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City to open title defense against Newcastle

London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Manchester City will begin defense of its Premier League title at Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season, which starts August 16.

That match will serve as a warm-up contest for manager Manuel Pellegrini's team, which welcomes last season's runners-up, Liverpool, to the Etihad Stadium in the second week of the campaign.

Chelsea welcomes Burnley back to the Premier League on the opening weekend as the Blues travel to Turf Moor, while Liverpool takes on Southampton and new manager Ronald Koeman at Anfield to begin its campaign.

Louis van Gaal's tenure at Manchester United will begin at home against Swansea City, while a pair of London derbies take place as West Ham hosts Tottenham and Crystal Palace invades Arsenal.

The other two promoted sides, Leicester City and QPR, will take on Everton and Hull City, respectively, to begin life in their top-flight returns.

City will also face Arsenal and Chelsea in its first five matches of the season, while the first Manchester derby is November 1 at the Etihad.

September 27 will see two derby matches as Liverpool and Everton battle for bragging rights on Merseyside, while the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham will take place that day as well.

06/18 16:52:00 ET

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