Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2017/2018 season is just a few hours away. After a long summer, the curtain was effectively raised last weekend when Arsenal took on Chelsea at The New Wembley in London for the Community Shield. A pre-season friendly for the team the goes home empty handed, a major trophy for the team that wins. Arsenal had a good come from behind win on penalties while Chelsea need to sort out who takes penalties for them (I’m looking at you Courtois…) Yes. Antoinio Conte, the man holding the Premier League trophy in that photo right above this text, had his GOALKEEPER take the second penalty in the shootout that debuted the new ABBA system of kicking. Pedro got sent off, while Willian got a yellow card for diving. Kolasinac scored the equalizer off the bench and this may not be the last time we see him score from left back (Fantasy players pick him up!)
Now, why you all are here, the prediction. It is really close to impossible to predict the EPL table and I’m gonna admit that. Due to how tight the table usually is between 10th and 17th I am only gonna predict the top 7, bottom 5 and who will be the surprise package and the first 3 managers to get the sack. *I’m making these predictions before the season starts, there’s still potential for transfers to be made so things could dramatically change in the next 3 weeks*
Everyone is predicting that The Clarets are going down, I honestly think they might pull through. They hung on to Tom Heaton as their goalie and that will play a part in their survival this season, loosing Gray and Keane was massive, but they will manage to pull through.
17th. Crystal Palace
I think Crystal Palace will do just enough to stay up, this could come down to the last few games of the season but they aren’t going down, they will struggle but not as much as the three teams bellow them.
I think this is a slam dunk pick, the swans have been on the cusp of relegation, and now the Sigurdsson may be on the move, they don’t have enough going forwards, Llorente is old and injured, I don’t think they will make it.
19th. Brighton and Hove Albion
Every year people predict the team coming up to go right back down, I think Brighton aren’t going to do too well in the Premier League, they haven’t done enough in the transfer market and will struggle to adapt to life in the top flight.
20th. Huddersfield Town
That’s right, I’m predicting that Huddersfield are also going right back down, they are probably the weakest team in the EPL this season and won’t last too long with the big boys. Made it to the EPL through the Playoffs and it shall be a long season. Lets not forget, they were tipped to go down last year, but they somehow managed to sneak into the playoffs.
The Top 7
Now, this is going to raise a few eyebrows here and there, some people will undoubtedly be offended by this and raise questions, but this is an unbiased opinion based on the clubs squads as off the 11th of August 2017. I also think this is going to be one tight season, the top 7 will probably be at most 10/15 points apart.
7th. Chelsea (1st last season)
I don’t think that Chelsea have the depth to compete in the EPL and Champions League. The holders have one of the smallest squads, they keep loaning out players and are being linked with Danny Drinkwater… I honestly do not think Drinkwater is a decent replacement for Matic, in fact, the only reason they want Drinkwater is because he meets their Homegrown requirement. As of now they only have 3 strikers in their squad, one of which (Costa) is on strike and wants to leave. Morata hasn’t been proven in the EPL and could struggle, Conte has already come out and said that Morata isn’t ready to play his system yet… Last season they had the beautiful bonus of playing just the EPL and having only one game a week, that helped them considerably in their bid for the title. All that being said, I think they will do well in Europe.
6th. Everton (7th last season)
The Toffees are an interesting pick, a couple of weeks ago I had them finishing in the top 4, but right now, they haven’t used the ‘Lukaku’ money. They have splashed the cash and brought in unbelievable talent. Keane, Pickford, Klaasen, Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney to name a few. I feel that they need another striker and they could finish further up the table, Goodison Park is a tough place to play at for away teams and this could be the year Everton break into the top 6 (maybe top 4). They could also be dark horses in the Europa League, I think they will make a deep run.
5th. Arsenal (5th last season)
Oh Arsenal… the team was known for finishing 4th but I don’t think that’s going to be the case anymore. Sanchez wants to head out, they have issues all over the place, but yet they have made one of the best transfers of the window with Kolasinac coming in. Lacazette is going to score goals, but will it be enough? I don’t think so, I think that Wenger is going to put his eggs in the Europa League basket and try and get back in the UCL that way. If Alexis leaves, I see Arsenal struggling. One thing I can promise all you readers, Arsenal Fan TV is going to have rants all season. Watch out for DT and Troopz.
Now, the Champions League spots
4th. Spurs (2nd last season)
As of this moment, Spurs are the only club in the EPL to not make a SINGLE signing. They have sold their best right back to a direct rival (Kyle Walker to City) and are going to play this season at The New Wembley. Oh Daniel Levy what are you doing? Go buy someone mate. I know you need the funds to build the new stadium but do you really want to become the next Arsenal? Builds a new stadium, doesn’t sign anyone, stuck in a rut. Kane is probably going to bang a few goals in, Alli is gonna light it up, but who’s gonna score if Kane gets injured? Son is not a striker, he can play there but he’s no Harry Kane. Clubs are going to roll into Wembley thinking, wow we are playing at Wembley, they are going to play their hearts out. This is gonna be a long season for both halves of North London. With regards to the Champions League, they have to make it to the knockouts, I don’t see Alli and Kane sticking around if they don’t.
3rd. Liverpool (4th last season)
Now, Liverpool could honestly slide down a few spots on this list and finish as low as 6th, but I think they are going to just be better than the two teams behind them, and miles ahead of Chelsea/Everton. They will struggle to bag goals but their defense is looking better this year. If Coutinho leaves, I think they will struggle to make the top 4. They also are my pick to drop down to the Europa League, it could happen in the next 15 days if they don’t win their Playoff versus Hoffenheim.
2nd. Manchester City (3rd last season)
Now, there are a whole bunch of arguments putting United 2nd, City 1st but hear me out. City have solidified their defense, brought in Bernado Silva who will be massive provided he can adapt. They fixed their goalkeeper with Ederson breaking the world record for a goal keeper, brought in the best English right back, brought in Mendy, but didn’t buy anyone in case Vincent Kompany gets injured. He missed 22 of Manchester City’s games last season due to injury. Who’s going to be the commander of that back 4 if he’s out? Yaya Toure is aging, he struggled to get game time last season and will continue to this year. Pep needs to get a central midfielder that can defend, KdB and co are all attackers, they have no support coming back. Gabriel Jesus is going to score a lot of goals, but it isn’t going to be enough. Hopefully he can stay fit along with Aguero. I do think that City are looking good for the champions league semi-finals, as long as they don’t draw a heavy hitter in the groups or early knockouts.
1st. Manchester United (6th last season)
Second Season Magic. Jose has won the league in his second season with every club he has managed. This year will be no different. Manchester United needed the following, Defensive reinforcement, a holding midfielder and a new goal threat. Their signings so far, Lindelof, Matic and Lukaku. They have ticked every box. This year, by signing Matic they will free up Pogba and allow him to play his natural game. Watch out for Pogba and Lukaku this season, Mkhitaryan is going to play a key role as well. If they bring in another key player, they could run away with the league this season. They have the easiest start to the league, they don’t play a potential top 7 team in their first 4 games, and a title rival till Mid-October. I see them doing well in the league, probably the quarter finals of the Champions League, again, provided they don’t draw a Madrid or Munich early.
The surprise package, as you have probably already noticed is going to be Everton. I think they have it in them to do a job this year and they will be up there.
1st. Conte (Chelsea)
In the past, Conte has walked away himself due to lack of transfers, this season may be no different, he’s complained about how he hasn’t brought in players, he was not happy that Matic went to a title rival and he could be the first one gone.
2nd. Wagner (Huddersfield)
I’ve said this before, I don’t think they are going to do well in the EPL, I think they will struggle and Wagner’s head is going to hit the chopping block.
3rd. Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)
I personally believe that Newcastle are going to do well this season, but, they will go on a poor run of form at some point. The reason I think Rafa is going to get the sack is because of Mike Ashley, the man is crazy and will sack the manager if he thinks the team isn’t getting results. Roman Abramovich 2.0
There we have it. My EPL 2017/2018 season prediction. Feel free to drop a comment and follow me! Don’t forget to tweet at me and I’ll answer all the questions you may have!