A look at the PL fixtures: Which Premier League teams have the easiest and the hardest start to the 2019-20 season?
The 2018/19 Premier League season proved to be an absolute nail-biter and another roller coaster ride, as Manchester City beat Liverpool to clinch their second consecutive domestic title on the final day of the campaign.
There was nothing much to choose between the winners and the runners-up, with only a single point separating the two teams.
In the end, City’s dominance reigned supreme once again and Pep Guardiola’s army denied Liverpool the chance to bag their first domestic title since 1990.
Agreed, it was heartbreak for one set of fans and ecstasy for the others but, all in all, the 2018-19 campaign reminded the followers how competitive the premier league is.
With the summer transfer window currently in progress, all the teams are trying to ensure that they have the best possible squad ready before the new season gets underway.
The newly-promoted trio of Aston Villa, Norwich City and Sheffield United have already demonstrated their ambitions with some key signings while reigning champions Man City and Champions League winners Liverpool are yet to set the ball rolling.
It has only just been over a month since the Premier League came to an end and the teams are probably not planning too much in detail about the next campaign as far as the fixtures are concerned, particularly with the ongoing transfer window being a priority for one and all.
However, the fixtures for the upcoming season have already been announced and let us have a look at the schedule and analyse as to which teams have the easiest and the most difficult starts to the 2019-20 season.
Let us start with reigning champions Man City, who, to be honest, have got a pretty easy run of games at the start of the season.
The Citizens face Spurs at home in their second game after kicking off their campaign against West Ham but they don’t face another top-six side until their trip to Anfield in November.
However, things get interesting thereafter, with City’s away fixture against Liverpool set to kick start a series of six games in which the champions will be facing four of last season’s top-six sides until mid-December.
There is another tricky patch, though, that might bother Pep Guardiola, with the Citizens set to face four of last season’s top-six sides in a run of five games from late February to early April.
The fact that City do not face any top-six opposition in their final six Premier League games should bring solace to the manager.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have a much trickier start to the season, with the Reds set to face four of the top-six sides before they welcome Man City in November.
Hence, Klopp’s side will need to overcome plenty of obstacles in the initial stages of the campaign if they are to have any chances of keeping pace with the reigning champions.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that the Reds will be facing two of the big-six clubs in their final three games of the season, meaning that Liverpool will need to plan their title challenge accordingly.
As far as Manchester United are concerned, the Red Devils kick off their campaign against Chelsea but they have only thee fixtures against the top-six sides until the end of November.
Also, Solskjaer’s side have seven home games until the end of November, meaning that they should fancy themselves to build some good momentum before the end of the year.
Another thing that is likely to please the fans at Old Trafford is the fact that United do not face any top-six opposition in their final eight games of the campaign.
Shifting the focus to Spurs, the Lilywhites are set for a topsy-turvy start to the season, with Pochettino’s side set to face Man City and Arsenal away from home after kicking off their campaign against newly-promoted Aston Villa.
However, they do not face any top-six opposition until their trip to Anfield in late October, and all in all, Spurs do not have any reason to grumble too much about the schedule, given that almost all their fixtures against the big-six sides are quite well spaced out and not clustered by any means.
As a matter of fact, North London rivals Arsenal look set for a more difficult start to the season, with the Gunners set to face three top-six clubs in their first seven games.
Everton have one of the easiest starts to the campaign, given that the Toffees will be facing only two top-six clubs in their first 14 games until the end of November.
However, tides will turn in December when the Merseyside derby kickstarts a succession of four games where Everton will be facing Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal.
Marco Silva’s side have a similar stumbling block from late February to mid,-March where they once again face four top-six sides in consecutive games. Hence, the fans at Goodison Park might as well be aware of what is coming their way next season.
Among the promoted sides, Norwich City have the most difficult set of fixtures at the start of the season, with the Canaries set to play three of the top-six sides in their first five fixtures.
That’s not the kind of welcome that Daniel Farke would have been hoping for in the Premier League, but that’s the way it is.
Aston Villa start off against Spurs but they have almost all their fixtures against the big-six clubs spaced out quite well.
However, they might as well look to accumulate as many points as they can in the middle of the campaign, given that the Lions will be playing three of the big-six teams in their last six games in the Premier League.
Sheffield United, too, have a reasonable set of fixtures before they face four of last season’s top-six in a run of seven games from late September to mid-November.