The first game of the season brings about the same old clichés; the nerves, the optimism, the new signings trying to make the best first impression, the managers pretending not to pay attention to the great sack race, the list goes on and on.
But what does the first game of the season mean? Well, if you’re a Leicester fan it should mean a lot…
1993/94 – Leicester City 2-1 Peterborough Utd (Promoted)
1994/95 – Leicester City 1-3 Newcastle Utd (Relegated)
1995/96 – Sunderland 1-2 Leicester City (Promoted)
1996/97 – Sunderland 0-0 Leicester City
1997/98 – Leicester City 1-0 Aston Villa
1998/99 – Manchester Utd 2-2 Leicester City
1999/00 – Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City
2000/01 – Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa
2001/02 – Leicester City 0-5 Bolton Wanderers (Relegated)
2002/03 – Leicester City 2-0 Watford (Promoted)
2003/04 – Leicester City 2-2 Southampton (Relegated)
2004/05 – Leicester City 0-0 Wet Ham
2005/06 – Sheffield Utd 4-1 Leicester City
2006/07 – Luton Town 2-0 Leicester City
2007/08 – Leicester City 0-1 Blackpool (Relegated)
2008/09 – Leicester City 2-0 MK Dons (Promoted)
At the start of last season I made the point that Leicester City’s start to the season has always had a big impact on the rest of the campaign. But looking at those scorelines you can make the case even simpler. In each season that Leicester have competed outside the Premier League since 1993/94 and won on the opening day they have gone on to win promotion. Just saying…
On the face of it, Swansea could be heading for a tough second season in the Championship. The loss of manager Roberto Martinez to Wigan is a huge blow, as is the Jason Scotland sized hole in the Swans strike force. Jordi Gomez has also followed Matinez to Lancashire, leaving Swansea without strikers who between them accounted for 33 of their 63 league goals. Stephen Dobbie has been drafted in from Queen of the South, but he remains unproven at this level. 47 goals in 74 starts for The Doonhamers is one thing, 20 goals in the Championship is quite another.
Meanwhile manager Paulo Sousa hardly set the Championship on fire with his short spell at QPR last season. That being said, we might find out if he truly is a capable boss this season if rumours of boardroom sting pulling at Loftus Road are true.
Swansea’s 2008/09 season was remarkable for a club record eight consecutive draws, the start of a 13 match undefeated sequence which proved if nothing else that the Swans are difficult to break down. Don’t expect a goal festival.
Leicester haven’t failed to progress to the second round of the League Cup since 1979. Rotherham, conquerors of City in the JPT last season, were the undoing of the Foxes that season. You’ll get pretty long odds on the Silkmen stopping Nigel Pearson’s men. Amazingly Macclesfield’s biggest ever League win is just 3-0.
On This Day – 8th August
City’s miserable start to the 2006/07 campaign continued with a 1-0 home defeat to Burnley. Andy Gray’s header from seven yards was enough to preserve Burnley’s perfect start and continue Leicester’s pointless one. It is the only competitive game Leicester have ever played on the 8th August.