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A Battle of Two Champions: Liverpool to Face Leeds United in Premier League 2020/21 Opening Fixtures

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Champions Liverpool will face Championship winners Leeds United in the standout opening weekend game of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Championship play-off winners Fulham will host Arsenal, while West Bromwich Albion, the third promoted side, are at home to Leicester City.

The opening round of fixtures will take place on the weekend of Saturday September 12.

The PL matchweek 1 fixtures. Source: 254news.co.ke

However, Manchester City v Aston Villa and Burnley v Manchester United will be rearranged.

Those two games will not be played on the opening weekend to give City and United 30 days since their defeats in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the semi-finals of the Europa League respectively.

Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ opening matches are both scheduled for Monday, September 14 after their slightly earlier European exits.

The Blues are at Brighton, while Wolves go to Sheffield United.

The other opening weekend fixtures are Crystal Palace v Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur v Everton and West Ham United v Newcastle United.

Michael Keane’s own goal gave Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 home win and Jose Mourinho a landmark 200th Premier League victory. Source: Premier League

Exact dates and kick-off times will be confirmed when the television selections are made. Matches will be played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League fixtures opening weekend (exact dates to change) (September 12 unless stated)

Crystal Palace v Southampton
Fulham v Arsenal
Liverpool v Leeds United
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton
West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City
West Ham United v Newcastle United
Brighton v Chelsea (September 14)
Sheffield United v Wolves (September 14)
Burnley v Manchester United (later date)
Manchester City v Aston Villa (later date)

When Champions Clash

There can be little doubt over the glamour fixture of the opening weekend as the champions of the top two divisions go head to head.

Leeds, now under iconic Argentine boss Marcelo Bielsa, are back in the Premier League after 16 years away and have the toughest possible start.

Liverpool – English champions for the first time for 30 years – have not lost a home game in the Premier League since a 3-1 defeat by Crystal Palace in April 2017. Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 25 of their past 26 league matches at Anfield.

Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah. Source: Twitter

The Reds travel to Chelsea for their second game, before a home match against FA Cup winners Arsenal. Leeds host fellow promoted side Fulham in their second fixture.

Key Fixtures

The first big derby of the season will be on Merseyside when Everton v Liverpool takes place on October 17.

Manchester United host Leeds in a renewal of their old rivalry on December 19, with the return game at Elland Road on April 24.

A past Manchester United v Leeds United clash. Source: File

Manchester City, who finished second last season, face title rivals Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on November7 with their other game on February 6.

Derby matches to look out for:

October 17 – Everton v Liverpool
December 5 – Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
December 12 – Manchester United v Manchester City
January 16 – Wolves v West Brom

February 20 – Liverpool v Everton
March 6 – Manchester City v Manchester United
March 13 – Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
May 1 – West Brom v Wolves
All dates subject to change

Fixture after fixture

With the season starting a month later than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the games will come thick and fast.

The upcoming campaign will be five weeks shorter than a standard season because of the late end to 2019-20 – and the winter break has been scrapped.

Arsenal and Liverpool meet in the Community Shield on August 29, with players then going on an international break for the Nations League before the Premier League starts.

Arsenal beat crowned champions Liverpool 2-1 in the Premier League in July 2020. Source: Evening Standard

Manchester City v Aston Villa could be played on September 15, with Burnley v Manchester United the following day – although that is yet to be confirmed.

Those are the dates Premier League clubs not in Europe enter the Carabao Cup at the second round.

Rounds two to four of that competition, which will involve top-flight sides, will be played midweek on September15-16, 22-23 and 29-30.

Spurs start Europa League qualifying on September 17 and could end up with two first-team matches in the same midweek.

There are rounds of Premier League games due on December 26, December 28 and January 2 over the festive period.

The final league fixtures will be on May 23 2021 – eight days after the FA Cup final.

The Champions League final is on May 29, with the delayed Euro 2020 starting on June 11.

Bayern Munich will meet Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in the UEFA Champions League final on August 23. Source: File

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