Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City reign to open against Newcastle United before September derby battle

By John McDougall

Manuel Pellegrini will start his life in the Premier League as Manchester City manager with an opening day fixture against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Premier League champions will face the Magpies on the opening day for the first time before playing two promoted sides in Cardiff City and Hull City.

But all eyes will be on the season’s first crucial Manchester derby at the Etihad on the weekend of September 22.

And the return fixture at Old Trafford takes place on March 1 as City hope to be in with a chance of lifting the Premier League trophy in May.

October sees Roberto Martinez’ Everton entertain City at home while the Citizens travel to Stamford Bridge to play Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

Pellegrini’s men face Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad on November 23 and have a tricky Christmas period with home games against both Arsenal and Liverpool.

City begin 2014 with a trip to South Wales to play Swansea City before ending January with a trip to London with the return fixture against Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs.

Mourinho’s Chelsea then visit the Etihad – the site of his only Premier League loss in the 2004/05 season – on February 1.

After travelling to Old Trafford – where City won last season thanks to Sergio Aguero’s winner – the Blues end March with an Emirates Stadium visit to play Arsenal.

Crunch time for the 2011 FA Cup winners comes with two visits to Merseyside in their final five fixtures to play first Liverpool and then Everton.

Having drawn away to the red half of Merseyside and lost to the blue half last season, City will be eager to improve on their Liverpudlian record.

And City’s final game of the Premier League season comes against West Ham United on May 11 – nearly two years on from winning their first title in 44 years.

Image courtesy of sntv, via YouTube, with thanks.

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