The Premier league opening weekend is upon us, but how have teams fared in previous seasons?
Since the Premier league was introduced over 20 years ago, a defending champion has never opened the defence of their title with a defeat. 87% have ended in victory with the remaining 13% resulting in a draw
Future Champions have performed less well, with only 61% of opening games resulting with a win (26% went on to draw and 13% lost).
If looking at the stats for newly promoted teams, then Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford have a mountain to climb this opening weekend with only 19% of these games ending in victory. However this statistic alone doesnt tell the full story and the bookmakers cerainly see it differently with both Norwich and Bournemouth favourites to win their games (against Palace and Villa respectively). Crystal Palace average less than a point from their Premier League openers and Aston Villa have never beaten a newly promoted Premier League side on opening day. Bournemouth are available to back generlly at 2.05 and Norwich you can still catch at 2.5.
A very recent trend in the last few seasons has been the surge in away victories to the point where it has been the most common opening-weekend result in each of the last two campaigns. The 2014/15 Premier League season even went one stage further with all of the 10 teams away from home finding the scoresheet. This was the first time in almost 70 years that this had occurred on the first weekend in the top flight.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur will meet on the opening weekend for the second time in the Barclays Premier League, with Man U winning the first opening weekend encounter. Only Chelsea have a better opening record than Man U however recent form has been poor with 2 of the last 3 opening games resulting in a loss.
Good news for both Manchester United and Chelsea is in seven of the last eight seasons the eventual champions have played their opening game on home soil. Chelsea have the edge in that they have collected more points across the opening weekend than any other team in Premier League history. Chelsea are playing Swansea opening day and are available to back at 1.33.
West Ham have the dubious honour of being the only premiership team in history to have reached double figures in opening weekend defeats and playing an on form Arsenal is not going to help in their efforts to buck the trend. Added to the fact that Arsenal average 2 points a game on opening weekend and are playing at home makes a win very likely indeed. Arsenal are still available to back at 1.35
So what of Man City? They play West Bromwich away on the Monday night. Man City can take heart that the eventual Premier League title winning team have started their season on Monday night in each of the past five seasons. Add to the fact that West brom have only managed one win in the past nine opening weekends they have a tough job ahead of them. Man City at 1.65 is a huge price in this websites opinion.