The Opening Day League Table

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The definitive league table of the English Premier League and Football League opening day results over the last 10 years

A new study has reviewed the results of each of England’s 92 Premier League and Football League clubs from their opening day matches over the last decade and has found that Manchester City have the best record, picking up 28 out of 30 points available.

The research from Betoclock found that City have won nine games from their round one fixtures over the last 10 years, more than any other club in the Premier League and Football League.

Alongside the Citizens, fellow Premier League club Watford and Championship side Derby County, are the only other teams not to lose an opening day fixture in the last decade.

Five teams with the best opening day record

Team PointsWinsDrawsLossesGoals difference
Manchester City2891021
Manchester United2480214
Chelsea2372116
MK Dons216319
Peterborough United217034

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Sitting alongside the Premier League heavyweights, the two biggest surprises to make the top five are League One teams MK Dons and Peterborough United, who are flying the flag for the Football League.

At the bottom of the table, Bristol Rovers and Newcastle United have been historically slow starters, with Rovers losing eight of their last 10 opening day fixtures, and the Magpies losing six. Rovers have also found the net a measly seven times in the last decade, but it’s Northampton Town who have bagged the fewest with just three opening day goals.

Five teams with the worst opening day record

Team PointsWinsDrawsLossesGoals difference
Bristol Rovers4118-11
Newcastle United6136-12
Carlisle United6136-11
Stoke City6136-5
Blackburn Rovers7145-7

Newcastle United and newly promoted Premier League side Norwich City boast the worst goal difference out of all 92 teams, both have a -12 aggregate goal difference in opening day fixtures.

A difficult summer for Newcastle looks likely to carry on into their first game as they have managed just one victory over the last ten seasons.

When it comes to the teams who top the table for the most goals scored, the deadliest clubs are Chelsea and Manchester City, both with 24 goals during this time. A surprise entrant to complete the top three are Tranmere Rovers with 22 goals in round one games over the last decade.

Manchester United and Fulham have the best defensive records over the last decade conceding three and six goals respectively. Their 2019/20 opening day opponents, Chelsea and Barnsley respectively, will be up against defensive powerhouses.

Of the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs, only three failed to play out an opening day draw; Manchester United (eight wins, two defeats) Peterborough (seven wins, three defeats) and West Ham (four wins and six defeats).

A surprise placing saw Arsenal come in the bottom half of the table sitting in 56th place. The Gunners have won just three of their last 10 opening day fixtures, securing themselves a below par 12 points out of a possible 30 (three wins and three draws).

A spokesperson for Betoclock commented: 

“While it’s no surprise to see both Manchester clubs and Chelsea at the top, seeing MK Dons and Peterborough United in the top five shows that the Premier League’s best teams aren’t necessarily the ones that have a good start to the season. Despite sitting third in the rankings, Chelsea face a tough opening day fixture away to Manchester United who are one place above them in second”.

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Notes to Editors:

The analysis includes the current 92 Premier League and Football League clubs’ opening day results from the 2009/10 to 2018/19 football seasons.

Sources: 

  • http://www.soccerassociation.com
  • http://uk.soccerway.com
RankLeagueTeamTotal pointsGoal differenceTotal goals forTotal goals againstTotal winsTotal drawsTotal losses
1Premier LeagueManchester City2821243910
2Premier LeagueManchester United2414217802
3Premier LeagueChelsea2316248721
4League 1Milton Keynes Dons219178631
5League 1Peterborough United2141511703
6League 1Gillingham2013218622
7Premier LeagueWatford2082113550
8ChampionshipDerby County205138550
9League 1Fleetwood Town197147541
10League 2Swindon Town1941713613
11League 1Blackpool188168532
12League 1Wycombe Wanderers188168532
13League 1Ipswich Town1872013532
14Premier LeagueLiverpool1841814532
15ChampionshipNottingham Forest184106532
16Premier LeagueWolverhampton Wanderers1821210532
17ChampionshipSheffield Wednesday1751510523
18Premier LeagueAston Villa175127523
19ChampionshipCharlton Athletic1741410523
20League 1Lincoln City174128451
21Premier LeagueTottenham Hotspur174106522
22League 2Walsall1721311523
23League 2Crawley Town1701313523
24ChampionshipLuton Town1691910442
25ChampionshipFulham165116442
26Premier LeagueLeicester City1632017514
27League 1Tranmere Rovers163129442
28ChampionshipCardiff City163107442
29ChampionshipLeeds United16-21416514
30League 2Forest Green Rovers1592011433
31League 2Colchester United1572013361
32League 2Port Vale157147361
33League 2Mansfield Town1562014433
34League 1Doncaster Rovers1551712433
35ChampionshipMillwall1551510433
36League 1Oxford United1521210433
37League 1Southend United1501212433
38League 2Exeter City15-11314433
39ChampionshipWigan Athletic14-11415424
40Premier LeagueSheffield United14-2911424
41League 1Rotherham United14-41418424
42League 2Scunthorpe United14-41317424
43ChampionshipSwansea City14-41317424
44ChampionshipBrentford1341511343
45League 1Coventry City1331512415
46Premier LeagueAFC Bournemouth1321311415
47League 2Cheltenham Town1311110343
48League 1Portsmouth1301212343
49Premier LeagueBurnley13-11112343
50League 2Grimsby Town13-11213343
51League 1AFC Wimbledon13-21113343
52ChampionshipHull City13-2911415
53ChampionshipQueens Park Rangers13-31215415
54League 2Cambridge United1211211334
55League 1Shrewsbury Town1211110334
56Premier LeagueArsenal1201717334
57League 1Rochdale1201010334
58League 1Bolton Wanderers12-11011334
59League 1Accrington Stanley12-3912334
60League 1Bury12-369334
61ChampionshipBristol City12-51217334
62Premier LeagueWest Ham United12-7815406
63League 2Salford City11102010253
64League 2Leyton Orient1101414325
65Premier LeagueSouthampton1101111253
66League 2Macclesfield Town11-1910325
67League 1Sunderland11-21214253
68ChampionshipPreston North End11-3710253
69Premier LeagueEverton11-41216252
70ChampionshipHuddersfield Town11-41115325
71ChampionshipWest Bromwich Albion11-71017325
72League 2Bradford City11-101222325
73Premier LeagueCrystal Palace10-31316316
74ChampionshipReading10-31114244
75League 2Northampton Town10-437244
76Premier LeagueBrighton & Hove Albion10-5611316
77League 2Morecambe10-71017316
78Premier LeagueNorwich City10-121426244
79League 2Crewe Alexandra901616235
80League 2Stevenage9-31417163
81League 1Burton Albion9-61218235
82League 2Oldham Athletic9-81018235
83ChampionshipMiddlesbrough8-3912154
84League 2Newport County8-61521226
85League 2Plymouth Argyle8-6713226
86ChampionshipBarnsley8-101121226
87ChampionshipBirmingham City7-5813145
88ChampionshipBlackburn Rovers7-71017145
89ChampionshipStoke City6-5611136
90League 2Carlisle United6-11920136
91Premier LeagueNewcastle United6-12618136
92League 1Bristol Rovers4-11718118

League 2 Opening Day Table

RANKTEAMTOTAL POINTSGOAL DIFFERENCETOTAL GOALS FORTOTAL GOALS AGAINSTTOTAL WINSTOTAL DRAWSTOTAL LOSSES
1Swindon Town1941713613
2Walsall1721311523
3Crawley Town1701313523
4Forest Green Rovers1592011433
5Colchester United1572013361
6Port Vale157147361
7Mansfield Town1562014433
8Exeter City15-11314433
9Scunthorpe United14-41317424
10Cheltenham Town1311110343
11Grimsby Town13-11213343
12Cambridge United1211211334
13Salford City11102010253
14Leyton Orient1101414325
15Macclesfield Town11-1910325
16Bradford City11-101222325
17Northampton Town10-437244
18Morecambe10-71017316
19Crewe Alexandra901616235
20Stevenage9-31417163
21Oldham Athletic9-81018235
22Newport County8-61521226
23Plymouth Argyle8-6713226
24Carlisle United6-11920136

League 1 Opening Day Table

RANKTEAMTOTAL POINTSGOAL DIFFERENCETOTAL GOALS FORTOTAL GOALS AGAINSTTOTAL WINSTOTAL DRAWSTOTAL LOSSES
1Milton Keynes Dons219178631
2Peterborough United2141511703
3Gillingham2013218622
4Fleetwood Town197147541
5Blackpool188168532
6Wycombe Wanderers188168532
7Ipswich Town1872013532
8Lincoln City174128451
9Tranmere Rovers163129442
10Doncaster Rovers1551712433
11Oxford United1521210433
12Southend United1501212433
13Rotherham United14-41418424
14Coventry City1331512415
15Portsmouth1301212343
16AFC Wimbledon13-21113343
17Shrewsbury Town1211110334
18Rochdale1201010334
19Bolton Wanderers12-11011334
20Accrington Stanley12-3912334
21Bury12-369334
22Sunderland11-21214253
23Burton Albion9-61218235
24Bristol Rovers4-11718118

Championship Opening Day Table

RANKTEAMTOTAL POINTSGOAL DIFFERENCETOTAL GOALS FORTOTAL GOALS AGAINSTTOTAL WINSTOTAL DRAWSTOTAL LOSSES
1Derby County205138550
2Nottingham Forest184106532
3Sheffield Wednesday1751510523
4Charlton Athletic1741410523
5Luton Town1691910442
6Fulham165116442
7Cardiff City163107442
8Leeds United16-21416514
9Millwall1551510433
10Wigan Athletic14-11415424
11Swansea City14-41317424
12Brentford1341511343
13Hull City13-2911415
14Queens Park Rangers13-31215415
15Bristol City12-51217334
16Preston North End11-3710253
17Huddersfield Town11-41115325
18West Bromwich Albion11-71017325
19Reading10-31114244
20Middlesbrough8-3912154
21Barnsley8-101121226
22Birmingham City7-5813145
23Blackburn Rovers7-71017145
24Stoke City6-5611136
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