The 2026 World Cup will be played in North America

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Former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater believes the club's trip to Arsenal on the opening day of the 2018/19 Premier League season is "really important", as the bid to defend their Premier League title begins.

Four rounds of Premier League fixtures are scheduled before the first global break, which is on the weekend of 8-9 September.

Federation Internationale de Football Association now has the final say on which cities are selected to host games and whether all three countries are guaranteed a place at the tournament.

The first Manchester derby of the season is scheduled for November 10 at the Etihad Stadium, and the reverse will take place on March 16 at Old Trafford.

As is traditional, the month of December presents gifts of games galore. An opening ceremony before the match will feature Will Smith singing Live It Up, the official anthem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, Cardiff City, Fulham and Wolves have all been handed potentially winnable opening assignments following their promotion to the top flight.

Jurgen Klopp's team beat City on three occasions last season, including the Premier League win in January which ended their hopes of going through a campaign unbeaten in the league.

Leicester City's first game at King Power Stadium comes a week later on Saturday 18 August, when newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers visit King Power Stadium for the first time since 2013.

Jurgen Klopp's side travel to Watford and Bournemouth respectively before the remaining two games of the group stages.

Oddly, for the third consecutive season, we lock horns with Arsenal and Chelsea in consecutive games.

Saudi Arabia are led by coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, yet he faces an nearly impossible challenge of piecing together a team ready for World Cup action as most of his players are based in a domestic league that lacks quality.

The United States was defeated in the final round of voting to determine the 2022 World Cup host.

City claimed a 100% record against Arsenal and Chelsea last season with our 1-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge a stand-out victory and performance.

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