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We'll relish start - Gareth

Gareth Bale insists the players will relish a testing start to the Barclays Premier League campaign.

Gareth Bale insists the players will relish a testing start to the Barclays Premier League campaign.

Our first three matches of the 2011-12 season see Everton at the Lane on the first weekend, scheduled for Saturday, August 13, followed by a trip to Old Trafford and champions Manchester United on August 20 and then Manchester City at home on August 27.

We also face Liverpool and Arsenal inside the first six weeks of the season as well as our Europa League play-off on August 18 and 25 and potential group matches after that.

Remember, all fixtures are subject to change.

Concentrating on the first three matches against Everton, United and City, Gareth feels a positive start could set us up for the season ahead.

"They are all hard matches but that’s the case when you play any team in the Premier League," said the flying Welshman.

"Everton is always a tough game and the two Manchester teams are amongst the best in the league, but getting them early might just be good for us. Hopefully we can get into our rhythm early and get positive results.

"If we start well it will make teams sit up and take notice and getting points on the board from those matches would be great for confidence. It would set us up for the rest of the season."

Taking a closer look at the first-three matches, Gareth added: "Everton are a good side and they’ve proved it over the years, they always finish close to the top six. It will be difficult and the way they set up, especially at White Hart Lane, is always tough for us.

"We’ve played well at Old Trafford in the last couple of seasons but the luck always seems to go against us. Hopefully we can get a good result against Everton and take that into the United game.

"I’m sure City will be looking to push on again, they are in the Champions League and I’m sure they will be right up there again.

"It will be a difficult game but playing these teams at the start of the season can be good for us. I’m sure the lads will relish these fixtures and it makes for an exciting start to the season.

"These are all big games and we’ve certainly got plenty of big-game players."

bale new kit