A Breakdown of Premier League Opening Weekend Statistics

A Breakdown of Premier League Opening Weekend Statistics
© PA
Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates one of his three goals for Middlesbrough against Liverpool in their 1996 opener

The definition of optimism could easily be defined in the dictionary as the feeling felt by football supporters on the opening weekend of a new season.

It’s an opportunity for teams to put behind them disappointing campaigns where they finished lower in the table than they would have liked, while teams who ended their campaigns on a high, will hope to carry that form into their opening weekend fixture.

Optimism and hope can quickly be replaced with despair and disappointment within 90 minutes if things don't according to plan in their first fixture.

Despite the later than normal kick-off date, the wait for this season's opening round of Premier League fixtures has been shorter than in previous years because of the Covid-19 pandemic that forced a 100-day suspension in the second half of the last campaign that came to a conclusion on Sunday, July 26.

Last season, Manchester City recorded the biggest win of the opening weekend in August when they went to West Ham and won 5-0.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick at the London Stadium and ended a nine-year wait for an opening weekend treble – it was the first since Didier Drogba scored three times for Chelsea in their 6-0 drubbing of West Brom at Stamford Bridge in 2010.

Sterling's hat-trick was the eighth overall on the first weekend of the football season and only the third by a visiting player and the first by an away player since Kevin Campbell struck three times for Nottingham Forest in their 3-0 win at Coventry in 1996.

Premier League Opening Weekend Hat-Tricks

PlayerYearFixtureTotal Minutes
Mick Quinn1993Arsenal v Coventry31
Matt Le Tissier1995Southampton v Forest71
Kevin Campbell1996Coventry v Forest34
Fabrizio Ravanelli1996M'Boro v Liverpool55
Dion Dublin1997Coventry v Chelsea47
G. Agbonlahor2008Aston Villa v Man City7
Didier Drogba2010Chelsea v West Brom23
Raheem Sterling2019Man City v West Ham39

Last season's Golden Boot went to Leicester's Jamie Vardy after he finished with 23 league goals – despite not scoring in his final three matches. Vardy will be keen to get off to a flying start this weekend and he is 25/1 to score a hat-trick at newly-promoted West Brom.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended last season in great form with six goals in his last four fixtures, including both his sides' two goals in Arsenal's FA Cup final win over Chelsea. Arsenal feature in the league's curtain-raiser at Fulham, another of the newly-promoted sides, and Aubameyang is 16/1 to go one better than his Wembley double with a hat-trick against the Baggies.

Danny Ings scored 43 per cent of Southampton's league goals last season, which was the highest percentage for any top flight team. Ings has yet to score a Premier League hat-trick but a trip to Crystal Palace, who failed to win any of their final eight league games last season, offers Ings a chance to start this season with a bang. He’s 33/1 to score a hat-trick this weekend.

Others worth considering include Liverpool's Mo Salah. Salah, who is looking to score in the opening weekend for the fourth successive season, is 18/1 to score a hat-trick at home to Leeds who are playing their first Premier League fixture in 16 years.

Harry Kane, who drew a blank for England in their two Nations League ties in Iceland and Denmark, is 25/1 to score three times for Tottenham against Everton. Kane scored two late goals to rescue Spurs who came from 1-0 down to beat Aston Villa to start their 2019/20 campaign.



Chelsea’s new signing Timo Werner is 22/1 to mark his debut with a treble against Brighton following his transfer from RB Leipzig where he scored 34 times last season for the Bundesliga club.

Sterling won't be able to replicate his opening day heroics this season as City are one of four teams to have had their opener postponed.

Because of City's run to the Champions League quarter-finals – and Manchester United's run to the final eight in the Europa League, their respective openers at home to Aston Villa and at Burnley will be rescheduled for a later date.

With only eight games on the slate this weekend, we could be set for the lowest goals total which currently stands at 18 for the opening weekend of the 1998/99 season and again in 2011 which was from nine fixtures after Tottenham’s opener with Everton was postponed due to riots in north London.

The most goals scored during the opening weekend stands at 36 at the start of the 2003/04 season when Blackburn's 5-1 win over Wolves at Ewood Park was the highest scoring game of the weekend with six of the 10 home teams recording wins.

Total Opening Weekend Goals By Season

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Home advantage has proved crucial in the Premier League's opening weekend with 110 home wins (40.4 per cent) while away teams have been victorious 87 times (32 per cent) and 75 curtain raisers (27.6 per cent) have ended all square.

In terms of BTTS, both teams to score has paid out in 50.7 per cent of the 272 total games played on the opening weekends since the Premier League's inception in 1992 while over 2.5 total goals has landed in 53.3 per cent of those games.

Everton's Morgan Schneiderlin was the only player sent off in the 10 games last year in their 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace to bring the number of dismissals to 48 since Carlton Palmer earned notoriety when he became the first player to be sent off in an opening weekend fixture when he saw red after just 11 minutes of Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Liverpool to lift the curtain on the 1993/94 season.

Schneiderlin's red card was also the second successive season opener in which Everton finished the match with 10 men and came 12 months after Phil Jagielka's first half dismissal at Wolves. Will there be an opening weekend dismissal for the 11th successive season and, if so, who might be headed for an early bath?

David Luiz was sent off twice last season and he will hope to get the nod from manager Mikel Arteta for Arsenal's trip to Fulham who are playing their first game back in the top flight. Luiz is 50/1 with William Hill to see red at Craven Cottage this weekend, a huge price considering Arsenal have had more players sent off in the opening weekend than any other club.

Opening Day Red Card XI

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Luiz could be marking Aleksandar Mitrovic who was booked nine times in Fulham's promotion-winning season. Mitrovic is known for his physical approach to the game and his match-up with Luiz could be an intriguing subplot in this fixture. The Serbian is 40/1 to be sent off this weekend.

Teams will be used to playing in empty stadiums following the Premier League restart in June when 25 goals were netted in the first full round of fixtures, which was two fewer than the opening round of fixtures.

Whatever happens this weekend, football fans are grateful to have their favourite sport back and they will hope that it's their players who are making a name for themselves by becoming the ninth player to score an opening weekend hat-trick rather than join the league's hall of shame by edging the total of red cards closer to 50.


Premier League: Further Opening Weekend Stats

Total Red Cards By Team (48 total):

6 - Arsenal (P Vieira 2000, R Parlour 2001, S Campbell 2003, L Koscielny 2010, Gervinho 2011, L Koscielny 2013)

5 - Charlton (R Rufus 1998, P Konchesky 2002, M Fish 2003, D Ambrose 2005, D Traore 2006)

4 - Blackburn (T Flowers 1995, P Dickov 2005, A Todd 2006, L Neill 2006)

4 - Newcastle (P Srnicek 1994, A Shearer 1999, S Taylor 2013, J Shelvey 2017)

3 - Everton (Li Tie 2003, P Jagielka 2018, M Schneiderlin 2019)

3 - Chelsea (T Courtois 2015, G Cahill 2017, C Fabregas 2017)

2 - Middlesbrough (U Egiogu 2001 & 2005)

2 - Man City (U Rosler 1994, B Corradi 2006)

2 - Liverpool (J Cole 2010, D Agger 2012)

2 - QPR (C Wilson 1994, C Hill 2011)

1 - Sheffield Wednesday (C Palmer 1993)

1 - Man Utd (P Parker 1994)

1 - Wimbledon (D Blackwell 1999)

1 - Coventry (D Thompson 2000)

1 - Southampton (C Lundekvam 2001)

1 - West Brom (D McInnes 2002)

1 - Birmingham (A Cisse 2002)

1 - Aston Villa (G Barry 2003)

1 - Reading (D Kitson 2007)

1 - Sunderland (L Cattermole 2010)

1 - Stoke (D Whitehead 2012)

1 - West Ham (J Collins 2014)

1 - Tottenham (K Naughton 2014)

1 - Crystal Palace (J Puncheon 2014)

1 - Watford (B Watson 2016)

 

Opening Weekend Betting Data:

Both teams to score: Yes - 138 of 272 games (50.7%)

Over 2.5 total goals: Yes - 145 of 272 games (53.3%)

Home wins: 110 (40.4%)

Draws: 75 (27.6%)

Away wins: (32.0%)


Goal Distribution of 753 Scored

Home goals - 399 (53.0%)

Away goals - 354 (47%)

1st half goals - 337 (44.8%)

2nd half goals - 416 (55.2%)

 

Opening Weekend Red Cards:

1992/93 - 0

1993/94 - 1

1994/95 - 4

1995/96 - 0

1996/97 - 0

1997/98 - 0

1998/99 - 1

1999/00 - 2

2000/01 - 2

2001/02 - 3

2002/03 - 3

2003/04 - 4

2004/05 - 0

2005/06 - 3

2006/07 - 4

2007/08 - 1

2008/09 - 0

2009/10 - 0

2010/11 - 3

2011/12 - 2

2012/13 - 2

2013/14 - 2

2014/15 - 3

2015/16 - 1

2016/17 - 1

2017/18 - 2

2018/19 - 1

2019/20 - 1

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