In non-Euro and non-World Cup years, fixture day is a pretty big deal, an oasis of actual football-related matters in the desert of Silly Season. Now, as least as far as I'm concerned, it's just something to take note of, maybe raise an eyebrow, and then file away for further inspection in about two months when the 2016-17 Premier League season will begin. But maybe last year's gut-punch right at the start soured me on the whole experience.
We used to be "Kings of Opening Day" though I'm not sure that still applies after last year's 2-2 draw at home against Swansea City. Maybe we're just princes now. Men who could be kings. If Conte lights the proper fires.
In any case, without much further ado, here's how the new manager will get to start his first season at Chelsea.
It will be a pretty easy first few weeks for Conte, with trips to Watford and Swansea to follow, plus a home date against newly promoted Burnley. The champions come to town in mid-September while Jose Mourinho returns in late October, not quite a year after we sacked him. Chelsea vs. Spurs looks a tasty Thanksgiving treat, and the return fixture is once again set for the start of the new year just as it was two years ago. For once, it looks like our final few weeks will be pretty easy as well. The full fixture list is available on the Premier League's website.
All this is of course subject to change once Sky and BT Sport make their picks for which games to broadcast in the UK. This season that'll include a few games on Friday night even.