EPL: Leicester to Begin Title Defence at Hull

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  • Mourinho’s Man Utd takes on Bournemouth *Sunderland baptism for Guardiola

Champions Leicester City will begin their Premier League title defence with a trip to newly-promoted Hull City and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United reign kicks off at Bournemouth.

The release of the fixtures yesterday threw up some meaty first-day tussles with last season’s runners-up Arsenal hosting Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool.

The 2016-17 season kicks off earlier than usual on August 13.
Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester, who stunned the football world by claiming the Premier League title last season at pre-season odds of 5000-1, have a testing opening six weeks with Arsenal visiting them before away trips to Liverpool and Manchester United.

Leicester is listed as 25-1 seventh favourites to retain the title.
Pep Guardiola will make his league debut as Manchester City manager when his team, already marked out as favourites for the title, host Sunderland.

Mourinho, who replaced Louis van Gaal as United manager last month, will be aiming to maintain his record of never having lost any of his seven opening-day fixtures in England.

He will not have to wait long to renew his old rivalry with Guardiola either, with the first Manchester derby being held at Old Trafford on September 10.

The drastic managerial shake-up in the Premier League means Chelsea also venture into a new era with Antonio Conte, currently in charge of Italy at Euro 2016, at the helm.

His first assignment in English football will be a feisty London derby against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge.
West Ham’s first match at their new Olympic Stadium home is against Bournemouth on August 20.
Mourinho will return to his old stomping ground when Chelsea host Manchester United on October 22, a week after the Portuguese’s former club host Leicester City.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur, who pushed Leicester for the title before finishing third, begin at Everton, who named Ronald Koeman as their manager on Tuesday.

Arsenal will host Tottenham in the first north London derby on November 5 while the other eagerly anticipated derby clash, between Merseyside clubs Liverpool and Everton, takes place at Goodison Park on December 17.
Burnley mark their return to England’s top-flight by welcoming Swansea City, while Middlesbrough, who were also promoted, host Stoke City.

MATCH DAY 1
(August 13)
Bournemouth v Man Utd
Arsenal v Liverpool
Burnley v Swansea
Chelsea v West Ham
C’Palace v West Brom
Everton v Tottenham
Hull City v Leicester
Man City v Sunderland
Mid’brough v Stoke
South’pton v Watford