The 2017/18 Premier League fixtures were released this morning, with the opening set of matches now less than 60 days away. Six teams are expected to mount some sort of challenge for the title, so how will each of the contenders be feeling about what faces them?
Antonio Conte’s men have been handed a difficult start, squaring off against four of last season’s top-seven before the end of September. There are advantages to this, however, as they don’t encounter any of their expected title-rivals during an extremely busy December. The Blues will also be pretty happy with their run-in, aside from a home game against Liverpool on the penultimate weekend of the campaign.
Paddy Power have Chelsea at 7/2 to win the Premier League.
Overall, Mauricio Pochettino will be pretty happy with the way in which the fixtures have fallen for his side. Spurs’ first home game gives them the chance to set the tone for the season ahead, with champions Chelsea arriving at Wembley. Perhaps the most testing period of the campaign will come in January/February, when Tottenham take on Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal in the space of 11 days.
William Hill have Spurs at 8/1 to win the Premier League.
If Manchester City are in the hunt for the title, then finishing off with games against Swansea (H), West Ham (A), Huddersfield (H) and Southampton (A) should give them every chance of lifting the trophy. Travelling to newly-promoted Brighton does not represent the ideal start, but only twice during the campaign do Pep Guardiola’s men face back-to-back matches against fellow-contenders.
Coral have Man City at 2/1 to win the Premier League.
Aside from back-to-back games against Arsenal and Manchester City in August/September and Manchester United and Tottenham in October, Jürgen Klopp will be delighted at the way in which the fixtures have fallen for his side. Even the first of these double-headers is divided by an international break, whilst Everton and Chelsea represent the only significant opposition that the Reds will face from mid-March onwards.
Paddy Power have Liverpool at 12/1 to win the Premier League.
Arsenal have five very winnable home games to start the season, facing Leicester, Bournemouth, West Brom, Brighton and Swansea before the end of October. Liverpool and Chelsea are amongst their first three trips, however, so it is unlikely to be all plain sailing early on. February looks like being a challenging month, though rounding off the campaign with matches against Burnley (H) and Huddersfield (A) is a bonus.
William Hill have Arsenal at 12/1 to win the Premier League.
Manchester United can certainly feel their way into the new campaign, not facing any of their major rivals until a trip to Anfield in October. That clash with Liverpool is the first of five in nine games against the teams that finished above them last season, however, so Jose Mourinho’s men will be severely tested through that period. On a positive note, the Red Devils finish with matches against Brighton (A) and Watford (H).
Coral have Man United at 7/2 to win the Premier League.