The 2017/18 Premier League season promises to be one of the most exciting yet. With money being splashed on huge transfers like never before, almost every club in the league seems stronger than they were last season.
But where exactly will everyone finish? Here’s my predictions that I’m sure we’ll look back and laugh at in the months ahead…
1st – Manchester City
Pep Guardiola continues to spend ridiculous sums of money in an attempt to win Manchester City’s third Premier League title. This season, all that spending will finally pay off. Guardiola has quite rightly targeted the full-back positions as a weakness and signings like Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy are excellent additions. With Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero leading the line, goals won’t be an issue. Hence City are my pick for the championship this time around.
2nd – Chelsea
Antonio Conte’s side will fail to retain the Premier League but are still poised for a strong season. I’m not sold on Alvaro Morata as a replacement for Diego Costa up front, but if Michy Batshuayi (The King of Twitter) continues his pre-season form then this may not be an issue. A lack of squad depth will hurt Chelsea as they balance the league with Europe, meaning they won’t do quite as well this season.
3rd – Manchester United
Manchester United are one of the hardest teams to predict this season. You could make a case for anywhere in the top six, but I’ve gone with third. Romelu Lukaku is a fantastic replacement for the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and if Jose Mourinho goes with Lukaku and Rashford up front, we could see a rebirth of the famous Yorke and Cole partnership. Defensively I still think they’re a little short, hence why a title challenge may be beyond them this season.
4th – Liverpool
Now much of this is dependant on Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian continues to be linked with Barcelona, and if he leaves, I can’t see Liverpool making the top four. With or without Coutinho, Liverpool shouldn’t be short of goals. Salah, Mane, Sturridge and Firmino are all capable of making a significant goal contribution. Defensively however, they are still suspect and this will again cost them points this season.
5th – Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette is a great addition to Arsene Wenger’s squad. However he will need time to settle in England and probably won’t be at his best until later in the season. Wenger has STILL never fully replaced Patrick Vieira, and his team are still too lightweight in my opinion to make the top four. They will be kings of North London again this season though…
6th – Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham may not like this prediction, and it does seem strange considering how good they were last season. However, Tottenham are the only team in the top six to have got weaker since then, and that could hurt them badly with a European campaign to balance as well. The move to Wembley will hurt home form, and they are still too reliant on Kane to score all the goals they need to contend. Unless signings come in soon, the top four will be beyond Spurs this season.
7th – Everton
With Farhid Moshiri’s millions, plus the £75 million recuperated from the sale of Lukaku, Everton have been able to splash the cash so far this summer. That being said, Lukaku’s goals are going to be hard to replace and I’m not convinced that Sandro Martinez and Wayne Rooney (depending on where he plays) will be enough to fill that striking void. Everton will attack the top six in years to come, just not this season.
8th – West Ham United
Despite criticism in recent years, it’s fair to say West Ham’s owners have done a good job this summer giving Slaven Bilic the funds to acquire realistic, but very talented transfer targets. Javier Hernandez might just be the signing of the summer, and in a position West Ham badly needed depth considering the injury records of Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho. Lack of depth in other areas will mean West Ham miss out on Europe, but again, expect them to challenge in years to come.
9th – Leicester City
Premier League champions from two seasons ago, Leicester go into this season more settled after a winter of discontent last time around. Craig Shakespeare has the confidence of the board, and more importantly the squad meaning the Foxes will be back to form this year. They don’t have the individual quality to challenge for Europe but their togetherness should carry them through to a top half finish.
10th – AFC Bournemouth
Eddie Howe’s side are now firmly established as a Premier League club. They’ve always had the goalscoring ability to compete at this level but their defensive frailties have certainly been somewhat fixed this summer with the signings of Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic from Chelsea. Jermain Defoe may have to play second fiddle to Josh King, but look for The Cherries to secure back-to-back top 10 finishes.
Check back next week to see how I think the bottom half of the Premier League will play out!