Wednesday 15 June 2016

Bournemouth first up for Mourinho's Reds as fixtures released

United will face a South Coast duo in Jose Mourinho's first Premier League games in charge after the 2016/17 fixtures were released on Wednesday.

The new United boss kicks off his competitive Reds career with a trip to Eddie Howe's Bournemouth- who won the corresponding fixture last term- on 13 August, having finished last campaign against the same opponents. 

His first home match in charge also comes against South Coast opposition when Southampton, who will also have a new man at the helm- arrive at Old Trafford a week later.

Mourinho will not have to wait long to lock horns with old foe Pep Guardiola with their new clubs set to meet at Old Trafford on 10 September in the most eagerly anticipated cross-town showdown in years.

Jose's big game mentality will be tested to the full during a challenging October, with trips to the Red half of Merseyside on the 15th and then an emotional return to his former club- Antonio Conte's Chelsea- a week later.

Mourinho's long-running feud with Wenger continues apace when Arsenal visit in November  before we host North East duo Sunderland (Boxing Day) and newly promoted Middlesbrough on New Year's Eve in the final matches of 2016.

The first month of 2017 looks tough, too, with a first ever trip to the Olympic Stadium and the always tricky visit to Stoke sandwiched by the return fixture against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool at OT on the 14th January.

That's followed by a trip to champions Leicester ahead of Guardiola's first home derby before Conte brings his Chelsea side to Old Trafford in the fourth match of a hectic April.

We also face West Brom, Everton and Swansea- all at home- and Sunderland and promoted Burnley in what we hope will be the title run-in during the season's penultimate month.

It's a North London double in May with successive away trips to White Hart Lane and the Emirates before United-just as we did last term- end against Crystal Palace.

That cup win over the Eagles was not enough to save Van Gaal but Mourinho will hope that the Old Trafford encounter with Pardew's side sees similar scenes to that Wembley win- but this time in the Premier League. 

Key dates and fixtures 2016/17:

7 August: Community Shield United v Leicester
13 August: Premier League opening weekend Bournemouth v United
10 September: United v City
15 October: Liverpool v United
22 October: Chelsea v United
7 January 2017: FA Cup third round
21 May: Premier League season ends United v Crystal Palace 

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