The 2013-14 league fixture list was released today and the first two months will not make for happy reading by David Moyes. After the August 11th community shield, Manchester United will pick up where they left off last season with a visit to South Wales to face Swansea on the opening weekend. This particular fixture has draw written all over it, as the Welsh side are really very good at home, and a new manger with a new system might take a little time for adjustment.
The next two fixtures will really throw Moyes into the deep-end however, firstly the Reds will host Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea in the home opener on August 24th before a trip to Anfield the following weekend, to round out the month. Anfield is a venue where Moyes has not won for 11 years. September is slightly easier, but right in the middle of the month is a trip across town to face Manchester City at the Etihad.
October and November should provide a nice bedding-in period as the bulk of the fixtures are against mid to lower table opposition and newly promoted sides, however November sees the first two fixtures against the North London sides with Arsenal visiting Old Trafford on November 9th and United travelling to White Hart Lane two weeks later. The other big highlight is Moyes' return to Goodison Park on April 19th; a potentially crucial period during the run-in, and a tough game in what is bound to be an electric atmosphere. The season will finish with matches against Norwich, Sunderland ,and finally away against Southampton.
Personally, I like the schedule. I would rather we get those difficult away trips to our fiercest rivals out of the way early and close the season out against some of the weaker teams, though of course these teams may be desperate for points of their own by then!
The full fixture list is here (courtesy of the BBC).
What do you think of the schedule? Which fixtures outside of the blue-ribbon games are you most looking forward to?