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Premier League clubs with most difficult starts to the season – How Newcastle United rank

3 days ago
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An interesting look at which Premier League clubs have the toughest…and not so toughest starts to the 2022/23 season.

The fixtures released last Thursday (16 June) for the upcoming season.

Only just over six weeks to wait now until everything kicks off for the 20 Premier League clubs on the weekend of Saturday 6 August.

So where do Newcastle United rank, when it comes to tricky / not so tricky starts to next season?

Well, The Athletic have used last season’s league tables and very team from 1 to 17 in the Premier League has been given a score from 20 to 4 in reverse order, so Man City are rated 20, Liverpool 19 and so on…

Whilst the three newly promoted sides have been ranked 3 Fulham, 2 Bournemouth, 1 Forest.

They have then added half a point if you are playing away, to then bring a final league table of difficulty for Premier League clubs, when it comes to their August fixture lists.

This is how it looks over the first five rounds of fixtures with all Premier League clubs in order, the higher the number the more difficult the opening five matches are perceived to be:

74 Bournemouth

71 Crystal Palace

68 Southampton

67 Fulham

67 Nottingham Forest

64.5 Newcastle United

64 Leicester

59.5 Man Utd

58 West Ham

53 Leeds

51.5 Spurs

47.5 Brighton

47.5 Aston Villa

46.5 Brentford

46.5 Chelsea

40 Liverpool

39.5 Everton

37.5 Wolves

37 Man City

35 Arsenal

As you can see above, Newcastle United ranked as having the sixth most difficult opening set of five fixtures

These are Newcastle’s first five fixtures, with the NUFC difficulty rating in brackets after each fixture:

Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest (1)

Brighton v Newcastle United (12.5)

Newcastle United v Manchester City (20)

Wolves v Newcastle United (11.5)

Liverpool v Newcastle United (19.5)

Difficulty rating: 64.5

Little wonder that Newcastle United are towards the more difficult end, considering they have to play last season’s top two clubs. On the other hand, NUFC are seen as starting the season with the easiest of all fixtures supposedly, home to the club that came up via the play-offs.

Interesting to see the write up The Athletic gave on top of the NUFC ranking:

Newcastle United

Newcastle will be an interesting prospect this season, primarily because they have not yet really dug into their first summer of business under their new owners.

As a result, Forest and Brighton could be very winnable games depending on how their window goes.

City at home and then Wolves and Liverpool away should still be tricky — although Eddie Howe might fancy his chances in any of those with the right signings.

Hmmm. Eddie Howe ‘might fancy his chances in any of those with the right signings’…a very bold statement considering both Liverpool and Man City are amongst the opening matches!

Another way of looking at it of course if you are given what looks a tough set of opening matches, is that if you come through it doing better than anticipated, then it can really set you up for the challenges ahead.

On the other hand, those given what looks a generous set of opening games, if they mess up, it then means they are instantly under pressure with tougher looking matches ahead.

Interesting from an NUFC perspective to look at what then comes next for United…

Newcastle’s second lot of five games (3 September – 8 October 2022)

Newcastle v Crystal Palace (9)

West Ham v Newcastle (14.5)

Newcastle v Bournemouth (2)

Fulham v Newcastle (3.5)

Newcastle v Brentford (8)

A difficulty rating of 37.

As you can see, if this set of five fixtures had been the opening five, then it would have been seen as Newcastle United having the joint second easiest set of opening games along with Man City.

Bottom line for me is that the opening five games we have to hope for realistically as close to nine points from the first possible fifteen, then a great chance to build on that in games six to ten.

I think probably fair to say that after the opening ten matches we should have a decent idea of what to expect from Newcastle United in the 2022/23 Premier League season.

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