Ranking the difficulty of every Premier League team’s start in 2024-25

The Premier League have released the fixtures for the 2024-25 campaign with each of the 20 teams having now learned their opponents for the upcoming season.

Getting off to a good start will be crucial but which teams have been handed a favourable opening to the Premier League season, on paper, for 2024-25?

We’ve looked at each of the Premier League teams and ranked the difficulty of their starts over the first six games, based on the average finishing positions of their opponents from last season.

20. Wolves – 6.5

Wolves have been handed a nightmare start to the 2024-25 campaign and open up at last season’s runners-up Arsenal. Chelsea arrive at Molineux in the first home fixture for Gary O’Neil’s men, before clashes with Nottingham Forest (A), Newcastle (H), Aston Villa (A) and Liverpool (H) before the end of September.


19. Leicester – 8.17

Leicester bounced back into the Premier League at the first attempt last season, winning the Championship title. The Foxes have since lost head coach Enzo Maresca to Chelsea, however, and whoever is appointed has a challenging start.

Former midfielder James Maddison and Tottenham are up first, before clashes with Fulham (A), Champions League qualifiers Aston Villa (H), Crystal Palace (A), Everton (H) and Arsenal (A).

18. West Ham – 8.33

Julen Lopetegui’s reign as West Ham manager kicks off with a tricky examination against Aston Villa at the London Stadium. Manchester City and Chelsea also visit the Irons in the first six games, while West Ham make short trips to capital neighbours Crystal Palace, Fulham and Brentford.

17. Brentford – 8.67

Brentford open up against a resurgent Crystal Palace on Sunday 18th August, and face trips to Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in their first six games.

16. Ipswich Town – 9.33

Ipswich Town return to the Premier League for the first time since 2001-02 this season and have been handed a real challenge to start. The Tractor Boys face Liverpool (H) and Manchester City (A) in their first two games.

Fulham, Brighton, Southampton and Aston Villa follow.

15. Arsenal – 9.33

Arsenal have the toughest start, on paper, among the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.

After facing Wolves first up at the Emirates, last season’s runners-up have a tough test at Aston Villa. Their first six games are rounded out with clashes against Brighton, a North London Derby with Tottenham, defending champions Manchester City and Leicester.

14. Chelsea – 9.5

Enzo Maresca will face a familiar opponent on the opening weekend as Chelsea host Manchester City in a huge first fixture.

The Blues face Wolves, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, West Ham and Brighton before the end of September.

13. Manchester City – 10.33

The aforementioned Chelsea clash kickstarts Manchester City’s defence of the title. In search of a record-extending fifth crown in a row, the Citizens also face Arsenal (H) and Newcastle (A) in their first six games.

12. Everton – 10.5

Sean Dyche will aim to build on a solid season at Everton last term as the Toffees survived relegation despite sanctions for financial breaches. Everton host Brighton in their opener and travel to both Tottenham and Aston Villa in their first six.

11. Manchester United – 11

Manchester United’s first six opponents had an average finishing position of 11th last season. The Red Devils open the Premier League campaign at home to Fulham and face an early season showdown with Liverpool on August 31 at Old Trafford.

Brighton (A) is sandwiched between those games before September clashes with Southampton (A), Crystal Palace (A) and Tottenham (H).

10. Tottenham – 11.5

Spurs kick off their season with newly-promoted opposition in Leicester. From there, the North Londoners take on Everton (H), Newcastle (A), Arsenal (H), Brentford (H) and Manchester United (A).

It’s a fixture list that is perhaps tougher than an average position of 11.5 suggests.

9. Newcastle – 11.5

Newcastle welcome Southampton to St James’ Park in their first fixture before Eddie Howe returns to Bournemouth in the club’s opening fixture on the road. The Magpies will also host Tottenham and Manchester City in their first six games.

8. Brighton – 11.67

Brighton have made history after the appointment of Fabian ­Hürzeler as their head coach. The 31-year-old led St Pauli to pro­motion to the Bundesliga last season and becomes the youngest permanent manager in the Premier League era.

­Hürzeler starts his reign at Everton, before clashes with Manchester United and Arsenal. Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest and Chelsea are also on the Seagulls’ early-season schedule.

7. Bournemouth – 12

Bournemouth’s opponents over their first six games had an average finishing position of 12th in 2023-24.

After a club-record points total in the Premier League last season, Andoni Iraola will be hoping the Cherries start with a bang against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Newcastle (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A) and Southampton (H) follow.

6. Crystal Palace – 12.5

Crystal Palace ended the 2023-24 season in stunning form under Oliver Glasner with six wins in seven games. The Eagles have a modest fixture list to start the season with clashes against Brentford (H), West Ham (A), Chelsea (H), Leicester (A), Manchester United (A) and Everton (H).

5. Nottingham Forest – 12.83

Nottingham Forest will hope to get off to a good start after narrowly avoiding relegation last season. A decent start, on paper, should help their cause.

Bournemouth are the visitors to the City Ground on the opening weekend before Forest face Southampton (A) and Wolves (H) in their next two. Liverpool (A), Brighton (A) and Fulham (H) follow.

4. Southampton – 13.67

Southampton are back in the Premier League after winning the Championship play-off final. After travelling to take on Newcastle in the season’s opening fixture, Southampton face a series of games against sides expected to be in and around them in the table this season.

Nottingham Forest and Ipswich visit St Mary’s before the end of September, while trips to Brentford and Bournemouth will also be targeted for points. The Saints also face Manchester United at Old Trafford on September 14.

3. Aston Villa – 13.83

After last season’s shock top-four finish, Aston Villa will be aiming to become a permanent disruption to the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.

First up, Unai Emery’s travel to West Ham before clashes with Arsenal (H), Leicester (A), Everton (H), Wolves (H) and Ipswich (A).


2. Fulham – 14

Fulham have the second-best start according to the finishing positions from last season. The Cottagers face promoted sides Leicester and Ipswich in their first three games, alongside an opening trip to Manchester United.

1. Liverpool – 14.83

On paper, Liverpool have the easiest fixture list over the first six games.

Arne Slot’s first game in charge will be at newly-promoted Ipswich on the opening weekend and the Reds face Brentford (H), Manchester United (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Bournemouth (H) and Wolves (A).

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