Premier League Predictions 2017/2018

With the Premier League kicking off this evening, the three of us weigh in with our predictions for the season ahead, with words from Charles MacDonald-Jones.

This season is shaping up as Manchester City’s to lose. Though he will never admit it, perhaps Pep Guardiola was a little taken aback by the challenges that the Premier League presented last season. He will not be taken by surprise this time round, however, and with a wealth of defensive reinforcements and Bernardo Silva added to the most potent attack in the league, there is little room for failure this year. Kevin de Bruyne looks like he can push on to be the best in the league, and if – a big if – Vincent Kompany stays fit, then the title looks a near certainty.

Jose Mourinho has also bought well, and Manchester United should reasonably be expected to challenge for the title this season, although he has certainly bought more time than Guardiola by winning two trophies in his first season in Manchester (or three, depending on who you ask). Nemanja Matic already looks like a coup from league rivals Chelsea – he was one of the few players who looked assured against Real Madrid in the Super Cup – and Romelu Lukaku arrives as a proven Premier League striker.

With Antonio Conte clearly not happy with Chelsea’s reinforcements in the transfer window, Arsenal facing a gruelling Europa League campaign and Liverpool also playing in Europe, the Manchester clubs look likely to do battle at the top of the table – although it is never wise to write off the champions. If the board manage to appease Conte, then Chelsea will also be in the mix. But Chelsea were lucky with a lack of injuries last term round and a thinner squad – combined with participation in the Champions League – mean that Chelsea’s surge to the top won’t be so easy this time round.

The only team for whom little seems to have changed is Spurs. Kyle Walker may have left for Manchester City but the impression was that Tottenham were happy to see him leave, especially as they already had a more than adequate replacement in Kieran Trippier. But with Danny Rose now making overtures towards any club that is willing to splash the cash for players, questions are starting to be asked about how long Mauricio Pochettino can keep his team happy – especially taking into account Spurs’ tight wage structure.

Down at the other end, Brighton and Huddersfield are in for gruelling maiden Premier League campaigns. Brighton did well in the Championship last season but questions remain over their summer spending, while Huddersfield’s promotion could reasonably be classed as an overachievement given previous seasons’ performances. Burnley might also struggle to replicate last season – Michael Keane will undoubtedly be missed and Sean Dyche is yet to plug the gap. Treading water at the highest level may yet prove to be costly for the Clarets.

Charles

Top Four

Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Three at the Bottom

Brighton, Burnley, Huddersfield

First Manager to Get the Sack

Craig Shakespeare

Best Signing

Chicarito (West Ham)

One to Watch

Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)

Matt

Top Four

Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Three at the Bottom

20. Huddersfield 19. Burnley 18. Watford

First Manager to Get the Sack

Marco Silva

Best Signing

Roque Mesa (Swansea)

One to Watch

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

Will

Top Four

Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs

Three at the Bottom

Brighton, Huddersfield, Burnley

First Manager to Get the Sack

Mark Hughes

Best Signing

Mo Salah

One to Watch

Gabriel Jesus

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