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Strong starters Sheff Utd can trouble Cherries

15 Jun 2019
Mark Duffy

Rivals must not underestimate the Blades who are unbeaten in their three opening-weekend matches

With the release of the 2019/20 Premier League fixtures, the fans of AFC Bournemouth arguably have the most to fear in Matchweek 1.

In Sheffield United, the Cherries are facing the team with the best opening-weekend record in Premier League history.

The Blades have never been defeated in Matchweek 1 of the Premier League, winning twice and drawing once.

But AFC Bournemouth fans will remember that they also started 2018/19 at home to a promoted club, beating Cardiff City 2-0.

2019/20 promoted clubs' MW1 history
Club P W D L Pts/match
Sheff Utd 3 2 1 0 2.33
Aston Villa 24 9 8 7 1.46
Norwich 8 1 3 4 0.75

One of the Blades' opening-weekend victories was a historic defeat of Manchester United in the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League season.

Brian Deane scored the competition's first ever goal in a 2-1 win at Bramall Lane.

The next season, Sheffield United beat Swindon Town 3-1, and in 2006/07 they kicked off their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Strong Villans

Fellow promoted club Aston Villa kick off 2019/20 at Tottenham Hotspur defending a good Matchweek 1 record.

Dean Smith's side have won nine opening matches in their 24 Premier League campaigns.

Norwich City, away to Liverpool for the league's opening fixture on 9 August, will be looking to improve on a run of only one win from their eight opening fixtures.

That one win, a shock success against Arsenal 4-2 at Highbury in 1992/93, could be a source of inspiration ahead of the trip to Anfield.

Norwich, Sheffield United and Villa will aim to follow Nottingham Forest, who made the best start by a promoted club.

Forest went unbeaten in their first 10 matches in 1994/95, claiming 24 points.

Best starts by promoted clubs*
Club Season W D L Pts
Nott'm Forest 1994/95 7 3 0 24
Wigan 2005/06 7 1 2 22
Blackburn 1992/93 6 3 1 21
Middlesbrough 1995/96 6 3 1 21
Hull 2008/09 6 2 2 20
Sunderland 1999/00 6 2 2 20

*After 10 matches

Wolverhampton Wanderers set a standard for them last season, finishing seventh with 57 points on their return last season and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

It was the highest finish and points total for a promoted team since Ipswich Town came fifth with 66 points in 2000/01.

Highest finishes for promoted clubs
Club Season Pts Pos.
Newcastle 1993/94 77* 3rd
Nott'm Forest 1994/95 77* 3rd
Blackburn 1992/93 71* 4th
Ipswich 2000/01 66 5th
Sunderland 1999/00 58 7th
Wolves 2018/19 57 7th

*42-match season

See: Everything you need to know about the opening weekend

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