Manchester City won their sixth Premier League title in 11 years last season and, for the fourth time in that sequence, they claimed glory on the final day.
That fact alone means we should probably expect plenty to still be up for grabs when the 2022/23 campaign hits its final stretch.
The forthcoming top-flight season in England promises to be one like no other, with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar dropping a six-week gap into the schedule before the league returns for the traditional Boxing Day round of fixtures.
That begins a 12-game slog through the English winter, a period that traditionally sorts the wheat from the chaff in a title race. Then, after the March international break, teams will begin their final 10 fixtures from April 1 onwards.
Here, we examine who appears to have been dealt the best and worst hands out of the so-called ‘Big Six’, ranked from hardest to easiest.
PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM SCHEDULES 2022/23:
Arsenal | Aston Villa | Bournemouth | Brentford | Brighton
Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Fulham | Leeds
Leicester | Liverpool | Man City | Man United | Newcastle
Notts Forest | Southampton | Tottenham | West Ham | Wolves
It’s a new era at Stamford Bridge under Todd Boehly’s ownership and Thomas Tuchel will hope to have his ducks in a row heading into the final 10 fixtures because, at a glance, Chelsea’s concluding schedule is pretty brutal. They must face Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City in the final seven fixtures.
What’s more, all of those games are away from home. The Blues travel to Old Trafford the weekend after a potential UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg, while the showdown with City at the Etihad Stadium on the penultimate day of the season could be absolutely colossal. After that, they wrap things up at home to Newcastle United, whose freshly upholstered squad might also be in the mix for something big.
Arsenal fell out of the Champions League reckoning during the closing weeks last season and Mikel Arteta will need to find a newly robust edge within his squad because the schedule has not been kind. The Gunners are at Anfield on April 8 and travel to the Etihad Stadium on April 26, before wrapping up the month three days later at home to Chelsea.
A trip to West Ham potentially being in the middle of a UEFA Europa League quarterfinal doesn’t feel ideal, while a May visit to face Newcastle — who hammered the final nail into Arsenal’s Champions League hopes last time around — will be viewed with instant trepidation. However, if they are able to remain on their feet after all that, closing home games against Brighton and Wolves, either side of Nottingham Forest away, look promising.
4. Manchester City
As was the case last time around, when the sides played out a pulsating 2-2 draw, Manchester City’s April showdown with Liverpool looks likely to be crucial in the final analysis. City must also take on Arsenal and Chelsea on the home straight, but Pep Guardiola has the consolation that those matches will also take place on home soil.
After playing Liverpool, City travel to Southampton on April 8 — not an instant standout on paper, but they failed to beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men home and away last season. If Guardiola’s squad need to call upon their final-day expertise once again after that Chelsea blockbuster, they will do so at Brentford.
Aside from the trip to City on April 1, the eyes of Liverpool fans will probably be drawn towards Tottenham’s visit to Anfield on April 29. Antonio Conte’s men claimed a 1-1 draw on Merseyside as 2021/22 moved towards a finale where City edged Jurgen Klopp’s team by a point.
Liverpool have Arsenal at home before the Champions League quarterfinal dates, which sandwich a trip to Leeds. They travel to West Ham, a fixture the Reds lost last term, on April 25 on the midweek preceding the Tottenham game. Thereafter, a concluding home, away, home, away run of Brentford, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Southampton shouldn’t present too many problems.
The April 29 round where they face Liverpool comes four days after Tottenham welcome Manchester United for an evening in north London. Either side of that, the final 10 fixtures make fairly nice reading for Conte.
The analysis of these run-ins takes into account possible European quarterfinals and semifinals but, for all his mastery of domestic leagues, Conte’s record in the Champions League isn’t great — he’s never taken a team beyond the quarterfinals, and he’s only gone as far as that once (Juventus in 2012/13). History suggests he and Spurs won’t get that far, leaving them free to concentrate on ripping up a top-flight schedule that concludes away to Leeds.
1. Manchester United
Expect Erik ten Hag to have his work cut out tackling the behemoth basket case at Old Trafford, no matter how impressive his transfer dealings end up looking. But if — and it’s a big if — he can whip United into prime shape, they have a run-in to relish.
Their home game against Chelsea could follow the second leg of a Europa League quarterfinal and a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is hot on the heels of that game. Those are United’s only ‘Big Six’ encounters over their final 10 fixtures, which conclude at home to Fulham.
Premier League TV channels, live streams
|TV channel||Sky Sports, BT Sport||USA Network, Telemundo, Universo||—||—|
|Streaming||NOW TV, Sky Go, Amazon Prime||fuboTV, Peacock||fuboTV||Optus Sport|
UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime.
USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on fuboTV. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.