EPL Unveils '12-13 Season Schedule
Man City will begin defense of last season's Premier League title at home to newly-promoted side Southampton, the Premier League announced Monday. The release of the full fixture list for next season also has City rivals ManU opening the season at Everton. Southampton's opening-day trip to the Etihad Stadium kicks off a tough run of early fixtures for Saints, who also have to play ManU and Arsenal in their first four matches. The other newly promoted sides both play at home to start the season. West Ham will host Aston Villa while Reading will take on Stoke City. The opening weekend, which kicks off Aug. 18, also has Arsenal hosting Sunderland. The '12-13 season's other eye-catching fixtures include the first Manchester derby at the Etihad on Dec. 8, the Red Devils' trip to Liverpool on Sept. 22 and the north London derby at Emirates Stadium on Nov. 17 (PREMIERLEAGUE.com, 6/18). In London, Stuart James wrote that ManU Manager Alex Ferguson "is likely to be deeply unhappy" that ManU will have to play away from Old Trafford after five of their six midweek Champions League group matches, including trips to Liverpool, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Aston Villa (GUARDIAN, 6/18). In Liverpool, Dan Kay wrote that new Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers "faces a baptism of fire" as the first three home games bring champions Man City (Aug. 25), Arsenal (Sept. 1) and ManU (Sept. 22) to Anfield (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 6/18). For the complete schedule click here.