It would be ideal to have all of the transfers wrapped up before the season starts, as many will play a major influence on the season, such as the Alexis Sanchez and Phillipe Coutinho saga’s. Despite all of the transfers not being completed, you can still make a fair assessment on each and every team; so here is my analysis and predictions on the 2017/18 season.
20th: Swansea City. STAR MAN: Gylfi Sigurdsson, WATCH OUT FOR: Tammy Abraham. I really don’t give Swansea much of a chance this year, they were lucky to escape the drop last season and look set to lose their clear star man Gylfi Sigurdsson. They need to hope that the home advantage they have will be an influence as their squad looks quite depleated heading into the new season. Tammy Abraham is a great addition for the squad but even he is yet to prove himself at the top level.
19th: Brighton and Hove Albion. STAR MAN: Anthony Knockaert, WATCH OUT FOR: Davy Propper. The Championship winners, Brighton. In all fairness they have recruited decently, but I just vision them getting relegated as their side as a whole lacks Premier League experience. They will be relying on star man Anthony Knockaert to produce quality goals like he did so many times last year in their successful campaign.
18th: Burnley FC. STAR MAN: Andre Gray, WATCH OUT FOR: Charlie Taylor. Burnley will be relying on their home record to keep them up again this season as their away form is the worst in the league. Sean Dyche is a good manager but I don’t think he has recruited well enough to the keep Burnley up this year, especially with star player Michael Keane leaving for a hefty price. If they could bring a couple of quality players in to support Andre Gray then they have got every chance of stopping in the top flight, if not then I think they will be relegated.
17th: Huddersfield Town. STAR MAN: Aaron Mooy, WATCH OUT FOR: Laurent Depoitre. This may come as a surprise as many people are touting Huddersfield to finish rock bottom. Also, a lot of people are also saying that they could break a record in finishing with the least points ever. However, I see completely different, David Wagner is an excellent manager and has recruited very well for what he had. It would be no surprise to see Huddersfield return to the Championship but I believe they will just do enough to escape the daunting 18th spot.
16th: Stoke City. STAR MAN: Xherdan Shaqiri, WATCH OUT FOR: Kurt Zouma. This could be a bad season for Stoke. They have failed to replace star player Marko Arnautovic and haven’t improved from what they had last year. They started last season very poorly and were fortunate to turn it around in what was one of their worst seasons since returning to the top flight. If they don’t make a couple of good signings in the next few weeks I see Stoke struggling once again.
15th: Newcastle FC. STAR MAN: Dwight Gayle, WATCH OUT FOR: Jacob Murphy. Out of the three sides coming up from the Championship, I expect Newcastle to do the best. Their club as a whole and squad belongs in the Premier League and with a good manager like Rafa Benitez they should do enough to stay up. But looking at the signings made, I would not expect them to pull any surprises and see them closer to the relegation spots than the top half.
14th: Watford FC. STAR MAN: Troy Deeney, WATCH OUT FOR: Richarlison. Putting Watford in those relegation spots crossed my mind, but the manager Marco Silva looks special, and he has also added some young, new faces to the side. Watford’s side looks good enough to stay up and if the manager performs as well as he did under the circumstances at Hull then they will be no where near those relegation spots. He can also count on star striker and captain Troy Deeney to earn his side some tough points along the way.
13th: Southampton FC. STAR MAN: Manolo Gabbiadini, WATCH OUT FOR: Mario Lemina. Another transfer window which has shown no ambition from a club that simply can’t keep letting their best players leave and expect to improve. It looks worrying for the Saints as they have brought in manager Mauricio Pellegrini but only bought two players. With squad depth taking a hit, squad player Jay Rodriguez leaving and best defender Virgil Van Dijk set to leave, this season doesn’t look promising for the Saints.
12th: Crystal Palace. STAR MAN: Christian Benteke, WATCH OUT FOR: Jairo Riedewald. No one knows what to expect from Palace this season as Frank De Boer looks to bring his possession style football to a club that might take a couple of years to adapt. He has brought in young Dutch talents like Jairo Riedewald and Timothy Fosu-Mensah who will strengthen the side but his style of football may see key players like Christian Benteke suffer. Whatever happens, they will have enough quality to stay clear of the relegation spots and could even creep into the top half if all goes well.
11th: Bournemouth FC. STAR MAN: Joshua King, WATCH OUT FOR: Nathan Ake. Another steady season for Eddie Howe. You know that they will play good attacking football and use their home fortress to pick up points. Joshua King and Jermaine Defoe should make a lethal duo, they will add over 25 goals between the pair if they can stay fit. The additions such as Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake will also strengthen up their defence long term, as that is by far their main issue with how many goals they leak away from home.
10th: West Bromwich Albion. STAR MAN: Salamon Rondon, WATCH OUT FOR: Jay Rodriguez. This is basically the same West Brom side that Tony Pulis had last year with the addition of Jay Rodriguez who will certainly add a few goals if he can stay fit. We all know that Tony Pulis won’t be playing any attacking, exciting brand of football any time soon but will definitely grind out the results needed to stay well clear of that relegation zone. They looks bankers for a midtable finish, whether that be a couple of places below or above where I have them predicted.
9th: Leicester City. STAR MAN: Jamie Vardy, WATCH OUT FOR: Kelechi Iheanacho. Another team that is unsettled going into the season as star players such as Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater look set to leave the club. So far the transfer window has treated them well, they have signed another goal scorer and a very much needed centre back in Harry Maguire. The addition of Vicente Iborra will also be noticed, even more so if Drinkwater leaves. Everybody knows that they won’t reach the heights of a couple of seasons ago but they should definitely be aiming for a top half finish under Craig Shakespeare.
8th: West Ham United. STAR MAN: Javier Hernandez, WATCH OUT FOR: Manuel Lanzini. Last season was unacceptable for Slaven Bilic after his impressive debut season. The additions of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez will give his side much needed Premier League experience and they will all improve their respective areas. This side has been crying out for a natural goal scorer over the last few seasons and they have found exactly that in Hernandez. With no key player leaving, West Ham should be looking to replicate that 2015/16 season.
7th: Everton FC. STAR MAN: Wayne Rooney, WATCH OUT FOR: Davy Klaassen. Despite losing their star man Romelu Lukaku, Everton have recruited quite well, they will look to be challenging the top 6. As it looks like Ross Barkley is leaving, Ronald Koeman should look to bring in another quality attacking midfielder as they will need to replace the goals that Lukaku scored for them last year. Wayne Rooney will most likely have a good season ahead of the World Cup but everyone knows he is not the same Wayne Rooney that he was 5 years ago. Everton should be aiming for at least 7th, as Koeman shows signs of a promising dynasty at Everton with the good, young talent coming through.
6th: Tottenham Hotspur. STAR MAN: Harry Kane, WATCH OUT FOR: Harry Winks. What a terrible offseason it has been for Tottenham. They have failed to improve their side in any area, when all areas were crying out for depth. Chairman Daniel Levy made the decision to focus on a new stadium rather than fund Mauricio Pochettino to make the acquisitions he needs to take this side to the next level. I would not be surprised if many players ended up handing in transfer requests due to the club’s reluctancy to compete with other top club’s wage bills. The fans will be praying that their superb manager can somehow rally his team into a top 4 position like he has done the last couple of years with the talent they already have.
5th: Chelsea FC. STAR MAN: Eden Hazard, WATCH OUT FOR: Andreas Christensen. I completely disagree with many pundits who are predicting another title for Chelsea. After running away with the title last year, they have failed to improve their side, obviously this may change before the window closes. You can guarantee that new signings Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata are not going to have the same impact that pivotal players Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa had last year. The biggest factor in Chelsea’s winning streak midseason was that they had no Europe to worry about, but this year they have the Champions League and go into the season with a worryingly thin squad. 5th might be a bold prediction, with players such as Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante at the club, but every other team around them has improved and look set for the season whilst Antonio Conte is at the centre of rumours surrounding fallouts with Diego Costa and even his own board.
4th: Liverpool FC. STAR MAN: Sadio Mane, WATCH OUT FOR: Mohammed Salah. If Jurgen Klopp manages to sell Phillipe Coutinho, and brings in Virgil Van Dijk plus Naby Keita then Liverpool would move up in my expectations. Coutinho is not as influential as the drama is making out, they will be perfectly fine without him. The attacking line of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah is going to terrorise defences with the pure pace and quality it will prowess. Liverpool had the best record against the top 6 last year, and Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to make a real impact in his third season. However, they could get distracted due to Champions League duties and a lack of quality squad depth.
3rd: Manchester United. STAR MAN: Paul Pogba, WATCH OUT FOR: Andreas Pereira. Jose Mourinho has made a few brilliant additions to his side, but it is clear that they lack that creativity in the final third. As dominant and intimidating as their power may look, they need a star player such as Gareth Bale who is going to click it together and help out Romelu Lukaku with the goals. With time still left in the window you can expect a winger in to fill this gap, this would give Jose an amazing chance to lift the title in his second season, as he has done numerous times before. Expect Nemanja Matic to protect the back four and allow Paul Pogba to improve on his steady first season back at his first club.
2nd: Arsenal FC (IF THEY KEEP SANCHEZ). STAR MAN: Alexis Sanchez, WATCH OUT FOR: Alex Iwobi. This may come as a surprise, due to how terrible Arsenal have been in recent years at mounting a title challenge. However, if they can keep their star man Alexis Sanchez then I give them every chance in having a very successful season. They have signed a goal scorer in Alexandre Lacazette, something they have been missing since Robin Van Persie left. Since finally switching formation late last year, Arsene Wenger has enjoyed watching his sides efforts, including the recent Community Shield win against league leaders Chelsea. Another key factor is that they are not in the Champions League, which may benefit them, they can focus and prepare properly for the league instead just like Chelsea did last year. It would not surprise me if Wenger used a whole new squad for the Europa League as that will not be a priority in a season that he has to prove himself.
1st: Manchester City. STAR MAN: Kevin De Bruyne, WATCH OUT FOR: Gabriel Jesus. It is hard to look past Pep Guardiola’s side this year with the additions made. They desperately needed fullbacks and a keeper, they sorted that by bringing in Ederson, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker. It is quite clear that they have the best all round squad and anything other than the title would be a massive disappointment. Expect Pep’s side to play some of the most exciting football ever seen in the Premier League as attackers (Aguero, B Silva, D Silva, KDB, Sane + more) adapt to Pep’s systems allowing for complete freedom in the final third.