After eight games played, it’s easy to draw conclusions about certain teams when looking at their positions in the table. But one thing people don’t often consider is the difficulty of each team’s fixtures they’ve faced. A more insightful understanding of their start can be gained by assessing where their opponents finished last season.
[Image taken from BBC]
Right off the bat, we’ll start with Sheffield United. People are quick to jump on the bandwagon that they will achieve the lowest points record in Premier League history. The Blades’ first eight matches ranks as the 8th-hardest opening fixtures. From those games they’ve picked up just one point.
Coming out of the international break things don’t get any easier with the visit of Manchester United to Bramall Lane before facing a trip to Arsenal.
Taking a look at early relegation candidates
While Luton Town currently sits outside the bottom three in 17th, achieving four points, this has been aided by their relatively easy set of opening fixtures. The Hatters have had the second-easiest run of games.
In contrast, Burnley and Bournemouth, both below Luton, have suffered the second and third toughest eight matches. This suggests that the fortunes of the latter two teams might improve as they encounter less formidable opponents in the upcoming matches.
Wolves’ start hasn’t been too bad considering the circumstances. Not only did Gary O’Neil take over just before the season began, but they’ve also navigated through the toughest run of games, facing five of last season’s top seven in their first eight matches and they have picked up eight points.