The schedule for the 2018/2019 season has been released. Of the top six, some will be able to ease into the new campaign while others will have some serious competition.
We will take a look at the first four games of each of the Premier League’s best teams. This will let us know who will get an easy start and who will not. A 1 to 5 rating system will be used with 1 being easy and 5 being hard. But before that, here are the ten matches that will kick-off the 2018-19 Premier League season on the weekend of August 11th.
Arsenal – 4
vs. Manchester City, @ Chelsea, vs. West Ham, @ Cardiff
What a welcome new Arsenal boss Unai Emery will get. His team will start the season against league champions Manchester City, who are hot off of their incredible 100 point campaign. At least that game will be at home since they will then hit the road to face a strong Chelsea squad.
After that, Arsenal will have a bit of a challenge with West Ham. West Ham climbed out of the relegation zone to 13th place, with Marko Arnautovic serving as a dangerous attacker. Still, they will likely come away with a win. Next, the Gunners take on Cardiff. By this time Arsenal should get its bearings and be able to beat the newly promoted team. Still, as last season showed, this will not be automatic.
Chelsea – 3
@ Huddersfield, vs. Arsenal, @ Newcastle, vs. Bournemouth
Aside from Arsenal, none of the teams Chelsea will start the season against finished above 10th place. There may be one or two surprises in this run but it seems Chelsea got very lucky. The two away games are against Huddersfield and Newcastle so it won’t be too hard on the road.
The home game against Arsenal will be a big challenge since the Gunners will likely have the stronger team. After that, the Bournemouth home game should be a walk in the park for Chelsea.
Liverpool – 2
vs. West Ham, @ Crystal Palace, vs. Brighton, @ Leicester
Liverpool seems to have scored the easiest start of the season in the top six. None of the teams they play to begin the season finished above ninth place last year. Playing at Leicester will be the most difficult match. However, that might not be the case if Manchester City manages to sign Riyad Mahrez. If that happens, Liverpool could almost give their best players a rest for the beginning of the season and still get several points.
They open their campaign at home against West Ham. Again, West Ham finished in a modest 13th place last year. Still, they could be a challenge to bigger clubs. Liverpool then faces Crystal Palace who, like West Ham, had a horrible start to the season but eventually shot up through the table. Pascal Gross will serve as the only real threat on Brighton but Liverpool’s defense improved greatly this year.