Last year’s opening four fixtures saw many pundits and fans questioning Manuel Pellegrini and the squad, but what can we expect this time around?
It could not be a more difficult test to start with. We welcome Premier League champions Manchester City to London stadium on August 10. Manchester City ran out as 4-0 winners in this fixture last season.
This is followed by a trip to the Amex Stadium as we take on Brighton on August 17. A trip down south to the Seagulls has been difficult for the Hammers of recent times, and suffered defeat last year, losing 1-0.
We then take on Watford at Vicarage Road on August 24 as we look to emulate last season’s success, beating them 4-1 on the final day of the season.
The last of the opening four games is a home clash against newly promoted Norwich City on August 31. Again, this will be a tricky match and we could face some trouble from a youthful, attacking side.
Last season, we lost our opening four games. A 4-0 loss at Anfield, followed by a home defeat to Bournemouth, a 3-1 defeat away at Arsenal and a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves. Conceding 10 goals and only scoring 2 was a very poor start which saw us in the bottom three come the end of the month.
Looking at our opening fixtures, in my opinion, we should take a minimum of nine points, aiming to beat Brighton, Watford and Norwich. On paper, Manchester City should beat us, but with the team we are slowly assembling, we could shock the world and pick up three points.
With the squad we have and with new arrivals coming through the door, we are slowly getting stronger and stronger.
These fixtures look just as difficult this time around and will be interesting to see how we shape up come August 10.
This has the potential to be a special season.
By Caulay Howell (@Caulay__)
[Featured image from whufc.com]