City begins title defense vs. Southampton

City begins title defense vs. Southampton

Published Jun. 18, 2012 5:30 a.m. ET

Manchester City will begin the defense of its Premier League title with a home match against newly promoted Southampton on Aug. 18.

City, which sealed its first English championship in 44 years with a dramatic late win on the final day of last season, then travel to Liverpool for their second game.

Manchester United, which was denied a 20th title by City, start against Everton away. The Manchester clubs meet in derby matches provisionally scheduled at City on Dec. 8 and United on April 6.

Roberto Di Matteo's first match as permanent manager of European champion Chelsea will be at Wigan while new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will take his team to West Bromwich Albion for the first game. Arsenal hosts Sunderland.