For the second time in four seasons, Man City won the Premier League by a single point and Liverpool are to again go head to head with Pep Guardiola’s side – but how do their fixtures compare?
Even though the 2021/22 season only recently reached its conclusion, the new campaign is fast approaching and the full Premier League fixture list has now been released.
The expectation is that it will be another battle of perfection between Liverpool and Man City, with the two amassing more than 90 points having made a misstep on ten or fewer occasions last season.
But how difficult is the run of games for each side?
Of course, every team plays everyone home and away but the order of the fixtures does make for interesting viewing as we look to identify when and where hurdles could come for both sides.
Each year, Ben Mayhew, head of data analysis at PA, presents a graphic visualisation of the difficulty of each club’s schedule based on the odds of finishing positions.
And from first glance, the Reds have a slightly more difficult start before the two teams meet at Anfield on October 15.
As usual I've created a grid for the #PLFixtures showing each club's tough and easy runs based on bookmakers' odds – written up by @philleake91 here: https://t.co/m3CcvhYgkI pic.twitter.com/BZYjJi4ZfG
— Ben Mayhew (@experimental361) June 16, 2022
Klopp’s side start the season with three meetings against those in the top six (Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal) before they host City, and two from the expected bottom six (Fulham and Bournemouth).
City, on the other hand, will meet two of the top six (Tottenham and Man United), and three from the probable bottom six (Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Southampton).
Thereafter, the Reds’ schedule directly pre and post-World Cup has them contending with an average table position of 9.5 across four games, compared to City’s 16 in the same time period.
However, from January 2 to February 4, City will meet three of the expected finishers in the top six (Chelsea, Man United, Tottenham), while Liverpool meet just one in Chelsea.
Moreover, Liverpool will meet bottom-six sides in two successive games on three occasions, City will experience it twice and with three in a row in November/December.
Elsewhere, you have to feel a little bit for Bournemouth who, conversely, will twice meet top-six clubs in three successive games, in August and February/March.
In a condensed season that has the Champions League thrown into the mix alongside domestic cups, it increases the stakes on each Premier League game and the two know they have little room for error.
And Liverpool will know not to take anything for granted, but one of their big goals will be to take more points off Man City this season – it has to be at least four from six.