Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be more than happy with the hospitable start to the season his side have been dealt after the 2016/17 Premier League fixture list was revealed.
City have been allocated the following foes between August and the start of December.
Sunderland visit them on the opening day, before they travel to Stoke, host West Ham, take on Manchester United at Old Trafford, Bournemouth in Manchester, Swansea in Wales, Tottenham at White Hart Lane, Everton and Southampton at the Etihad, West Brom at the Hawthorns, Middlesbrough at home and Crystal Palace and Burnley away.
It’s a dance card that represents a heartening blend of winnable home games against decent opposition, chances to take away points off potential title rivals and easy pickings against last season’s lower half/the newly-promoted clubs.
The Citizens are 2/1 to win the league after the fixtures were revealed, leaving them sizeable favourites ahead of 4/1 Man Utd and Arsenal at 11/2.
Liverpool have not been so lucky, with their prospects of getting off to a flyer dealt a severe blow.
Jurgen Klopp’s side play each of last season’s top-three finishers inside a first four games with Arsenal away on the opening day, before Burnley at home, Tottenham in London and Leicester at Anfield.
They will also meet 2014/15 champions Chelsea and 2016/17 title-betting second favourites Manchester United inside their next quartet of assignments, with Hull at home and Swansea away the only thing in the way of light relief.
Sixth in the market to win the league at 9/1 and 8/5 to finish in the top four, the Anfielders will do well not to have been waylaid after such an introduction.
Another club with head in hands after the revelation of the bill of fare are Watford.
The Hornets are 2/1 fourth-favourites to be relegated and an opening five fixtures comprising an away opener at Southampton, home dates with Chelsea and Arsenal, a clash with West Ham at the Olympic Stadium and the Vicarage Road visit of Man Utd could have them reeling by mid-September.