Off With A Bang! Opening Day Stats & Tips
The new Manchester United manager faced Swansea City on the opening day of the Premier League season. Fresh from Community Shield success, David Moyes oversaw an impressive 3:1 win over the Welsh side that promised good things for his debut season at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately for him, that was as good as it got. His successor, Louis Van Gaal, also makes his United top flight bow against the Swans this weekend. We look at some opening day stats and how they could affect your flutters this weekend.
United have never lost an opening day Premier League fixture at home and will be hoping to make it twelve unbeaten against Swansea on Saturday. However, don’t expect a rout. They’ve scored under 2.5 goals in over half those occasions.
New start = Bad start
Promoted trio, Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers will be hoping to get off to a flyer this weekend against Everton, Chelsea and Hull City respectively. But the omens are not good. Over the past five seasons, promoted clubs have won only two out of fifteen opening fixtures.
Indeed, ten of the last fifteen promoted sides have failed to score in their first Premier League outing.
Even more ominiously for QPR, they’ve never won an opening day match.
Arsenal are firm favourites to overcome Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Saturday evening but they’ve failed to win any of their last four opening day fixtures. They went into their first game last season tipped to cruise past Aston Villa, but slumped to a 3:1 home defeat, leading to early calls for Arsene Wenger’s dismissal.
However, worry not Gunners fans, as their opponents have a similarly poor record, with Palace winning just one of their five opening Premier League ties.
All the portents point to a surprise West Ham win in the weekend’s other London derby. Spurs have won only four of their last seventeen openers, while the Hammers have won an impressive six out of ten at home. They beat their rivals twice in the league last season and can also point to an opening day victory over Tottenham in 1999/2000.
Burnley Should Park the Bus
Burnley face an ominous task against Chelsea at the start of only their second ever Premier League season. Jose Mourinho has never lost a season opener with the Blues, who have collected more points than any other side in EPL history. Indeed, they’re unbeaten on opening day since 1999.
Champions to Beat The Toon
In the Premier League’s entire history, the reigning champions have never suffered defeat on the opening day of the season. Furthermore, they’ve won nineteen out of twenty-two fixtures. City hammered Newcastle on opening weekend last season and history suggests they’ll repeat the feat this Sunday.
Early Form no Guarantee of Success
Despite reigning champions’ impressive records, the opening day is no predictor of who’ll finish the season on top. The side who’ve gone on to lift the Premier League title have won less than 60% of their first matches, compared to an 88% win total by the reigning champions.