Revealed! Which Premier League teams have the easiest – and hardest – starts to 2018/19
Out of the way early, at least? Hmm.
Small crumbs of comfort for supporters of the three clubs above, who face sleepless nights even before the first balls of 2018/19 have been prodded in optimism.
Each club plays five of the ‘big six’ in their first 10 Premier League matches of the campaign – as illustrated by odds from Sportingbet, whose graphic below illustrates fixtures up to the end of October.
It’s particularly bleak for Magpies, who play four of their first five games against the division’s big boys. What's more, they haven’t won an opening fixture over the last five seasons, and failed to score in six of the last eight. At least Rafa Benitez has enjoyed a healthy summer of backing from his chairman, eh? Oh.
Things look more promising for Bournemouth, who only come up against one of the established big guns in their opening quarter, while Everton, Wolves and Southampton will like their chances of strong starts too.
Watford won't care who they've got on the opening day, meanwhile: astonishingly, the Hornets haven't lost their season opener since 2006/07. Brighton, beware.
Cardiff have a daunting September up ahead (Arsenal! Chelsea! Manchester City! Eek!) but fellow newbs Fulham will like their early lot. Slavisa Jokanovic’s Cottagers face off against five of the seven least-fancied teams in the Premier League – particularly noteworthy when they’re one of the others in that category.
See below for the full grid: