They may have benefited from a favourable programme last term but champions Chelsea have received no favours from next season’s Premier League schedule.
The Blues face a tough examination of their title defence in the opening weeks, with matches against Tottenham, Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City during the first seven rounds of games.
Antonio Conte’s men also appear to have been dealt the toughest set of fixtures immediately after Champions League outings, with the Arsenal and City clashes as well as further contests with Manchester United and Liverpool all following midweek European commitments.
Chelsea, whose absence from continental action afforded them a relatively lean workload last season, begin the new campaign at home to Burnley on the weekend of 12 August.
They also have a run-in free of big opponents, save for a visit from Liverpool on the penultimate weekend.
Tottenham's Wembley headaches
The Blues represent difficult opponents for Tottenham’s first match at Wembley – their designated home this season while their new stadium is completed – following a tricky opener at Newcastle.
Spurs’s second home fixture, against Burnley on the weekend of 26 August, looks likely to be rescheduled or switched to Turf Moor as it clashes with the Rugby League Challenge Cup final at the national stadium.
Tottenham’s Champions League programme looks to have been made easier by a relatively kind set of matches immediately after, with Liverpool their only top-nine opponents, on the weekend of 21 October.
Arsenal face another tough autumn
The first north London derby between Spurs and Arsenal is at Emirates Stadium on the weekend of 18 November, a week after the latter visit City in what has traditionally been a difficult spell for the Gunners.
Arsenal begin at home to Leicester but face stern tests at Liverpool and Chelsea in their first five fixtures. The FA Cup holders wrap up the campaign at home to top-flight newcomers Huddersfield.
Hammers match set to be moved
West Ham are expected to play their first three fixtures away from home as the London Stadium is in use for the World Athletics Championship during the opening weeks.
The Hammers visit Manchester United in an eye-catching opening match, with a designated home game against Southampton set to be moved to St Mary’s next and then a trip to Newcastle.
Easy start for United
United have been handed what on appears a gentle start, with Everton the only top-six opposition in the first seven rounds.
City, who go to United for the first Manchester derby on the weekend of 9 December, travel to promoted Brighton for their opener.
They, United and Liverpool all feature in a perilous first seven games for Crystal Palace, who kick off at home to Huddersfield.
Opening weekend 12 August
Arsenal v Leicester
Brighton v Man City
Chelsea v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield
Everton v Stoke
Man Utd v West Ham
Newcastle v Tottenham
Southampton v Swansea
Watford v Liverpool
West Brom v Bournemouth