The Premier League is Up for Grabs More Than Ever This Season

Another installment of the English Premier League is upon us, and thank goodness. The summer transfer window has been anything but boring, but nothing beats the action on the field. It’s said every year, but the upcoming campaign could very well be the greatest ever in the competition’s history. With that said, let’s jump right into this season’s preview…

 

 

The Basement Dwellers

 

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up, and let’s not sugarcoat anything either. Try as they might, the following clubs are destined for Championship action next year, or will at least struggle to stave off relegation:

 

***In alphabetical order***

  • Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Burnley
  • Huddersfield Town
  • Swansea City
  • Watford

 

Brighton

 

Simply put, the squad hasn’t improved enough to compete with the big boys, a popular theme among newly-promoted teams. With the conclusion of the most recent Premier League campaign we saw two of the new boys slip straight back into the grasp of the Championship in Hull City and Middlesbrough, and it seems a similar fate awaits Brighton. Their excellent defensive record from last season, joint tops with Newcastle in the Championship, will surely not be a recurring theme this time around against the likes of the Premier League. Seasoned vet Glenn Murray will look to carry his form from last season, 23 league goals, into this season, but much like his time with Bournemouth in the Premier League two seasons ago I figure he’ll struggle quite a bit. Winger Anthony Knockaert will be relishing the opportunity to prove his worth on England’s biggest stage after his infamous missed penalty prevented Leicester City from going to Wembley, and possibly the Premier League, back in 2013. Record-signing £13 million Davy Pröpper will prove a solid addition to the squad coming off a fine season with PSV Eindhoven in which he produced 10 goals and nine assists, but he and new goalkeeper Mat Ryan (yep, one t), arriving from Valencia, won’t save them. They’re currently on the brink of completing a move for Club Brugge winger Jose Izquierdo to break their transfer record yet again, but I can’t imagine he’ll be the one to ensure their safety either.

Prediction: 20th

 

Burnley

Last season the Clarets stifled opponents who came to Turf Moor. Allowing 20 goals in 19 home games was the best output in the league aside from the “Big Seven” (Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man City, Man U, Spurs for those unaware of the allusion there). Losing Michael Keane and failing to securely replace him will surely dent that defensive record in the upcoming season. The loss of Andre Gray to fellow relegation candidates Watford won’t help either. They’ll need to seriously improve their dismal away form (seven points from 19 away matches last season) if they want to survive the drop. and when your most notable signings of the summer are Jack Cork and Jonathan Walters you shouldn’t be looking forward to the season starting anytime soon. Gotta wonder what the board has been doing for the past three months.

Prediction: 18th

 

Huddersfield

Easily the most intriguing of the newcomers, but also the least talented. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can I predict that Brighton will prop up the Premier League table if I believe that Huddersfield are the worst of the promoted teams? For one, I supported them for a day and that day I attended the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium in May, so perhaps I’m biased, but I digress. In reality the Terriers have made a number of impressive moves in an attempt to compete for survival in their first ever Premier League campaign. They’ve turned the loan of proven #10 Aaron Mooy from Manchester City into a purchase, securing the services of winger Tom Ince, and acquiring a bonafide target man in Laurent Depoitre. This list doesn’t even include their record purchase, center forward Steve Mounié from Montpellier. Sadly that won’t stop this team from avoiding the drop this season. A negative goal differential for a newly promoted team is almost unprecedented, and most certainly a sign of either a porous defense or lack of attacking prowess, yet David Wagner’s side managed just that last term, producing 56 goals and conceding 58, for a -2 GD. It’ll be interesting to see how they kick on in England’s top flight. I, for one, don’t believe they’ll fare well.

Prediction: 19th

 

Swansea

In 2016/17 the Swans stuck through a tumultuous first half of the season but turned it up in the second half and finished strong on a five game unbeaten run led by set-piece magician Gylfi Sigurðsson. Francesco Guidolin got the axe on October 3rd (his birthday!), and the Bob Bradley experiment lasted approximately three months. The two managed Swansea to a 19th-place standing by the time Bradley’s reign ended. Paul Clement then took charge and led the Swans to a 15th-place finish on 41 points. He’s been given the full-time job now and Swans fans should be optimistic for the new campaign after adding Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham. Abraham, 19, recorded 23 goals last season on loan at Bristol City. He’ll slot straight into the starting lineup to begin the season after Borja Bastón was loaned out to Malaga and starter Fernando Llorente broke his arm in an offseason biking accident. Roque Mesa’s well above average passing abilities will be a welcome addition in the midfield especially after the departure of Jack Cork. The pessimism from fans may set in if their prized possession is stolen away from them. Gylfi Sigurðsson has been heavily linked to a move away from the club throughout the summer. His proposed £45 million move to Everton is currently on the rocks, and his potential replacement could be West Brom’s Belgian playmaker Nacer Chadli. As it stands the Swans don’t stand a great chance even with Sigurðsson, but losing him could be the fatal blow that knocks them back down to the Championship.

Prediction: 17th

 

Watford

Oh boy. Where do we start? The same team that beat Everton and Manchester United at home and Arsenal away last season also got shutout in losses to Sunderland and Hull while finishing the season on a six-game losing streak. Marco Silva was appointed manager on a two-year deal a week after his Hull side were thrashed 7-1 by Tottenham on the final day. With Silva, Hull managed a much improved second half of the season after he took over on January 5th despite losing their best player, Robert Snodgrass, to West Ham during the winter window. It’s tough to judge this team so harshly based on the summer they’ve had, but we don’t know how the new manager will fare and how the new signings will get along with each other and the established XI from last season. In 2016/17 the Hornets (that’s a moose in their logo) finished one spot above the relegation zone with the second fewest goals scored and second most conceded from teams that weren’t relegated. Lest we forget they had the worst goal differential among non-relegated teams last season as well. Troy Deeney will certainly welcome the help of record-signing Andre Gray up top. Gray will add a dynamic in attack that Watford haven’t had in recent years, pace. He’s capable of outrunning almost any defender in the league, and he has strength to pair with the pace and muscle defenders off the ball to retain possession. Adding two young, talented midfielders in Derby County’s Will Hughes and Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah, both on permanent deals, should pair well with last year’s standout player Étienne Capoue. The team isn’t bad on paper, but as I mentioned I don’t expect this team to hit the ground running. It may take them a while to hit their stride, and it could cost them.

Prediction: 16th

 

 

The Perennials

 

These teams have been a Premier League staple for the last half decade or more. They aren’t going down, but they won’t be taking that next step into the top half of the table either. They’re just kinda… there:

 

  • Crystal Palace
  • Stoke City
  • West Bromwich Albion

 

Crystal Palace

My favorite dark horse every year. The Eagles never fail to let me down, but they continually put up a few surprising results every year. They’re certainly the minnow of the London clubs, and who doesn’t love an underdog story? Losing Mamadou Sakho at the end of his loan spell may prove to be this team’s achilles heel by the end of the season, but they’ve secured the services of talented 20 year old Dutchman Jairo Riedewald from Ajax to help fill the void. The Steve Mandanda experiment failed rather miserably last year, so incoming manager Frank de Boer will turn to Wayne Hennessey in goal. On-loan prospects Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be eager to make their case for spots on World Cup rosters next summer, so it could be an exciting year for Palace fans. Having locked up Wilfried Zaha for the next five years is critical for the club’s future as he’s without a doubt their best player, and Christian Benteke will continue to provide goals as he did last season, registering 15 in 36 games.

Prediction: 13th

 

Stoke

My least favorite side in the league, not that you care. They play a boring brand of soccer, their fans are miserable and self-loathing, and they played to a nil-nil draw against Man City on my first visit to the Etihad Stadium in March (the same night Barcelona beat PSG 6-1 🙃 ). They haven’t made any big moves this summer, despite landing Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupu-Moting on a free transfer and adding center-half Kurt Zouma via loan from Chelsea. The problem I see with this team is replacing the four first team players they’ve lost in this window. The departures of Marko Arnautović, Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, and Phil Bardsley represents a changing of the guards in a way. The four combined to serve Stoke for 23 seasons. With the limited additions they’ve made it won’t be a pretty season for Potters fans.

Prediction: 15th

 

West Brom

I’m a certified Tony Pulis stan. The man is simply a GENIUS, and he’s received Pep Guardiola’s seal of approval, so he’s definitely okay in my book. Last season was the Baggies best Premier League campaign to date. 45 points and a 10th-place finish are both club records. Pulis played around with the back line quite a lot last season. Allan-Roméo Nyom routinely switched sides at fullback while Chris Brunt would often play higher up the pitch than his starting left-back position would normally suggest. The two constants at the back were Northern Irish pairing Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans in the center of defense. Keeper Ben Foster put on some fine performances as well. Striker Jay Rodríguez made the switch from Southampton this summer and has been on a long road to recovery ever since an ACL injury nearly derailed his career prior to the 2014 World Cup, which he almost certainly would’ve played a role for England in had the injury not occurred. He’s been West Brom’s standout player in the preseason and will help take the huge load off of Salomón Rondón’s shoulders in the upcoming season. All signs point to a possible improvement upon last season; however, with the aging core of the squad I can see those legs giving out at a point during this season.

Prediction: 14th

 

 

Mid-Table Obscurity

 

What’s the point of being a fan of these teams if there’s no excitement? You’d have to ask one. Try as they might, none of these teams are cracking the Big Seven, and therefore won’t be playing in Europe the year after unless they win one of the domestic cups, but good news is they shouldn’t be anywhere near the relegation battle either:

 

  • AFC Bournemouth
  • Leicester City
  • Newcastle United
  • Southampton
  • West Ham United

 

Bournemouth

Eddie Howe’s men survived relegation last year, and well. Their 9th-place finish is a club record in the Premier League. One of the more organized and well-coached teams in the league has suffered in recent years due only to what is undoubtedly a severely small transfer budget compared to the Big Seven. This summer they’ve decided to splash some cash, albeit in strange fashion. Nonetheless the three major additions they’ve made could mark the beginning of something special for the Cherries. £20 million man Nathan Aké made the switch from Chelsea’s bench, and deservedly so. He impressed so much at Watford in the first half of last season that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte recalled him from his loan in January to ride the bench at Chelsea just in case the injury bug hit the eventual champions. He has earned the playing time he will get this season, but many have questioned the price tag. In a summer full of ludicrous deals around Europe, £20 million may not seem like a lot, but for a guy who has had half a good season it is understandable that most have been skeptical. Asmir Begovic also decided to ditch the London-based club for the south coast this summer as he rejoins the squad he was loaned to a decade ago. Jermain Defoe too has rejoined the Cherries on a three-year deal in what could be the final contract of his career. Callum Wilson has struggled to remain fit over the past two campaigns, so the Defoe signing makes sense in that he will mentor Wilson and that he has proven to be a reliable goalscorer as he’s put up 15 goals in each of the past two seasons for putrid Sunderland teams. This could be the season that Bournemouth cement themselves as a Premier League club for years to come.

Prediction: 10th

 

Leicester

Last season was bittersweet for Foxes fans. The man who achieved the impossible and brought them a Premier League title, was sacked midseason. Sitting on 27 points after 27 games, the board decided it was time to make a switch with the club headed towards the relegation zone. Craig Shakespeare stepped in and led the Foxes to 17 points in their final 11 games and the Foxes survived the drop. They played a vastly improved style of soccer with Shakespeare at the helm as he became the first English manager to win his first four matches in the top flight. Losing most notably prospect midfielder Bartosz Kapustka (loan) and backup goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler this summer isn’t much to worry about. Adding highly sought after center-back Harry Maguire might prove their best bit of business this summer despite having also added midfield enforcer Vicente Iborra and Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho both for higher fees than they paid for Maguire. The biggest reason for having not defended their improbable title run last season was the loss of Ngolo Kanté, but another very large reason was Wes Morgan’s absence for part of the year. The heart and soul of this team, and marshal of defense, was sorely missed and, in his absences the Foxes looked lost at the back. Maguire may not enter the first team straight away, although an argument could be made for why he should. It’s looking as if the lifespan of the Morgan-Huth partnership is nearing it’s end, but it’s in the team’s best interest for that to happen. We’re entering a transition period for this club as Riyad Mahrez may also be jumping ship in this transfer window as well.

Prediction: 8th

 

Newcastle

Newcastle are the most readily prepared team I’ve seen to come up from the Championship for as long as I can remember. The Magpies shouldn’t have even been relegated two seasons ago. Nevertheless they are back, but manager Rafa Benítez recently expressed his frustration with how lackluster the current transfer window has been for the club. Despite the addition of four new players, and finalizing the loan of winger Christian Atsu into a permanent transfer, Benítez has clearly stated that he wishes the club didn’t wait so long to make approaches for other players with the new campaign fast approaching. Dwight Gayle was joint-second top scorer in the Championship last term with 23 goals, level with aforementioned Glenn Murray and Tammy Abraham. The Magpies have a tame start to the season if you don’t count hosting Tottenham on the first day of the season. Their next five games are all winnable against equal or arguably lesser competition in trips to Huddersfield, Swansea, and Brighton along with hosting West Ham and Stoke. If they hit the ground running like I would assume they’re capable of then I see no reason for Newcastle to find themselves in danger of getting relegated again.

Prediction: 12th

 

Southampton

Southampton have been somewhat comfortably stuck outside the top four but inside the top 10 ever since they earned promotion from the Championship in the 2011-12 season. Seeking a bit more fire power to push them to the next level they’ve signed promising youngster Mario Lemina from Juventus to partner in the double-pivot with Oriol Romeu. The loss of Jay Rodríguez won’t hurt that much as he never returned to the form he showed prior to tearing his ACL in 2014. What is going to significantly hurt their chances to qualify for European competition in 2018-19 is Virgil van Dijk’s departure. The club are already looking at Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson as a potential replacement. van Dijk has been training away from the first team since he handed in an official transfer request in July. He has everything a team could want in a center-half: pace, strength, height, and composure with the ball at his feet. His loss wouldn’t decimate the Saints chances of survival in the upcoming season by any means, but it would dash any hopes of playing in Europe for the foreseeable future.

Prediction: 9th

 

West Ham

West Ham’s 2016-17 season was chaotic to say the least. Coming off a phenomenal 2015-16 season and impressive summer transfer window in 2016 many thought the 7th-place finish might not have been a fluke. Dimitri Payet was one of the best players in the league in 2015-16, and quickly became the villain last season. He refused to play for West Ham, citing Slaven Bilic’s tactics as motivation to force a move away from the club. A third of the way into the season the Hammers were stuck in the midst of a relegation battle. They recovered nicely after Payet’s departure in January, and comfortably survived the drop in 11th-place. There’s been a fair bit of turnover this summer with several players making their way out the door, but the board has done well to replace them with the likes of Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Marko Arnautović, Joe Hart, and Pablo Zabaleta. I don’t believe these signings will take the club to the next level, but every single one is an improvement on the alternative option at their respective positions. The one thing that’s still missing from this side is another creator. A playmaker opposite Manuel Lanzini would suit this side well. He produced two assists, created 56 chances and made 54 key passes last season, and that just isn’t enough if you are your team’s primary option for creating goalscoring opportunities. To put those numbers in perspective, Dimitri Payet had a stat line of 6/72/66 in those exact same categories last year while playing HALF the amount of games Lanzini did in the Premier League! Unless they sign another playmaker this summer I don’t see West Ham troubling any of the bigger clubs in this league.

Prediction: 11th

 

 

The Big Seven

 

The term “Big Seven” refers to what is widely regarded as the seven best teams in England by most followers of the Premier League. We’ve seen the anomalies when Newcastle finished 5th in the 2011-12 season, Southampton placed 6th in the 2015-16 season, and, most notably, Leicester topped the table the same season Southampton came in 6th (more importantly Chelsea finished 10th that season). The point I’m trying to make is that these things rarely happen, and more often than not these teams take the top seven spots in the league in no particular order:

 

  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • Everton
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham Hotspur

 

Arsenal

The Gunners finally splashed the cash to acquire marquee signing €53 million Alexandre Lacazette. He’ll get his goals, and provide plenty chances for his teammates. You can’t really ask more from the guy, but I’m sure Arsenal fans will after the team collapses yet again post-Christmas. The unsung hero of Arsenal’s season, should they win the league, will be the new left-back Sead Kolašinac. He’s just made the move on a free from Schalke, and already impressed in the Community Shield against Chelsea in more ways than one. He’s an absolute tank of a human being blessed with natural fitness to bomb up and down the wing. While left-back wasn’t necessarily a need of Arsenal’s entering the window he’s certainly an improvement upon the committee of Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs. A healthy XI is vital for this team’s title challenge; however, the joke writes itself here.

Prediction: 4th

 

Chelsea

The holders will be eager to get back to Champions League competition, but they shouldn’t be. The competition and extra  travel will only drain their energy midweek and affect their run at back-to-back league titles negatively. The squad doesn’t have enough depth to compete in both competitions. They should qualify for the knockout rounds soundly, but will struggle in the latter stages of the competition. Manager Antonio Conte has expressed his frustration in the club’s dealings this summer even though they’ve acquired the talents of Álvaro Morata, Tiémoué Bakayoko, and Antonio Rüdiger. Conte may not admit it but everybody knows he’d rather have Romelu Lukaku than Álvaro Morata. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call a first world problem. The move to sell Nemanja Matić to a league rival and replace him with Bakayoko, who is arguably a worse fit for the team than Matić is, is odd. There is a problem within the organization of failing to let their brilliant youth prospects perform in the first team. The way Chelsea conduct business is farming youth and selling them while they’re still young, but also very good. This money then funds the bigger transfers. It isn’t a bad way of conducting business. In fact, it’s very effective, but it leads to the exact problem Chelsea have now found themselves in. With a World Cup on the horizon these young players are either entering the primes of their careers or looking to make a statement as to why they should be included in their respective national teams next summer. Conte clearly has no plan to include these kids in the first team, and therefore they are looking to further their careers elsewhere. In this window alone Chelsea have sold four players aged 25 or younger, and loaned out a ton more as usual. If Conte wasn’t stubborn, and he isn’t the only manager like this, then the squad depth problem may not exist, but it figures to be the reason Chelsea will run into problems this season.

Prediction: 3rd

 

Everton

The poser of the Big Seven certainly has to be Everton. Seemingly always on the outside looking in, and not on track to threaten the other six this year unless they add a bonafide finisher before the window closes. Much like when Spurs sold Gareth Bale, the Toffees spread the wealth from selling Romelu Lukaku around a couple different areas. They’ve added several talented players to increase their already deep squad depth. A new goalkeeper was badly needed after Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg both failed to nail down the #1 position for themselves. Dropping £25 million on Jordan Pickford, that could potentially rise to £30 million, after one good season is a massive risk, and makes him the third-most expensive goalkeeper of all time; however, that’s the price to be paid for quality these days. Add a further £25 million, that could also potentially rise to £30 million, for defender Michael Keane, and yet another £25 million for attacking midfielder Davy Klaassen and Everton have already spent their Lukaku money. They didn’t stop there though. They brought Wayne Rooney back to his boyhood club on a free transfer, and added two young attackers, one being Sandro Ramírez on what could end up being the steal of the summer after triggering the £5.2 million release clause in his Malaga contract. The Toffees already had a great balance of experience and youth in the squad, and invested the Lukaku money in risky fashion, but the risk could very well pay off and the club could be set for years to come. They have tons of playmakers and set piece takers in the squad, so all they need to do is sign a proven striker that can turn home all those set pieces and crosses to help them take that next step (looking at you Olivier Giroud).

Prediction: 7th

 

Liverpool

Jürgen Klopp is one stubborn man. He has been insisting for quite a while now that his defense is “not a concern” of his. He has also insisted that Philippe Coutinho is not for sale at any price with FC Barcelona courting his services. I can promise you that he’s wrong about at least one of those things. Barça may not be what they once were, but they usually get their man. And in case Klopp didn’t already know, he’s starting Dejan Lovren at center-back. After a strange turn of events, Liverpool abruptly cut off all talk and notion of a move for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk in June after speculation arose that the club were guilty of breaching the rules in their pursuit of the player. As of this week, however, the Reds are reportedly prepared to offer as much as £60 million for the Dutchman. That staggering figure would smash the world record fee for a defender that’s already been broken twice this summer by league rival’s Manchester City, however, this transfer might be the most worthwhile of the three as Liverpool are in desperate need of help at center-back if they are to compete domestically or in Europe. Andy Robertson has been bought from Hull to address the left-back issues that midfielder James Milner seemed to have solved last season, and the big money move for club-record signing Mohamed Salah seems to have paid off (so far) in the preseason. With still much to prove we’ve at least caught a glimpse of what the rapid Egyptian winger has to offer as he’s been Liverpool’s prime performer in the preseason by far. He fell flat and wasn’t given much a chance at Chelsea, but a front three consisting of him, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino with Coutinho sitting behind is a force to be reckoned with. Still, address the center-back issue then get back to me, Jürgen.

Prediction: 6th

 

Manchester City

The Citizens have undergone a total squad rebuild this summer. Every fullback on the roster from last season has been replaced, and it cost the club £128 million, but the spending didn’t stop there. Bernardo Silva was brought in from Monaco as the heir to David Silva’s throne for a cool £43 million, as well as Ederson Moraes from SL Benfica in hopes to solve manager Pep Guardiola’s goalkeeping crisis for £35 million, breaking the world transfer record for a goalkeeper. After particitpating in only 15 games across all competitions last season Ilkay Gündogan will return to the team as if he were a new signing. Gabriel Jesus impressed in his ten appearances last term contributing seven goals and four assists. Pep has partnered him up top with Sergio Agüero in a 3-5-2 formation often in the preseason instead of opting to rotate them and it has paid dividends. Pep is reportedly still in the market for a center-back/defensive midfielder and an attacker. Links to Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez have cooled recently, but Pep has been deemed “infatuated” with AS Monaco’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé. There will be immense pressure on Guardiola’s shoulders to deliver a Premier League title this season in addition to performing well in the Champions League. If his team performs poorly and doesn’t claim a single piece of silverware this campaign it is possible he could face the axe by the end of it. I find it improbable that he won’t managing City at the start of next season no matter how the team performs this year, but if the preseason is any indication then supporters of the noisy neighbors have something special to look forward to.

Prediction: 1st

 

Manchester United

The Red Devils were not about to let crosstown rivals City overshadow them in a crucial summer transfer window. They made a statement of intent when they signed Romelu Lukaku for £75 million. His plethora of goals will ease the minds of those sad to see Zlatan Ibrahimović leave. Manager José Mourinho also dipped his hand into Benfica’s bag of goodies to nab himself Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf. He then went back to his old club Chelsea to steal away holding midfielder Nemanja Matić. The most important signing of the three has to be Matić because he will form a double pivot with Ander Herrera. This will allow the former most expensive man in the world, Paul Pogba, to freely move forward and impact the game in a way which will finally stop people questioning his £89 million price tag. Mourinho’s defense will be stout as ever (15 draws last season), but don’t be surprised if Danny Rose’s recent comments pave the way for a move to Old Trafford before the window closes. United are already considered by many as the biggest threat to City’s title hopes, but if Rose swaps the lilywhite of London for the red of Manchester I can see the Red Devils overtaking the Citizens as favorites to win the league this year.

Prediction: 2nd

 

Tottenham

Can’t wait to see how much pressure Spurs put on the champions this year! I joke, but in all seriousness Spurs supporters should be upset with how this summer has played out so far. Harry Kane is coming off his best season yet. He took home Golden Boot honors after recording an outrageous 29 goals in just 30 (!!!) games. Christian Eriksen deserves a mention as well. He created the most chances in England last season with 111 and 15 of those were turned home for assists. He has grown into one of Europe’s elite playmakers since moving to North London. Manager Mauricio Pochettino knows what he’s doing with his squad, and he’s not prepared to alter his favored XI, but that could be his downfall. He has proven that he can develop the talent at his disposal à la Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Danny Rose, but he’s already had one fullback cherrypicked by a league rival, and soon he could have another. The move to Wembley Stadium could take a toll on Spurs this season just like it did last season. They struggled mightily in the Champions League due to the dimensions of the pitch at Wembley differing drastically to the one’s at White Hart Lane. This year Spurs are attempting to mimic the dimensions they had at WHL as long as the club complies with Premier League guidelines. Tottenham were a title contender in each of the past two campaigns (despite finishing 3rd in a two-horse race in 2016), but this year the task will be much tougher, and without improvements to the squad they risk falling behind the other clubs in the Big Seven.

Prediction: 5th

 

 

Here’s a more organized look at how I think the Premier League table will shape up this season:

  1. City
  2. United
  3. Chelsea
  4. Arsenal
  5. Spurs
  6. Liverpool
  7. Everton
  8. Leicester
  9. Southampton
  10. Bournemouth
  11. West Ham
  12. Newcastle
  13. Crystal Palace
  14. West Brom
  15. Stoke
  16. Watford
  17. Swansea
  18. Burnley
  19. Huddersfield
  20. Brighton

 

 

BONUS PREDICTIONS

 

Golden Boot: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Golden Glove: David de Gea, Manchester United

PFA Player of the Year: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

PFA Young Player of the Year: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur

LMA Manager of the Year: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City

**Newcomer of the Year: Bernardo Silva, Manchester City

**Flop of the Year: Tiémoué Bakayoko, Chelsea

**Best Bargain: Sandro Ramírez, Everton

**First Manager Sacked: Mark Hughes, Stoke

 

** = Unofficial “award”

 

 

As always feel free to hit me up on Twitter to tell me how right I am, or if you happen to think I’m wrong for some weird, inconceivable reason.

 

CTID

 

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