LONDON. David Moyes’ first home game as the new Manchester United manager will be against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Barclays Premier League champions United face a nightmare start to the 2013-14 season with trips to bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the opening five games.
United begin at League Cup winners Swansea on August 17, before the returning Mourinho’s Chelsea visit Old Trafford the following weekend. A match at Liverpool follows for United on August 31 before a visit to City in the fifth game of the season on September 21.
Mourinho’s men kick off the campaign with a match against newly-promoted Hull at Stamford Bridge, while there are also home games for fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester City and Arsenal. Manuel Pellegrini’s reign as City boss starts with a home match against Newcastle, who confirmed Joe Kinnear as their director of football yesterday. Arsenal are at home to Aston Villa.
The north-London clash is the start of a testing opening to the season for Villa, who have a home match against Liverpool and a trip to Chelsea in the following two games.
Crystal Palace’s first game back in the top flight is against Tottenham at Selhurst Park. Cardiff - Championship winners last season - start their campaign at West Ham then have home games against Manchester City and Everton.
Roberto Martinez’s first competitive match as Toffees manager is at Norwich, while Merseyside rivals Liverpool start with a home game against Mark Hughes’ Stoke.
Elsewhere, Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland start with a home match against Fulham, while West Brom face Southampton at the Hawthorns. Hull’s fans will relish their festive programme, with Manchester United heading to the KC Stadium on Boxing Day, while Manchester City against Liverpool is another tasty-looking December 26 encounter. The season wraps up on May 11, with three of the expected title chasers finishing on the road.
Chelsea head to Cardiff, Manchester United go to Southampton and Arsenal are at Norwich, with Manchester City at home to West Ham.