The new Premier League season isn’t far away, and we can’t wait.
While it hasn’t been that long since the last campaign came to an end, it’s always exciting when you know that football is going to be coming back.
If we’re looking for moments that show the new season is around the corner, surely fixture announcement day is top of the list.
Plenty will say that there’s nothing exciting about learning that your team will play twice against each team, home and away, over the course of 38 games.
But if you’re sad like me, there’s nothing like it.
Supporters love getting their teeth into the fixture list to look at who they’ll play first, as this is the match that everyone looks forward to.
But it’s over the course of the first five games that we’ll really get to see how each club is shaping up for the season.
While the aim of the fixtures is to make sure that everyone has a relatively even spread of easy to difficult fixtures, there’s always going to be sides who are handed an easier or harder start to the campaign.
Well thanks to Sky Sports, we’re able to see exactly who has been given the best and worst five fixtures this term.
Ranking each team from 1-20, Sky Sports have been able to work out the average league position of their first five opponents.
For clarity, this will have Liverpool ranked first, Manchester City second etc.
While the promoted sides weren’t ranked in the Premier League last term, Leeds are ranked 18th, West Brom 19th and Fulham 20th for the benefit of the table.
Premier League clubs ranked by average position of first five opponents
1. West Ham – 7.8
2. West Brom – 8.4
3. Leeds United – 8.6
4. Crystal Palace – 9
5. Brighton – 9.2
6. Newcastle United – 10
7. Man United – 10.4
8. Arsenal – 10.4
9. Tottenham – 11
10. Southampton – 11.2
11. Manchester City – 11.4
12. Burnley – 11.4
13. Everton – 11.6
14. Aston Villa – 12
15. Liverpool – 12.4
16. Fulham – 12.4
17. Chelsea – 12.6
18. Leicester City – 13.4
19. Wolves – 14.4
20. Sheffield United – 15.4
As you can see above, West Ham United have been handed the most difficult start to the Premier League season.
This includes fixtures against Newcastle United, Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
They’re followed closely behind by newly-promoted West Brom and Leeds United, who’s opponents have an average position of 8.4 and 8.6 respectively.
At the other end, there are teams who are breathing a small sigh of relief.
Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester City and Wolves are all sides who’ve been handed a relatively easy start to the season, but Sheffield United will be chuckling away to themselves.
After a wonderful debut season the Blades have the chance to get off to the best possible start to next term with their opponents having an average league position of 15.4
This includes matches against Wolves, Aston Villa, Leeds United, Arsenal and Fulham.
But as we all know, anyone can beat anyone in this league so the above table will probably mean next-to nothing by the time September rolls around.
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