Football

Easy early EPL games for Man Utd

Man United new manager will start new campaign against Swansea; City face three big guns in first five games

Louis van Gaal will get a taste of English Premier League action for the first time when he leads out Manchester United against Swansea at Old Trafford on August 16 - the opening day of the 2014/15 season.

The Premier League fixtures released yesterday ironically threw up the same opponents for United that David Moyes faced last August at the start of his ill-fated time in charge of the club.

This time, however, Dutchman van Gaal will have the added advantage of a home fixture to kick off with.

Currently on World Cup duty with Holland in Brazil, van Gaal will switch his focus to club football as soon as the Dutch end their campaign there.

He is charged with reviving fortunes at United after a disappointing seventh-placed finish last season, with Moyes sacked even before the end of the campaign.

Following the Swansea game, United travel to Sunderland and Burnley, before a home game against newly-promoted QPR.

City rivals and defending champions Manchester City, meanwhile, will open up with a tough trip to Newcastle.

MANCHESTER DERBY

Manuel Pellegrini's men, who won the league by two points from Liverpool, travel to St James' Park before facing Brendan Rodgers' men at home the following weekend. They then will face Stoke, Arsenal and Chelsea in the following weeks.

The first Manchester Derby of the season is scheduled for November 1 at the Etihad Stadium, with the reverse slated for April 11.

Liverpool start with a home game against Southampton - Ronald Koeman's first game in charge - while Chelsea, who finished third last season, travel to Burnley.

Championship-winning Leicester face Everton at home followed by games against Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Gunners start at home to Crystal Palace, while north London rivals Tottenham - with new manager Mauricio Pochettino at the helm - face West Ham at Upton Park.

Alan Irvine's first Premier League match as West Brom manager is a home contest against Sunderland, who secured Premier League survival thanks to a stirring revival under the leadership of Gus Poyet.

Harry Redknapp's QPR - promoted after a play-off final win - host Hull on day one. The other match pairs Stoke and Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium. - AFP.


FIRST FIVE FIXTURES FOR LAST SEASON’S TOP SEVEN

Man City

  • Newcastle (A)
  • Liverpool (H)
  • Stoke (H)
  • Arsenal (A)
  • Chelsea (H)

Liverpool

  • Southampton (H)
  • Man City (A)
  • Tottenham (A)
  • Aston Villa (H)
  • West Ham (A)

Chelsea

  • Burnley (A)
  • Leicester (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Swansea (H)
  • Man City (A)

Arsenal

  • Crystal Palace (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Leicester (A)
  • Man City (H)
  • Aston Villa (A)

Everton

  • Leicester City (A)
  • Arsenal (H)
  • Chelsea (H)
  • West Brom (A)
  • Crystal Palace (H)

Tottenham

  • West Ham (A)
  • QPR (H)
  • Liverpool (H)
  • Sunderland (A)
  • West Brom (H)

Man United

  • Swansea City (H)
  • Sunderland (A)
  • Burnley (A)
  • QPR (H)
  • Leicester (A)