Manchester United’s new era under Louis van Gaal will begin at home to Swansea City – a reverse of the fixture that saw David Moyes start his doomed reign with a 4-1 win last year.
With Manchester gripped by World Cup fever, football fans briefly turned their eyes towards domestic matters as the fixtures for the new club season were released.
The fixtures were released at 9am, giving football fans across the region an ideal view of their post World Cup hangover cure.
United fans will be hoping that by the time they face Hull City KC Stadium on the last day of the season, there will be more to play for than a seventh place finish – as they did last term.
Coincidentally, current champions Manchester City will also begin their title defence against with a reverse of last season’s opeing fixture, against Newcastle United, and will be hoping to replicate their 4-0 thumping they dished out to the Magpies.
The first Manchester derby will take place at The Etihad on November 1 with the return clash at Old Trafford on April 11.
In the Championship, Bolton begin with a trip to Watford, while Wigan host Reading on August 9 – a week before the Premier League season gets underway.
The two meet at the DW Stadium on November 8 before clashing at the newly-named Macron Stadium on March 21.
In League One, Oldham kick off with a trip to Essex to take on Colchester United, while local rivals Rochdale will celebrate their return to the third tier with a tough home clash against Peterborough United.
Keith Hill’s men will host Oldham on November 29 before the two face each other at Boundary Park on January 3.
Bury will face Cheltenham Town on the opening day as they look to join their Greater Manchester rivals in League One.
David Flitcroft’s men will round out their League Two season at Tranmere Rovers.
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