The 2017/18 Premier League fixtures have been announced, but which of the leading title contenders has the toughest finish to the season?
We’ve ranked the top-six’s run-ins using the last season’s average positions of their final six opponents, with newly-promoted Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield taking 18th, 19th and 20th respectively.
Read on to find see how Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United’s final fixtures compare – from the easiest to the toughest…
Final six opponents: Southampton (h), Newcastle (a), West Ham (h), Manchester United (a), Burnley (h), Huddersfield (a)
Average position of final six opponents: 13.2
Arsenal have the easiest run-in of the top-six sides, according to the average positions of their final six opponents of the season. Arsene Wenger is scheduled to take his side to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on April 28, but the Gunners’ other games look favourable. They finish the season with a trip to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town.
Final six opponents: West Ham (h), Southampton (a), Huddersfield (h), Swansea (a), Liverpool (h), Newcastle (a)
Average position of final six opponents: 12.7
Antonio Conte will be satisfied by Chelsea’s run-in, with their only meeting against a top-six opponent coming at home to Liverpool in the penultimate game of the campaign. With the exception of Southampton, who finished eighth last year, the champions’ other opponents are either newly-promoted or sides that finished in the bottom half of the table last season.
Final six opponents: Stoke (a), Manchester City (h), Brighton (a), Watford (h), West Brom (a), Leicester (h)
Average position of final six opponents: 12.3
Like Arsenal and Chelsea, Tottenham will only face a top-six opponent in one of their final six games of the 2017/18 season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are scheduled to host Manchester City at Wembley on April 14, but they round off the campaign with what looks like a relatively kind run of games against Brighton, Watford, West Brom and Leicester.
Final six opponents: Manchester City (a), West Brom (h), Bournemouth (a), Arsenal (h), Brighton (a), Watford (h)
Average position of final six opponents: 10.5
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United travel to City and host Arsenal in their last six games of 2017/18 – two games which could prove crucial in the outcome of the title race. The rest of their final games are favourable, however. They finish the campaign at home to Watford.
Final six opponents: Manchester United (h), Tottenham (a), Swansea (h), West Ham (a), Huddersfield (h), Southampton (a)
Average position of final six opponents: 10.3
Manchester City’s run-in begins with tricky clashes against Manchester United and Tottenham, while they must also travel to West Ham and Southampton after that. Based on average positions from last season, it is the second-toughest run-in of the top six sides.
Final six opponents: Everton (a), Bournemouth (h), West Brom (a), Stoke (h), Chelsea (a), Brighton (h)
Average position of final six opponents: 9.8
Liverpool have the trickiest run-in of the top six, according to the average positions of their opponents. Their home games against Bournemouth, Stoke and Brighton do not look too daunting, but their away trips are more challenging. Jurgen Klopp must take his side to Merseyside rivals Everton, West Brom and champions Chelsea. Their title hopes could depend on how they manage that schedule.