The 2016/17 Premier League Season Preview: M – W


Yesterday saw my predictions for the first 10 teams. I have forecast Guardiola to win the league in his first season but who is going to join Hull and Burnley in the drop? Find out the final doomed team in this preview of the last ten sides. So here you go, Manchester United to West Ham United. Enjoy.

Manchester United

Key Signing – Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Main Man – Wayne Rooney

Surprise Star – Timothy Fosu-Mensah

There has not been a lack of drama at Old Trafford this window. First Jose arrived. Zlatan soon followed. However, the return of Pogba has been the story of the summer and was finally completed for a world record fee. Whilst the Frenchman is fantastic player he is not worth anywhere near £89m. Another problem is where to fit him in, it looks like he will play as a holding midfielder, rather a waste of his talents. It is an exciting time for the Red Devils, although they must bid farewell to those youth products such as Rashford as long as Mourinho is at the helm.

Prediction – 2nd

Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough_crest

Key Signing – Marten de Roon (Atlanta)

Main Man – Stewart Downing

Surprise Star Gaston Ramirez

The Championship runners up are returning to the top flight for the first time in 7 years. They were led magnificently by a returning son in the form of Downing, who started his career at Boro. Manager Marnaka has built a solid foundation over the past 3 years and the North East club should go into the season with a positive outlook. They have signed a dependable midfielder in de Roon and if Ramirez can re-discover his 2012 Olympics form then Middlesborough can be a force in the league.

Prediction – 15th

Southampton

Key Signing – Nathan Redmond (Norwich City)

Main Man – Steven Davis

Surprise Star – Harrison Reed

Another summer. Another re-build. It’s becoming too familiar a routine for the Saints. Koeman, Mane, Wanyama and Pelle have all left. In Puel they have signed a manager with a great record at Nice having guided them into the Europa League places last season. Redmond is also a top acquisition and an underrated player who can become one of the top wingers in the league. I think it will be a similar season as last on the south coast.

Prediction – 10th

Stoke City

Key Signing  Joe Allen (Liverpool)

Main Man – Ryan Shawcross

Surprise Star – Giannelli Imbula

The revolution continues under Mark Hughes who has successfully transformed the style of the Potters. Shaqiri and Arnautović hold the key to taking Stoke to the next level. The signing of Allen provides some class and composure in midfield which will secure Stoke’s mid-table spot. Any improvement on their 9th finish last time is a fantastic result.

Prediction – 9th

Sunderland

Key Signing -Papy Djilobodji (Chelsea)

Main Man – Jermain Defoe

Surprise Star  Duncan Watmore

The Black Cats narrowly avoided relegation once again. The footballing gods have been looking down of them in recent years. This year will be another struggle, especially after losing “Big Sam” to the national team. Only time will tell whether 33 year old Defoe can carry the team. Watmore is an extremely direct and exciting young winger who will have a breakthrough season this year.

Prediction – 18th

Swansea City

Key Signing – Leroy Fer (QPR)

Main Man – Gylfi Sigurðsson

Surprise Star – Nathan Dyer

Once seen as one of the most promising young managers in the game, Garry Monk was sacked as the Swans took a turn for the worse in December last year. Guidolin came in and steadied the ship, finishing a respectable 12th. They have lost one of their star players, Andre Ayew, and their lack of reinforcement may worry fans. I can easily see them being dragged into a relegation battle but feel they’ve got enough to repeat last year’s exploits.

Prediction – 13th

Tottenham Hotspur

Key Signing – Victor Wanyama (Southampton)

Main Man – Christian Eriksen

Surprise Star  Josh Onomah

A season of near misses for Spurs, epitomised by their lack-lustre end of the season and subsequent finish behind Arsenal. However, despite a disappointing culmination to the campaign there were plenty of promises. In Alli and Kane they have the most potent, young partnership in European football. This is supported by an able cast with Pochettino strengthening well. The lilywhites have to challenge for the title otherwise the club will be moving backwards.

Prediction – 5th

Watford

Watford.svg

Key Signing – Juan Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)

Main Man – Troy Deeney

Surprise Star – Jerome Sinclair

The bizarre decision to sack Quique Flores after a fantastic season was followed by a questionable appointment in Walter Mazzarri who has been out of the game for 3 years. In fairness, I was unconvinced by Ranieri’s appointment last year and then look what happened. However, I am not convinced by the Pozzo family’s strategy and am worried for the Hornets. If they give Sinclair game time he will prove to be a fantastic striker although he has the formidable Deeney and Ighalo in front of him.

Prediction – 17th

West Bromwich Albion

Key Signing – Matt Phillips (QPR)

Main Man – Darren Fletcher

Surprise Star – Callum McManaman

Last season was another solid one for the Baggies, they flirted with relegation but were never really in danger. One significant worry is the lack of firepower in the team, Berahino seems to have completely gone off the rails while Rondon only scored 9 league goals last year. Phillips will provide some much-needed pace and could add that extra flair West Brom are missing. This season could be a nervy one.

Prediction – 14th

West Ham United

Key Signing  Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia)

Main Man – Dimitri Payet

Surprise Star  Reece Oxford

Billic was a revelation last year, as was his unorthodox punditry during the Euros. The Hammers have moved into the old Olympic Stadium (now London Stadium) and will look to build some history at their new home. Feghouli will provide some support for the world-class Payet whilst Ayew is a decent signing. I also expect Carroll to play a significant role in the team having performed well during pre-season. Oxford will step up this term.

Prediction – 7th

So here is my final table prediction…

1st Manchester City
2nd Manchester United
3rd Chelsea
4th Arsenal
5th Tottenham Hotspur
6th Liverpool
7th West Ham
8th Leicester City
9th Stoke City
10th Southampton
11th Everton
12th Crystal Palace
13th Swansea City
14th West Bromwich Albion
15th Middlesbrough
16th Bournemouth
17th Watford
18th Sunderland
19th Burnley
20th Hull City

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!

Feel free to comment, rate and like.

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