Top three lead the way

09 July 2009 12:00
Champions Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all figure on the opening weekend of Sky Sports' first batch of live Premier League fixtures. In all 31 games have been confirmed, including each of the big four clashes and 11 major derbies, with ALL 20 Premier League clubs appearing live on your screens before the end of November. They are the first of 92 live Premier League games on Sky Sports, all in high definition. Sky Sports, in consultation with the Premier League and clubs, has now made its initial selection of 31 live games over the first four months of the season. The first set of fixtures feature: ALL THE CLUBS: Every one of the 20 clubs will be seen at least once in the initial set of live matches with all three promoted clubs shown live within the first two months. BIG HEAD-TO-HEADS: Each clash between last year's top four; Manchester United v Arsenal (Saturday, August 29), Chelsea v Liverpool (Sunday, October 4), Liverpool v Manchester United (Sunday, October 25), Chelsea v Manchester United (Sunday, November 8) and Arsenal v Chelsea (Sunday, November 29). MAJOR DERBIES: Eleven big derbies including: Fulham v Chelsea (Sunday, August 23), Birmingham City v Aston Villa (Sunday, September 13), Manchester United v Manchester City (Sunday, September 20), Chelsea v Tottenham (Sunday, September 20), Blackburn Rovers v Burnley (Sunday, October 18), Wolves v Aston Villa (Saturday, October 24), Arsenal v Tottenham (Sunday, October 31), Everton v Liverpool (Sunday, November 29) and Arsenal v Chelsea (Sunday, November 29). Announcing the initial live matches, Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: "The initial set of fixtures are as strong as we've had since we began coverage of the Premier League. "We have eleven major derbies, five head-to-heads between last season's top four teams and every Barclays Premier League club shown live before the end of November. "Once again Sky Sports will bring you the biggest live matches throughout the season, all in high definition." This season Sky Sports start a new agreement for live UEFA Champions League coverage with more live matches and more match nights. It brings live coverage of the final Qualifying round and up to 15 live matches per week across the group stage including every match on Tuesday nights. The 2009-10 season also sees Sky Sports begin a new three-year agreement with the Coca-Cola Football League, to show up to 80 live games from across all three divisions, including Play-Offs and all three Play-Offs Finals from Wembley, all available in high definition. This season kicks off on Sky Sports with a live pre-season match between Shamrock Rovers and Real Madrid on Monday, July 20, followed by three live pre-season tournaments including: the Wembley Cup featuring: Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Celtic and Al Ahly, on July 24 & 26, the Barclays Asia Trophy featuring: West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Hull City and Beijing Guoan, on July 29 & 31, and the Emirates Cup featuring: Arsenal, Rangers, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, on August 1 & 2. Other live football on Sky Sports for the 2009-10 season includes: live ties from the Carling Cup, the Scottish Cup, live matches from Northern Ireland's IFA Premiership; live international football, including crucial home World Cup Qualifiers for Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales; plus South American World Cup Qualifiers.

Source: SKY_Sports