Gunners handed difficult start

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Arsenal begin the 2012-13 Premier League campaign with a home fixture against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on August 18.

The Gunners host the Black Cats on the opening day before travelling to Stoke City on August 25, and follow up their visit to the Britannia Stadium with another away trip - this time to Anfield, to face Liverpool on September 1.

November 17 will see the first north London derby of the new season, with Arsene Wenger's side hosting Tottenham Hotspur in what will be a typically highly charged encounter. The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane will be played on March 2.

Arsenal will travel to both Manchester clubs before Christmas, facing reigning champions City at the Etihad Stadium on September 22, and visit Old Trafford on November 3.

A boxing day clash at home to London rivals West Ham kicks off a busy festive schedule, with a trip to the south coast on New Year's Day against Southampton.

There are also games against Wigan Athletic (A) Dec 22, Newcastle (H) Dec 29, and the traditional FA Cup third round clash on the first Saturday in 2013.

Manchester United arrive at the Emirates on Saturday 27 April, with Arsenal's end of season run-in finishing with an away trip to Queens Park Rangers (May 4), Wigan at home (May 12), and a last-day visit to Tyneside to face Newcastle on May 19.

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