6 things to know about the initial six weeks of Premier League
1. Tender start for Cherries’ premier league debut
Bournemouth FC would be gracing the premier league for the first time in their 125 year club history. Fixtures for their first ever premier league campaign has been very kind with 3 winnable home fixtures against Aston Villa, Leicester City and Sunderland – all three clubs were part of relegation scrap last season.
Their only tough fixture comes against Liverpool in the second week at Anfield. Fixtures against West Ham with their Europa League adventure and fellow promoted club Norwich City would be seen as winnable fixtures by the cherries’ supporters. Fixtures can’t be any kinder for the EPL newbies!
2. Challenging start for Martinez’s toffees
After a stuttering 2014/15 season, last thing Merseyside team Everton would have wanted is a tough set of fixtures to begin the 2015/16 campaign. Everton face 5 out of the top 8 clubs of last season in their first 6 matches with Watford, Manchester City and reigning champions Chelsea visiting Goodison Park and tough away trips to Southampton, Tottenham Hotspurs and Swansea City. 2015 is certainly rocky for the toffees!
The below image shows the initial fixtures’ difficulty levels for all the Premier League teams in 2015-16.
3. Saints to enjoy the season kick-off again
Southampton started the last season in flying colors with only one defeat in the first 6 and winning 4 of them. A look at their early round of fixtures indicates a similar strong run in this season as well. Southampton won’t face any of the top half teams from last season in their first 5 matches with the exception of Manchester united’s visit to St. Mary’s in game week 6.
Saints face two of the newly promoted teams, Watford and Norwich City, in game week 3 and 4 along with trips to struggling Newcastle and West Brom Albion. Saints have lucky fixtures for the second consecutive season!
4. Jose’s men need to be on their toes
Having endured a poor pre-season ending with a defeat at the hands of longtime foe Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in the FA Community Shield, Jose’s Chelsea are up for a challenging set of fixtures to begin their defense of the league crown. Chelsea have to play 2 of their title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal in the first 6 weeks and also face tough away trips to Everton and Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion. Chelsea begin their season against free-flowing Swansea at the Stamford Bridge. 3rd season with a same club is never lucky for Jose!
5. Manchester Clubs to have mixed start
Both Manchester clubs would be looking forward to the new season with a lot of hope after few promising signings in the transfer window. United start the season with Tottenham Hotspurs visiting the theater of dreams, having had a bad record against Spurs in the recent past. Two winnable fixtures against Aston Villa and Newcastle united is followed by trio of tough fixtures including trips to Swansea City and Southampton sandwiched by derby against fellow rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
City, meanwhile, have relatively easier start with only league champions’ visit to the Etihad Stadium being a hard one. City play newcomers Watford and West Ham in game week 4 & 6 respectively at Etihad with three away trips to West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Crystal Palace completing the first 6. A good start is vital for both Manchester clubs for mounting a serious title challenge.
6. Newcastle’s struggle to continue
After narrowly escaping from relegation last year, Newcastle 2015/16 campaign starts in the worst possible way with Magpies facing Swansea, Southampton, Manchester United and Arsenal in the first four fixtures.
West Ham away in the fifth game week will come as some respite for Newcastle followed by a kind home fixture against newbies Watford in game week 6.Toon Army would be happy with any point they can get out of first 4 matches and would be eagerly looking forward to the game week 5 already. More misery for the Magpies!