I am more than excited that the Premier league season returns in 2 weeks times. With the big 4 teams spending huge amounts during the transfer window, the television money now involved within the game is enabling even the promoted teams to go out and spend big. This means the 2017/2018 season could be one of the most exciting and unpredictable ever.
Like every fan at the start of the season I like to predict how the table will look after the last games have been played. Based on a few factors like this summers transfers and the strengths and weaknesses of the teams involved, here is my final league table prediction.
Personally I feel Manchester City will run away with the title this year. Pep is an excellent manager and I think the squad of players he had last season were just not good enough. City scored goals for fun last season, but the defence and dodgy Bravo really cost them picking up points in games that would have allowed City to challenge Chelsea for the title. Pep has identified this and has spent £250 million on new players that fit his system. I don’t think Walker is an excellent footballer, but he is an excellent athlete and with him running down the wings he’s dangerous on the attack and fast enough to cover the counter. Danilo and Mendy are top signings as Danilo can play RB, CB, CDM and CM whilst Mendy reminds me of Micah Richards on steroids. Buying another keeper is another risk for Pep but to be honest he can’t be worse than Bravo. With the signing of Silva, Pep has created two teams of 11 who should be challenging for every trophy next season. If City do not win the Premier League or Champions League (the later not as likely) then Pep has failed and will be in serious trouble of being sacked.
As a United fan, I would love to say we are going to win the quadruple, but we aren’t. Last season pundits said it would be a battle between United and City for the title which wasn’t the case, but this year I feel that will be the case. Our defensive record is amazing and keeping De Gea is huge to the success of the season. We’ve signed Lindelof who hasn’t impressed me in preseason and we haven’t got rid of the deadwood like Smalling which City have. However signing Matic is a great signing as he will allow Herrera to be the engine as Pogba pulls the strings. Last season we lacked goals and I think Pogba is going to contribute quite a few more goals this season as will Mkhitaryan. Signing Lukaku for £75 million is what really gets me thinking we will be pushing for the title though. A 25 goals+ striker is exactly what we need. With Lukaku he has the pace that Ibrahimovic lacked, which makes him ideal for the hold up play and fast counters that are required for a lone striker in a Mourinho counter attacking system. I also think Rashford is going to have a big season as he has put in a lot of work to bulk up and become more than just a fast striker which could mean these two really strike up a great partnership that sees Manchester United go close to winning the title.
I believe Chelsea won the league so easily last year because of the lack of Champions League football. Chelsea practically had the same starting 11 throughout the whole season. With Chelsea being in the competition this year, I don’t think Chelsea have the squad depth to challenge and I also think Kante will struggle as he has never been in a situation at Leicester or Chelsea where hes had 2-3 games in a short space of time. I personally rate the signings of Bakayoko as he is a very good player but he is also injury prone and with the amount of games Chelsea will be playing I don’t know why they sold Matic. I don’t think the signing of Rudiger improves the defence and even though I really like Morata and think he could score around 15 goals next season, I don’t think he is of the same class yet as Costa who Chelsea will miss massively as I don’t see him playing again. Another question is will Chelsea’s system be found out next year? With teams having a year to study how Tottenham out played Chelsea last season a Plan B may have to be put in place. However Conte is a very good manager, who demands the best from his players and that is why I still think they will finish in the top 3
I bet you weren’t expecting Liverpool to be 4th. Klopp has done a very good job with above average players. Honestly I don’t think Liverpool have a world class player, with the only arguable case being Coutinho, who I feel goes missing too much. But the signing of Salah could be a real game changer for Liverpool. In a system of high pressing and quick football, him and Mane could be very difficult to stop and open up room for Coutinho to run the game. Solanke is another good signing, but for the future. I feel Liverpool will have the exact same problem as Chelsea and that is the squad depth is not enough and the system will struggle to cope with the Champions League. Towards the end of the season Liverpool players will struggle to keep up the energy levels required and it will see them drop off the front 2 to 4th. Liverpool’s defence is also not good enough and neither is Mignolet.
Yes I believe Spurs will finish above Arsenal again this season, however they will not finish inside the top 4. With only 2 weeks to go Spurs have made no signings. All of my predicted top 4 have made improvements to their squads but Tottenham haven’t, instead selling Kyle Walker to rivals Manchester City. Even though Trippier is better footballer than Walker and Spurs do have some excellent players, in defence they have the best CB in the league, in midfield Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Ali and upfront a born goalscorer in Kane, a few injuries will really hurt their season. I also think playing at Wembley will really hurt Spurs as they like to have narrow CBs and wide RB and LBs which at Wembley will leave just to much space in between the defence.
Will this be Wengers last season of disappointment before he finally resigns. Wenger is stuck in this ways and with an even more competitive league, I feel Arsenal will be left behind. Sanchez their best player is wanting to leave and even if he stays, if it starts going wrong on the pitch is he going to throw his toys out the pram and just see out his contract?. Lacazette has been really poor in preseason from what I have seen. He has lacked sharpness, pace, a first touch and the physicality to meet the premier League demands, however I do think he may score 20 goals next season if Sanchez stays and him and Ozil have good seasons. You’d think with Sanchez, Ozil and a 20 goal a season Lacazette surely they are title contenders but with a central midfield of okay players and a poor defence, I think Arsenal will struggle. You can also see the negative effects the Europa League had on United and if the same thing happens with Arsenal, I can only see them finishing 6th.
7th is going to be where Everton finish just like last season. I do think Everton have made some excellent signings however I do not think they will match the impact that Lukaku had at Everton. Pickford is an excellent goalkeeper and may win Everton a few extra points in tight games. Keane is a very good CB and could created a very good partnership with Williams. I do like Klaassen but recent signings from Holland like Janssen at Spurs have disappointed so only time will tell if he can really improve Everton’s midfield. Sandro looks a brilliant striker who is deadly in front of goal but I don’t think he will replace Lukaku’s goals which will cost Everton. Also Everton fans will soon realise just how big of a decline Rooney has had and I don’t think he will remain a first choice option for even half a season. That is why I think Everton will remain a 7th place team as they have improved a few areas of the squad but have drastically lost how many goals their forwards will score.
West Ham have finally done some excellent business in the transfer window and it makes me believe they will have a season similar to when Payet dragged them into the European league spots. With Zabaleta they have signed an attacking right back who can actually defend. He is a leader and a winner which I don’t think West Ham have had for a long time. Arnautovic is an excellent signing and someone who can produce that little bit of magic for West Ham. If he adds a few more goals to his game he could score between 7-10 goals next season. The best signing of the lot has to be Hernandez though who just guarantees you goals. A predator is the box he can score with both feet and his head. I can see Hernandez getting close to 15+ goals which is something West Ham have been lacking in a striker for years. I also feel that with it being the second season at the London Stadium that should mean they are better prepared to play on the wide pitch.
Shakespeare did an excellent job last year and that is why I have put Leicester to finish so high. A lot of talk is about Marhez leaving but I can see him staying and with him I think the rest of the squad continue the form they had mid season last year. Iborra is an excellent signing in centre midfield but I don’t see them ever replacing Kante and that is why they will never do the unthinkable again. Leicester are now a constant Premier League club and I have no fears that they will be close to relegation.
Last season the biggest issue for Bournemouth was the amount of goals that they conceded so late on. So many times a late goal would steal points away from Bournemouth which lead to them slipping down the table. Bournemouth have a great young manager in Howe who plays great attacking football. The signing hes made are arguably some of the best in the league. Boruc was quite a dodgy keeper last season and that has lead to Begovic being brought in. A very good goalkeeper like Begovic should solidify the defence. Club record signing Ake will definitely have a huge job commanding the back 4 as he was excellent before Chelsea recalled the defender. This saw Bournemouth struggle badly after Ake left and a full season with the defender will only be good for the club. Like West Ham, Bournemouth have made an excellent signing by getting Defoe on a free transfer. If Defoe strikes a partnership with King, an already attacking side will have a striker who knows exactly where the net is.
Tony Pulis’s side are always hard to beat and this season is going to be no different. With the confidence of a good season last year by beating a few of the top teams, West Brom will be aiming for a top table finish which I think they will just miss out on. Jay Rodriguez is a good striker when he is fit and could get West Brom the goals they lack if him Rondon and Chadli combine.
Southampton are going to struggle this year. With the only signing being Jon Bednarek who I have never heard of and the fact that the captain and best defender Van Dijk has gone on strike to try get a transfer away from the club, is not good news for the fans of the club. Southampton have been a team on the rise and have had their best players bought year on year and recovered, but this season I think the standard will fall and Southampton will finish in the second half of the table. I am also predicting that Southampton manager Pellegrino may be one of the first managers sacked this season as they may be near the relegation zone at some point in the campaign.
Crystal Palace have appointed a very good manager in De Boer who will look to continue the form that kept the club in the Premier League under Big Sam and improve on the final position. Keeping players such as Benteke and Zaha is huge for the club and the two signings of Loftus Cheek and Riedewald have an eye to the future but at the same time have players who I believe will do a good job now. Maybe another CB is needed now Sakho has gone back to Liverpool but I still see Palace having an okay season.
The issue with Stoke is who is going to score the their goals. Peter Crouch isn’t going to play every game, they have just sold Walters and Arnautovic and the returning Bojan and Shaqiri are not 10 goal a season players. However if one player steps up they should be okay. The signing of Fletcher is very good and he could work well like Allen. Zouma on loan from Chelsea is another good signing is he rediscovers the form he had at Chelsea before he sustained a serious injury.
The only reason I have Newcastle not getting relegated is because Rafa Benitez is the manager. I think Benitez will bring the best out of his players and that will keep them in the league. The signings that have been made in my opinion are Championship standard players which means they need big seasons for players like Gayle and Shelvey who already have Premier League experience.
Swansea have made a great loan signing with Abraham from Chelsea who will impress in his first season in the league. Him and a fit Llorente could have a really good partnership for Swansea and the signing on Mesa who had an excellent season in Spain top flight could see them finish above 16th. The issue with Swansea is the defence is dreadful and so is the midfield apart from Fer. That is why I don’t believe Swansea are safe from relegation unless they make a good few more signings to strengthen these areas
Watford are going to stay up by the skin of their teeth, simply because I think Marco Silva is a good manager. A team full of foreign players, the team lacks a defence and a strike force as I really do not rate Deeney. Will Hughes and Nathan Chalobah are good young signings but I think they are only buying this type of player to sell on for a profit in the future. The players brought in at this minute will not improve Watford enough to stop them battling relegation and with the crazy chairman in charge if they do sack Silva mid season then I do believe that Watford will get relegated from the Premier League.
The 2017-2018 season will finally be the season where Burnley get relegated. The signings that have been made are simply not good enough with Walters, Cork and Bardsley being signed from other struggling teams who didn’t want them. Selling Keane will prove costly as he was the main man in the Burnley defence and with the lack of goals in the team, I don’t feel Burnley’s home form will be enough to keep the club up for another season.
Originally I had Brighton to stay up and Watford to go down until I remembered Silva was in charge. I think Brighton may stay up based on an early run of good form simply because they are giving everything as they enjoy being in the league. However loan signing of Izzy Brown who is a promising youngster, Kerr from Celtic and Ryan the Valencia keeper will not be enough to keep the newly promoted club in the league if Brighton struggle early on to pick up points in this highly competitive league.
Bookies favourites to be relegated and mine too. I feel Huddersfield were incredibly lucky to even get promoted and they will find the season the hardest out of every team. The signings of Tom Ince and Aaran Mooy are Huddersfields best signings and both players are Championship standard. To me it seems Huddersfield also think they will be getting relegated and have bought players for the Championship should they get relegated. I honestly believe Huddersfield will struggle to get over 25 points this season and may be the whipping boys of the season.
This is my 2017-2018 prediction. Some of you reading will completely disagree with how I feel the outcome of the season will play out and if that is the case then why not in the comment below how well you think your team will do and let me see your predictions for the upcoming season. One thing is for sure that this season is going to be an exciting one and I can’t wait to see if Manchester united can lift the Premier League Title for the first time since Sir Alex retired.