Which Premier League team has the best opening-day record?
It's almost upon us: the opening day of the Premier League. But how well do your mob normally start? We crunched the numbers from the last 10 years of curtain-raising fixtures to find out. And the answers are...
Chelsea's lions roar out of the traps - they're unbeaten in a decade of openers and have won 8 of those 10 games, racking up a startling 28 goals in the process. So Antonio Conte has a lot to live up to, especially as on the two occasions they drew their opener (2011 and 2015), they sacked the gaffer during the season and finished outside the top four...
That may not be good news for Chelsea's first visitors West Ham, who tend not to go for half-measures on the opening day, losing 4 but winning 6 (including one on their top-flight return in 2012, since when no promoted team has started with a win).
Hull, the only other team in this year's Premier League not to have drawn an opener in the past decade, are yet more evenly split, having won 5 and lost 5. This term they kick off at home to Leicester, the latest caretakers of a proud Premier League record: never in the competition's 23-year have the holders started with a defeat.
Nestling in just behind Chelsea at the top of the opening-day table are Manchester City, who have won 7 of their last 10 first-day fixtures. And on the two occasions they have opened with a 4-0 win, in 2011 and 2013, they have gone on to lift the title. There's yer benchmark, Pep - and another reason for David Moyes' Sunderland to fear their trip to Eastlands.
Not such a good start
Indeed, let us move away from glory and on to fear. For some fans, the first day is a time of limitless possibility and exciting promise. Not so for others. Stoke haven't successfully opened their curtains in six attempts, losing the last three by identically annoying 1-0 scorelines and only scoring one goal in the last five - good news for their hosts Middlesbrough, who aren't exactly rapid starters themselves with two opening wins in a decade.
Swansea and Everton have each shipped an impressive 21 goals over the past decade's openers, even if the Swans have the partial excuse of almost always being away: their game at Burnley will be their ninth opening trip in the last 11 years, although to be fair they lost both the home openers to Manchester United and, er, Cheltenham Town.
Everton, meanwhile, have started their last three seasons with successive cockamamie 2-2 draws, pretty much setting the template for their three terms under Roberto Martinez. This season, under the calming aegis of Ronald Koeman, they kick off at home to Tottenham, who themselves often punch below their weight with just three wins in a decade of openers.
But the team with most to fear on the opening day are West Brom. The Baggies are bottom of our opening-day table despite starting the last five successive seasons with home games, of which they won just one (a 3-0 stroll past Liverpool in Brendan Rodgers' first game). The last time they started with a road game - as they will this season, at Palace - it didn't go too well. They travelled to Chelsea and got walloped 6-0...