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United open season against Birmingham

The Premier League champions will start their bid for a record fourth successive English title at home to newly-promoted Birmingham.

The Premier League champions will open their title defence against Birmingham City.
The Premier League champions will open their title defence against Birmingham City.

Premier League champions Manchester United will start their bid for a record fourth successive English title at home to newly-promoted Birmingham on Aug 15. Sir Alex Ferguson's team discovered their fixtures for the 2009-10 season today and the three-time champions follow the Birmingham clash with a trip to Burnley, who were promoted via the Championship play-offs. Manchester City travel to Blackburn on the opening day before hosting Everton at Eastlands on Aug 19.

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. The Championship winners Wolves play West Ham at Molineux and Burnley visit Stoke on their return to the top flight. The 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 Aug before their first match against one of the top four clubs as they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on Aug 29, with the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium on Jan 30. The Champions League runners-up visit Anfield to play Liverpool on Oct 24 and Rafa Benitez's team travel to Old Trafford on March 20. Chelsea are the last of the other top four sides to face United as the new manager Ancelotti's side are at home to the champions on Nov 7, with the return fixture on April 3.

Liverpool end their season with an away fixture against Hull on May 9. Benitez's team visit Stamford Bridge on October 3 and play host to last season's third-placed team on May 1. Rafael Benitez's side are at home to Arsenal on Dec 12 and visit the Gunners on Feb 9. Ancelotti's first season finishes at home to Wigan on May 9. Chelsea are away to Arsenal on Nov 28 and at home to the Gunners on Feb 6.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal close the season with a home fixture against Fulham. Wolves fans will be looking forward to a Dec 15 trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United and a home fixture against the champions on March 6. For the full Premier League fixture list click here.

Aston Villa v Wigan Blackburn v Man City Bolton v Sunderland Chelsea v Hull Everton v Arsenal Man Utd v Birmingham Portsmouth v Fulham Stoke v Burnley Tottenham v Liverpool Wolves v West Ham * AFP