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Easy start for Man Utd

sports Updated: Jun 17, 2009 23:28 IST
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Premier League champions Manchester United will start their bid for a record fourth successive English title at home to newly-promoted Birmingham on August 15.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team discovered their fixtures for the 2009-10 season on Wednesday and the three-time champions follow the Birmingham clash with a trip to Burnley, who were promoted via the Championship play-offs.

Carlo Ancelotti begins his reign at Chelsea at home to Hull, while Liverpool travel to Tottenham on the opening weekend and Arsenal face a trip to Everton.

Championship winners Wolves play West Ham at Molineux and Burnley visit Stoke on their return to the top flight. Big-spending Manchester City travel to Blackburn on the opening day before hosting Everton at Eastlands on 19 August.

New Wigan boss Roberto Martinez starts his reign at Aston Villa, while Bolton are at home to Steve Bruce's Sunderland and Portsmouth meet Fulham at Fratton Park.

United have to wait until the end of August before their first match against one of the top four clubs as they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on August 29, with the return fixture at Emirates Stadium on Jan 30. The Champions League runners-up visit Anfield to play Liverpool on October 24 and Rafa Benitez's team travel to Old Trafford on Mar 20. Liverpool end their season with an away fixture against Hull on May 9.