Mourinho going south to start Man United reign

LONDON • Jose Mourinho will begin life as Manchester United's manager in the Premier League on the south coast at Bournemouth.

The new season's fixtures, which were announced yesterday, saw the Portuguese manager's team given a trip to face Eddie Howe's men on the weekend of August 13.

But that is far from the most eye-catching fixture on a first day of a new season that has several sub-plots.

Arsenal will face Liverpool at the Emirates, while champions Leicester start at promoted Hull.

Pep Guardiola, the new Manchester City manager and an old adversary of Mourinho's, will have his first taste of English football at home to Sunderland.

In a tasty-looking London derby, Antonio Conte's first assignment as Chelsea manager is a home game with West Ham.

Two former Southampton managers go head-to-head at Goodison Park as Everton's new man Ronald Koeman plays host to Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham, while new boys Burnley are at home to Swansea City and promoted Middlesbrough welcome Stoke to the Riverside.

Finally on the opening day, Southampton - now looking to replace Koeman - are at home to Watford and Crystal Palace welcome West Brom to Selhurst Park.

The big games keep coming over subsequent weekends, with the second round of games pitting last season's first against second as Leicester host Arsenal.

But although Leicester are worthy champions, plenty of fans will be heading straight for United's fixtures to see when Mourinho will come up against not only Guardiola but also his old club Chelsea.

Mourinho and the Blues were synonymous with each other for a number of years as he won three Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge, but after they sacked him for a second time in December, he decided it was time to manage another English club.

He will return to Chelsea on Oct 22, with Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 15, while he and Guardiola will meet on Sept 10 (Old Trafford) and Feb 25 (the Etihad).

Other notable derby games pit Everton and Liverpool against each other on Dec 17 (Goodison) and April 1 (Anfield), with Arsenal and Tottenham meeting on Nov 5 (the Emirates) and April 29 (White Hart Lane).

The festive period sees games on Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, when Liverpool host City. The season runs through to May 21.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'Mourinho going south to start Man United reign'. Print Edition | Subscribe