Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Slightly more detailed first impressions of the 2009-10 Premier League fixture list

(Editor's note: Scroll down for more fixture list 2009-10 news not covered here. This one is basically how things start and how they end, with a key point or two thrown in.)

After looking at things a bit, there's some stretches that jump out at my Liverpool fandom. First up is the opportunity for a flying start. (I'll get to Arsenal in a bit as Colin is sleeping like a normal person while I stay up after work for these sorts of things.)

NOTE: There's no dates and times included because, obviously, TV rules all over this stuff and things can change/get postponed. Hey, the list came out 30 minutes ago.

Here's the first seven before Liverpool heads to Chelsea:
– @ Spurs
– Stoke City
– Aston Villa
– @ Bolton
– Burnley
– @ West Ham
– Hull City

The pessimist or Liverpool detractor would point out the two 0-0 with Stoke last year and, of course, Burnley's infamous FA Cup victory at Anfield a couple years back. Sure, but I'll take my chances with this start.

The Merseyside derbies are 28 Nov. (Goodison) and 6 Feb. (Anfield). The second one is interesting in that, as the schedule now stands, Liverpool is slated to play at the Emirates on 9 Feb. in the second of this season's Match Pricks derbies. That's an intense four days.

OK, the run-in, which we all love to think about:
20 March – @ United
27 March – Sunderland
3 April – @ Birmingham City
10 April – Fulham
17 April – West Ham
24 April – @ Burnley
1 May – Chelsea
9 May – @ Hull City

I included the dates here because toward the end of the season, the fixtures are generally less clogged with competing competitions. Like last year, that March date at Old Trafford looms large. I'm talking 4-1 kind of large. Too far away to think too hard about it. Chelsea on the season's penultimate weekend is too much to comprehend right now, either. Fun to think about, though.

OK, on to Arsenal, though not as in depth as Colin's the better voice on that particular subject.

Arsenal's start:
– @ Everton
– Portsmouth
– @ United (Such fun to see the early biggie on the list)
– @ Manchester City
– Wigan Athletic
– @ Fulham
– Blackburn
– Birmingham City
– @ West Ham
– Spurs

Some away challenges there to start, but my first thought is it gives Arsenal an excellent chance to get tricky ones out of the way and really lay a quick punch on United.

Here's the Arsenal gauntlet for 2009-10, though:
– 27 Jan. @ Aston Villa
– 30 Jan. United
– 6 Feb. @ Chelsea
– 9 Feb. Liverpool

I included the dates there mostly for effect, because at that time of the year, fixtures are getting postponed all over the place with the Carling Cup wrapping up, the FA Cup kicking up and all sorts of other stuff. But if it goes off as set, what a crazy two weeks for Arsenal supporters.

Arsenal's run-in:
– 3 April Wolves
– 10 April @ Spurs
– 17 April @ Wigan Athletic
– 24 April Manchester City
– 1 May @ Blackburn
– 9 May Fulham

Ahem ... well, that's not exactly a set any title-chasing side would overly stress about when considering. Where will Arsenal be in the table when they wake up April 3, 2010?

OK, all good stuff. We're less than two months away. Can't wait.

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