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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Chelsea open at home to Man City
Premiership champions Chelsea will kick off their title defence with the visit of Manchester City on 19 August.

Last season's runners-up Manchester United will host Fulham, while FA Cup winners Liverpool travel to newly-promoted Sheffield United.

Arsenal will open proceedings at the Emirates Stadium by taking on Aston Villa, while rivals Tottenham face a trip to Bolton.

New boys Watford take a trip to Everton while Reading will host Middlesbrough.

Seeing the world stars clubs will bring to Reading is a privilege

Reading boss Steve Coppell

Intertoto Cup hopefuls Newcastle, minus the injured Michael Owen, begin their campaign at home to Wigan.

Portsmouth, who escaped relegation to the Championship last season, host Blackburn while Iain Dowie's first challenge as Charlton boss sees his side travel to FA Cup runners-up West Ham.

Manchester United have a tough opener to September which will go a long way to establishing whether they can capture their first Premiership title since 2003.

The Red Devils host Tottenham and Arsenal on 9 and 16 September.

Sir Alex Ferguson's boys will have to wait until 9 December for their contest against rivals Manchester City, while the first of the Merseyside derby fixtures will take place at Goodison Park on 9 September.

Our man Mark on football fixtures day

Chelsea face a tough run-in to their programme as they will travel to Arsenal in their penultimate fixture before hosting Everton in their final match.

Manchester United close with the visit of West Ham, while Liverpool will welcome Charlton to Anfield on 13 May.

Reading manager Steve Coppell will ring in the New Year with a trip to former club Manchester United when the two sides go head to head at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve.

Coppell comes face to face with more personal history when he meets new Boro manager Gareth Southgate in the opener - Coppell used to manage the former England defender as a trainee at Crystal Palace.

Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd
Boothroyd's Watford start with a trip to Everton

"It makes me feel old because on one of my first days at Palace I saw Gareth training as a 12-year-old," said Coppell.

"To confront him as a manager means it has gone full circle.

"But looking at the fixture list and seeing the world stars whom clubs will bring to the Madejski is a privilege."

606 VIEW
Watford chief executive Mark Ashton is excited by the prospect of being back among the footballing elite - even if it means preparing for a step up in competition.

"West Ham followed by Manchester United is fantastic and we are eagerly looking forward to it," said Ashton.

"The manager (Adrian Boothroyd) is going through the list of games but there are no easy games, we're fully aware of that."

Premiership opening weekend fixtures 19 August:

Arsenal v Aston Villa
Bolton v Tottenham
Chelsea v Man City
Everton v Watford
Man Utd v Fulham
Newcastle v Wigan
Portsmouth v Blackburn
Reading v Middlesbrough
Sheff Utd v Liverpool
West Ham v Charlton

Tuesday, 22 August:

Charlton v Man Utd
Middlesbrough v Chelsea
Tottenham v Sheff Utd
Watford v West Ham
Wigan v Arsenal (POSTPONED - new date TBC)

Wednesday, 23 August:

Aston Villa v Reading
Blackburn v Everton
Fulham v Bolton
Liverpool v Newcastle (POSTPONED - new date TBC)
Man City v Portsmouth

English club-by-club fixtures
21 Jun 06 |  Football
Colchester kick off at Birmingham
22 Jun 06 |  Championship
Carlisle host Doncaster in opener
22 Jun 06 |  League One
Accrington begin quest at Chester
22 Jun 06 |  League Two
Le Guen starts SPL at Motherwell
22 Jun 06 |  Scottish Premier
Carling Cup first round draw made
21 Jun 06 |  League Cup


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