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Chelsea’s Premier League Opener: Leveraging Match Day 1 History

Chelsea boasts the best record on Match Day 1 among top clubs, while Manchester City eyes treble start.

LONDON — The Blues flopped badly last season as they finished in position 12, but research over the 31 years of the Premier League shows they have the best record on Match Day 1 compared to the other top clubs.

Chelsea has racked up 21 wins from those matches, with a win record of 68 percent, and tasted defeat just five times. In contrast, London rivals Tottenham has been the slowest starters, winning just 14 and losing a third of their season openers (10) since the top flight was formed, heaping the pressure on new boss Ange Postecoglou right from the start.

Chelsea will face the stiffest competition of any top dour hopefuls on the opening weekend, as the Blues welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge after what is already shaping up to be another huge summer of spending for Todd Boehly’s team. “It is amazing to see just how much money Chelsea is going to spend, Boehly has gotten very good at selling players, so there will not be that $700+ million outlay this summer. But I do think there are going to be a lot of new faces in the pitch for the Blues when Liverpool come calling on opening weekend. That is maybe the most fascinating contest–with Newcastle United/Aston Villa also up there–because both Liverpool and Chelsea underachieved massively last season and look to be behind three or four teams in the race for top four,”said Premier League expert Myron Theissen.

Thiago Silva of Chelsea controls the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge on May 28, 2023, in London, England. WARREN LITTLE/GETTY IMAGES.

Manchester City have won just 53 percent of their first matches in the 26 years they have competed in the Premier League, though in fairness to the defending champions, they have won nine of their last 10 and will go into the new season of the back of a treble of Premier League title wins, as well as a treble last season.

City will be the first team on the pitch when the new season opens on Friday, August 11, and the three-time defending champions will visit newly-promoted Burnley, which is managed by former Cityzens’ captain Vincent Kompany.
 “That could be interesting, as you have to think City will have one eye on the UEFA Super Cup five days later in Greece, but Pep Guardiola’s charges should have too much for Burnley. I would not think that will be as straight forward as the other Match Day 1 contest involving a Manchester side,” said Theissen.

Manchester United, who will play the final contest of the opening weekend when the Red Devils host Wolverhampton Monday, August 14, has edged arch rivals Liverpool’s opening day record, with the Red Devils posting a 65% win percentage, compared to Liverpool’s 61%. 

Arsenal, who are looking to build on last year’s title challenge, have been the most inconsistent, only winning 17 of their 31 opening games, losing nine, but the Gunners get Nottingham Forest, which was atrocious on its travels last season.

Odds have Manchester City as a heavy favorite to win another title, while Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United are favored to finish top four. Chelsea has the fifth-best odds, while Newcastle United is sixth.


Edited by Eunice Anyango Oyule and Judy J. Rotich

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