It’s that time of the year again when the diaries come out and the fixture list is closely scrutinized so that the year ahead can be carefully planned around the new season. As usual, some matches are bigger than others – on paper at least, so how about the following Manchester United fixtures to start with? The first crunch match comes at Old Trafford on 18 September followed by the visit of Tottenham on October 30. The first derby is at Eastlands on November 10 then Arsenal at home on December 11 quickly followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge a week later.
The first big game in the new year is a visit to White Hart Lane on January 15, the home derby is on 12 February, followed by a trip to Anfield on March 5. The season will then hopefully reach a dramatic climax with an away trip to Arsenal on April 30, followed by the Old Trafford clash with reigning champions Chelsea on May 7
First impressions may turn out to be way out of line but looking at who United have to face in the first three months, sufficient points should be able to be collected to have them sitting near the top of the table by the end of October. Hosting Liverpool in mid September may be a plus with the likelihood of a number of squad changes together with a new manager still finding their feet at Anfield.
The two crucial weeks are obviously in mid December and early May when Arsenal and Chelsea both have to be faced within a matter of seven days. There must be some relief however in the fact that the two clashes in May take place during a period when there will be no Champions League commitments like the ones which proved so costly last season.
Not the easiest run in during the last month of the season but overall, the schedule seems to be one that Sir Alex Ferguson should not have too many problems with – unless of course, his eagle eyes picks up on something which may have been overlooked.
*Please note that all dates are obviously always subject to change