With the new Premier League season kicking off already I figured I should jump right into and take my best guess at each teams final position! (I am by no means saying I am correct, this is just my opinion! Feel free to chime in with your thoughts!)
1st Place- Liverpool
In a bit of shock a I’m taking the electric, expensive side being pieced together by Jurgen Klopp over at Anfield. Look for their front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to continue cutting through opponents defenses time and again. Their new look midfield has the talent to work as a unit and control the middle of the park. New signings Naby Keita and Fabinho will bring consistency and creativity that will be hard to match. A solid defense anchored by the second most expensive goalkeeper ever in Alisson will be tough to break down making them my top pick to come home with some shiny silverware to dust off the trophy shelves with.
2nd Place- Manchester City
In a true coin flip between first and second, I chose to put City second following Liverpool’s dominance against them last season. The Citizens have made one big signing in Riyad Mahrez for over $75 million and have spent the rest of the window poaching youth talent from across the globe. City could very easily finish first but the benefit of writing this article a touch after the season has started gives me the news that star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be sidelined for roughly three months after suffering a knee injury in training. (I know, I cheated) This injury is what I will call the stumbling block and give Liverpool that little bit of daylight they need to win the league.
3rd Place- Tottenham
Although they made no signings this window, becoming the first team to ever do so since the summer window opened in 2003, Spurs are still in a strong position. Star players like Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris will anchor a squad that will continue to play excellent football under Mauricio Pochettino. If they can keep hold of players such as Toby Alderweireld through the summer expect Spurs to continue their impressive run of league finishes without trophies to match.
4th Place- Chelsea
I’ll admit now that I am a Chelsea fan and probably more than a little biased. However I think that Maurizio Sarri will surprise a lot of people by sneaking the Blues into a top 4 finish they so desperately crave. Eden Hazard will prove vital to the teams ability going forward while Jorginho looks to anchor the midfield and keep things ticking. After the Thibaut Courtois exodus that left a sour taste in many a mouth, new man Kepa Arrizabalaga seems set to make a name for himself. With a strong core of defenders and a plethora of riches in the midfield I can see the Stamford Bridge faithful applauding many a game this season.
5th Place- Manchester United
Again being a Chelsea fan may not help me here but I’ve seen firsthand the ugliness of the infamous Mourinho third year drama. A lack of big summer signings not to mention more than a bit of complaining from the “Special One” has me asking questions about the Red Devils and the overall team spirit. Don’t get me wrong this team has loads of quality. David De Gea is looking to shake his World Cup monkey off his back and reestablish himself as the world top keeper. The attack and midfield have flair and talent in the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku just to name a few. If Mourinho can keep the wheels from falling off, United could surge into the top 4 at the expense of Spurs or Chelsea but that remains to be seen.
6th Place- Arsenal
In all reality positions 3 through 6 of my predictions could go in any order. However I believe Unai Emery’s first year at the Emirates may leave more than one Gunner fan wondering what life with Arsene Wenger still at the helm may have looked like. Although they made quality signings, more than a tactical change is needed for the Gunners. Players like Mesut Ozil need to work harder, especially in tracking back defensively. Lucas Torreira may very well prove to be high quality and could push Aaron Ramsey or Granit Xhaka out of Emery’s starting XI. I don’t see Arsenal being to make a jump to a new style under Emery very quickly and that could be a painful start to the Spaniard’s time at the helm.
7th Place- Everton
New boss Marco Silva inherits a team that has taken a bit of an exotic flavor in the Toffees. Everton splashed the cash this window, bringing in three Barcelona players in defenders Yeray Mina and Lucas Digne as well as midfielder Andre Gomes. Not to mention they also dropped a large sum to bring in the Brazilian frontman Richarlison from Watford, following his old boss in Silva. Look for stylish, well-played football this season at Goodison Park with Everton being the most likely remaining team to try and upset the seeming vice grip on the top 6 teams in the Premier League.
8th Place- Leicester City
With memories of their magical title run slowly fading, the Foxes have done a solid job cementing their place in the Premier League for years to come. Having made large profit on the sales of N’golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez in recent years, Leicester has become a deeper and more seasoned squad. Smart signings addressing an aging defense and a need in creative, attacking players has Claude Puel and his side sitting in firmly in the top half. Look for James Maddison to potentially blossom in his jump from Championship football with Norwich City to the Premier League with his new side.
9th Place- West Ham United
After disappointing last season under David Moyes, the Hammers heard their fans loud and clear. Sweeping changes were made with Manuel Pellegrini coming in to manage the side and a fresh batch of players brought in. There will be flair in the attack with new signings Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko tearing down the flanks. Young centerback Issa Diop will also be looking to take his place in an aging West Ham back line after his big money switch from Toulouse. A top ten finish is definitely a realistic goal for this side and with the quality they have they should be able to reach it.
10th Place- Wolverhampton Wanderers
A top half finish is a bit of a shock for a newly promoted side but Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are a fine bunch. Having brushed aside Championship opposition and adding high quality players to their side Wolves seem poised to take their place in the Premier League for years to come. The early adjustments to the top flight may take a little time but this heavily Portuguese outfit led by veterans Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio, as well as youngsters like Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota should play with class and skill to guide Wolves to a solid finish in their first year up.
11th Place- Newcastle United
Magpies fans must feel blessed beyond belief that Rafa Benitez is at the helm. The man has been nothing short of a God send to the club having guided them to relative success in the Premier League despite owner Mike Ashley looking like he may have a nose bleed if they spend over 15 million on a player. Quality budget deals and loan signings will see Rafa keep Newcastle near mid table again but will his patience with Ashley continue to be tested? Only time will tell. An underrated signing I like is Fabian Schar. The Swiss international came over after his release clause of nearly 4 million dollars at Deportivo la Coruna was met by Newcastle. He is a quality defender and will bring consistency to a vital position on the field for a team looking to concede as few goals as possible.
12th Place- Southampton
Mark Hughes will continue to do Mark Hughes things and that is keep teams afloat in the Premier League. After a big relegation scare last season, Southampton are back and hoping for a more solid finish this season. Although they sold well-known talisman Dusan Tadic to Ajax, the Saints were quick to plug the gap by signing Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi to bring some flair to their attack. The oft-injured Danny Ings was brought in for an eye-watering 25 million dollars but if he can stay healthy, he will also bolster the Saints front line and help them to a respectable finish.
13th Place- Fulham
For a newly promoted team, the Cottagers went all out this summer window throwing around over 100 million dollars to bring in a whopping 11 players. A fresh look at all positions on the field, look for marquee signing Jean Michael Seri to provide a stable presence in the midfield to go along side the likes of Tom Cairney and fellow new boy Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. Ryan Sessegnon will look to continue his rise to the top of English wonder-kids after winning Championship Player of the Year as a 17 year old! Fulham could definitely over perform this prediction and finish higher but I see a bit of a transition phase at the start of the season for them which could slow them out of the gates.
14th Place- Crystal Palace
After the worst start in Premier League history last season under Alan Pardew, the Flying Eagles were righted by the experienced Roy Hodgson and led to an 11th place finish. The team remains primarily unchanged with four players being brought in. The most notable is the 22 year old German midfielder Max Meyer on a free transfer. Once tabbed to be the next big thing, expectations for Meyer have lowered a bit as he looks to regain what had scouts buzzing in his younger years. The man with a new contract, Wilfried Zaha will look to take this team by the scruff of their collective necks and carry them beyond relegation danger to a decent finish in Hodgson’s first full year at the helm.
15th Place- Burnley
Sean Dyche is a quality manager and led the Clarets to a very unexpected 7th place finish. However a lack of major summer signings aside from maybe Ben Gibson (sorry Joe Hart) has left an aging Burnley squad looking thinner and older by the minute. With the task of Europa League looming as well as life in England, it could be a painful gut check for players and fans alike as fatigue sets in and results start to slide.
16th Place- Bournemouth
The Cherries have become near regulars in the Premier League after three straight seasons and the credit belongs with Eddie Howe. The young manager deserves all the praise for how his team scraps and plays hard despite not being as financially backed as fellow English opponents. Howe has his work cut out for him this year with only three fresh faces entering the side. The big money signing of Jefferson Lerma from Levante will hopefully bring some fresh energy and power to an aging midfield in need of fresh blood. I see the Cherries surviving, but barely.
17 Place- Watford FC
The ever revolving managerial door that is Watford Football Club has a new man at the helm in Javi Garcia who has a career win percentage of 41%. That is not inspiring nor impressive. However Watford made some decent signings this summer in bringing back Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent deal. The Spanish talisman is quick and talented on the ball and will link up well with strikers Troy Deeney and Andre Gray. Vicarage Road will have to be a safe haven this season as going on the road in the Premier League is never an easy task. Expect a relegation battle all season that will have fans sweating it out.
18th Place- Brighton and Hove Albion
I could see the Seagulls possibly staying up this season depending on their signings individual successes. I see a lot of these signings not panning out. That includes Alireza Jahanbakash. Brighton’s big money signing was the leading scorer in the Eredivise last season but players coming out of the Netherlands tend to be hit or miss. Just ask Spurs, Christian Eriksen has been a smashing success while Vincent Janssen has not panned out what so ever. Chris Hughton’s side will struggle this season and I expect their short lived Premier League lives to be over.
19th Place- Huddersfield Town
With lead signings targeting the defense in Terrence Kongolo and Erik Durm, the Terriers will look to solidify themselves from the back going forwards. Although a solid defense is very important, Huddersfield has very little going forward. Glenn Murray will lead the attack and midfielder Pascal Gross will look to bring creativity. David Wagner did a great job keeping his team up this past season but I don’t see lightning striking twice. Wave goodbye to the Terriers who will potentially be playing like puppies by the time the season is over.
20th Place- Cardiff City
Where to start with this side? Unattractive summer signings and a negative style of play will see Cardiff easily dispatched by many teams on a fast track to relegation. Neil Warnock’s side offer little in terms of attack and are just all around lower quality. Divine intervention will keep this side in the Premier League and little else. I see the Bluebirds being the first confirmed team for relegation and Warnock to be the first manager to be fired.
So what do you think of my predictions? Let me know what you think in the comments and share this post with your friends! Keep your eyes out for my next post! Thank you to Fredrik @F_Edits for his great image work!