Fixture Release Day: Quirky stats for 2024/25's opening fixtures

18 Jun 2024
Quirky stats composite

Man Utd are starting with an EIGHTH straight home match, while West Ham don't leave London until November!

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The 2024/25 Premier League fixtures once again give us incredible opening-day matches - and outstanding statistics.

Here we take a look at some of the standout numbers ahead of the start of this season's competition on Friday 16 August.

2024/25 opening-weekend Premier League fixtures
Home comforts for Man Utd

For an unprecedented eighth consecutive season Manchester United will start the campaign with a home match, hosting Fulham in the opening fixture of 2024/25. It is also the 10th time in 11 seasons Man Utd have begun a season at Old Trafford.

To put it in context, the last time Man Utd played away from Old Trafford on Matchweek 1 was at AFC Bournemouth in 2016/17, when Red Devils star Kobbie Mainoo was only 11 years old! 

Deja vu for Ipswich

Ipswich Town return to the top flight after a 22-year absence, with their last match coming in May 2002. On that occasion they faced Liverpool at Anfield and lost 5-0. Over two decades later their first match of the 2024/25 campaign will also be against the same opponents, although this time Ipswich will be on home soil at Portman Road.

Mixed omens for Arsenal

Arsenal will kick off their Premier League season with a 15:00 BST Saturday match for the first time since 2013/14.

On that occasion they tasted a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa and this time round they face another West Midlands team in Wolverhampton Wanderers. A further warning for the Gunners is that the previous two times they have faced Wolves on an opening day of a league campaign, they lost both: 6-1 in 1946/47 and 3-1 in 1963/64.

However the omens are not all bad for Arsenal. The previous time they opened a Premier League season at 15:00 BST on a Saturday, they beat Everton 2-1 in 2003/04 on their way to an Invincible season.

Short journeys for West Ham

In a remarkable series of events, West Ham United do not play a Premier League match outside London for the first two-and-a-half months of the season.

In total the Hammers will play their first NINE league matches in the capital, with five of them at the London Stadium and four on the road: Crystal Palace, Fulham, Brentford and Tottenham Hotspur.

Their first encounter away from the capital is against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on 2 November.

Second time lucky for Chelsea?

In his first league match in charge of Chelsea, Enzo Maresca has the daunting task of taking on champions Manchester City. History does not help the Italian as the only other time Chelsea have come against reigning title-holders on the opening weekend was in 1971/72, when they lost to Arsenal 3-0.

Promoted opposition again for Liverpool and Spurs

For the fifth time in six seasons Liverpool will face a promoted side in their opening match when they travel to Ipswich. They and Tottenham Hotspur, who travel to Leicester City, are playing promoted teams for the seventh time in total on the opening weekend, a Premier League-high.

Tough starts for Southampton

Southampton start their return to the Premier League with not only their longest journey of the season, a 560-mile round-trip to Newcastle, but also the lowest win-rate of teams to have played in at least 10 Premier League campaigns.

Saints have won only two of their 24 Matchweek 1 fixtures, although their 12 opening-weekend defeats are not as bad as West Ham's 15.

 Joint-record for Premier League managers

As it stands there will be five head coaches - Fabian Hurzeler, Arne Slot, Russell Martin, Kieran McKenna, and Maresca - taking charge of a Premier League match for the first time. It will be six if Leicester appoint a Premier League newbie as head coach.

The last time six managers took charge of their first Premier League match on opening weekend was in 2016/17 - Aitor Karanka, Claude Puel, Mike Phelan, Pep Guardiola, Walter Mazzarri, Antonio Conte - and in 1995/96 - Dave Merrington, David Pleat, Mick Harford, Roy McFarland, Bruce Rioch, Bryan Robson.

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