Premier League fixtures 2018-19: Man City visit Arsenal on opening weekend

Wayne Rooney returned to Everton last summer

Wayne Rooney returned to Everton last summer

Former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater believes the club's trip to Arsenal on the opening day of the 2018/19 Premier League season is "really important", as the bid to defend their Premier League title begins.

Manchester City celebrate after winning the 2017-18 Premier League title.

Promoted Fulham host Crystal Palace, while Cardiff visit Bournemouth.

It is unclear if their state-of-the-art £850m new stadium will be available in time for the start of the new season.

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And the Spaniard has been given a testing opening to Premier League management.

City's record at Arsenal leaves a lot to be desired with just two away victories clinched since 1975 - but the Blues secured a hat-trick of victories against Arsene Wenger's side last season, including a 3-0 triumph in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

After the opening-weekend game at Etihad Stadium, the Gunners travel to fellow top-six contenders Chelsea.

Dates for all 380 matches will be revealed, with the league campaign running from 11 August to 19 May.

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Chelsea, who remain in a state of flux with question marks over their owner, manager and star players, have been handed a low-key start to the season, aside from the early meeting with Arsenal.

Emery also has a tough start to December, with a home north London derby against Tottenham on 1 December followed by a trip to Manchester United.

Tottenham is scheduled to play Fulham at home on the second weekend but it is still unclear if the match will be at the club's temporary home of Wembley Stadium, which it is using while White Hart Lane is being rebuilt.

Gareth Southgate's side begin their campaign against Tunisia on Monday, and Mourinho said his players had the ability and experience to exceed many people's expectations.

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