As the new Premier League season creeps ever closer, we’ve decided to check in with fans of all 20 clubs to gauge their opinions on everything from their expectations to the league’s winners and losers.
In this edition we catch up with @WEAREBRIGHTON to ask them about Brighton’s key men and their Premier League predictions.
Brighton finished ninth last time out, just seven points behind Manchester United in sixth, conceding less goals than 14 other Premier League sides. If they can improve their attacking returns this season, a push for a European spot could easily be on the cards.
What are your expectations for the season ahead and where do you think you will finish in the league?
[Chairman] Tony Bloom has stated his ambition of establishing Brighton as a top ten Premier League club. After finishing ninth last season, the challenge for Albion now is to prove that was not a fluke. Most Brighton fans are realistic to know that repeating the magic is harder than the original trick. There are countless examples of sides who went from a surprise top 10 finish to fighting relegation the following year, most recently Sheffield United and Leeds. With Yves Bissouma gone, Neal Maupay likely to go and Manchester City after Marc Cucurella, we could go into 2022-23 with a weaker squad than we finished 2021-22 with. I would expect us to avoid being sucked into the scrap at the bottom, finishing anywhere between 10th and 14th. As one of the less-rich clubs, that would represent a successful season.
Which player do you think will have the best season and why?
Brighton lost six games in a row through the spring and then drew 0-0 at home to a terrible Norwich side. The season was drifting into nothingness. Then Graham Potter chucked Moises Caicedo into the starting XI and it revitalised the campaign. He has lost only once in eight Premier League games - and that was to City - with the Albion beating Arsenal, Spurs, Wolves, Manchester United and West Ham since his elevation into midfield. You can see why he has been labelled as one of the hottest young players in South America. If he carries on this season as he finished the last, then it will not be long until one of the biggest clubs in Europe comes seeking his services.
Which player do you think will surprise other fans/pundits this season and why?
Danny Welbeck enjoyed his best run of games for several years at the end of last season following Brighton taking the plunge and sending him for surgery on a troublesome hamstring. He has obviously worked hard over the summer, seeing as he returned to training looking like Thor's more muscular brother. If these new-found fitness levels hold, then he could be in line to surprise a lot of people - especially if other opponents still struggle to find a way to counteract Potter's 3-3-3-1 formation which caused such confusion in the final eight games of 2021-22 with Dat Guy as the focal point.
Which team will win the league?
Manchester City, presuming Erling Haaland copes with the step up in class to the Premier League. Which I think he will. Liverpool will go close. But when City have the outright backing of a wealthy oil nation desperate to win trophies to sports-wash their horrible human rights record, not many other teams stand a chance.
Which three teams will be relegated?
Fulham and Bournemouth will yo-yo back to the Championship, probably to be replaced by Norwich and Watford. I think Leeds will join them as they did not look great once Jesse Marsch took over last season and they have since sold their two best players.
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