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Premier League: Champions Manchester City begin title defence at Newcastle


The Premier League have released their fixtures for the 2014/15 campaign, with champions Manchester City starting their season away at Newcastle's St James Park.

The opening day of the season comes on August 16th, just over a month after the World Cup final in Brazil.

Second placed Liverpool, who so narrowly lost out on the title last season, will play Southampton, giving new signing Rickie Lambert the chance to make his league debut against his former club.

Chelsea, who failed to win a single trophy last season, travel to newly promoted Burnley, who will be hoping their stay in the top flight is happier than their last.

Loius Van Gaal will take charge of his first competitive game as Manchester United's boss at Old Trafford, against Welsh side Swansea, and Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

Elsewhere, Leicester make their top flight return against Everton, whilst fellow promoted side QPR take on FA Cup finalists Hull.

Stoke play Aston Villa, West Brom take on Sunderland and there is a London derby between West Ham and Tottenham.

In terms of key fixtures throughout the season, Liverpool have the toughest start, taking on champions City and Spurs before the end of August.

City themselves then have Arsenal away and a vital clash with Chelsea in September, who did the double over the Citizens last season.

It's always hard to predict what will be the key games of a season, especially with a World Cup, which puts a general delay on transfer activities and club matters.

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