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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Chelsea face Man Utd
Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson
Wenger and Ferguson will first lock horns on 23 October at Old Trafford
Jose Mourinho faces a tough start to his career as Chelsea manager with a home clash against Manchester United to start the new season on 14 August.

Champions Arsenal open the defence of their title with a trip to Everton.

There will also be a meeting of new managers when Jacques Santini's Spurs face Liverpool, now managed by ex-Valencia coach Rafael Benitez.

Promoted Norwich open their campaign at home to fellow new boys Crystal Palace, while West Brom face Blackburn away.

The Canaries will hope to open up life in the top flight with three points before they face a daunting run of matches against Manchester United, Newcastle and Arsenal.

And after their record-breaking campaign in 2003/04, the Gunners will be aiming to travel to Carrow Road with another notch in their belt.

If the champions remain unbeaten at Everton and in their two home games against Middlesbrough and Blackburn they will eclipse Nottingham Forest's top-flight record of 42 consecutive games unbeaten.

Arsene Wenger's side must wait until 23 October before testing their mettle against any potential title rivals when they travel to Old Trafford.

They face trips to Tottenham and Liverpool before meeting Chelsea at Highbury on 11 December.

The return match between London's premier teams comes at the back end of the season in late April, four days after the Blues face their return fixture against Manchester United.

And after a hard start to the season, Mourinho's men end their campaign at Newcastle United.

The Portuguese coach learnt his management skills under Magpies boss Sir Bobby Robson as his assistant at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona.

Barclays Premiership opening weekend fixtures:

Aston Villa v Southampton
Blackburn v West Brom
Bolton v Charlton
Chelsea v Man Utd
Everton v Arsenal
Man City v Fulham
Middlesbrough v Newcastle
Norwich v Crystal Palace
Portsmouth v Birmingham
Tottenham v Liverpool

Saturday, 21 August 2004

Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Birmingham v Chelsea
Charlton v Portsmouth
Crystal Palace v Everton
Fulham v Bolton
Liverpool v Man City
Man Utd v Norwich
Newcastle v Tottenham
Southampton v Blackburn
West Brom v Aston Villa




SEE ALSO
All the Premiership fixtures
24 Jun 04 |  Football
Club by club fixture pages
24 Jun 04 |  Football
Leeds get home start
24 Jun 04 |  Championship
Dons open against Barnsley
24 Jun 04 |  League One
Chester meet Magpies
24 Jun 04 |  League Two
Carlisle face Canvey
24 Jun 04 |  Non League
SPL fixtures announced
24 Jun 04 |  Scottish Premier



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