It could have been a worse start to the 2016/17 Premier League season for West Ham Utd , according to the form book. But it could have been easier too.
The Irons’ opponents in their first five games had an average finishing position of 11.4 last season – below the east London’s club final 7th place.
They face Chelsea (a), Bournemouth (h) Manchester City (a), Watford (h) and WBA (a) as they settle into their Olympic Stadium home. It’s 12th in the league table of tough starts.
Watford have been handed the toughest start to the Premier League for next season.The Hornets’ opponents in their first five games had an average finishing position of 6.0.
New head coach Walter Mazzarri’s easiest game on paper of the five is against Chelsea, who finished last season in 10th.
Watford also face Arsenal and Manchester United in their first five games.
West Brom have the easiest start on paper.
The Baggies’ first five opponents finished last season with an average position of 13.6.
Tony Pulis’s side begin next season against Crystal Palace, Everton, Middlesbrough, Bournemouth and West Ham. Only West Ham finished last season in the top half of the table of these five.
The fixture computer has also handed relatively kind starts to Middlesbrough and Everton.
League Table of Tough Starts
- Watford 6
- Liverpool 6.8
- Hull City 7.6
- Sunderland 8.6
- Bournemouth 9
- Arsenal 9.6
- Southampton 9.8
- Burnley 10.2
- Stoke City 10.4
- Manchester City 10.8
- Swansea City 11
- West Ham United 11.4
- Chelsea 11.6
- Manchester United 11.8
- Leicester City 12
- Tottenham Hotspur 12
- Crystal Palace 12.2
- Everton 12.4
- Middlesbrough 13.2
- West Bromwich Albion 13.6
We used last year’s relegated sides in the place of the three promoted clubs in the order they finished in the Championship.
Burnley replace Newcastle in 18th, Middlesbrough replace Norwich in 19th and play-off winners Hull replace Aston Villa in 20th.