The FA has released its 2015-16 fixture list, and Arsenal will start its season on August 8 (August 8!) by hosting West Ham. The season will end against another claret-and-blue clad team, 2015 FA Cup Final foes Aston Villa on May 15, with a potentially crucial match against Manchester City at the Etihad eight days prior.
Highlights of the upcoming fixture list include:
* A not-so-horrible Christmas schedule! After hosting City on December 19, Arsenal travels to Southampton on the 26th, hosts Bournemouth on the 28th, and then hosts relegation-bound Newcastle on January 2. (Whereas Chelsea has to travel to Old Trafford the 28th, ha ha ha ha ha.)
* Like last year, Arsenal has an early-season test against Chelsea, traveling to the Bridge on Sept. 19, with a return leg on Jan. 23.
* January and February looks to be a season-defining stretch, as it also includes a Jan. 12 trip to Anfield, a Feb. 2 visit by the Saints, and a Feb. 27 trip to Old Trafford (with, for good measure, a Mar. 1 visit from the Arsenal-killers from Wales).
* If the NLD is your thing, the Emirates match is Nov. 7, while the White Hart Lane match is Mar. 5.
In case the race comes down to the final day, here's as rundown of what the potential title rivals will be doing: Chelsea's hosting Leicester, City's going to Wales to face Swansea, United's hosting Bournemouth, Liverpool's at West Brom, and Southampton's hosting Palace.
The full fixture list is on Arsenal.com, and includes a handy calendar download to get all the matches into your GCal or iCal, if you are that kind of nerd. (I am most decidedly that kind of nerd.)