Manchester United will begin the defence of their Premier League title with a trip to Swansea after the fixtures for the new season were released today.
United cantered to their 20th league crown last season but new boss David Moyes faces a tough baptism, with the Red Devils pitted against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five games.
United defender and BT football expert Rio Ferdinand reacted immediately to the opening run of matches by tweeting: “Fixtures out.....lively start to the season!! Let us at em...”
Former Everton boss Moyes will be hoping to hit the ground running with the tricky opener at Capital One Cup winners Swansea, but he will not return to Goodison Park until 19 April.
Fixtures out...lively start to the season!! Let us at 'em...anyone else get chills as the fixtures came out...love this!!!"
Jose Mourinho’s second coming at Chelsea gets under way with the visit of newly-promoted Hull to Stamford Bridge, while Manuel Pellegrini begins life as Manchester City boss with a home fixture against Newcastle.
Arsenal, who finished fourth last season, host Aston Villa on the opening day, while new boys Crystal Palace face a London derby against Tottenham at Selhurst Park and Liverpool are at home to Stoke.
Elsewhere, Everton travel to Norwich, West Ham host Championship winners Cardiff, Sunderland entertain Fulham at the Stadium of Light and Southampton travel to West Bromwich Albion.
The Premier League’s inaugural Welsh derby takes place on 2 November at the Cardiff City Stadium, the first Merseyside showdown is at Goodison Park on 23 November, while the opening north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham is on 31 August at the Emirates.
The stand-out Boxing Day clash sees Manchester City host Liverpool, while on the final day of the season, Manchester United head to Southampton, Manchester City entertain West Ham and Chelsea travel to Cardiff.
In the Scottish Premier League, champions Celtic kick off with a home game against Ross County, while Aberdeen host Kilmarnock, St Mirren travel to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Partick Thistle are at home to Dundee United and St Johnstone take on Hearts.
In the Championship, Wigan have the toughest start to the season of the clubs relegated from the Premier League with a trip to Barnsley. QPR host Sheffield Wednesday and Reading entertain Ipswich on the opening day of the campaign, which kicks off on 3 August.
Of the promoted sides, play-off winners Yeovil look to have the trickiest opener with a visit to Millwall. League One champions Doncaster are at home to Blackpool and Bournemouth welcome Charlton to Dean Court.
BT Sport will show the first game of the new Premier League season on Saturday 17 August, when Liverpool take on Stoke at Anfield at 12.45pm. Other games which will be live on BT Sport include Tottenham v Chelsea, Manchester City v Everton, Newcastle v Liverpool, Crystal Palace v Arsenal, Everton v Liverpool and Tottenham v Manchester United.
The BT Sport football package includes 38 live Premier League matches - 18 of them top-pick games – plus action from the FA Cup, Europa League, Scottish Premier League and top European leagues.
Barclays Premier League opening weekend fixtures
Saturday, August 17 (3pm unless stated):
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Stoke (12.45pm)
Norwich v Everton
Sunderland v Fulham
Swansea v Manchester United (5.30pm)
West Brom v Southampton
West Ham v Cardiff
Sunday, August 18:
Crystal Palace v Tottenham (1.30pm)
Chelsea v Hull (4pm)
Monday, August 19:
Manchester City v Newcastle