With the schedule for next season now published, Drew picks out the tastiest of the 38.
It’s up there with Christmas – and it seems to come around faster and faster every year. Yes, our fixture list computer overlords have delivered once again, and we now know how the 2023/24 season will look – well, that’s before Sky Sports and
BT TNT Sports get their selfish, grubby, Sunday lunchtime-kick-off-loving hands all over them.
Assuming these stay even remotely as advertised, here are what I think’ll be the dates you’ll not want to miss.
1. Chelsea (A) – Saturday 13 January 2024, 3pm
I mean, we have to start with those lot, don’t we?
We ended nearly 17 years of hurt last term – and that’s great – we’ll never forget that night at the Cottage. But it’d be really great if we could get one over on Chelsea on their own patch. It would show that last season’s four points wasn’t a one-off, and that we are determined to have a bit more of our neighbour’s number in the next few years. Inferior siblings no more, etc.
2. Brentford (A) – Saturday 4 May 2024, 3pm
Ctrl C + ctrl P. That last-minute Mitro goal against the Bees in the sun was one of last season’s defining moments. But contrastingly, that dismal, rainy Monday night at legoland was a real low point. To be able to right that wrong would make wandering through the maze of car dealerships and looming motorway bridges a bit more palatable.
3. Manchester City (H) – Saturday 11 May 2024, 3pm
One of the things missing from last season was a proper headline-grabbing scalp. And who better for it to come against – and at what better location?
We ran City so close home and away last term; the way Marco sets up is enough to match Pep’s super-humans, so why can’t we dream? They will probably have the league wrapped up by then anyway. And then we could all hit the town, Jack Grealish style.
4. West Ham United (H) – Saturday 9 December 2023, 3pm
What? Why? I hear you ask.
The Hammers were pony last season. And I don’t mean their old kit manufacturer. And yet, they took six points off us. Fuming.
Then there’s their Europa Conference League win, which sparked an envy in me I didn’t know I had. I wanted that European night. That parade. That glory! So, to put the ‘Ammers back in their place would be satisfying, particularly if it propelled us into the top seven.
5. Brighton and Hove Albion (A) – Saturday 28 October 2024, 3pm
Most people have a weekend in Newcastle as their go-to away game of the campaign, but hear me out.
This was one of last season’s best moments, on the pitch – and Brighton’s also got all you need for a great weekend away. The sea, a great music scene, a Popworld. Forget the packed train to Falmer – once you’ve whacked your bags in an Airbnb, head out on the town, hopefully buoyed by another three points.
Here are the 2023/24 fixtures in full: