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Next Year's Premier League Schedule Released: What You Need To Know

It’s mid-June and the eyes of the football world are focused on the Western Hemisphere where the Women’s World Cup is finalizing the spots for the knockout rounds, and South America’s best are entertaining us with back and forth action at the Copa America in Chile

BUT…there is news in England as well.  The 2015-2016 Premier League schedule has been released.  What follows is a completely premature look at what the schedule could mean for title favorites like Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United; teams looking to survive relegation such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Leicester City; and, finally, the three clubs moving up from the English Championship—Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich City. 

The 2015-2016 campaign kicks off eight days earlier than last season, August 8, with a full slate of games. 

Titleholders Chelsea host Swansea City at Stamford Bridge while Tottenham Hotspur pays a visit to Old Trafford in a matchup of the fourth and fifth place finishers from last year. Chelsea’s captain John Terry looks to continue a consistent run of play that saw him on the pitch for every minute of the Blues’ Premier League matches last season.

The second week finds Chelsea making their own trip from London to England’s Northwest in a tantalizing early season fixture against the Citizens of Manchester.  This early season tussle between the top two clubs from last year could give the world a hint of what is in store for the coming season.

The third week serves up a “red delight” as Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates.  The Gunners hope to build off their FA Cup success from last year while Brendan Rodgers and his Merseyside squad make their first trip to London this century without Steven Gerrard.   

The fourth week finds newcomer Bournemouth hosting Leicester City in a matchup that could prove vital to either teams chances of remaining out of the bottom three come next May.  The Cherries will be celebrating the end of their first ever month in the Premier League, while the Foxes will hope to continue a run that saw them escape relegation by winning seven of their last nine games at the end of last season.

The Premier League is off the first week in September as many of its players return to their home countries for Euro 2016 qualifying matches but returns with the most storied rivalry in English football as Liverpool travels to Manchester United on Matchday 5. The Reds (18 titles) and Red Devils (20 titles) are the most successful clubs in English top-tier history but have encountered choppy waters as of late.  United looks to return to the top of the table after suffering through two lackluster campaigns after Sir Alex Ferguson exited stage left from the “Theatre of Dreams”.  Liverpool is seeking its first league title since 1990 and its very first Premier League championship.

Matchday 6 features a Blue v. Red London derby as Arsene Wenger leads his Arsenal squad into Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.  Wenger will seek his first victory over a Jose Mourinho-led Blues team in his 14th attempt.  

The last weekend in September will be highlighted by Manchester City’s game at White Hart Lane versus Tottenham.  American fans hope to see Spurs’ right back Deandre Yedlin flash the speed that gave the Dutch and German national teams fits during their summer friendly matches. Another game of interest will take place in East London as Norwich City makes its last trip to the Boleyn Ground to visit West Ham United before the Hammers move to their new grounds at the Olympic Stadium for the start of the 2016 season.  The Canaries, led by manager Alex Neil, will look for all three points against first year coach, Slaven Bilic and his Iron squad.

October brings the prospect of colder temperatures and important matches at both ends of the table.  Louis van Gaal will bring summer signing (and fellow Dutchmen) Memphis Depay to the Emirates Stadium for a potential top-four determining match against Arsenal.  The first weekend in October will also see a battle with relegation importance as Bournemouth host Mexican national team player Miguel Layun and his Watford team at Dean Court.  Points will be at a premium for both sides as they try to cement their future in England’s top league.

The weekend of October 17th features a tantalizing fixture in the Northwest of England stands out as American keeper Tim Howard welcomes his former team, Manchester United, to Goodison Park.  Everton seek their fourth straight victory over the Red Devils at home while Manchester United hope to find the back of the net for the first time at Goodison since 2011.

Gameday 10 sees the return of the Wear-Tyne derby as Sunderland hosts neighbor Newcastle United.  Newcastle will make the 12-mile trek to the Stadium of Light in hopes of breaking the Black Cats current string of five straight wins in the derby.  

After the games on the weekend of October 24, the season will be over a quarter finished and while there is no doubt that many twists and turns will take place over the remaining 28 matches a quick look at the Premier League table after the 10th week of last season shows how the first few weeks of the season can be a great barometer for the rest of the season.  After the 10th game last season, Chelsea was firmly in first place while the bottom three included Burnley and QPR who would be relegated at seasons end. 

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