Holloway delighted Blackpool start at home

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The Independent Football

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway today welcomed the news the Tangerines will open their Barclays Premier League campaign at Bloomfield Road.

The newly-promoted side start at home to local rivals Wigan followed by a daunting trip to Arsenal.

Holloway told Sky Sports News: "It is nice to kick off with a home game and with Wigan up the road it will be nice for us."

On the trip to north London to face Arsene Wenger's men, he added: "That's fantastic, that's exactly what I wanted.

"It will be a new experience for all of us going to the Emirates.

"Hopefully all the butterflies will be out of the way and we can see what we can do against Arsenal."

Blackpool also face a tricky finish when they meet Manchester United at Old Trafford on the final day.

"That will be nice if we could celebrate staying up," said Holloway.

"I am sure Sir Alex (Ferguson) has already sent me a letter telling me to bring some good red wine."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admitted the derby fixtures against Newcastle will have caught the eye in the north-east.

The Black Cats face their bitter rivals, back in the top flight following promotion last season, at St James Park on October 30 with the return meeting on Wearside scheduled for January 15.

"I am sure those two will have been the first games the supporters will have looked for," he told http://www.safc.com.

"We welcome Newcastle back into the Premier League and look forward to locking horns with them.

"Being from the north-east I know how much is at stake in these games."

Sunderland open up at home to one of Bruce's former clubs, Birmingham, on the opening day.

He added: "We had two competitive games against them last season and I am sure the first day of the season will be no different.

"I am sure everyone will be looking to get off to a decent start but we will have to work hard.

"It will be nice to begin the season at home after being away last year."

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton admitted he had been hoping for an easier start after seeing his side paired with Manchester United at Old Trafford on the opening day.

He told http://www.nufc.co.uk: "It's a tough start for us, we would have preferred a home game to kick the season off but you take what you get.

"We can take heart and confidence from the 1-1 draw we earned at Old Trafford two years ago on the opening day of the 2008-09 season.

"Villa at home the following week is another tough one but a great game to begin our home campaign. You tend to look at the number of back-to-back games you have against the top six/eight teams and our fixture list looks to be fairly balanced in that respect."