Six key battles on the Premier League’s opening day that may shape the season

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Following the announcement of the 2015/16 Premier League fixture list, fans of the 20 clubs set to sit at the top table of English football next season will already be predicting how their campaign looks set to turn out.

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The opening day will often set the tone for how the year will pan out, so all the managers will be desperate to see their side collect three points.

Here are six key battles which may have a major impact on who gets off to the perfect start:

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Alexis Sanchez v Winston Reid

After a blistering first campaign in the Premier League, eyes will be fixed on Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez next year, and many will be wondering if he’s set to suffer from second-season syndrome. While he regularly started down the right-hand side of the Gunners’ front four, he was continually involved in the play, making lives very difficult for most of the Premier League’s defences. And as the leader of the Hammers’ back line, it will be the job of former Arsenal target Winston Reid to try and make sure that the Chilean’s influence on the game at the Emirates is as small as possible. Unfortunately for Slaven Bilic’s men, if they manage to keep Sanchez quiet, they will still need to deal with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud.

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