Stoke chief Rudge welcomes Premiership fixtures list

Stoke City football chief John Rudge has welcomed the release of the Premiership fixtures list.

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Commenting on the opening day encounter against Bolton, Rudge told Sky Sports the club has a close relationship with Trotters boss Gary Megson.

"Gary Megson was here as a manager nine years ago and recently Tony Pulis asked him to come back and help us regarding the coaching side before he went firstly to Leicester and then to Bolton so we have got a very close relationship with Gary Megson."

Asked about the ties against Liverpool and Chelsea in September, he added: "Well obviously it's going to be fantastic excitement for the supporters really so, I mean, it's absolutely fantastic to see all those fixtures and for us to be competing in this league."

He added he looked first at who Stoke had got in their opening fixture.

"We looked for the first game to be truthful because on numerous occasions I think the big sides have always played a side which have been promoted," he said.

"I can remember watching Wigan playing Chelsea and doing exceptionally well on the first day of the season and just losing in the final moments.

"I think we all anticipated getting one of the 'Big Four' actually in the first match but that's not to be, we have got to wait till Christmas before we play Manchester United and that will be a great Christmas box for us - we play them on Boxing Day so that will be a tough match for us but a really exciting adventure for all the supporters and everybody at the club."

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