Despite enduring a difficult 2022/23, Chelsea are one of the teams to avoid on the opening weekend when the fixtures for the new Premier League season are released at 09:00 BST this Thursday.
Historically they are the joint-best performers in Matchweek 1, among clubs who have had at least seven seasons in the Premier League.
The Blues’ 1-0 win at Everton at the start of the last campaign took their win percentage to an impressive 64.5 per cent, matching Manchester United, whose own record was tarnished by a home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Best MW1 records of 23/24 PL clubs
Chelsea’s reputation as season-opener specialists could be enhanced further following the arrival of new head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who has the joint second-best win percentage among current Premier League managers, alongside Jurgen Klopp.
Of the seven fixtures he has overseen in Matchweek 1 with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, Pochettino has only lost once.
The Argentinian has started the season with a victory in five out of his seven attempts, the same as Liverpool boss Klopp. However, Klopp has the edge after staying unbeaten in his opening-weekend fixtures.
Best win-rate for managers in MW1
It will come as little surprise that Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola sits top of the pile, with an 85.7 per cent win-rate from his seven Matchweek 1 fixtures.
As a club, Man City have won 11 out of their last 12 opening-weekend matches, their only loss being a 1-0 defeat at Spurs in 2021/22.
In general, champions tend to start well. There have been only three occasions when a title defence has started with a defeat, and City will aim to maintain that trend.
Champions on opening weekend
An opening-weekend encounter with a promoted club might seem like the dream scenario, but the three clubs coming up from the Championship – Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town – should not be underestimated.
After all, in 2021/22 Brentford began life in the Premier League by beating Arsenal 2-0, and the Bees’ 2-2 draw at Leicester City at the start of last season left them unbeaten in Matchweek 1.
Last term, AFC Bournemouth beat Aston Villa, while Fulham held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw.
Sheff Utd have a good record ahead of their own Premier League return, losing only one of their five Premier League openers, while Burnley beat reigning champions Chelsea 3-2 in a shock away win in 2017/18.
This season’s promoted trio could make history by all winning on the opening weekend, a treble that has never happened before.
This feat was almost achieved in 2021/22, when Brentford and Watford won, but Norwich City’s 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool meant the historic hat-trick of victories was not to be
Chelsea’s possible fixtures in all competitions – 2023/24
Premier League Sun Aug 13 Liverpool home
Premier League Sat Aug 19 West Ham United away
Premier League Sat Aug 26 Luton Town home
Carabao Cup Wed Aug 30 Second round
Premier League Sat Sep 2 Nottingham Forest home
Internationals 4–12 September
Premier League Sat Sep 16 Bournemouth away
Premier League Sat Sep 23 Aston Villa home
Carabao Cup Wed Sep 27 Third round
Premier League Sat Sep 30 Fulham away
Premier League Sat Oct 7 Burnley away
Internationals 9–17 October
Premier League Sat Oct 21 Arsenal home
Premier League Sat Oct 28 Brentford home
Carabao Cup Wed Nov 1 Fourth round
Premier League Sat Nov 4 Tottenham Hotspur away
Premier League Sat Nov 11 Manchester City home
Internationals 13–21 November
Premier League Sat Nov 25 Newcastle United away
Premier League Sat Dec 2 Brighton & Hove Albion home
Premier League Wed Dec 6 Manchester United away
Premier League Sat Dec 9 Everton away
Premier League Sat Dec 16 Sheffield United H
Carabao Cup Wed Dec 20 Fifth round
Premier League Sat Dec 23 Wolverhampton Wanderers A
Premier League Tue Dec 26 Crystal Palace H
Premier League Sat Dec 30 Luton Town A
FA Cup Sat Jan 6 Third round
Carabao Cup Wed Jan 10 Semi-final first leg
Premier League Sat Jan 13 or Sat Jan 20 (fixture programme spilt due to mid-season break) Fulham H
Carabao Cup Wed Jan 24 Semi-final second leg
FA Cup Sat Jan 27 Fourth round
Premier League Wed Jan 31 Liverpool A
Premier League Sat Feb 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers H
Premier League Sat Feb 10 Crystal Palace A
Premier League Sat Feb 17 Manchester City A
Premier League Sat Feb 24 Tottenham Hotspur H
Carabao Cup Sun Feb 25 Final (Wembley)
FA Cup Wed Feb 28 Fifth round
Premier League Sat Mar 2 Brentford A
Premier League Sat Mar 9 Newcastle United H
Premier League Sat Mar 16 Arsenal A
FA Cup Sat Mar 16 Sixth round
Internationals 18–26 March
Premier League Sat Mar 30 Burnley H
Premier League Wed Apr 3 Manchester United H
Premier League Sat Apr 6 Sheffield United A
Premier League Sat Apr 13 Everton H
Premier League Sat Apr 20 Brighton & Hove Albion A
FA Cup Sat Apr 20 Semi-final
Premier League Sat Apr 27 Aston Villa A
Premier League Sat May 4 West Ham United H
Premier League Sat May 11 Nottingham Forest A
Premier League Sun May 19 Bournemouth H
FA Cup Sat May 25 Final (Wembley)