Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The 2013/14 Fixtures

The Premier League 2013/14 season fixture lists were released this morning.

Arsenal will host Aston Villa on the opening day. The first north London derby of the campaign is as early as on 31 August this season. The only worry is that the derby comes just a couple of days after we have played the second leg of the Champions League play-off. Remember what happened a couple of seasons ago when we had the tough qualifying against Udenese and then travelled to the Old Trafford. However, we should have sufficient depth in the squad this time around, provided we have a successful transfer window.

The first ten games look winnable and there is no reason why we shouldn't get off to a good start next season as we are expected to have a settled team to start a season for the first time in recent years.

The new season will see the new boys, namely Cardiff City, Hull City, and Crystal Palace, join the top-flight English league. There used to be a kind of bad blood between Hull City and us before they were safely relegated to the Championship, but hopefully, with Phil Brown no longer as manager, Hull City are a better football club. Talking about bad blood, it is interesting to see how Stoke will change their footballing style after Tony Pulis' departure.

International breaks for the World Cup qualifiers are scheduled in September and October, hence a fewer league fixtures during these two months. In fact, September and October are not as quiet as this list indicates. If we make it through to the Champions League group stages and progress to the fourth round in the Capital One Cup competition, we will be playing five and six games in September and October, respectively.

March appears to be a tough month as we travel to White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge before hosting Man City. However, statistically Wenger's side normally boasts a good run of form in March. So let's hope it proves to be the case again next season.

The season finishes with a trip to Norwich on 11 May. This will be the fourth consecutive season that the last game of the season is played away, which I hate. It would have been nice to have the lap of appreciation on the final day of the season. In the last season when the final home game was rescheduled for a weekday night due to Wigan's involvement in the FA Cup final, the atmosphere was just not the same. The 2013/14 Premier League season will finish earlier than last year in order to accommodate the FA Cup final after the end of the domestic league campaigns. This is a welcome move, which gives back a prestigious status that it deserves to the world's oldest surviving football competition.

Please see below the Arsenal FC DRAFT fixtures for season 2013-2014, but don’t build your life around these dates as we would expect there to be many changes for TV, Cup games etc.

Sat 17HAston Villa 
Sat 24AFulham 
Sat 31HTottenham Hotspur 
Sat 14ASunderland 
Sat 21HStoke City 
Sat 28ASwansea City 
Sat 5AWest Bromwich Albion 
Sat 19HNorwich City 
Sat 26ACrystal Palace 
Sat 2HLiverpool 
Sat 9AManchester United 
Sat 23HSouthampton 
Sat 30ACardiff City 
Tue 3HHull City
Sat 7HEverton 
Sat 14AManchester City 
Sat 21HChelsea 
Thu 26AWest Ham United 
Sat 28ANewcastle United 
Wed 1HCardiff City 
Sat 11AAston Villa 
Sat 18HFulham 
Tue 28ASouthampton 
Sat 1HCrystal Palace 
Sat 8ALiverpool 
Tue 11HManchester United 
Sat 22HSunderland 
Sat 1AStoke City 
Sat 8HSwansea City (or FA Cup Q/F)
Sat 15ATottenham Hotspur 
Sat 22AChelsea 
Sat 29HManchester City 
Sat 5 AEverton 
Sat 12 HWest Ham United (or FA Cup S/F)
Sat 19AHull City
Sat 26HNewcastle United
Sat 3HWest Bromwich Albion
Sun 11ANorwich City

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