Manchester City were a class above en route to winning a third Premier League title in four seasons last term but Pep Guardiola's champions face a tricky beginning to the 2021-22 campaign.
Indeed, the Citizens play four of their fellow-dubbed "big six" sides in their opening seven fixtures, with a trip to Tottenham on the opening day starting their title defence.
City host Arsenal on August 28, before heading to Leicester City on September 11 after the international break. Back-to-back fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool take place on September 25 and October 2.
The first Manchester derby of the season will take place at Old Trafford on November 6, with United returning for the reverse fixture on March 3.
A traditional busy Christmas period has City scheduled to face Leicester at home, and Brentford - promoted to the top flight this term - and Arsenal away between December 26 and January 1.
City's home fixture with Liverpool on April 9 stands out as potentially key, though they face none of their other big-six rivals in their final six matches – a home game with Aston Villa rounding out their campaign on May 22.
Manchester City's 2021-22 fixtures in full:
14/08/2021 - Tottenham (a)
21/08/2021 - Norwich City (h)
28/08/2021 - Arsenal (h)
11/09/2021 - Leicester City (a)
18/09/2021 - Southampton (h)
25/09/2021 - Chelsea (a)
02/10/2021 - Liverpool (a)
16/10/2021 - Burnley (h)
23/10/2021 - Brighton (a)
30/10/2021 - Crystal Palace (h)
06/11/2021 - Manchester United (a)
20/11/2021 - Everton (h)
27/11/2021 - West Ham (h)
30/11/2021 - Aston Villa (a)
04/12/2021 - Watford (a)
11/12/2021 - Wolves (h)
15/12/2021 - Leeds United (h)
18/12/2021 - Newcastle United (a)
26/12/2021 - Leicester City (h)
28/12/2021 - Brentford (a)
01/01/2022 - Arsenal (a)
15/01/2022 - Chelsea (h)
22/01/2022 - Southampton (a)
09/02/2022 - Brentford (h)
12/02/2022 - Norwich City (a)
19/02/2022 - Tottenham (h)
26/02/2022 - Everton (a)
05/03/2022 - Manchester United (h)
12/03/2022 - Crystal Palace (a)
19/03/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
02/04/2022 - Burnley (a)
09/04/2022 - Liverpool (h)
16/04/2022 - Wolves (a)
23/04/2022 - Watford (h)
30/04/2022 - Leeds United (a)
07/05/2022 - Newcastle United (h)
15/05/2022 - West Ham (a)
22/05/2022 - Aston Villa (h)