Luke Shaw and Nacer Chadli compete for the ball during Manchester United's opening-day fixture against Tottenham Hotspur in 2015.

Our opening-day record against the top six

Manchester United will begin a new Premier League season on Sunday 11 August by hosting Chelsea.

The fixtures were announced on Thursday morning, when it was confirmed that – for the first time in 15 years – we will kick off our campaign by playing the Blues.

It’s also the first time we’ve faced a member of the so-called 'top six’ on the opening weekend since the inaugural game of the 2015/16 season, and only the second occasion United have faced Chelsea on the opening weekend.

Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho shake hands during Manchester United's Premier League clash with Chelsea in 2004.
The last time we played Chelsea for our first league fixture was 2004, and Jose Mourinho's first game in English football.

The first came in 2004, when United were downed 1-0 by the Londoners, courtesy of Eidur Gudjohnsen’s first-half strike. The match is well remembered, because it was Jose Mourinho’s first in the Premier League.

While United were unfortunate that year, we have emerged victorious in our two other meetings with last season's top six on opening weekends, both of which were against Tottenham Hotspur.

The first of those clashes came at the start of the 1997/98 season, when the Reds scored twice in the last 10 minutes to snatch all three points through Nicky Butt's strike and a Ramon Vega own goal.

The most recent meeting with Spurs on the first weekend of the season came four years ago, when again the Reds benefitted from a Tottenham own goal. This time, Kyle Walker inadvertently put the ball past his own goalkeeper, providing what proved to be the only goal of the game.

The 2019/20 season will also be the ninth time we’ve kicked things off by playing a club from the capital. United fans will no doubt have fond memories of the last time this happened, two years ago, in 2017, when we beat West Ham United 4-0 at home.

Of the eight previous games, United have an impressive record of seven wins and just one defeat.

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