Ranking every Premier League club by how hard their first 6 fixtures are

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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring against Aston Villa at Anfield, Liverpool, December 2021.

We now know Crystal Palace and Arsenal will open the 2022-23 Premier League season after the fixture list was announced – and we cannot wait for it all to get started again. But which teams have the easiest and hardest starts to the campaign?

Now that the calendar has been set in stone, we’ve ranked every team in the Premier League by the difficulty of their first six matches, based on every club’s 2021-22 finishing position.

Note: newly-promoted sides Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest have been deemed to have finished 21st, 22nd and 23rd last season.

20. Wolves

First six fixtures: Leeds (A), Fulham (H), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H), Bournemouth (A), Southampton (H)

Average difficulty: 15.0

19. Manchester City

First six fixtures: West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (H), Aston Villa (A)

Average difficulty: 14.8

18. Liverpool

First six fixtures: Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Manchester United (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (H), Everton (A)

Average difficulty: 14.6

17. Arsenal

First six fixtures: Crystal Palace (A), Leicester (H), Bournemouth (A), Fulham (H), Aston Villa (H), Manchester United (A)

Average difficulty: 13.8

Gabriel Jesus in action for Manchester City against Newcastle, St James Park, Newcastle, November 2019

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16. Brentford

First six fixtures: Leicester (A), Manchester United (H), Fulham (A), Everton (H), Crystal Palace (A), Leeds (H)

Average difficulty: 13.5

15. Tottenham

Final six fixtures: Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Wolves (H), Nottingham Forest (A), West Ham (A), Fulham (H)

Average difficulty: 13.2

14. Everton

First six fixtures: Chelsea (H), Aston Villa (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Brentford (A), Leeds (A), Liverpool (H)

Average difficulty: 12.0

13. Brighton

First six fixtures: Manchester United (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Leeds (H), Fulham (A), Leicester (H)

Average difficulty: 11.6

12. Chelsea

First six fixtures: Everton (A), Tottenham (H), Leeds (A), Leicester (H), Southampton (A), West Ham (H)

Average difficulty: 11.2

11. Leeds

First six fixtures: Wolves (H), Southampton (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A), Everton (H), Brentford (A)

Average difficulty: 11.0

10. Aston Villa

First six fixtures: Bournemouth (A), Everton (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Ham (H), Arsenal (A), Manchester City (H)

Average difficulty: 10.5

9. Nottingham Forest

First six fixtures: Newcastle (A), West Ham (H), Everton (A), Tottenham (H), Manchester City (A), Bournemouth (H)

Average difficulty: 10.2

8. Newcastle

First six fixtures: Nottingham Forest (H), Brighton (A), Manchester City (H), Wolves (A), Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H)

Average difficulty: 9.5

Eddie Howe manager of Newcastle United celebrates the 2-1 win over Leicester City, St. James Park, Tyne and Wear, 17 April 2022.

READ: How the PL table would look if it began when Newcastle hired Howe

7. Bournemouth

First six fixtures: Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (A), Arsenal (H), Liverpool (A), Wolves (H), Nottingham Forest (A)

Average difficulty: 9.2

6. West Ham

First six fixtures: Manchester City (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Brighton (H), Aston Villa (A), Tottenham (H), Chelsea (A)

Average difficulty: 9.0

5. Manchester United

First six fixtures: Brighton (H), Brentford (A), Liverpool (H), Southampton (A), Leicester (A), Arsenal (H)

Average difficulty: 8.6

Brentford's Christian Eriksen during the Premier League match at the Brentford Community Stadium. Saturday April 23, 2022.

READ: 7 quality free agents Man Utd should sign this summer: Eriksen, Belotti…

4. Leicester City

First six fixtures: Brentford (H), Arsenal (A), Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Manchester United (H), Brighton (A)

Average difficulty: 8.5

3. Southampton

First six fixtures: Tottenham (A), Leeds (H), Leicester (A), Manchester United (H), Chelsea (H), Wolves (A)

Average difficulty: 8.0

2. Crystal Palace

First six fixtures: Arsenal (H), Liverpool (A), Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (A), Brentford (H), Newcastle (A)

Average difficulty: 7.5

1. Fulham

First six fixtures: Liverpool (H), Wolves (A), Brentford (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton (H), Tottenham (A)

Average difficulty: 7.2

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