A rare post for me, but if you didn’t know, I enjoy a wide range of sports, but most of all football. I am excited for the new season to kick off on Friday and I thought I would give a little breakdown of where I think teams will finish by the end of the season. Apologies if your team is lower than expected in advance.
- Manchester City
They have improved in the one place they required a good back up and that was in the defensive midfield position. So far they have not lost any players that are critical to the success of their team. They look as if they will just carry on as they have the past few seasons and I predict they will probably win the league by with over 5 points between them and second place…
I just don’t see Liverpool winning the league anytime soon and with the team not really enhancing it’s first 11 so far, I worry that if one or heaven forbid two of Salah, Mane and Firmino are injured for any period of time that they may struggle. Again, the transfer window hasn’t closed yet, so there is still time, but I feel their bench and squad isn’t strong enough to win the whole thing.
- Manchester United
United have strengthened where they desperately needed to and as long as they do not play Ashley Young anywhere near the defence, they should be fine. The big question marks are on Lukaku and Pogba, with Lukaku set for a move away, this opens up the chance for Martial to play as a striker. Seeing as that is his best position, that might just work. I feel still need a poacher if Lukaku leaves and someone to replace Pogba if he also moves on. Otherwise, it is a strong team to finish in the top four. I can’t see them challenging for the league, but comfortably in the top four is a start. My other reason for picking a top-three finish for United is that their last 8 games are quite kind.
- Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs are always in that tricky position where they very much overachieved with the squad they have seeing as they had no new additions last season. Potential injuries are a big worry for Spurs as they usually pick up a few vital ones throughout the season and another worry is their defence. Have they really replaced those who have left enough to fight for the title? I say no, but they like United, should comfortably make the top four.
Unless Arsenal sign a couple of defenders (and get rid of Mustafi) then I cannot see then getting into the top four this season. They are so defensively light that it doesn’t make sense that they are signing MORE attacking players. They have recruited in the wrong areas and it may be a long hard season for them.
This is a big rebuild year for Chelsea, they have a manager who if the media believes dragged that Derby team to the Playoff final, but he took over a team that finished sixth in the Championship and had them finish… sixth. I think it is far too early for him to be managing Chelsea, but as long as they know this is very much a rebuilding season (seeing as they lost Hazard and can’t sign anyone), invest in their great youth system for a change, then they may get up there. But, for now, I can only see a sixth position finish on their horizon.
Leicester will invest that Maguire money well and will undoubtedly challenge for a Euro spot. It may be a year or two too early for them to push higher, but this is Leicester and they might just do something special… How high they finish will depend on how well they invest that money into their defence as that is now a weak area for them.
I have Wolves in at 8th for one reason and one reason only, clubs who qualify for the Europa League for the first time in years always struggle in the league while they try to juggle both. For teams like Wolves they will not have as big a squad as the usual European suspects, so I can see them flagging a tad, especially pre December in the group stage games.
Everton has been linked with everyone (including you probably) and haven’t signed many players and have seen more players leave. They will need to get a move on with their signings if they want to challenge for Europe, but sadly for the Toffee’s, I predict another midtable endeavour.
Bournemouth started so well last season and hopefully, their strikers can keep that free-scoring nature going. Like most teams, they are a little defensively frail at the minute and some injuries will impact them. Losing Brooks for the start of the season is quite the blow. I originally had Bournemouth finishing a little higher, but their lack of defensive signings made me reconsider. I see them finishing higher up than last year purely because now they new players from last season should have gelled more to become a prime attacking unit.
- West Ham United
I can’t see West Ham breaking into the top 10 this year, and for some players to say they should target Europe is a bit of a pipe dream. After the Man City game, they have the chance to make good progress with their next three league games. But, this is West Ham and they never do things the easy way.
Not really sure how to begin with Watford, they haven’t truly signed anyone of note who will enhance their team to make them a top 10 team, but they also won’t be in danger of getting relegated. They are firmly stuck in that unhappy middle and unless there are a few more signings, they will have to be content there.
Burnley struggled so much last season because of their European campaign, it took them a long while to get going, but when they did, they looked fairly safe. Their style may not be everyone’s cup of tea nowadays, but, it works and there is nothing wrong with that. A strong mid-table finish and a finish further up the table next season.
- Crystal Palace
Is it unfair to think that Crystal Palace’s season depends on if they keep Zaha? It might seem harsh but they are almost in that Watford box, where I can’t see them breaking into the top 10, but I also can’t see them getting caught in a relegation battle. Hopefully I am wrong and they can have a good challenge, but for now…
Poor Southampton, the fixture schedule was absolutely horrific to them for the opening 10 games, with seven of those matches being against the top 8 teams in the league. They survived last season and I think they will again, but it will be another close one for them.
- Aston Villa
Signings aplenty will have Villa hopeful of surviving on their return to the league, and I can very much see that happening. They won’t be world-beaters, and they will have to get a large portion of their points in the opening half of the season as their last 9 matches are hard to look at. You will know where they will stand relegation wise by mid-January at the latest.
This will be a tough, tough year for Brighton. They were quite lucky that the other teams around them were just so terrible, otherwise, they would have been a casualty too. To their credit, they are trying to get some attacking oomph into their squad and are splashing big with their purchases. Will that be enough to keep them up? I think so, but barely.
To survive Norwich are going to have to learn to defend and I don’t think they will be able to stop other clubs coming in and taking them apart. Norwich also scored a hell of a lot in Championship, they won’t find it so easy this season. There is quality in that team, but just not enough to stay up sadly.
- Sheffield United
Their promotion was probably a season or two too early for this team, but they won’t mind as it will be a great experience for the over squad as there have not been too many changes and the manager wants to keep the playing style the same. I can see nothing but relegation this time around for them, but if there is one surprise team to stay up, it will be them.
Other than losing their manager, Newcastle has lost their top two strikers who contributed over 50% of their goals last season. They have brought in a striker for £40 million and scored 7 goals last season the last of which was in March. That is one hell of a gamble and one that will not pay off. If Newcastle survive this season it will be a miracle. I almost think that Bruce was signed now in preparation for relegation as He is good at getting clubs promoted. Too Harsh?
So there we have it, where do you think teams will place this season?