Bournemouth rivaling Liverpool for the Premier League lead in August? Everton in September?
The Premier League schedule makers set some clubs up for potentially hot starts, as some non-traditional Top Four candidates look to mirror Watford’s fun beginning to the 2018-19 campaign.
[ MORE: Full PL schedule ]
We already laid out that Liverpool was blessed with its first four matches, and — sorry for the Merseyside jinx — Everton is in even better shape.
The Toffees will not meet a Top Six sided from last season until late September.
A visit from Watford is next before a trip to Villa Park to meet new boys Villa. A tricky Wolves head to Goodison Park next, followed by Bournemouth away and Sheffield United at home.
When Everton hosts Man City on Sept. 28, could it be for Top Four positioning? Over to you, Marco Silva.
Bournemouth, as we mentioned, is fortunate to draw two newly-promoted clubs at the start of its season. The Cherries host Sheffield United on Aug. 10 before visiting what’s sure to be an electric Villa Park a week later. Man City, Leicester City, and Everton follow, so… it gets tougher!
One side note: Few are expecting a ton from Brighton and Hove Albion this season, but new manager and reputed tactical wizard Graham Potter may be looking at August as his opportunity to make a top-flight splash.
The Seagulls open at Watford, no easy feat but doable, before hosting West Ham United and Southampton. Not one of those matches is simple and Brighton will likely be expected to sit 0-2 before Saints visit the Amex Stadium… but consider this forewarning of a very dark horse.