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Leeds to start the season at Anfield
Thursday, 20th Aug 2020 12:01 by Tim Whelan

Welcome to the Premier League! Leeds will begin life back in the elite division with one of the hardest fixtures of the campaign, away to Champions Liverpool.

There was a claim on some websites that the Premier League had mistakenly leaked the opening fixtures through their fantasy league website (before hurriedly deleting them) and that we’d start at home to Newcastle, but that has proven to be absolute tosh.

Usually I feel a surge of excitement the day the fixtures come out, and immediately start to plan my life for much of the following year. At least, as much as it involves planning weekend trips to various parts of the country to co-incide with Leeds away games when I might be in with half a chance of getting a ticket.

This season will of course be very different. Who knows when they will allow any fans to attend Premier League matches, and when will the number admitted be anywhere close to full capacity? It could well be the new year before we stand any chance of seeing the mighty whites in action inside Elland Road, and who knows when we will start getting any official allocations for away games.

So I found it a bit hard to muster my usual enthusiasm to look at the fixtures this morning, but anyway, here goes. Fourth game in we have another toughie, when we host Manchester City, a match when we could have done with the atmosphere of a packed Elland Road to give us a bit more of a chance against Bielsa’s pupil and his very expensive squad.

The two matches against the other lot from Manchester will be December 19th at the swamp and April 24th at Elland Road. I thought they might have wanted to stage these two fixtures as early in the season as possible when fans can’t be present, but no.

The Boxing Day game is about as local as it could be, at home to Burnley, and we bring in 2021 with a January 2nd trip to Tottenham’s brand spanking new version of White Hart Lane. Four of the last five fixtures look relatively easy, and hopefully we won’t be desperately scrapping for survival by the time we host WBA on Sunday May 23rd, the final day of the season.

For copyright reasons we can’t reproduce the full fixture list here, but here’s a handy link to the fixtures on the official website . Notice the key phrase at the bottom that says “Please note, all fixtures are subject to change”.

In other words, once Sky get their hands on the fixture list it will all look completely different, though at least there won’t be any police changes while we can’t go to matches anyway. I reckon our opening fixture is an absolute banker for live TV as Liverpool begin their title defence, and the Man City home game is highly likely, given the Bielsa v Pep angle.

No doubt we’ll be a regular choice for TV coverage throughout the season, as even in the Premier League we will still attract better than average viewing figures, though that might depend on what sort of season we have. Watch this space.

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