Latest posts by Charlie Widdicombe (see all)
- So VAR, So Good? Is Video Assistant Referee Systems Helping? - January 29, 2018
- Sanchez And Mkhitaryan: Winners And Losers - January 22, 2018
- David Vs Goliath?- Why Moyes Shouldn’t Be Written Off Just Yet - November 20, 2017
With the premier league season having kicked off once again on the 12th of August, here are a few predictions of what might happen over the rest of the season.
Players to watch
It’s all about the strikers; It will be fascinating to see how Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette settle in at their new clubs- can they hit the ground running? Or can Giroud and Batshuayi unexpectedly hold down the no.9 role? One player that might catch the eye is Kelechi Icheanacho, who had an impressive goalscoring record for city, often notching from the bench. There is most certainly the potential to form a partnership with Jamie Vardy, and he could propel Leicester to the top of the midfield bunch. Saido Berahino has become something of a forgotten man at Stoke-after half a season of stability, the sale of Jon Walters and Marco Arnautovic may well end up with the Potters turning to Berahino to rediscover the form that earned him an England call up while at West Brom.
#PremierLeaguePredictions My top 4
— Arian. (@AzemiArian) August 13, 2017
Best transfer business
Everton have added a balanced mix of youth and experience, plenty of players with plenty of premier league appearances but also some exciting talents from abroad. They certainly have strength in depth, but is it enough to propel them into the top 6? There are plenty of question marks hanging over Wayne Rooney-his form could prove the difference. West Ham have added some quality players with premier league experience-Hernandez is sure to score goals, Hart has the chance to prove himself after an indifferent season at Torino, Arnautovic is a solid investment, and Zabaleta has a couple of years left in him. However, Manchester United’s business has been very shrewd indeed- Matic has already added composure to the midfield and should allow Pogba and Herrera to express themselves more offensively, and Victor Lindelof strengthens united’s back line. The capture of Romelu Lukaku could also prove vital in the title race- there’s no reason why he shouldn’t start scoring 25 goals a season with better service than he experienced at Everton.
Most likely to disappoint
Many people will expect Spurs to kick on once again and challenge for the title- however, they may well struggle playing their home games at Wembley, if their champions league games are anything to go by. It could well be a slow start for the whites this season.
Likely Title Winners
The likely departure of Coutinho will hit Liverpool hard, who have other weak points in their team that will likely leave them fighting for a top 4 spot. As aforementioned, Tottenham may well struggle at Wembley. Arsenal lack leaders on the pitch, although Lacazette may propel them back into the top 4, provided both Ozil and Sanchez remain happy at the club. Chelsea have a small squad that may struggle with the additional games of the champions league, and selling Matic to United may well come back to haunt them. Mourinho and Guardiola have both settled at the Manchester clubs and have made significant investments into their teams to suit them-I expect it to be a close battle between the two clubs, with United to edge it.
— Sky Sports PL ? (@SkySportsPL) August 25, 2017
A difficult one. Leicester should do well, but nothing Leicester do could surprise any football fan after 2015/16. I don’t expect any team to pull a giant rabbit out out the hat, but Crystal Palace have kept their start players such as Zaha and Benteke, and have made some strong loan signings in Loftus-Cheek and Fosu-Mensah that will provide competition in the squad. Palace could well improve significantly on last season’s 14th place finish under new manager Frank de Boer.
Teams to be relegated
Burnley have lost their talisman in Andre Gray and haven’t taken steps to replace the influential Michael Keane. Jon Walters is surely not enough of a replacement for Gray, whilst George Boyd was has been rather strangely sold to Sheffield Wednesday, despite being an ever-present in the team last year. Watford may struggle, but their capture of Gray may well keep them from the drop. Swansea have flirted with relegation for several years now, and the potential sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson could mean 2017/18 is the year they finally drop to the championship. Both Brighton and Huddersfield also look short on the quality required to establish themselves in the premier league, particularly Huddersfield who have found themselves in the top-flight somewhat unexpectedly.
First Manager to go
Conte appears to be unhappy with some of the transfer business done by Chelsea, but it appears unlikely he would walk out from the defending champions. Mark Hughes is under pressure to perform at Stoke, who haven’t done anything spectacular over summer, but perhaps Rafa Benitez is the most likely to walk, after growing frustrated with a lack of success in securing transfer targets.
— LeoniieLFC (@leoniieknappett) August 15, 2017