As if the start of the World Cup was not exciting enough, we now know the schedule for the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Manchester City may have established domestic dominance in record-breaking style last time out, with Pep Guardiola’s side becoming the first to reach the fabled 100-point mark, but there are plenty of teams intent on making life considerably more difficult for the Blues in the defence of that crown.
Jose Mourinho is under pressure to deliver at Manchester United following a rare trophyless campaign, while Tottenham are determined to take the next step from also-rans to trophy winners with Mauricio Pochettino tied to fresh terms.
North London rivals Arsenal are entering a brave new world without Arsene Wenger, with Unai Emery about to get his first taste of life in the English top-flight, while there are plenty of issues to address at Chelsea as they seek to once again counter top-four failure with a title challenge.
Liverpool will also expect to be in the mix after reaching last season’s Champions League final, ambitious Wolves will be eager to make their mark among the elite, while Cardiff City and Fulham are back in the big time after four-year absences.
Premier League 2018-19 opening weekend
The first fixtures in the 2018-19 campaign will take place on the weekend of August 11/12.
Manchester City and Chelsea will have met at Wembley a week prior to the big kick-off in the Community Shield, with the first silverware of the season on the line.
The reigning champions will then open the defence of their crown with a heavyweight clash against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium – offering new Gunners boss Emery a baptism of fire.
FA Cup holders Chelsea start on the road at Huddersfield, while London rivals Tottenham are also away from home as they travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle.
Manchester United and Liverpool will take in home dates with Leicester City and West Ham respectively, with a visit to Anfield seeing Manuel Pellegrini – a title winner with Manchester City in 2014 – return to English top-flight management.
Elsewhere, Cardiff’s first game back in the Premier League takes them to Bournemouth, Fulham welcome capital foes Crystal Palace to Craven Cottage, and Wolves play host to Marco Silva’s Everton at Molineux.
Southampton entertain Burnley – last season’s surprise package – and Brighton go to Watford in the final fixtures on the opening weekend.
|First round of fixtures|
|Bournemouth vs Cardiff City|
|Arsenal vs Manchester City|
|Fulham vs Crystal Palace|
|Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea|
|Liverpool vs West Ham|
|Manchester United vs Leicester City|
|Newcastle vs Tottenham|
|Southampton vs Burnley|
|Watford vs Brighton|
|Wolves vs Everton|
Premier League 2018-19 derby dates
The first big derby encounters of the new season are not due to take place until November, with those sides involved in such passionate fixtures given the opportunity to build some momentum before facing their fiercest rivals.
Manchester foes City and United will be the first to lock horns at the Etihad Stadium, followed by Tottenham and Chelsea – in a game which should be held at Spurs’ upgraded White Hart Lane home.
As things stands, December 1 will see north London pride put on the line as Arsenal play host to Tottenham while Liverpool are set to welcome Everton across Stanley Park to Anfield.
The reverse fixtures for those four sides are due to take place on the same weekend in early March 2019.
|10/11/2018||Manchester City vs Manchester United|
|16/03/2019||Manchester United vs Manchester City|
North London derby
|01/12/2018||Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur|
|02/03/2019||Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal|
|01/12/2018||Liverpool vs Everton|
|02/03/2019||Everton vs Liverpool|
|24/11/2018||Tottenham vs Chelsea|
|27/02/2019||Chelsea vs Tottenham|
|04/12/2018||Brighton vs Crystal Palace|
|09/03/2019||Crystal Palace vs Brighton|
Premier League 2018-19 title deciders
The Premier League title picture always becomes a little clearer when the big boys lock horns, with there plenty of fixtures outside of the aforementioned derby contests which could determine the destination of the crown.
One of those takes place on the opening weekend, as Manchester City take on Arsenal, and the big games will come thick and fast from that point.
|18/08/2018||Chelsea vs Arsenal|
|25/08/2018||Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur|
|15/09/2018||Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool|
|29/09/2018||Chelsea vs Liverpool|
|06/10/2018||Liverpool vs Manchester City|
|20/10/2018||Chelsea vs Manchester United|
|27/10/2018||Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City|
|03/11/2018||Arsenal vs Liverpool|
|04/12/2018||Manchester United vs Arsenal|
|08/12/2018||Chelsea vs Manchester City|
|15/12/2018||Liverpool vs Manchester United|
|29/12/2018||Liverpool vs Arsenal|
|01/01/2019||Manchester City vs Liverpool|
|12/01/2019||Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United|
|19/01/2019||Arsenal vs Chelsea|
|02/02/2019||Manchester City vs Arsenal|
|09/02/2019||Manchester City vs Chelsea|
|23/02/2019||Manchester United vs Liverpool|
|09/03/2019||Arsenal vs Manchester United|
|30/03/2019||Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur|
|13/04/2019||Liverpool vs Chelsea|
|20/04/2019||Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur|
|27/04/2019||Manchester United vs Chelsea|
The final round of Premier League fixtures in the 2018-19 campaign, which could see plenty still on the line at opposite ends of the table, is due to take place on May 12.