It’s been strange summer of spending as Premier League clubs have parted with disgusting amounts of money for players with exotic names like Richarlison, Haksabanovic and…Walker. All teams have strengthened wildly in recent weeks but who has plugged their holes and who has seen their players jumping ship? Find out in this preview of the season ahead, starting with the teams from A-L.
Key Signing – Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)
Main Man – Alexi Sanchez
Surprise Star – Alex Iwobi
Another campaign that promised so much, and delivered so little. An FA Cup win did little to dispel the calls for Wenger’s head, yet the 67 year old has clung on once again. The Gunners finally signed the prolific Lacazette after flirting with the transfer for most of the past decade. Whether he can perform at a higher level is yet to be seen but the statistics are on his side. Kolašinac will provide a fantastic option down the left flank. Another season missing out on Europe’s elite appears destined.
Prediction – 6th
Key Signing – Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
Main Man – Steve Cook
Surprise Star – Lys Mousset
Another outstanding season for the Cherries in which they finished a remarkable 9th, level on points with Southampton. Eddie Howe continues to be the finest English manager in the league and has brought in some fantastic players. Defoe will provide goals whilst Ake and Begovic will help shore up a rocky defence. Their summer business shows they’re here to stay. Another solid season ahead.
Prediction – 10th
Brighton & Hove Albion
Key Signing – Pascal Groß (FC Ingolstadt 04)
Main Man – Anthony Knockaert
Surprise Star – Izzy Brown
Rescued from the depths of the football league in 1999 the Seagulls represent another fairy tale return to the top of English football’s pyramid. They threw away the Championship title last year and cannot afford such drops in form this season. Knockaert represents a potent attacking force from midfield who should provide his fair share of goals and assists. The pair that arrived from FC Ingolstadt 04 (Groß and Suttner) are very handy players and I can see Murray scoring plenty of goals, but it’s going to be a struggle for Hughton’s men.
Prediction – 18th
Key Signing – Charlie Taylor (Leeds United)
Main Man – Andre Gray
Surprise Star – Robbie Brady
Sean Dyche is another English manager that is working wonders with the resources given to him. They managed to avoid the drop but a lack of investment may cost them dearly. In Walters, Cork and Bardsley they’ve signed some dependable if not inspiring journeyman. Taylor is going to be a quality player in the future but the Clarets need to focus on the present.
Prediction – 17th
Key Signing – Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)
Main Man – Eden Hazard
Surprise Star – Charly Musonda
Last year the Blues catapulted themselves to the title, including a mesmerising run of 13 consecutive wins. Conte proved himself a tactical trendsetter with 3-4-3 becoming the the fashionable formation of the year. After a slow start in the transfer window Chelsea splurged some serious cash on some excellent signings. Bakayoko will dominate the league once he returns from a knee injury. Back to back titles are a thing of the past but they have the players to do it.
Prediction – 3rd
Key Signing – Jaïro Riedewald (Ajax)
Main Man – Christian Benteke
Surprise Star – Luka Milivojević
Another year. Another manager. De Boer has a mixed track record and the lack of new faces in South London should worry Palace fans. I can see them being dragged into the relegation spots early on. They need their Belgian belter to bang the goals in if they are going to stand a chance of escaping the drop. Zaha will need to shake off his consistent inconsistency.
Prediction – 15th
Key Signing – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Main Man – Ashley Williams
Surprise Star – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The prodigal son returns. ‘Wazza’ has made the right choice in leaving the big pond to become a big fish. It will be interesting to see where Koeman plays the England all-time top scorer, especially having also signed the extremely promising Sandro. The Dutch manager is starting to assemble a fine team despite the loss of Lukaku and his goals. They have not reached the elite level yet but this season will be another stepping stone.
Prediction – 7th
Key Signing – Elias Kachunga (FC Ingolstadt 04)
Main Man – Aaron Mooey
Surprise Star – Kasey Palmer
A dramatic penalty shootout confirmed the Terriers’ place in the top flight, returning to the top tier after nearly a 50 year absence. Wagner was quick to secure Mooey on a permanent basis after impressing on loan last year. Palmer, another member of the Chelsea loanee army, has the potential to impress. It’s going to be a tough season especially considering their lack of attacking threat. They better enjoy their only season in the top flight.
Prediction – 20th
Key Signing – Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)
Main Man – Jamie Vardy
Surprise Star – Ben Chilwell
Last year was a tragedy for the Foxes, but all’s well that ends well as Shakespeare managed to guide them away from the bottom of the table. Iheanacho and Maguire are great young players but inexperienced in fighting off the drop. The former has the potential to score 15+ goals but this depends on the form of the creative forces behind him, the uncertain future of the maverick Mahrez will need to be resolved sharpish.
Prediction – 13th
Key Signing – Mo Salah (AS Roma)
Main Man – Philippe Coutinho
Surprise Star – Ben Woodburn
Klopp is starting to assemble an incredible attacking force. Salah will take the league by storm having been unfairly dismissed by Chelsea last year. The future of Coutinho is pivotal although there is a plethora of attacking talent on Merseyside. Losing the Brazilian for a record-breaking fee would not be the end of the world. More concerning is the lack of reinforcement at the back – that is where the team will falter.
Prediction – 5th
So, the first half is predicted. This is how it looks so far…
Disagree? Feel free to comment, rate and like.
Tune in tomorrow for the final 10 teams and see who is going to be taking home the title.