The Premier League fixtures for the 2021/22 season were announced earlier today, with defending champions Manchester City starting their campaign with an away trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
City will go into the new season as the favourites for the title, but their credentials are set to be tested from the off with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool to face in their first seven matches.
The club were slow off the blocks last term, and manager Pep Guardiola will hope that his team can make an improved start this time around, although they face a tough beginning to the campaign.
The first Manchester derby will be held in the opening week of November at Old Trafford, with the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium in early March.
City will aim to make amends in the derbies, having gone winless in their last four league meetings with Manchester United.
Besides the tough beginning, the fixtures appear favourable to them. They have a cluster of games against Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea between Boxing Day and mid-January that could provide a hurdle to their title defence.
There has been a mixed response among the club’s supporters regarding the fixtures, and here are a few reactions on Twitter.
Are we sure the fixtures are randomly generated? Fifth year in a row we’re away on the opening day, first Manchester Derby is always around the same time of year too
— Hamish 🏴 (@HamishMCFC) June 16, 2021
United being handed very comfortable opening fixtures whilst City are away to Spurs, Leicester, Chelsea and Liverpool in their first 7 fixtures. Premier League setting their agenda before a ball is kicked as usual #ManCity #herewegoagain
— Steve Slack (@im_slacko) June 16, 2021
Quite happy with the Premier League fixtures. I always want City to finish at home, have an easy run in, avoid the promoted teams early, have a winnable first home game (as we usually play badly) and get the tough away games out of the way early. We’ve got basically all of that.
— Leo🇧🇼 (@mcfcleo_) June 16, 2021
Spurs away. Norwich home. Arsenal home. Leicester away. Southampton home. Chelsea away then Liverpool away that’s our (Manchester City) first seven games 5/6 of the top six opponents we have to face – Manchester United will be in late November. If we start well, back to back🤔💙
— The Certified G (@g_certifed) June 16, 2021
Chelsea and city have almost identical fixtures.
Hard start in the first 7 games, fairly easy games in December, and easy games towards the end as well.
— Mihir 🦈 (@MCFC_Mihir) June 16, 2021
Stats from Premierleague.com