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

We now know Burnley and Manchester City will open the 2023-24 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 2022-23 finishing position.

Newly-promoted sides Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town have been deemed to have finished 21st, 22nd and 23rd respectively last season.

It wouldn’t be the Premier League without some shocks, and the early fixtures are often a good time to bet on the outsiders, but Manchester City will certainly fancy their chances of a good start to their title defence based on their opening set of games, while Newcastle fans can feel confident about what their side might achieve this season if they come through their first six unscathed.

20. Manchester City

First six fixtures: Burnley (A), Newcastle (H), Sheffield United (A), Fulham (H), West Ham (A), Nottingham Forest (H)

Average difficulty: 14.5

19. Chelsea

First six fixtures: Liverpool (H), West Ham (A), Luton Town (H), Nottingham Forest (H), Bournemouth (A), Aston Villa (H)

Average difficulty: 13.3

18. Luton Town

First six fixtures: Brighton (A), Burnley (H), Chelsea (A), West Ham (H), Fulham (A), Wolves (H)

Average difficulty: 12.7

=16. Tottenham

First six fixtures: Brentford (A), Manchester United (H), Bournemouth (A), Burnley (A), Sheffield United (H), Arsenal (A)

Average difficulty: 12.0

=16. Brighton

First six fixtures: Luton Town (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Newcastle (H), Manchester United (A), Bournemouth (H)

Average difficulty: 12.0

15. Aston Villa

First six fixtures: Newcastle (A), Everton (H), Burnley (A), Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H), Chelsea (A)

Average difficulty: 11.7

14. Manchester United

First six fixtures: Wolves (H), Tottenham (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton (H), Burnley (A)

Average difficulty: 11.0

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on as they celebrate winning the Premier League.

READ: The PL teams with the most trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013

=10. Arsenal

First six fixtures: Nottingham Forest (H), Crystal Palace (A), Fulham (H), Manchester United (H), Everton (A), Tottenham (H)

Average difficulty: 10.8

=10. Brentford

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

Average difficulty: 10.8

=10. Liverpool

First six fixtures: Chelsea (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Aston Villa (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H)

Average difficulty: 10.8

=10. Wolves

First six fixtures: Manchester United (A), Brighton (H), Everton (A), Crystal Palace (A), Liverpool (H), Luton Town (A)

Average difficulty: 10.8

=7. Fulham

First six fixtures: Everton (A), Brentford (H), Arsenal (A), Manchester City (A), Luton Town (H), Crystal Palace (A)

Average difficulty: 10.5

=7. Everton

First six fixtures: Fulham (H), Aston Villa (A), Wolves (H), Sheffield United (A), Arsenal (H), Brentford (A)

Average difficulty: 10.5

=7. Crystal Palace

First six fixtures: Sheffield United (A), Arsenal (H), Brentford (A), Wolves (H), Aston Villa (A), Fulham (H)

Average difficulty: 10.5

6. West Ham

First six fixtures: Bournemouth (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A), Luton Town (A), Manchester City (H), Liverpool (A)

Average difficulty: 10.3

Declan Rice with the UEFA Conference League trophy at Fortuna Arena, Prague, Czech Republic, June 2023.

READ: Thank you Declan Rice for providing West Ham fans with memories to cherish forever

5. Nottingham Forest

First six fixtures: Arsenal (A), Sheffield United (H), Manchester United (A), Chelsea (A), Burnley (H), Manchester City (A)

Average difficulty: 10.2

4. Burnley

First six fixtures: Manchester City (H), Luton Town (A), Aston Villa (H), Tottenham (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Manchester United (A)

Average difficulty: 9.7

3. Sheffield United

First six fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Manchester City (H), Everton (H), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H)

Average difficulty: 9.5

2. Bournemouth

First six fixtures: West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham (H), Brentford (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A)

Average difficulty: 9.0

1. Newcastle

First six fixtures: Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (A), Liverpool (H), Brighton (A), Brentford (H), Sheffield United (A)

Average difficulty: 8.3


READ NEXT: How the Premier League and Football League fixtures are compiled

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