Premier League Fixture List: 20 Games to Decide the Title in 2012-13

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Premier League Fixture List: 20 Games to Decide the Title in 2012-13

The Barclays Premier League have released the fixture list for the forthcoming 2012-13 season and fans are already salivating at the prospect of a number of high-profile matches in the opening weeks.

From the outset, it looks as if the title race will, once again, be fought between Manchester United and Manchester City, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will compete for the coveted Champions League positions.

Defending champions and early title favourites, Manchester City have a nicely spread fixture list, but that could easily change when UEFA announces the Champions League groups on August 30. While Manchester United, their chief rivals, has a fixture list severely complicated by the Champions League draw before it even happens.

The Red Devils also face two tricky periods where they face both Arsenal and Chelsea back to back. Once in November and then again at the end of April, just three weeks after they face Manchester City, in what already looks to be a title-decider.

Liverpool FC, in a period of rebuilding, face what looks on paper to be the toughest opening fixture list. They play ex-first team assistant manager Steve Clarke and West Brom in Game 1 before facing Sunderland, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in what should be a baptism of fire for new coach Brendan Rodgers.

Along with Roberto Mancini, Arsene Wenger will be quite happy with the way the computer has generated Arsenal's fixtures. They have one real bad patch in January where the games come hot and heavy, but on either side of that they have a set-up that could guarantee Champions League football again in 2013-14.

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur make up the running as far as potential champions are concerned. The Blues have a really tough list before Christmas, where they face Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City over an eight-week period that will push Roberto Di Matteo to his limits.

The managerless Spurs have a decent run of fixtures, but the proof of the pudding will be how the North London side deal with the big teams in the Premier League. This will, once again, decide their fate regardless of who takes over.

With each of the runners and riders named, here we look at 20 key fixtures that will shape the title race in 2012-13.

Read on, and be sure to leave your top matches and predictions in the comments below.

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