Predictions can make you look like you really know what you’re talking about. More often, they make you look like a complete idiot and, if anything, that’s more fun.
I think this season is harder to predict than last year, and seeing as I had Everton in 7th last year, expect little and be prepared to settle for less.
20th – Bournemouth
Bournemouth’s squad doesn’t look great from the outside – but the noises from inside the club are the reason I have them dead last. Scott Parker has proven himself to be a better manager than I used to think he was, but I certainly don’t think he is good enough to keep their current squad up. By the sounds of it, neither does he, describing it as a “big ask” to compete in the Premier League with a squad that “is lacking in a lot of areas.”
19th – Fulham
We have seen Fulham get promoted and look good doing so previously, and they didn’t kick on enough to stay up. They have brought in a couple of good players but I don’t think the squad has enough. The thing that could easily change this is if Aleksandar Mitrovic is able to finally click in the Premier League – last season he scored 43 goals in 44 matches – he manages close to half of that and it will probably keep them up.
18th – Southampton
Southampton could go either way (genuinely wouldn’t be shocked at anything from 11th-20th). I have always liked Ralph Hasenhuttl but there is no denying that in the last couple of seasons Southampton have produced some dreadful form at times – just having good enough runs early in the season to prevent relegation. This summer they have signed Gavin Bazunu (GK, 20), Sekou Mara (FWD, 19), Romeo Lavia (DM, 18), & Armel Bella-Kotchap (CB, 20). I don’t know Kotchap, but the others all have really good reputations and are exciting signings. Right now it is impossible to know if this investment in youth will pay off immediately. I think Joe Aribo is a good signing from Rangers, but he is another signing that isn’t guaranteed to hit the ground running.
17th – Brentford
Second half of the season Brentford didn’t look as good, although they still produced some good performances. I think they will miss Christian Eriksen’s creativity. Keane Lewis-Potter is very highly rated, but I haven’t watched enough to be fully confident that he can be a difference maker. Aaron Hickey is a good signing and I am jealous that Leeds didn’t get him. I think Brentford over-performed last season and will drop a bit, but they will narrowly avoid the drop – a bit like Leeds last season, but with fewer absolute hammerings.
Brentford are having one of the most underrated Transfer Windows this summer: Keane Lewis-Potter, Aaron Hickey, Thomas Strakosha, Ben Mee, Mads Bidstrup and probably Mikkel Damsgaard too.
They’ll lift the quality of the squad and help them stay in the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/6j8SfBnL8S
— Reyi (@Reinaldodcg9) August 4, 2022
16th – Everton
Please let me be wrong and Everton go down. They were poor last season and have since lost Richarlison. Dwight McNeil is a good player but he wasn’t at his best last season, James Tarkowski is a solid addition but no better than that for me. Ruben Vinagre is a left-back, so even a Leeds fan I can barely comment. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is struggling with injury again, which could give Patrick Bamford a chance if he starts the season well.
I have no issue with Everton. I don’t like Frank Lampard, and I don’t rate him as a manager. Everton start badly, sack Lampard, and improve to stay up.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin ruled out for a month on the eve of the new season, not what Everton needed. #LUFC welcome Frank Lampard’s lot to Elland Road on August 30.
— Joe Donnohue (@JoeDonnohue) August 3, 2022
15th – Leeds United
Pre-season has talked me out of my initial prediction that we would get relegated. The team are now playing in a way that looks like a Jesse Marsch team, unlike last season where the plan was hard to distinguish and we were ultra reliant on individual moments. Add to that losing our best “moments player” Raphinha and our main central player in Kalvin Phillips, and there was ample reason to be worried.
Patrick Bamford looking sharp against Cagliari helps, if he can stay fit all season our attack will be miles better. I like what I have seen from the new signings (barring Sinisterra for obvious reasons) and I now think we will be ok. We have a nice start to the fixture list this year and I really think we have to get points on the board early.
14th – Wolves
Wolves fans are worried. The squad is similar to last season and there were times when it didn’t look great, but I think they remain good enough defensively to avoid the worst trouble. However, pre-season indicates that Wolves are moving to a back four, which has gone badly for them in the recent past. The injury to Raul Jimenez at the start of the season won’t help either.
13th – Leicester City
Last season Leicester finished eighth, but they played worse than that at a lot of times. The squad looks to be coming to the end of a cycle and that is often hard to stop. Kasper Schmeichel has left to join Nice, which no one expected, and it is still expected that Youri Tielemans will leave. Newcastle seem to really want James Maddison and have the money to do it. Plus, no incomings, although you would expect that after players leave. I think the squad is too good to get really dragged into the mire, but I don’t think they will be good this season.
12th – Nottingham Forest
Don’t like Nottingham Forest. Never have.
Signed good players and have an excellent coach, adding Morgan Gibbs-White also looks likely and would also help. One promoted team always does well and I think they are the ones this year. A lot of squad churn could be a concern, but I would be surprised if they are in relegation trouble at the end of the season – I would like to be surprised on this occasion.
11th – Crystal Palace
Cheick Doucoure should be a good signing who settles quickly. Sam Johnstone is a solid goalkeeper. Malcolm Ebowei looks like the type of talent Palace fans love, and Chris Richards I don’t know enough about. 12th last season, similar to this.
10th – Brighton and Hove Albion
Even with every year, I think they are light up front. Deniz Undav could get a chance to prove himself having scored goals for Union Saint-Gilloise but I think the step up will be too much for him. The loss of Bissouma is a big blow to say, but I still think the midfield is alright. The interesting thing for me is if any of the youngsters break through. Julio Enciso is an interesting signing but unlikely to be ready yet. Kacper Kozlowski is still only 18 and has been in the Poland senior setup for over a year, with the World Cup coming up he will want to start, and even he hasn’t gone on loan I think he will get his chance. Also, I really like Graham Potter.
9th – Aston Villa
Very similar to last season’s squad. Diego Carlos is a good CB but may need time to adjust. Carney Chukwuemeka out, big loss for the future but not for right now. The big signing that I think moves them up slightly is Boubacar Kamara on a free, he improves the midfield and they shouldn’t have the poor start they had last season so will finish higher than last season’s 14th.
8th – Newcastle United
Finished the season really well last season. Added Sven Botman and Nick Pope, made Matt Targett permanent. All good signings. Lost nothing important. If no-one else comes in, they are about 11/12th, but more will come in.
If they sign Jack Harrison, this prediction becomes 15th out of spite.
7th – West Ham
Should have got in the top 6 last season but the focus on the European campaign caused issues, plus some really badly timed poor performances. Needed a striker and all reports are Gianluca Scamacca should be a good one. Nayef Aguerd costs a lot of money but doesn’t seem like an enormous upgrade. Sounds like they will get at least one of Filip Kostic or Maxwel Cornet, and Flynn Downes should be an upgrade on the retiring Mark Noble.
6th – Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte stays the season, they might do better, but I feel like it will go wrong. No good evidence for this opinion. Conte is a great manager, Spurs have great players, just a gut feeling it doesn’t work this season.
With the squad they have, this is the lowest I could possibly go.
5th – Manchester United
In Erik Ten Hag they finally have a top-level coach after years of poor/short-term appointments. I think in the 23/24 season they will unfortunately be a threat again. However, this year will only be half the necessary rebuild. They will produce some big performances and there will be a million pieces saying “they’re back”, they will lose to a bottom-half side and there will be a million “Ten Hag is a fraud” pieces.
Marcus Rashford goal for Manchester United vs Crystal Palace.
Donny van de Beek with the assist. Martial and Sancho involved
The build up! Beautiful team goal
Erik ten Hag is here!pic.twitter.com/QkUZ5xtLEo
— Lij (@ElijahKyama) July 19, 2022
4th – Chelsea
Excellent squad, but Thomas Tuchel doesn’t seem happy and when a manager is speaking to the media in the way he is it is hard to ignore. Romelu Lukaku has left, but that wasn’t working anyway. Rudiger and Christensen are really good centre-backs to lose, but Kalidou Koulibaly is a pretty good replacement. Raheem Sterling is a proven top-level player and is as close to a can’t miss signing as you could make.
3rd – Arsenal
I think this is the year it clicks. Of the players to leave, only Alexandre Lacazette and Nuno Tavares played a lot last season and neither played particularly well. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko should both be excellent signings. Fabio Vieira is very highly rated but is one that is not guaranteed to work. William Saliba is back from his loan and should finally get his chance, improving the defense.
2nd – Liverpool
Lost a few players, and will miss Sadio Mane. Calvin Ramsey and Fabio Carvalho are good youngsters. Darwin Nunez is the major question. He isn’t likely to be a complete failure, but strikers often take some time to adjust to the Premier League. Great side, but not as good as…
1st – Manchester City
I know, shocking. The best team in the world for my money so I can’t go for anyone else. They have lost a bit of squad depth in Zinchenko, and Sterling. Kalvin Phillips replacing Fernandinho makes all the sense in the world. Jesus being replaced by Julian Alvarez may not be an upgrade now, but could well be in a couple of years. Oh, and they have also signed Erling Haaland which I find hard to envision not going well, the only risk is that he is prone to injuries. They won’t absolutely walk it, but I think they will win it by 5+ points.