Football fans across the country will be poring over the Premier League fixtures schedule after it was announced Thursday morning.
Although clubs play each other twice throughout the season, the order of matches can have a significant impact on their fortunes.
An easy or hard run at an important stage can make or break momentum, particularly given the additional game congestion created by the 2022 World Cup in November and December.
To help unravel this season’s games, PA news agency analyzed the entire 2022-23 Premier League schedule using an aggregation of odds from major bookmakers and identified the most notable races.
City to make quick departure
Manchester City will start the new season as favorites to retain the title for the third year in a row, especially given their favorable-looking campaign early in the campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s side will face two of the teams promoted at home in August and will not face any of the traditional “big six” until mid-September, when they host Tottenham.
Arsenal had a poor start to the 2021-22 season, losing their first three games by a total of nine goals to nil, but are hoping to do much better this year – a September trip to Old Trafford is the only one of their first eight. games against a team that must finish in the top six.
Palace punished again
Crystal Palace ended last season strongly under Patrick Vieira, picking up 10 points from their last six games to finish 12th.
This was after overcoming a rough start – they played six of the seven toughest teams in their first 10 matches, according to pre-season odds.
Vieira’s side once again had some tricky opening games, hosting Arsenal on the first day before trips to Liverpool and Man City over two of the next three weekends.
Palace can be comfortable at the end of the season with a few easier rounds – they play the three promoted teams in successive World Cup games on either side in November and December, before enjoying the same streak in the final three games of the campaign. .
Beginning of punishment for the cherries
Bournemouth face a daunting schedule on their return to the Premier League.
After starting the season at home with Aston Villa, Scott Parker’s men face Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool back-to-back.
Nottingham Forest will end their 23-year absence from the top flight with a tricky opening run, playing four of the top eight predicted by bookmakers in August. September will be kinder to Steve Cooper’s side as they welcome their promoted teammates home, both sides of a trip to Leeds, which narrowly avoided the slump last season.
All three Forest, Bournemouth and Leeds have had tough run-ins, facing two of the ‘big six’ in their last four games.
Brentford are also likely to need points on the scoreboard until mid-April, with Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham among their final six opponents.
Santos’ fight to continue?
Southampton finished poorly last season with just one point from their last six matches. Coach Ralph Hasenhuttl could be under pressure at the start of this season as three of the Saints’ first five games are against teams expected to vie for a top-four spot.
Like Southampton, Wolves also ended last season on a whimper, picking up just two points from their last seven games, but unlike the Saints, their opening games offer an opportunity to bounce back. Four of their first six league games pit them against opponents who are likely to struggle this season, including two newly promoted teams.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, on the other hand, has some credit on the bench after his team ended 2021-22 in fine form, earning 12 points from their last six games.
The Magpies are touted by bookmakers as the main opponents of the “Big Six”, but their credentials will be tested with games against Liverpool and Manchester City before the end of August.
Red Devils face scary October
Manchester United will have their squad depth tested to the limit in October as they will have to fit three Europa League group stage games into a grueling Premier League schedule.
The Red Devils have six tough league games this month, starting with a Manchester derby at the Etihad and a trip to Chelsea just after Tottenham’s midweek visit.
However, the match computer gave Erik ten Hag some respite, with the mid-season break for the World Cup marked by matches against two of the promoted teams and a relatively easy showdown.
With international players likely to have their eyes on the World Cup when November rolls around, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs have also received favorable games on both sides of the Qatari final.
Thomas Frank’s Brentford could once again feel a bit tough, with games against three of last season’s top four scheduled for the World Cup. The Bees’ problems are compounded by a trip to West Ham on New Year’s Eve two days before they host Liverpool on January 2.