The Premier League has today released the complete set of fixtures for the 2016-2017 campaign, with Chelsea beginning the season with a home game against West Ham United.
Antonio Conte, the incoming Chelsea manager, will start his new job off with two London derbies in a row, firstly at home against the Hammers before travelling to Watford the weekend after. The Italian manager’s introduction to life in England is a relatively easy one as Chelsea will play Burnley, the champions of the Championship, in their third game.
The Blues have to wait until October before they’ll be able to welcome back their former manager José Mourinho. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has taken over at Manchester United and he brings the Red Devils to Stamford Bridge on the 22nd of October. That’s a week after Chelsea will have hosted the club that took their Premier League crown, Leicester City.
April sees the West London club play teams from Manchester twice, with the game against United at Old Trafford coming on the fifteenth of the month, ten days after they’ll have hosted Manchester City in the club’s only scheduled midweek home game.
Other notable fixtures include the arrival of Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September the seventeenth, a trip to The Emirates to play Arsenal seven days later and the London derby with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge taking place on the 26th of November.
December is traditionally a busy month and Conte will be pleased at the level of opposition his team will have to go up against during the festive period. Though Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are their opponents at the start of the month the rest of it is made up from teams that have struggled in recent seasons. West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland and Crystal Palace are all on the schedule before Christmas, whilst Bournemouth will come to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day and Stoke City will be doing likewise on New Year’s Eve.
The London derby at White Hart Lane will be the first game of 2017, whilst a trip to Anfield is in store for the start of February. Chelsea’s season will draw to a close with a game against Sunderland on the 21st of May at Stamford Bridge. One thing to bear in mind is that all of the fixtures are susceptible to change because of TV companies and their scheduling of matches to be shown live.