Liverpool eye yet another high-scoring opener

11 Sep 2020
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp's defending champions have struck an average of 3.75 goals in Matchweek 1 over the last four seasons

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Liverpool have a handy habit of flying out of the blocks under Jurgen Klopp, and will be seeking another strong start as they defend their first Premier League title.

Klopp has managed four Matchweek 1 fixtures with Liverpool, seeing his team rack up 15 goals, the highest tally by any side in that period and an average of 3.75 per match.

Most MW1 goals 2016-19
Club Goals
Liverpool 15
Man Utd 13
Man City 11
Arsenal 8
Spurs 8

Liverpool's opening 2020/21 opponents are Leeds United, the second successive campaign in which they've started against a promoted team.

Last season they beat Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield, the second time in a row they had scored four goals in their first fixture, having beaten West Ham United 4-0 in 2018/19.

In 2017/18, they drew 3-3 at Watford a year after opening the 2016/17 campaign with a 4-3 victory at Arsenal.

That was one of two occasions when Liverpool have started a season with a match featuring seven goals, the joint-highest total for a Matchweek 1 fixture in Premier League history. 

Highest-scoring opening matches 
Season Match Season Match
1994/95 CRY 1-6 LIV 2009/10 EVE 1-6 ARS
1994/95 SHW 3-4 TOT 2016/17 ARS 3-4 LIV
1995/96 SOU 3-4 NFO 2017/18 ARS 4-3 LEI

History shows defending champions tend to make winning starts to their title defence.

Up to 2016/17, the previous season's title winners had dropped only eight points out of a possible 72 in their opening matches and had never lost. 

Champions on opening weekend
P W D L Win %
28 22 4 2 78.6

But, Leicester City suffered a 2-1 reverse at Hull City at the start of 2016/17, and then Chelsea slipped to a 3-2 home defeat by Burnley in the following season.

Hull's victory should give Leeds hope as it was the last time the defending Premier League champions faced a promoted side in Matchweek 1.

See: Everything you need to know about the 2020/21 fixtures

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