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Leeds have a quiet start to 2021/22 at Old Trafford
Wednesday, 16th Jun 2021 21:51 by Tim Whelan

While we were all busy enjoying the European Championship the fixture list for the new season came out this morning, and we won’t have to wait very long for our favourite match of the whole campaign.

Well, I didn’t see that one coming. When I attended a couple of meetings of the fixture setting committee as a supporters’ representative around the turn of the millennium, the talk was always of wanting to avoid ‘high profile’ matches on the opening day of the season, probably in case anyone got over-excited.

So it was a surprise to me that the very first game of 2021/22 will see us travelling to the wrong side of the Pennines to take on the team that we love to hate. But maybe this time the authorities are gambling on some of the Covid restrictions still being in place, and thinking that there will be less risk of crowd trouble if there is less of a crowd.

It’s certainly a game that most Leeds fans will be desperate to get to, but we’ll have to wait and see what sort of a ticket allocation we’re going to get, if any. But if it proves impossible for most of us to get hold of any tickets, it must be highly likely that the game will be selected for live coverage by either BT Sports or Sky.

In fact our first four games will all be against north-west opposition, as the two Merseyside clubs come to Leeds for our first two home games, and between those matches is a trip to the third world, or Burnley as it’s otherwise known. Then till the end of October we have a relatively easy spell on the field, a run of six games where West Ham are the only opponents who finished in the top half of the Premier League last season.

But that’s just storing up some difficult games for December, when we have to play Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool one after the other. The last of these is the Boxing Day game at Anfield, and on December 28th our very good friends Aston Villa come to Elland Road, before the new year’s day game is at home to Burnley.

The return game at Villa comes around quite soon on Tuesday February 8th, and that is our furthest midweek away trip of the season, at least before Sky and BT get their hands on the fixtures and start moving everything around. The return game with Man U is scheduled for February 19th, though I think that might be the weekend of the 5th round of the FA Cup.

The final six games are a mixed bag, as we have the return fixtures against Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal, but also three teams you’d expect to finish well down the table. Die hard ground-hoppers will have to wait until the very last game before our visit to Brentford’s brand new stadium, and who knows what will be at stake for either club by the time that day comes around.

For copyright reasons we can’t show all the fixtures here, but you can click here to go to the full fixture list on the official site.

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