Manchester City will kick off their Premier League title challenge a week late, with an away game at Wolves.
The Blues were handed a home fixture with Aston Villa for the opening weekend, but they and neighbours Manchester United have both been given an extra break due to their involvement in the European competitions.
The league rules give clubs the right to a minimum 30-day break between campaigns – and that would take City to September 13.
There had been speculation that United and City games would be postponed, and that was confirmed by the release of the fixtures this morning.
The Villa game cannot be played in midweek, as there are Carabao Cup fixtures scheduled.
That means the Villa game will have to be wedged into a fixture list which is already compressed due to the late start to the season, forced by the Covid-19 lockdown.
And if the Blues make progress in the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League, the Villa game may have to wait until the closing weeks of the season.
The FA has already scrapped replays in the FA Cup, and Champions League group games will be played in two batches of three fixtures, each batch spread over three weeks, from October to December.
So City’s opening game will be on the weekend of September 19, away at Wolves, and their opening home game will be the following weekend, against Leicester.
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