The 2018/19 season will appear a step closer on Thursday morning when Manchester United’s Premier League fixtures are revealed.
You will be able to find out the Reds’ provisional league calendar for next term in full by visiting ManUtd.com at 09:00 BST.
The 27th Premier League campaign will begin on the weekend of 11/12 August 2018 - just 27 days after the World Cup final - and end on Sunday 12 May 2019.
DID YOU KNOW?West Ham in August 2017 were the 18th different team to face the Reds in 26 opening Premier League matches since 1992. Everton (1999/2000, 2005/06, 2012/13) and Newcastle United (2000/01, 2008/09, 2010/11) have been the most frequent opponents in those fixtures, while Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are among the teams that have never been first on the league schedule in that period.
INS AND OUTS
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Fulham are returning to English football’s top table, after West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Swansea City’s stay in the top flight came to an end. The Baggies finished bottom after enduring a tumultuous 2017/18, while the Potters’ 10-year stint in the top flight ended in similar fashion. The Swans enjoyed a brief renaissance following Carlos Carvalhal's arrival at the end of December but were relegated after a poor end to the campaign.
Wolves were the best of the bunch in last season’s second tier, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side coasting to the Championship title and sealing a return to the Premier League for the first time in six years. It's a case of one South Wales club out, another one in as Cardiff replace their rivals Swansea. The Bluebirds, currently managed by Neil Warnock, have been out of the top flight for four years. Despite going unbeaten for 23 games from 16 December until 6 May, Fulham finished third and had to clinch promotion through the play-offs, as Slavisa Jokanovic's side beat Aston Villa 1-0 in the final at Wembley.
HOW ARE THE FIXTURES COMPILED?
The full fixture list is produced by veteran compiler Glenn Thompson, of Atos, who has fulfilled the role since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.
Speaking to PremierLeague.com, he explained that clubs can submit specific requests and are sent a form asking them if there are any dates they don’t wish to be at home, which club they want to pair with and if there are any teams they don’t wish to play at home on Boxing Day.
He added that most clubs have a partner club they cannot clash with, so United cannot play at home on the same day as cross-city rivals Manchester City.
There are also
“golden rules” in terms of sequencing matches, where in any block of five matches, each club should play three at home and two away, or vice versa.
However, the fixture list is also determined by FIFA’s international calendar, UEFA’s European calendar and dates from the Football Association and EFL for domestic cup competitions, as well as input from broadcasters and police when it comes to scheduling and kick-off times.
After the fixtures are announced, tickets for the majority* of United's home Premier League games will go on sale exclusively to Official Members, who will receive £5 off the full ticket price. Put yourself in the best position to buy tickets on Thursday - join Official Membership today by visiting www.manutd.com/membership.
* Excluding the games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham.
Additional reporting by Adam Bostock and Adam Bath.