Aug 19, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​bet365 Stadium
Attendance: 29,459
StokeStoke City
1-0
Arsenal
Rodriguez (47')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Mark Hughes questions Stoke City's fixture schedule

Hughes questions Stoke's fixture schedule
© Getty Images
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes suggests that the Potters always receive tough starts to the Premier League season.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has claimed that the Potters always receive a tougher start to the Premier League than other clubs in the top flight.

Last weekend, Stoke began the campaign with a 1-0 defeat away at Everton, while they host Arsenal on Saturday evening as they look to avoid suffering consecutive setbacks.

The Staffordshire outfit must also play Manchester United and Chelsea in their opening six fixtures, and Hughes has gone on record in querying how the fixture list is compiled.

The 53-year-old told reporters: "Arsenal are a good side who always look like they can create and take chances.

"We always have difficult starts and that is how it's been since we've been in the Premier League. Other teams have it at different times."

In comparison, Stoke faced Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in their first seven games last season.

At the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign, Stoke were paired with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal during their opening five contests.

Mark Hughes watches on during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Stoke City on May 6, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City98103242825
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd96212241820
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs96211961320
4Chelsea95131710716
5Arsenal95131712516
6Watford94321517-215
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9423108214
8Burnley934289-113
9Liverpool93421416-213
10Southampton933389-112
11Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9333710-312
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9243710-310
14Leicester CityLeicester92341214-29
15Swansea CitySwansea9225610-48
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
17Stoke CityStoke92251020-108
18Everton9225718-118
19Bournemouth9216613-77
20Crystal Palace9108219-173