Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday June 22 2006
City have been handed the toughest possible start to their Premiership campaign with a visit to Chelsea on August 19th (expect changes for TV). With the champions strengthening after the purchases of Ballack and Schevchenko so far, it is hard to see the blues starting the season with anything other than a defeat.
The home campaign starts on the 23rd with Portsmouth the first visitors to Eastlands for the 2006/07 season.
3 days later it`s the turn of European Champions League runners up, Arsenal, to visit City to round up a difficult start to the season.
Other notable dates are Rags away (Dec 9th), Boxing day is a trip to new boys, Sheffield United, New Years day sees us entertain Everton and the home derby is City`s final home game of the season on May 5th.
As well as a demanding start to the season the finish looks equally tough with games at home to Liverpool and the Rags and away to Spurs in the last five fixtures. City end their campaign with the visit to Spurs. For a full list of the fixtures visit the official site at www.mcfc.co.uk
All in all a tough start and finish to the season with the opportunity to get off to a flyer looking very unlikely. If proof were needed that the club needs to throw some money at strengthening the squad then this fixture list is evidence enough. Compare Chelsea`s purchases with ours and ask whether Dickov and Dabo will strike fear into their new arrivals? Probably not. However there is still time for the management to strengthen and we must hope they have some quality signings lined up for when the World Cup finishes.
Equally tough as the start to the season is a finish of Rags and Spurs. It must be hoped that we are able to deny United the title or a top four finish in our final home game rather than them gloat if we are relegated at their expense. Tottenham away is as tough a finish as we could have asked for, especially if they continue the form shown last season. Let`s just hope we pick up enough points in the mid season so as not to have to worry about the consequences at the end.
Date:Thursday June 22 2006
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