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Premier League announce 2018-19 fixtures, Chelsea set for easy start

On paper

We’re about halfway between the end of last season and the start of the 2018 preseason, and while most of the remaining time will be spent watching the World Cup and being concerned about all the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea’s managerial situation and transfer market activities (or lack thereof), there is actual news to pay attention to this morning.

The Premier League has released its 2018-19 schedule, and while most of these games will get adjusted for TV times, Cup games, and European commitments, the order will generally stay the same, especially at first.

And so, after the Community Shield on August 5th (and the oddly schedule friendly against Lyon on August 7th), Chelsea will begin the new season with an away trip to Huddersfield Town, who will be starting only their second season ever in the Premier League proper.

Arsenal versus Manchester City sure is a juicy result spit out by the scheduling computers, and Unai Emery’s new team will follow that up with a trip to Stamford Bridge for week two.

Chelsea’s first few weeks look fairly easy in fact, with the two toughest games (Arsenal and Liverpool) both at home. The difficulty ramps up after the October international break, with a match against Manchester United.

Chelsea used to be the “Premier League Kings of Opening Day”, but following last season’s shock defeat by Burnley at the Bridge, we’ve relinquished that title to Manchester United. Still, that was only the 4th loss and 10th winless start to the 26 Premier League seasons for the club.

Overall, it’s a fairly balanced schedule without a particularly rough stretch of games, at least right now.

One other concern is that Chelsea are in the Europa League group stages for the first time in club history, so we have at least six Thursday night games to contest as well. Unlike the Champions League group stage matches, which may or may not affect the regular Saturday scheduling, these matches will almost all certainly move the games on the following weekends to Sundays. Thankfully, while most of these games will be away, they don’t look terribly difficult.

Cardiff City (H) | MD1 (Sep 20) | West Ham (A)
Liverpool (H) | MD2 (Oct 4) | Southampton (A)
Manchester United (H) | MD3 (Oct 25) | Burnley (A)
Crystal Palace (H) | MD4 (Nov 8) | Everton (H)
Tottenham (A) | MD5 (Nov 29) | Fulham (H)
Manchester City (H) | MD6 (Dec 13) | Brighton (A)

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