Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2016/17 Premier League Fixtures

Premier League published the 2016/17 fixture list earlier today. Arsenal will kick off their campaign at home against Liverpool and finish the season with a home match against Everton under new coach Ronald Koeman. All the final games should be played on 21 May at the same time, but our opening game against Jurgen Klopp's side is likely to be rescheduled as TV companies will make selections later. As Friday night Premier League fixtures will be introduced next season for extended TV coverage, Saturday normal kick-offs will be even more of rarity in the 2016/17 season.

Then, we will travel to the King Power Stadium to take on the Premier League champions, Leicester City, on the following weekend. What sort of a team we will be facing remains to be seen. According to the media, a few key Leicester City players' futures are uncertain at the moment, including Jamie Vardy's. With the Champions League commitment for the first time in their history, Claudio Ranieri will be no doubt looking to expand his side as well.

The first north London derby will be held at home on 5 November (fireworks) unless we are drawn against Tottenham in the early round of the League Cup like last season. The reverse fixture on 29 April is expected to be an even feistier affair than usual as the game falls on the decisive part of the season.

Another fixture we first check when the fixture list has been published is a game around the end of February, when our annual trip to Benidorm takes place. The last season's Benidorm trip was replaced by the trip to watch the Champions League match in Barcelona, but we are hoping to go back to Benidorm in the coming season. Southampton away is always a tough fixture, but hopefully, we will get  revenge on last season's humiliating 4-0 thumping by then Ronald Koeman's side.

In addition to Everton (and obviously, Southampton), Chelsea, two Manchester clubs and Watford will all be welcoming new managers. Hopefully, Arsene Wenger will finally get his first league win over Mourinho next season. Arsenal will travel to Old Trafford on 19 November and host Manchester United on 6 May.

Premier League will also welcome three newly promoted clubs: Burnley, Middlesbrough, and Hull City. We are quite familiar with these new boys through the FA Cup ties over the last two seasons. They are expected to reinforce their squads with a financial boost given by the TV money, but we cannot see any problem against them at the moment.

We have experienced some disappointment over the last decade, but the 2016/17 season was arguably the most frustrating season. We added what looked to be a missing piece of the jigsaw in Petr Cech, following the two seasons of big name signings. We were top of the table at the beginning of 2016, after a promising 2015. Yet we fell short of winning the league again. We somehow managed to finish above Tottenham and clinched second place, but it was not really a consolation. With a £30 million-signing already under the belt, hopefully, we will see more reinforcement arriving before the season starts.

(All the dates are subject to changes)

13 Liverpool (H)
20 Leicester City (A)
27 Watford (A)

10 Southampton (H)
17 Hull City (A)
24 Chelsea (H)

1   Burnley (A)
15 Swansea City (H)
22 Middlesbrough (H)
29 Sunderland (A)

5   Tottenham Hotspur (H)
19 Manchester United (A)
26 Bournemouth (H)

3   West Ham United (A)
10 Stoke City (H)
14 Everton (A)
17 Manchester City (A)
26 West Bromwich Albion (H)
31 Crystal Palace (H)

2   Bournemouth (A)
14 Swansea City (A)
21 Burnley (H)
31 Watford (H)

4   Chelsea (A)
11  Hull City (H)
25 Southampton (A)

4   Liverpool (A)
11 Leicester City (H)
18 West Bromwich Albion (A)

2   Manchester City (H)
4   West Ham United (H)
8   Crystal Palace (A)
15 Middlesbrough (A)
22 Sunderland (H)
29 Tottenham Hotspur (A)

6   Manchester United (H)
13 Stoke City (A)
21 Everton (H)