Liverpool now knows what examinations it will face next season and when it will take those tests.
The Premier League unveiled its 2015-16 schedule Wednesday, including Liverpool’s full slate of 38 games in England’s top flight. Liverpool will open the season Aug. 8 at Stoke City and end the campaign on May 15, 2016 at West Bromwich Albion.
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The dates of all games are subject to change for live television coverage and potential UEFA Europa League commitments.
Liverpool will have its hands and feet full next season, competing in four competitions — the Premier League, the Europea League, the FA Cup and the Football League Cup. Achieving a top-four finish in the Premier League will be Liverpool’s primary target, but it won’t be easy.
The Reds open with a tough stretch of road games, which will test their talent and mental fortitude. They visit the five teams that finished higher than them in 2014-15, as well as historically difficult games at Stoke City and local rivals Everton in the first three months of the season. The Reds hope to avoid another slow start to a domestic campaign, but the schedule makers did them no favors.
October will be a particularly difficult month, with visits to Everton, Tottenham and defending champion Chelsea on the horizon. A home game against Southampton and the international break also will make October tricky.
In short, Liverpool must reach its top level as quickly as possible.
The flip side to all this is Liverpool’s schedule will be easier in the second half of the season. The Reds host the biggest clubs after New Year’s Day, and their run-in to the end of the season includes games against teams who likely will be competing in the bottom half of the standings. Home games against Chelsea (on March 12) and Tottenham (April 2) likely will be Liverpool’s toughest tests in the last 10 games of the season.
Here’s Liverpool’s preseason schedule:
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Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TeleFootball