After a seemingly endless offseason (not for some players), finally it is time to welcome back what we’ve all been waiting for. With the transfer window slamming shut, we can settle in and enjoy a 38-week season uninterrupted by pesky winter breaks (sorry, Jurgen). Storylines abound, we can expect another exciting (and now VAR filled) season from one of the most hotly contested and exciting leagues in the world. So who will finish top and who will flop? Below we will predict the position of all 20 teams and tell you why they are where they are.
- Manchester City
City will likely win an incredibly rare third league title on the bounce unless Liverpool have an absolutely stellar season. The transfer windows of both clubs point to the champions reigning at the top of the league again. City strengthened in key areas with the arrivals of record-signing Rodri from Atletico and outside back Cancelo from Juventus who will slot straight into the first-team picture and provide depth and balance. Also, don’t forget about Scott Carson on loan from Derby who is going to absolutely light it up between the sticks this season (in training). Raheem Sterling, Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne (if he can stay fit), Aymeric Laporte, and Bernardo Silva will provide the spine for Pep’s champions. He’ll be hoping that players like Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden, who he recently hailed as “the most talented player I have ever seen”, can develop into stars as the season goes on. Foden’s got bags of potential, but that praise might be a little high. Like seriously mate you’ve coached Messi, the GOAT. All signs point to Man City eclipsing Liverpool and the rest of the league. Put your house on it.
This summer was Liverpool’s chance to capitalize on a terrific season, winning the Champions League, and sign some world class players. Another thing that separates City from Liverpool is the amount of depth they have in their squad. Liverpool didn’t manage to add depth or make any world-class signings. Unless 16-year-old Harvey Elliot can chip in with a few goals after he finishes his schoolwork, then Liverpool could be left ruing an inactive summer. However, Liverpool will be boosted by the returns of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, and a rejuvenated Divock Origi who looks like a new player after his prolific champions league campaign last season. It’ll surely be a close race, but Man City will pip it at the end.
Unlike Liverpool, Spurs were very active this summer, making some absolutely scrumptious signings in Real Betis’ Lo Celso and Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon on deadline day. Ndombele from Lyon is a shrewd signing and will provide balance in midfield. Spurs have quality, depth, and showed that they can persevere through a long season after impressive league and Champions League campaigns last season. I predict Son to have a massive season. Harry Kane’s performances in interviews and the social media backlash afterwards could be the biggest disappointment of their season if they play to full potential.
Classic Arsenal in fourth again. Fans will be overly optimistic as always after signing Nicolas Pepe and the potential for an absolutely scintillating attack. It will be neck and neck between them, Spurs and United for two top-4 spots. Much of their season will depend on who plays and performs at center back with Rob Holding and Callum Chambers coming through the fold. A mistake laden partnership of Mustafi and David Luiz is the stuff of nightmares, so they’ll be relying on Sokratis to partner with in the back. Arsenal will score plenty and concede plenty as they look to capture the records of most goals scored and conceded in a Premier League season. Rumors of Mesut Ozil to the MLS persist, but that would be quite a shock for him to leave at this point. He’ll have an exciting signing of Ceballos under his wing this year and I’d bank on the Arsenal securing top four.
5. Manchester United
It will be interesting to see how United fare this season. Despite securing young English defenders in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, there is still some unrest at the club with Pogba still pushing for a move to Real Madrid. Ole will be under massive pressure. If Maguire and Wan-Bissaka can settle into the defense and Rashford and Martial can provide the goals up front, then United could be a surprise package. However, I think they’ll stumble and won’t be able to match the pace of Arsenal and Spurs.
What are predictions without a little risk? Everton have a great squad and they invested heavily in the summer. I was picking between Everton, Leicester, and Wolves to pip Chelsea to sixth and out of the three Everton probably have the strongest and deepest squad. Wolves also have the Europa League to distract them. Expect Moise Kean to make a big impact, Gylfi Sigurdsson to make some noise, and a rock solid defense of Digne, Keane, Mina, Coleman, and Pickford to propel Marco Silva’s squad to sixth.
Admittedly, I’ve done these predictions after Chelsea’s 4-nil thrashing at Old Trafford. That just reaffirmed their candidacy to finish outside of the top 6. It’ll be a rebuilding year for them after the departure of Hazard and a change of management. The sentimental value of Frank Lampard as manager won’t get them results by itself. You would hate to see him get sacked before the end of the season, but I fear for him if they’re not right in and around the top four for the duration of the season. However, Chelsea have some very promising young players in Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and of course, Captain America, Christian Pulisic. Would love to see Chelsea have a decent year (which hurts me to say because fuck Chelsea), but they’re a little bit too young, inexperienced, and thin to make a real run at the top four.
Wolves are a fantastic team coming off of a fantastic season, but unfortunately, I think that they’ll get tripped up by a packed schedule and finish slightly off of the top 6. They signed well this summer by getting Cutrone and Vallejo. I would say that finishing eighth would be a disappointing season for them and I could see Nuno looking to move on to a bigger club if they underperform in the league. This team has bags of potential though and they could replace Everton at sixth if they can perform week-in-week-out.
9. Leicester City
Leicester are another young and exciting team with a great manager as well in Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers is a confident manager who sets his team up to be compact and punish teams on the counter. Leicester won’t be completing another miracle, but a tasty front group of Perez, Vardy, Maddison, and Tielemans could devastate teams. Losing Harry Maguire hurts, but this squad is firmly a top-half side.
10. West Ham
I love the signings of Fornals and Haller. Under an experienced manager like Pelligrini, and with returning star Manuel Lanzini, West Ham are a good side. Too bad they have to play in that shite-hole track and field stadium.
This could be Eddie Howe’s year to put together a full consistent season. Bournemouth have some really exciting young players in Brooks, Fraser, and Ake. They have consistent goal poachers in Callum Wilson and Josh King. They also have a relatively easy start to the schedule which will boost confidence and get the little Vitality Stadium rocking.
Most would have Watford higher on this list, but I think they’ll have an off year after being en fuego last term. They’ll rely heavily on Delufeu, Deeney, and Gray. Their kit is ugly. And what’s a moose doing on the badge? Bottom half.
Ralph Hasenhuttl did an exceptional job of steering the Saints back on track when he took over last season. Che Adams is a great signing and Nathan Redmond is playing some of his best football at the moment. Expect Southampton to take some big scalps this season.
Will be quietly comfortable this season with Sean Dyche’s hard to break down style. They kept ahold of center back Tarkowski, which was massive and Ashley Barnes is lowkey one of the most underrated forwards in the league. Jay Rodriguez and Chris Wood add more firepower. Burnley’s impressive run of staying in the league without spending much money continues!
15. Aston Villa
Aston Villa spent £144.5m in the summer transfer window on 12 different players. They are certainly showing intent having spent the second most in the league, just behind Manchester United at £148m. Many are labelling Aston Villa as the next Fulham after the London club spent upwards of £100m the summer after promotion and went on to concede 81 goals and fall back into the second division last season. Villa manager Dean Smith claims that they are not the next Fulham and are fully concentrated on themselves. While Villa have spent lots of money, they have kept the spine of their team together and added only where needed. Villa have some very good players in McGinn and Grealish and I think they’ll have enough quality to stay up.
Norwich have a Finnish king who has a lethal finish. Teemu Pukki’s goals won’t be enough to keep them up alone. They are sticking with the group that dominated the Championship last season and have a solid group even after only spending a meager £1.1m.
Everyone was left scratching their heads after Brighton sacked Chris Hughton. Brighton have gotten off to a hot start though with an impressive 3-0 win away at Watford. They signed well in Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster, Aaron Mooy, and Neal Maupay. I think they’ll have just enough quality to stay up.
Newcastle are in disarray after the departure of Rafa Benitez. Fans are upset that Steve Bruce has been appointed as he formerly managed local rivals, Sunderland. Mike Ashley is a virus for the club and there needs to be full-scale changes if the toon are going to return to their former glory days. Miguel Almiron and Joelinton have a lot to prove and need to be firing on all cylinders if they are going to stay up.
19. Crystal Palace
Old Woy Hodgson is coming to the end of his reign unfortunately. His best player, Zaha, doesn’t want to be there and they lost their talisman to Manchester United. Palace could prove me wrong but I think they’re in trouble.
20. Sheffield United
I would love to see Sheffield United stay up. Chris Wilder is a passionate manager and they have some club legends like Billy Sharp in the side. Sheffield has been executing some interesting tactics in the opening weeks with overlapping center backs and it seems to be working so far. They have a Championship squad though, and that’s where they’ll be come next season.