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Premier League 2017-18 to begin on Friday night

Arsenal's Theo Walcott (right) vies with Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov during a pre-season friendly match (credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium will launch the 2017-18 Premier League season which begins on a Friday night for the first time, Leicester City providing the opposition on August 11 (19:45 BST kick-off time).

The Gunners’ consecutive run of top-four finishes, which had dated back to 1997, came to an end last term and they will start trying to work their way back into the Champions League with a home match against the shock 2015-16 Premier League kings.

That match has been selected for Friday Night Football, while the second Premier League game to kick off will be Liverpool’s trip to Watford at lunchtime on Saturday August 12 (12:30 BST).

Five games on the opening weekend of the new campaign have been chosen for live television coverage and the third of them will be Brighton’s first match back in the top flight since 1983.

The Seagulls finished second in the Championship last season to Newcastle United and their fans will receive an immediate taste of the glamour afforded by competing in the Premier League as they host title favourites Manchester City at the Amex Stadium (17:30 BST).

On the opening Sunday there will be two live televised matches as Tottenham Hotspur, who have challenged for the title in both of the last two campaigns, going one better in 2016-17 by finishing second, have a particularly attractive opening fixture away to Championship winners Newcastle United (13:30 BST).

Then Manchester United, who failed to make any sort of title challenge during Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge and will hope to do much better this time around, kick off their campaign at home to West Ham United (16:00 BST).

For Huddersfield Town, the wait to rejoin the elite of English football has been even longer than Brighton’s, but after their promotion via the play-offs they have a comparatively run-of-the-mill opening fixture.

It was 1972 when the Terriers were last at the top level and while the club and its supporters will obviously be relishing the 2017-18 campaign, a first game away to Crystal Palace is not exactly what dreams are made of.

Chelsea, of course, defend the title they won by seven points from Tottenham, that being their fifth Premier League crown since 2005 as they triumphed in manager Antonio Conte’s first season in English football. The Blues begin at home to Burnley on the Saturday afternoon (15:00 BST).


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Premier League 2017-18 to begin on Friday night

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium will launch the 2017-18 Premier League season which begins on a Friday night for the first time, Leicester City providing the opposition on August 11.

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