Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits he cannot wait for the start of the new season.
The 48-year-old will launch his reign with a trip to Bolton on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, before Chelsea arrive on Wearside for his first home game.
Hopes are high for an encouraging start with the fixture list having pitched the Black Cats into battle with promoted sides Burnley and Wolves before the end of September, although October will bring a trip to Manchester United followed immediately by Liverpool's arrival at the Stadium of Light.
Bruce said: "It's a great start. I'm sure we'll have a huge following at Bolton for the first game, and I certainly couldn't have picked tougher opponents than Chelsea for my first match in charge at the Stadium of Light.
"Bolton are difficult to beat, especially on their own ground, but it's a game that we will go into full of confidence. We will hopefully have some new faces and I have no doubt we will get fantastic backing because everyone knows our away support is unbelievable.
"We have got Manchester United and Liverpool as well as Chelsea to play in our first nine games, but you have got to play everybody twice whenever the fixtures come around, and we will look to enjoy the big games. But of course they are all big games in this league."