Manchester United will start the new season at home to Tottenham Hotspur as the Premier League fixtures for the upcoming season were announced.
Louis Van Gaal’s team have a relatively easy start to the campaign with games away to Aston Villa and home to Newcastle sandwiching the first leg of their Champions League qualifier in August.
United’s first real test in the League will come in mid-September when they face a home game against rivals Liverpool, whist October could prove to be a tough month with consecutive away trips to FA Cup holders Arsenal and Merseysiders Everton before facing noisy neighbours Manchester City at Old Trafford on 24 October.
The Red Devils won’t face any of the promoted sides until 21 November, when they travel to Watford, whilst their first trip to the South Coast and Bournemouth comes just two weeks before Christmas, followed by a home game against Norwich.
Jose Mourinho’s champions Chelsea travel to Manchester in the busy Christmas period and United will hope to be in contention when the two sides face each other again, this time at Stamford Bridge on 6 February.
By the time United face that trip to London they will already have travelled to Anfield to face Liverpool again in the middle of January and van Gaal will be hoping to continue his good run of results against Brendan Rodgers’s side.
United will be buoyed by the relatively easy run of games after Arsenal’s visit to Old Trafford on 27 February, with a series of games Van Gaal’s side will expect to win in early March.
The Arsenal game may be one that could be moved to a later date if either side reach the League Cup final, with the final scheduled to be around the same date as the proposed game between United and Wenger’s side.
With United hoping to be fighting hard in the latter stages of the Champions League, games against Watford, West Brom and Crystal Palace could help Van Gaal to rotate his squad between domestic and European action before they travel across town to Manchester City on 19 March.
Considering some of the recent end of season run-ins United have faced they will see the games from April onwards as a much easier finale to the season, Everton and Tottenham away at the start of April looking the most difficult of their final seven fixtures, with a home game against Bournemouth on the last day of the season.
Whether there is a trophy to celebrate after the Bournemouth game will depend on how United progress from last season with van Gaal surely looking at challenging for silverware with the likes of Memphis Depay being added to the playing roster.
The FA Cup final will be the final fixture of the domestic campaign, with United looking to end their barren spell in the competition if they can reach the final on 21 May.
There is still much to do for Van Gaal before the opening fixture as the United manager looks to shape his side to challenge on all fronts and the transfer window set to officially reopen in just two weeks.