EPL: Iheanacho, Ndidi, Ekong Receive Opening Round Fixtures

Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi have been handed a home tie to kick off the 2021-22 Premier League season with Leicester City hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Kings Power on the opening weekend.

The Nigerian duo agonizingly missed out on a top four finish on the last day of the season for the second year running and will hope to banish their nearly tag this time around.

Elsewhere, Super Eagles vice captain William Troost-Ekong will have a first taste of English football with newly promoted Watford who host Aston Villa on the first day.

The first fixtures will take place on 14 August and champions Manchester City face a trip to Tottenham while newly promoted Brentford will host Arsenal in their first top-flight game since the 1946-47 season.

Norwich who were also promoted last season face Liverpool, Manchester United host Leeds, while Champions League winners Chelsea will host Crystal Palace.

Premier League clubs were able to host fans at reduced capacity when Covid-19 restrictions eased late in the 2020-21 campaign.

It is not yet known how many fans will be able to attend the opening fixtures of the new season but the Premier League said it was “committed to the ambition of having full stadiums, including away supporters” from the start of the season.

City are favourites to retain their Premier League title but face a daunting opening run of games, with Spurs, Norwich, Arsenal, Leicester, Southampton, Chelsea and Liverpool their opening seven opponents.

Norwich, who returned to the top-flight at the first time of asking after relegation in 2019-20, start with Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal.

The first north London derby between Spurs and Arsenal is due to take place on 25 September, while the first Merseyside derby of the season will see Everton host Liverpool at Goodison Park in a midweek fixture on 30 November.

The first Manchester derby sees United take on City at Old Trafford on 11 November, while eye-catching Boxing Day fixtures include Liverpool v Leeds and Manchester City against Leicester.

The penultimate round of Premier League fixtures will take place on Sunday 15 May in order to accommodate the FA Cup final a day earlier, with the final day of the season scheduled for 22 May.

First round of fixtures in full

Brentford v Arsenal

Burnley v Brighton

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Everton v Southampton

Leicester City v Wolverhampton

Manchester United v Leeds United

Newcastle United v West Ham United

Norwich City v Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Watford v Aston Villa