Much has been made of Arsenal’s difficult start to the season, with the Gunners facing Manchester City and Chelsea in Unai Emery’s first two games in charge, but which Premier League side has the toughest start?
We have ranked the 20 Premier League sides’ first six games of the season in order of difficulty based on last season’s finishing positions, with newly-promoted Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham taking 18th, 19th and 20th respectively.
The stats say Wolves have the trickiest start, with games against Manchester City and Manchester United included in their first six games, while Pep Guardiola’s champions have the easiest, facing all three of the newly-promoted sides after their curtain-raiser against Arsenal.
Unai Emery will be relieved that Arsenal’s fixture list looks kinder after their meetings with City and Chelsea. They face West Ham, Cardiff, Newcastle and Everton in their subsequent games, putting their start eighth for difficulty, according to last season’s positions.
Wolves are not the only newly-promoted side facing a daunting start, with Cardiff and Fulham’s opening six fixtures ranked at third and fourth for difficulty. Check out the full list below.
Who has the toughest start Difficulty rank Team Average position of first six opponents 1st Wolves 6.7 2nd Newcastle 7.5 3rd Cardiff 8.3 4th Fulham 8.5 5th West Ham 8.8 5th= Huddersfield 8.8 7th Southampton 9.0 8th Arsenal 9.3 9th Watford 9.7 10th Brighton 10.0 11th Bournemouth 10.2 12th Tottenham 10.8 13th Man Utd 11.0 14th Liverpool 11.3 15th Leicester 11.5 16th Chelsea 12.7 17th Crystal Palace 13.5 18th Everton 13.7 19th Burnley 13.8 20th Man City 14.8