Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City have been handed an inadvertent boost in their bid to retain their title with the publication of next season’s fixtures.
Roberto Mancini’s side will play five of their six matches immediately after Champions League games at home.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to be impressed, however, with five away matches following European ties for his team.
These include trips to Liverpool, Newcastle, Champions League winners Chelsea and Aston Villa ahead of, on December 8, the Manchester derby at the Etihad.
Chelsea also have five matches at home post-Champions League games while Arsenal’s six games have an equal split.
City start their league defence with a home game against newly-promoted Southampton and finish at the Etihad against Norwich.
Last season’s surprise package Newcastle open up against Europa League rivals Tottenham.
New West Brom boss Steve Clarke is “delighted” to be facing former employers Liverpool in his first game in charge.
Clarke, who is undertaking his first job as a head coach following 14 years as a no.2, said: “I was delighted to get Liverpool first. I’ve got nothing but good memories from my time at Liverpool.”