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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Chelsea to begin defence at Wigan
Premiership champions Chelsea will travel to newly-promoted Wigan to start their title defence on 13 August.

Last season's runners-up Arsenal host Newcastle, while last term's third and fourth-placed sides Manchester United and Everton square up at Goodison Park.

Uefa Cup entrants Middlesbrough welcome Champions League holders Liverpool, while Bolton visit Aston Villa.

Championship winners Sunderland host Charlton and play-off victors West Ham are also at home, to Blackburn.

It will not be a long wait to see how close-season animosity between London's heavyweight sides will transfer to the pitch.

On the second weekend of the new campaign, Chelsea and Arsenal meet at Stamford Bridge - just weeks after the Ashley Cole tapping-up verdict.

And in their next game, the Blues travel to Tottenham, the other club they angered after their approach for sporting director Frank Arnesen.

The fireworks will continue on 5 November when Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson go head-to-head at Old Trafford.

Before then, Manchester United have a derby game against Manchester City and face fierce rivals Liverpool in successive weeks during September.

The often crucial New Year's fixture schedule throws Arsenal and Manchester United together at Highbury on 2 January.

Over Easter, Chelsea visit Bolton on 15 April before meeting Everton at Stamford Bridge two days later.

Then on 29 April, Mourinho's men host Manchester United in a game which could possibly be a title decider.

The season ends a week earlier than usual, on 7 May, because of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Chelsea complete their campaign at Newcastle while Manchester United will be at home to Charlton.

And Wigan will end the season as they began it - with a glamour match as the last visitors to Highbury before Arsenal move to Ashburton Grove.


Barclays Premiership opening weekend fixtures:

Arsenal v Newcastle
Aston Villa v Bolton
Everton v Man Utd
Fulham v Birmingham
Man City v West Brom
Middlesbrough v Liverpool
Portsmouth v Tottenham
Sunderland v Charlton
West Ham v Blackburn
Wigan v Chelsea

Saturday, 20 August

Birmingham v Man City
Blackburn v Fulham
Bolton v Everton
Charlton v Wigan
Chelsea v Arsenal
Liverpool v Sunderland
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Newcastle v West Ham
Tottenham v Middlesbrough
West Brom v Portsmouth




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Wigan striker Jason Roberts


Interview: Wigan chief executive Brenda Spencer



SEE ALSO
Club-by-club fixture pages
23 Jun 05 |  Football
Hoddle facing starter at Saints
23 Jun 05 |  Championship
Forest open against Huddersfield
23 Jun 05 |  League One
Barnet return with Pirates visit
23 Jun 05 |  League Two
Rangers open against Livingston
23 Jun 05 |  Scottish Premier


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