Premier League Predictions
August 5th, 2022 | Football
The Premier League 2022/23
I’m not normally one for predictions.
I like to share my thoughts and views surrounding things happening in football and like to leave readers with the chance to take my views and opinions on board to then build their own beliefs/views from there.
However before major competitions begin, I do like to share my thoughts on what I believe will happen. Football is a game that is near impossible to predict, but I’m going to share some of my thoughts on the upcoming Premier League season, along with reasons behind any predictions.
Relegated: Southampton, Bournemouth, Fulham
This one is really tough to predict.
After a long think, I believe the three sides that will be dropping down to the Championship are Southampton, Bournemouth and Fulham.
I’ve not been impressed with any of the three clubs transfer windows, which plays a big part in my opinion surrounding their Premier League survival chances. I don’t think Bournemouth have improved enough to a level where I’d say they are much better than they were in the Championship, therefore I believe they’ll struggle to compete at the top level.
Fulham have some decent players and I can’t see them being relegated convincingly and maybe it’s one which will go down to the last couple matches of the season. But I just feel the current quality in their squad is simply not good enough to survive in the Premier League.
Southampton, I know is a bit of an outsider, but I just don’t think their current squad has the depth or quality to compete. I know they pride themselves on fitness, especially their skipper Ward-Prowse, but I believe they are an injury away (especially if that was someone like Ward-Prowse) of being in serious bother.
Other teams you may have in this discussion are the likes of Nottingham Forest, Everton and Leeds United. I believe Leeds can kick on under the manager Jesse March and have better players than the other teams. However it will be interesting to see how they cope without Kalvin Philips. I think Everton may struggle. I personally don’t think it’s fair to go too hard on Lampard when he’s had limited time in the job, but at the same time he wasn’t incredible at Derby and underperformed massively at Chelsea in that second season. I’d be surprised if he lasted the full season, but then again we’ll see. I personally think Nottingham Forest will be safe. I rate the manager Steve Cooper and believe he improves players, which he’ll need to keep doing. His team’s are very difficult to beat as they are very solid and well organised defensively, but play some good football when in possession.
I also think signings like Dean Henderson, Neco Williams, Jesse Lingard and the talent they’ve got in star boy Brennan Johnson, they’ve got some real quality. They need to strengthen in terms of depth, but I think they’ve got a good chance of staying up if they continye invest in good, experienced, proven players.
Top Four: Manchester City (Champions), Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea (In that order).
This is difficult to judge. There is still potential transfer business to be done, which may change my opinion. I’m quite confident that Manchester City and Liverpool will make top four. I believe City will win the league, whilst Liverpool will finish behind them in second. City have a clear identity, settled staff, have bought well in the market, especially with Erling Haaland. Their quality in depth is incredible, it’s littered with regular internationals who would start for most other top clubs in Europe. This squad depth is the reason I believe Manchester City will beat Liverpool to the title. If Liverpool lose one of their key players, a Salah, Van Dijk or Alexander-Arnold, I don’t think they have that quality in depth and players that can step in and perform to the level required.
Outside of those top two spots, it’s tough to call. I don’t see a team from outside the traditional top six challenging for a top six finish this season. Out of the other top six sides, in my opinion, Tottenham seem to have it most together in terms of personnel, minimal disruption, a good manager in Antonio Conte and a consistent style of play. So I believe Spurs, if the other teams don’t do substantial business, can finish third.
Chelsea have some good players, but I think they’ve been quite inconsistent in the league under Tuchel since the German took over. I believe Raheem Sterling is a top signing who can score lots of goals, potentially either out-wide or playing as a central forward. But I don’t believe they have a striker who can guarantee them over twenty goals a season, the kind that only needs one or two chances to score a goal. Sterling possess great movement and if he gets lots of service, which he’ll need to succeed, then perhaps he could step up. But still, that’s just one player. I just don’t think Chelsea have enough quality in depth to withstand a long, competitive campaign, especially in the centre-back areas.
Manchester United have had an impressive pre-season campaign with Erik ten Hag. The dutchman and his coaches have clearly already began to change the way the Red Devils are playing. They look more dangerous in attack and more proactive out of possession. The red devils are however lacking depth in attack, defensive midfield and arguably right-back. And while the academy is filled with some really exciting prospects, it’s unfair to expect them to step up should injuries occur. The young talents can play some part this season, but I think it would be better if they were integrated into the team in the cup competitions. Anthony Martial has a mixed injury record and is already a doubt for the opening game of the season, Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is unclear, so that centre-forward position is the biggest danger. Marcus Rashford could play there, but then who plays on the wing? United have made some good acquisitions thus far, but they need to further strengthen the squad if they want to compete in all competitions and achieve success in the league, whether that success is European football or something more.
Arsenal have made some good signings with Gabriel Jesus being the standout name. The gunners will be slightly disappointed to not have achieved Champions League qualification last season, but with the general inconsistency that has been present since Arteta took charge, Europa League football, the schedule that brings and questionable squad-depth it’s difficult to see them gaining top-four, especially when you consider they failed to achieve it last season despite Chelsea being inconsistent and Manchester United and Tottenham going through disrupted seasons (both clubs sacking managers).
I believe it’s between Manchester United and Chelsea for that other top-four spot. Both teams have good managers, made some exciting signings and are likely to compete until the latter stages of the season in their respective European competitions. Both teams will have to be lucky with injuries to gain a top-four spot above the other. But I just feel unless Manchester United strengthen their squad depth, they will be worse affected by injuries when compared to Chelsea. Which is why, unless United act in the market and are lucky with injuries, I could see them gaining the last top-four spot.
Golden Boot – Erling Haaland
This is interesting. I can see a few names stand out in my head. I think Kane and Son can score lots of goals in Tottenham’s system, especially with Conte having had a full pre-season. Sterling’s movement in and around the box can make him a real threat. I could see Sterling scoring lots of goals if Chelsea play to the best of their ability. I know Salah is a good player, but that front-three is more disrupted then ever so I question whether he can match the numbers he has previously. But I’m going to go with the obvious choice for my golden boot prediction in Haaland. The chances City create combined with Haaland’s pace, power and movement is a match I just can’t see not working. Once Haaland builds chemistry with his teammates, I can see him doing really well for City this season and beyond.
Dark Horse Golden Boot – Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial has enjoyed a good pre-season with Manchester United, playing in a dynamic front-three with Rashford on the left and Jadon on the right and scoring three goals. The Frenchman had a great 19/20 season, which is the last time he had a full season as the first choice no.9 with limited competition, netting 23 goals in all competitions. But since then has had two disappointing campaigns, both with injury disruption at key times. But he’s looked a lot more refreshed and focused this pre-season. He’s linked up well with teammates, held up the ball well and looks to be flourishing early on in this Erik ten Hag system. If the Frenchman stays fit and gets plenty of game time, which I believe he will this season under Erik ten Hag, I can see him recapturing his best form and getting back amongst the goals on a regular basis.
By Jack Dixon