Aug 8, 2018
Aug 8, 2018

Premier League opening day trends

Analysing the opening round of Premier League fixtures

What can we learn from previous opening day matches?

How important is winning the first game of the season?

Premier League opening day trends

Clubs are always keen to get off to a fast start in the Premier League, but who will grab those important opening day points? We have had a look through the history books in hope of finding some key trends that may help bettors inform their betting knowldge on on the opening weekend of fixtures.

Under the spotlight

As with all opening weekends, the spotlight usually shines in two directions, the reigning champions and the newly promoted clubs.

Bettors, the media and the fans are always keen to see how all these clubs can build on their previous successes, whether this be reclaiming the title or surviving relegation.

Below is a table indicating how the reigning champions and newly promoted sides have fared on the opening weekend in the Premier League era.

Regining champions vs. Newly promoted clubs

Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
Reigning champions 26 21 4 1 80.77
Promoted clubs 77 15 18 44 19.48

As seen from the table, only once have the reigning champions suffered an opening day defeat (Chelsea losing 2-3 to Burnley last season), picking up wins 80.77% of the time.

After their win last year, Man City have the best opening game record since 2008-09 with 25 points from eight opening game fixtures.

Unsurprisingly, things don’t bode as well for newly promoted clubs. 44 losses in 77 attempts means Premier League newcomers suffer defeat 57.14% of the time. 

Opening fixture trends

Below is a rundown of all this weekend’s opening fixtures, starting with the Friday night game, Manchester United vs Leicester City. Bettors may be able to find some pre-match value amongst these stats.

Manchester United v Leicester City

Manchester United boast the third best opening day record and have won their last three opening day fixtures.

Leicester have drawn five of their 12 opening day fixtures and have lost their last two opening fixtures - with just two opening wins in total.

Newcastle vs Tottenham 

Newcastle United – One win in seven opening fixtures since returning to the Premier League. Have lost 42.85% of first matches with a record of P21, W7, D7, L9.

Tottenham Hotspur – Won the same fixture on the opening day of last season. P26, W9, D7, L10.

Bournemouth vs Cardiff

Bournemouth have lost all three of their opening games since getting promoted the Premier League in 2015/16.

Cardiff lost their last opening game in the Premier League in the 2013/14 season.

Fulham vs Crystal Palace

Fulham are unbeaten in their last 5 Premier League opening day fixtures, winning three and drawing two.

Crystal Palace have just two wins from nine opening day fixtures, D3, L4

Huddersfield vs Chelsea

Huddersfield, who had just been promoted to the Premier League last season, won their opening game convincingly 3-0 away to Crystal Palace.

Chelsea have the second best opening day record in the division, winning seven games and collecting 23 points since the 2008/09 season.

Watford vs Brighton

Watford have drawn their last three opening day fixtures since being promoted in 2015/16.

Brighton who were promoted last season, were beaten in last year’s opening day fixture to Manchester City (who have the best opening day record)

Wolves vs Everton

Last year’s Championship winners Wolves won their last opening day fixture in the Premier League during the 2011/12 season.

Everton have the worst opening day record of all the clubs to have played in every Premier League season – P26, W7, D10, L9.  Just two wins in last seven opening day fixtures.

Liverpool vs West Ham

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five opening day fixtures, notably beating Arsenal in 2016/17. Premier League record stands at P26, W14, D8, L4.

West Ham have drawn just 9.09% of all opening fixtures, with a competent record of P22, W10, D2, L10.

Southampton vs Burnley 

Southampton have lowest win percentage (10.52%) of all teams with more than ten EPL seasons under their belt, winning just twice in 19 attempts. They have drawn their last three opening fixtures

Burnley lost their opening game of the 2016/17 season after their promotion but famously beat Chelsea away from home on the opening day of last season.

Arsenal vs Manchester City 

Arsenal have played 26, won 14, drawn six and lost six - leaving them with a win percentage of 53.84%.

Manchester City have the best record in England when it comes to the opening day of the season fixtures, taking 30 points from a possible 35 in the last 10 seasons

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The importance of an opening day result

We’ve had a look at how teams fare on the opening day, but what significance does a team’s opening day result have on the season ahead?

Below is a table looking at the opening day results of all sides that later went on to either lift the Premier League trophy or fall out of the league.

Opening day results since introduction of Premier League

Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
Future champions 26 17 6 3 65.38
Future relegated clubs 79 17 23 39 21.51

As you can see, a loss on a first day can be detrimental to any side’s chances of winning the league. Just 11.54% of all future champions have claimed the title after defeat in their first match.

Just 11.54% of all future champions have claimed the title after defeat in their first match

This is a very low percentage considering it’s a 38 game season, this, perhaps, is another indicator as to just how important a good start is to a successful league campaign.

With odds unlikely to change too much after week one, bettors may look to wait for the results of gameweek one to make a more rounded choice on the EPL Outright winner market.

Bettors on all the pre-season relegation candidates may be feeling very confident if their sides can pick up a win over the weekend.

Get the best odds on the Premier League with Pinnacle. 


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