until the second half of the season to welcome Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea to the 12,000-capacity Goldsands Stadium.

Other key fixtures include the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on October 24, Chelsea hosting Arsenal on the weekend of September 19 and a heavyweight festive meeting between Manchester United and Chelsea on December 28.

The Premier League season starts a week earlier than last season because of the Euro 2016 Championship next June.

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