The Premier League season returns on Friday night as Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace and to prepare for the new campaign, following on from our Football League predictions, it is time for the Premier League 1-20 predictions. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.
20th - Bournemouth (R)
Given they have a severe lack of centre-backs, this looks like being a tough campaign for Bournemouth. The Cherries look weaker than they did when they were first relegated from the Premier League, I’m still unconvinced by Scott Parker and I think it will be an instant return to the Championship.
19th - Fulham (R)
Marco Silva’s side stormed to the Championship title last term with Aleksandar Mitrovic breaking the goalscoring record with 43 in 44 appearances and there’s a sense of excitement that he can finally get going in the top flight. But the Whites have lost Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool and Harry Wilson needs to cope with the step up. Kevin Mbabu, Andreas Pereira and Joao Palhinha are exciting additions and they will go close, but just fall beneath the dotted line.
- Championship 1-24 predictions
- Bournemouth set for another sticky campaign
- Betfred’s football markets*
18th - Wolves (R)
This may seem outside the box given they finished in the top half last term, but statistically Bruno Lage’s side were one of the worst in the division. The chances they created over the season only gave them an xG of 35.9, which is less than both Burnley and Watford managed, with only a pathetic Norwich City outfit posting a lower over xG (33.3) than Wolves. Even defensively they overperformed and I believe this could well catch up with them with disastrous consequences.
17th - Southampton
Southampton have been slowly drifting under Ralph Hassenhuttl, but somehow they always seem to survive. They were in stinking form at the end of last season and I think they’ll be in a relegation dog-fight this term, but just have enough about them to stay up. Relegation is coming for Saints, but it's not their time quite yet.
16th - Leeds United
Jessie Marsch will be one of the talking points of the campaign as Leeds look to move on from the Marcelo Bielsa era. This summer has been tough, as they’ve lost both Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, but some exciting additions can make this a reasonably successful season for Leeds.
Qué bueno volver a casa! Gran partido de todo el equipo con muchas cosas positivas. Estamos en el buen camino para comenzar la competición!!!
15th - Everton
Everton were in serious danger of getting relegated last term and now they have lost Richarlison, I think it is going to be another tough season. Having kept them up, Frank Lampard has some credit in the bank with Everton fans, but another season of struggle could see the tide turn on his stint at Goodison Park. They’ll survive. Just.
14th - Leicester City
It feels like Leicester are going backwards. Kasper Schmeichel looks likely to depart, there are bids in for James Maddison and Jamie Vardy is another year older. Wesley Fofana’s future looks unclear and for now, Brendan Rodgers has a lot on his plate in terms of incomings and outgoings. They should have enough to avoid any relegation worries, but the Foxes will have to settle for a bottom half finish.
13th - Nottingham Forest
It might seem strange to put the Championship’s play-off winners so high, but Steve Cooper is nothing short of a genius and their summer spending has been smart. Brennan Johnson is ready to light up the Premier League, Taiwo Awoniyi could be his perfect strike partner, while the additions of Neco Williams, Orel Mangala and Moussa Niakhate should help them defensively.
12th - Brentford
Thomas Frank’s Brentford improve season upon season. It’s just what they do. A 13th place finish in their debut Premier League campaign was seriously impressive given how Norwich and Watford struggled at the bottom. This time, with Ivan Toney leading the line, they’ll be in for another strong season.
11th - Aston Villa
Rounding off the bottom half is Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa. Bringing in Neil Critchley as assistant could be a major addition while Coutinho is set to flourish and Diego Carlos has been brought in as a defensive reinforcement. A top half finish is achievable, but I think they’ll just miss out.
10th - Crystal Palace
Replacing Conor Gallagher is Patrick Vieira’s biggest concern but with Morgan Gibbs-White on the radar and a whole host of attacking talent, Palace should be in for another decent season. Ebere Eze, Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise are always worth watching.
9th - Brighton and Hove Albion
Graham Potter’s Seagulls finished ninth last term, and there is little to suggest they will drop off this season. Potter is one of the finest managers in the division and with a few sensible additions they could find themselves contesting for the European spots. A top half finish will be another great success.
8th - Newcastle United
Newcastle’s resurgence last term led them to an amazing 11th place finish so if we follow that trend under Eddie Howe, there is no reason they can’t be right back amongst it this season. They’ve strengthened again, but the biggest addition could still be yet to come as they target Leicester's James Maddison in a deal that will be worth more than £50m. Get him, and Europe could be on the cards.
7th - West Ham United
David Moyes had found his groove in east London and now the Hammers have established themselves as a top half side. They’ll play in the Europa Conference League for the first time, which is a slight concern, but given how they dealt with their journey to the Europa League semis last term, it should be okay. Gianluca Scamacca could finally be the striker to relieve some of the pressure from the shoulders of Michail Antonio.
6th - Chelsea
Up to the big boys. I don’t like the noises coming out of Chelsea this summer at all. Thomas Tuchel isn’t happy, and that usually doesn’t end well. Raheem Sterling is a good addition, as is Kalidou Koulibaly, but Romelu Lukaku has left and the Blues are struggling in their pursuit of other targets. They’ve missed out on Jules Kounde to Barcelona and although their squad is packed full of quality, the murmurs of discontent make me think this could be a poor season for the Stamford Bridge side. Tuchel could well be gone in the winter.
5th - Arsenal
To contrast the Chelsea negativity, the positive vibes coming from Arsenal are refreshing. Gabriel Jesus is a sensational addition, while Oleksandar Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira could be huge for the club. But the bar is so high now for the top four, and I’m not sure Arsenal’s centre-back duo and goalkeeper are quite at the level of the other big six clubs. It’ll be that soft underbelly that sees them fall short, but boy will they be exciting to watch.
4th - Manchester United
Finally, after almost a decade of disappointment it feels like Manchester United have the right man in charge. Erik ten Hag has a lot to prove in the Premier League but from the early glimpses of pre-season, United’s players are responding to his methods. It’s easy to forget this group finished second two seasons ago and they have added more talent this summer. Fourth is more than achievable - get rid of Ronaldo and they could finish even higher.
3rd - Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte has finally managed to prise Daniel Levy’s purse from him and start spending. In addition to the January incomings, Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Djed Spence and Yves Bissouma have joined the club which has given Spurs fans true belief that they can challenge at the top again. Exciting times.
2nd - Liverpool
No prizes for predicting the top two here, but Liverpool and Man City are as strong as ever. Sadio Mane’s departure and Darwin Nunez’s arrival leaves some question marks and I don’t think the Reds will go as close this time around, but they have been the second best team in England for some time. Squad depth is still a concern so Jurgen Klopp will face a battle with Conte for second, but the Reds will finish in the Champions League spots again.
1st - Manchester City (C)
Champions. Again. Adding Erling Haaland to this potent mix should secure the title in more comfortable fashion than the final day stress the Citizens endured last season, but with Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling leaving, it does change the make up of their front line. Pep Guardiola is aiming to win his fifth title in the last six years and match the most dominant spell Sir Alex Ferguson had. With this squad and one of the best gaffers in the business, it should be another Manchester celebration in May.
*18+ | BeGambleAware