A new season of Premier League football is right around the corner and the prospect has got fans around the country incredibly excited.
Superstar new managers and the arrival of the newly-crowned most expensive player in the world do plenty to feed in to the feeling of anticipation ahead of the coming campaign. But for some top-flight teams, the big kick-off isn’t anything to look forward to.
For whatever reason some teams find the first match impossible to win and, no matter what they do or who they face, always struggle to break the curse.
Here, we look at three of the most regular floppers in recent times:
The Newly Promoted Clubs
West Ham were the last promoted side to start their new Premier League campaign with a victory, beating Aston Villa 1-0 in the 2012/13 season.
Since then top-flight newcomers have played six times on the first Saturday of the season, losing four times and drawing twice.
This year, all three Championship escapers are in action. A treble involving Hull, Burnley and Middlesbrough’s opponents – Leicester, Swansea and Stoke respectively – pays around 19/1.
The Baggies’ one win in their last 10 season openers means they have the lowest win rate of any club to feature in at least three top-flight curtain raisers.
Since that solitary win, against Liverpool in the 2012/13 season, the Midlanders have gone three straight campaigns without victory in their first outing. They’ve lost both of the last two.
They open with a trip to Crystal Palace this season, with the hosts 1/1 to inflict more first-time misery on Tony Pulis’ side.
The Gunners have developed into slow starters in the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s tenure.
Just one win has been secured in their last six top-flight debuts, with two losses and three draws recorded in the other five outings.
The Emirates plays host to the biggest game of the first week in 2016/17, with Liverpool coming to town. We make Jurgen Klopp’s men 21/10 to win, with the draw available at 12/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.