Moyes’s Manchester United era kicks off with title rival clashes

NEW Manchester United manager David Moyes faces a baptism of fire with his side scheduled to meet title contenders Chelsea and Manchester City, plus fierce rivals Liverpool, in the first five weeks of the season.

The Premier League fixtures for the 2013-14 campaign were published yesterday and drew United away to Swansea in the first game, followed by the visit of Chelsea a week later, then a trip to Anfield.

The first Manchester derby of the season sees Moyes head-to-head with new City chief Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium on September 21.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea start their season at home to newly-promoted Hull, while Arsenal host Aston Villa.

West Ham welcome Cardiff City to Upton Park, while Fulham make the trip to Paolo di Canio’s Sunderland.

Tottenham, meanwhile, must travel from north to south London to play against Championship play-off final winners Crystal Palace.

And Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas hopes his team can capitalise on potential slow starts elsewhere, as a consequence of the mass influx of new managers in the Premier League.

“I think there will be big changes in every team and the managerial changes will see different ways of playing,” he said. “Others will look to create strong teams and we will too.”

Key games in 2013
■ 31st: Arsenal v Tottenham

■ 28th: Tottenham v Chelsea

■ 26th: Chelsea v Man City

■ 9th: Man Utd v Arsenal

■ 26th: West Ham v Arsenal