Yesterday saw my predictions for the first 10 teams. Not happy reading for two of the promoted clubs, Brighton and Huddersfield, but how will last year’s Championship champions fare? And who is going to claim the Premier League title? Find out below.
Key Signing – Ederson (Benfica)
Main Man – Kevin De Bruyne
Surprise Star – Phil Foden
A very disappointing premier campaign for Guardiola – for the first time not managing one of the top three teams in the world. The Spaniard seems to have learnt from his mistakes, investing in a fine young keeper (Ederson) and three attacking full backs (Walker, Mendy and Danilo) to plug some gaping defensive holes. In Jesus they have the finest young striker in the league and he will kick on this term. The fitness of Kompany will make or break their season. Foden has a bright future.
Prediction – 1st
Key Signing – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Main Man – Paul Pogba
Surprise Star – Andreas Pereira
Mourinho had a dreadful first season in Manchester. Only victory in the mighty Europa League saved the ‘Happy One’ from a truly abysmal campaign. However, he has made some significant signings that could turn around a dreary and weary team. Lukaku is the obvious coup but Matic will prove more valuable. Chelsea may rue letting the Serbian enforcer go – he will allow Pogba to flourish.
Prediction – 2nd
Key Signing – Christian Atsu (Chelsea)
Main Man – Matt Ritchie
Surprise Star – Rolando Aarons
The sleeping giants of the North East bounced back into the top tier at the first time of asking. Benitez showed tremendous faith by staying with the Magpies after relegation and seems to have formed a strong bond with the Toon Army. They have a talented team who should fare well in the Premier League with the likes of Ritchie, Atsu and Shelvey providing real creativity from midfield. If Gayle can stay fit he will score plenty of goals. New faces are needed though.
Prediction – 14th
Key Signing – Mario Lemina (Juventus)
Main Man – Manolo Gabbiadini
Surprise Star – Jack Stephens
Another summer. Another re-build. This time it only looks like Van Dijk and manager Puel have departed though. The signing of Lemina is a remarkable one and should really excite Saints fans. He will bring some energy and class to the midfield and will prove one of the bargains of the summer. Gabbiadini started life in Southampton remarkably well when he joined in January and I think he will push on and score some important goals this year.
Prediction – 9th
Key Signing – Darren Fletcher (West Brom)
Main Man – Ryan Shawcross
Surprise Star – Kurt Zouma
Hughes continues to try and revolutionise the Potters. The revolution seems to have stumbled and stuttered though after struggling to a 13th place finish last year. With only Fletcher and the promising Zouma providing Premier League experience amongst the new additions it is going to be a tough season ahead. Shaqiri must step up to the challenge without his partner in crime Arnautović.
Prediction – 16th
Key Signing – Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Main Man – Fernando Llorente
Surprise Star – Tom Carroll
The imminent loss of Sigurðsson will be massive and affect the fortunes of the Welsh club. Abraham and Llorente will be starved of support without the Icelandic playmaker – although the former still has the potential to be a prolific goalscorer. Clement achieved a fantastic turnaround having become the third Swans’ manager of the year in January but will do extremely well to repeat as great an escape.
Prediction – 19th
Key Signing – N/A
Main Man – Harry Kane
Surprise Star – Harry Winks
Another season where the Lilywhites came so close but fell at the final hurdle. Losing Walker to City is not a problem as Trippier is a more than able replacement and will prove a revelation at right back once he returns from injury. Winks has also impressed in pre-season and, with the lack of reinforcements, may get a chance for an extended run in the team. Chairman Levy must bring in new players as soon as possible.
Prediction – 4th
Key Signing – Andre Gray (Burnley)
Main Man – Troy Deeney
Surprise Star – Nathaniel Chalobah
Once again Watford start the new season with another manager. This time they have struck gold however. Marco Silva is a fantastic tactician who did superbly well with a talentless Hull side last year. The Hornets have also brought in some fantastic English talent in Chalobah, Hughes and the prolific (albeit morally questionable) Gray. I think they will do well this year.
Prediction – 12th
West Bromwich Albion
Key Signing – Jay Rodriguez (Southampton)
Main Man – Matt Phillips
Surprise Star – Ahmed Hegazy
The Baggies performed extremely well last year, finishing a respectable 10th. Pulis will look to build again this season and has invested well in the injury-prone Rodriguez who should be able to sharpen their instinct in front of goal. Phillips proved a fantastic assist-machine in his first term in the Midlands and will threaten again. An unremarkable campaign lies ahead.
Prediction – 11th
West Ham United
Key Signing – Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen)
Main Man – Winston Reid
Surprise Star – Andre Ayew
After lighting up the Premier League the season before, Payet proved an unwelcome distraction for Billic a year ago. The Croat will hope for a much smoother start to the campaign this time around. Hernandez is a proven yet underrated goalscorer and is an incredible bargain. Ayew missed most of last season but will provide a fantastic addition to the starting line up, he is going to have a big impact this year.
Prediction – 8th
So here is my final table prediction…
|8th||West Ham United|
|11th||West Bromwich Albion|
So there it is. The 20 teams have been analysed, criticised and, using my crystal football, predicted. Plenty of fresh faces and rugged old ones will battle for our entertainment over the next nine months, may the best team win. Thanks for reading and enjoy the season ahead!
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