The 2022/23 English Premier League season is now underway. Already, the pundits, prognosticators, and oddsmakers have turned in their previews. And almost across the board, they expect the league to be contested once again between Manchester City and Liverpool. It may well turn out that way in the end. But the early days of a new EPL campaign are about which clubs can start quickly and establish leads in the table. So here’s our look at some of the EPL teams with the clearest potential for hot starts.
We may as well begin with the defending EPL champions and popular favorites. Man City started off on the right foot, winning their debut over a solid West Ham side in London. The 2-0 victory featured a pair of goals from newly minted star Erling Haaland, which undoubtedly has City supporters feeling good about where the club’s attack stands.
Moving forward, there isn’t much reason to expect different results in the early going. City will host Bournemouth next (picked by some to finish bottom of the league), visit a middling (though possibly tricky) Newcastle, and then see Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest at home. This run makes for a very possible five wins from five start with Newcastle being perhaps the main hurdle. Newcastle notched 30 of their 49 points at St. James’ Park last season, and it’s also noteworthy that the match will be played just days before Man City face Barcelona in a friendly. Naturally the main focus should be on league competition, but it would still be understandable for some in the City ranks to be looking past Newcastle for this headline-worthy friendly.
Even so, with this early-season schedule, Man City ought to start the campaign with five league wins.
While there is widespread agreement that the EPL title will likely come down to Man City or Liverpool, Tottenham are the club most likely to be nipping at the leaders’ heels. Publications from Bleacher Report to Sportskeeda have written about Spurs’ potential to win the league, and the most up-to-date EPL projections among the Ladbrokes odds listings give Tottenham a 12/1 shot at the title (next to 8/15 for Man City and 7/2 for Liverpool). In short, Tottenham should be in the mix but will likely be off the pace setters.
They’ll be helped towards that end by an early-season run of fixtures that blend favorable fixtures with opportunity. Spurs already notched an opening day convincing 4-1 win over Southampton, and visit Chelsea next in what should be one of the highlight matches of the month. They’ll then host lowly Wolves, visit a thoroughly beatable Nottingham Forest, and take the trip across town to play West Ham. It’s not a walk in the park, but the away fixtures are winnable, and if Tottenham can win their Chelsea showdown they will be in tremendous shape for a great start.
We know, we know…. Arsenal have boundless potential to squander potential. But the early season is about hope, and the Gunners earned some with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace in the opening week. The match featured a goal from potential breakthrough star Gabriel Martinelli, and a BBC match recap quoted Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta saying that his club were “hungry,” and that this performance built on a strong preseason.
Notably, the Gunners will have every chance to stay in contention during the early parts of the season. Arsenal will host Leicester City next (not an easy win, but a favorable match at home), visit underdogs Bournemouth and Fulham, and then play Aston Villa. The club couldn’t have asked for a much better shot at a solid start to this campaign.
With Chelsea, we have something of an either/or scenario, in that if the Blues start strong, it will likely mean taking away from Tottenham’s early strength. Following an opening win over Everton, Chelsea will host Tottenham before embarking on a supremely winnable three-game stretch visiting Leeds, hosting Leicester City, and taking to the road against Southampton.
This provides the possibility for another strong start, though again, something has to give in the upcoming Tottenham match. With both clubs expected to be among the few potential challengers to Man City and Liverpool, the winner of this early contest will gain an important leg up in the table.
These are not the only clubs who could be competing at the top end after the first month or so. We knocked Liverpool off the list because of a surprise opening week loss, but still expect them to rebound swiftly. There are also some more middle of the table clubs with favorable early fixtures such as Brighton, who beat Manchester United in week one and won’t face a top club until they visit Liverpool on October 1st. But the four teams discussed above look most likely to be in strong position come early September.
We hope this has helped to get you fired up for another exciting EPL campaign, and please come back to TWM+ soon for more updates on the football season ahead!