Newcastle United given ‘hardest’ Premier League start as Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham handed ‘easier’ tests

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The fixtures computer has not been kind to Newcastle United - but how do their opening five games compare to their Premier League rivals?

Newcastle United supporters are already planning for the new season after the Premier League fixtures for the new campaign were released on Thursday morning.

Just as they did 12 months ago, Eddie Howe’s men will kick off their season on home soil as they host Aston Villa on the opening day before travelling to reigning champions Manchester City seven days later. An early home meeting with Liverpool will round off the fixtures for August before United travel to Brighton and Hove Albion and entertain Brentford either side of an international break in early September.

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AFP via Getty Images

The fixture computer has been far from kind to the Magpies as they face a side that ended last season in the top half of the Premier League table last season in each of their opening five games, with four of them coming against sides that ended the campaign in a European place.

Statistically, the Magpies have the hardest start in the Premier League, with the Opta Power Ranking used as a basis for calculating the difficult of each club’s opening five games. The rankings calculates the strength of 19,008 clubs from 391 domestic leagues across the globe.

Of United’s opposition in the league this season, treble winners Manchester City are ranked as the number one team in the world, with Premier League newcomers Luton Town statistically ranked as the ‘weakest’ side in the division this season in 309th place.

So based on the average ranking of their first five opposition, how do each Premier League club’s opening five fixtures rate?

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Fixtures: Liverpool (H), West Ham United (A), Luton Town (H), Bournemouth (A), Aston Villa (H) Difficulty rating: 115.8

Tottenham Hotspur

Fixtures: Brentford (A), Manchester United (H), Bournemouth (A), Burnley (A), Sheffield United (H) Difficulty rating: 99.2

West Ham United

Fixtures: Bournemouth (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton and Hove Albion (A), Luton Town (A), Manchester City (H) Difficulty rating: 98.6


Fixtures: Manchester City (H), Luton Town (A), Aston Villa (H), Tottenham Hotspur (H), Nottingham Forest (A) Difficulty rating: 94.2

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Manchester City

Fixtures: Burnley (A), Newcastle United (H), Sheffield United (A), Fulham (H), West Ham United (A) Difficulty rating: 89.4


Fixtures: Everton (A), Brentford (H), Arsenal (A), Manchester City (A), Luton Town (H) Difficulty rating: 88.0

Brighton and Hove Albion

Fixtures: Luton Town (H), Wolverhampton Wanderers (A), West Ham United (H), Newcastle United (H), Manchester United (A) Difficulty rating: 87.0

Nottingham Forest

Fixtures: Arsenal (A), Sheffield United (H), Manchester United (A), Chelsea (A), Burnley (H) Difficulty rating: 78.0

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Fixtures: Fulham (H), Aston Villa (A), Wolverhampton Wanderers (H), Sheffield United (A), Arsenal (H) Difficulty rating: 71.2

Crystal Palace

Fixtures: Sheffield United (A), Arsenal (H), Brentford (A), Wolverhampton Wanderers (H), Aston Villa (A) Difficulty rating: 64.2


Fixtures: Nottingham Forest (H), Crystal Palace (A), Fulham (H), Manchester United (H), Everton (A) Difficulty rating: 63.8

Aston Villa

Fixtures: Newcastle United (A), Everton (H), Burnley (A), Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H) Difficulty rating: 60.2

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Luton Town

Fixtures: Brighton and Hove Albion (A), Burnley (H), Chelsea (A), West Ham United (H), Fulham (A) Difficulty rating: 58.8

Sheffield United

Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Manchester City (H), Everton (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A) Difficulty rating: 56.4


Fixtures: Tottenham Hotspur (H), Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Bournemouth (A), Newcastle United (A) Difficulty rating: 56.4


Fixtures: Chelsea (A), Bourmemouth (H), Newcastle United (A), Aston Villa (H), Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) Difficulty rating: 53.8

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Manchester United

Fixtures: Wolverhampton Wanderers (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton and Gove Albion (H) Difficulty rating: 45.8

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Fixtures: Manchester United (A), Brighton and Hove Albion (H), Everton (A), Crystal Palace (A), Liverpool (H) Difficulty rating: 35.2


Fixtures: West Ham United (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H), Brentford (A), Chelsea (H) Difficulty rating: 27.2

Newcastle United

Fixtures: Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (A), Liverpool (H), Brighton and Hove Albion (A), Brentford (H) Difficulty rating: 14.8

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