Despite the fixtures for next season only just coming out, James McArthur is already counting down the days until the Eagles' opener against Norwich City on 8th August.
The Scottish international has featured twice for his country since the end of the season but admits he can't wait to be back amongst the thick of the action in the Premier League again after the 2015/16 schedule was released this morning, and is pleased with the opening day trip to Norfolk to meet last season's Championship play-off winners.
“I'm really looking forward to the first one,” McArthur admitted. “That's the one all the boys will be looking forward to and get back playing again.
“There's no better feeling than winning your first match. You always keep an eye on when the fixtures come out. It's a good first game for us to go to Norwich but it'll be tough as they'll be full of enthusiasm to try and impress and do well.
“They'll have a little bit of momentum as well from last year but we've got that as well so it's a good game for us.”
When pressed to see if he studies the whole list to look for little runs and trends, the midfielder suggests that not too much can be garnered from the 38-game schedule as due to its unpredictability the top-flight can't be evaluated too far down the line.
“In the Premier League you're going to get runs of games where you think you'll pick up points but you don't get any, and then you have others where you think you won't pick up many and you get lots,” McArthur continued.
“The Premier League is so tough and you need to play well in every match to win but we've got players that can win any game.”
The former Wigan Athletic man has played for his country over the past few weeks, beating Qatar before coming on a substitute against the Republic of Ireland, and despite earning a well-deserved break before pre-season commences in July, he admits that he would have liked to play even more minutes for Scotland.
“The internationals have gone well, we've got a decent point against Ireland and picking up another two caps was very pleasing for myself. I would have liked to have played more minutes but I'll take it.”