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Premier League pre-season predictions and betting tips

Predicting where all 20 clubs will finish this season

1) Manchester City

In: Erling Braut Håland (Borussia Dortmund; £75 million), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United; £50 million), Julián Álvarez (River Plate; £14 million), Stefan Ortega (Arminia Bielefeld; free).

Out: Raheem Sterling (Chelsea; £48 million), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal; £45 million), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal; £32 million), Gavin Bazunu (Southampton; £12 million), Roméo Lavia (Southampton; £10.5 million), Fernandinho (Atlético Paranaense; free), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough; loan).

Given that they’ve won four of the last five titles, it’s hardly a bold prediction that Manchester City will win the title again is it?

English fans often poke fun at the Bundesliga or Ligue 1 for being a one-team league, well the Premier League is trending in a similar direction.

Pep Guardiola has won ten league titles in 13 attempts and, while he remains in place in Manchester, this tally is only likely to rise.

The Citizens have shaken up their squad this summer, selling Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus who, between them, made 697 appearances for the club.

Despite missing an open goal in the Community Shield, Håland is going to score 1,000 goals this season isn’t he?

The Norwegian is quite unique in the world of football and he’ll surely make this already unstoppable force even more unstoppable.

Tip of the season

2) Tottenham Hotspur

In: Richarlison (Everton; £60 million), Yves Bissouma (Brighton; £25 million), Ivan Perišić (Internazionale; free), Djed Spence (Middlesbrough; £20 million), Clément Lenglet (Barcelona; loan), Fraser Forster (Southampton; free).

Out: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax; £26.5 million), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic; £6 million).

If it wasn’t for Man City, who’ve averaged 92 points since 2017/18, Tottenham fans could seriously be dreaming of a first title for 61 years.

Antonio Conte has won eight major trophies during his managerial career, including four Scudettos and the Premier League in 2017.

So, this season, Spurs fans will certainly be hoping he can end the club’s 15-year wait for major silverware.

In Premier League terms, Tottenham ended the last campaign by winning 11 of their final 16 matches.

This saw them storm into the Champions League places, so will return to that competition for the first time since 2019/20.

They’ve certainly been busy this summer, making six signings, giving them the greater squad depth required to fight on multiple fronts.

Also, last season, Spurs excelled in big games, taking eight points from matches against Manchester City and Liverpool.

All of this points towards a strong season for Spurs.


3) Liverpool

In: Darwin Núñez (Benfica; £65 million), Fábio Carvalho (Fulham; £5 million), Calvin Ramsey (Aberdeen; £4 million).

Out: Sadio Mané (Bayern Munich; £26.5 million), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest; £16 million), Takumi Minamino (Monaco; £13 million), Ben Davies (Rangers; £3 million), Divock Origi (AC Milan; free), Loris Karius (unattached; free), Tyler Morton (Blackburn Rovers; loan).

Last season, Liverpool were the cup specialists, winning both domestic cups and reaching the Champions League Final.

Meanwhile, they also ended up just one point behind Manchester City, despite playing 63 matches, the maximum they could have featured in.

So, after such an energy-sapping campaign, a slightly less successful season could follow.

Sadio Mané’s importance to Liverpool isn’t up for debate, but his greatness may only be felt now that he’s departed.

Darwin Núñez has come in, ostensibly as his replacement, but to say these players are the antithesis of one-another would be an understatement.

The Uruguayan centre-forward scored on debut in last Saturday’s Community Shield victory.

So, while a top four finish is almost a certainty, regaining the title from Manchester City will probably be beyond them.

Having said that, would it surprise anyone if last season’s runners-up went one better and won their seventh European Cup?

After-all, this season’s final is at Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı, the scene of their astonishing comeback against A.C. Milan in 2005.


4) Arsenal

In: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City; £45 million), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City; £32 million), Fábio Vieira (Porto; £30 million), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; £5.5 million), Marquinhos (São Paulo; £3 million).

Out: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon; free), Mattéo Guendouzi (Marseille; £9 million), Bernd Leno (Fulham; £8 million), Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray; £5.5 million), Folarin Balogun (Stade Reims; loan), Nuno Tavares (Marseille; loan), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City; loan).

Will this finally be the season Arsenal finish in the top four, last doing so, astonishingly, back in 2015/16?

Last season, Mikel Arteta’s side came agonisingly close to Champions League qualification, before collapsing in the final week of the season.

However, this hasn’t done much to dampen the enthusiasm of the fanbase, thanks largely to summer transfer activity.

Five first-team players have all arrived, with more editions seemingly set to follow.

Also, three years after joining, Ligue 1 young player of the year William Saliba will, finally, make his debut for the club.

The Gunners’ key problem last season, without doubt, was a lack of squad depth, something that’s been rectified, ahead of the return of European football to North London.

Now into his third full season, Arteta really needs to deliver Champions League qualification, by hook or by crook.


5) Chelsea

In: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City; £48 million), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli; £33 million).

Out: Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid; free), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona; free), Romelu Lukaku (Internazionale; loan), Danny Drinkwater (unattached; free).

If there is to be a shake up in the Champions League places, could Chelsea be the team to miss out?

The Blues negotiated a tough end to last season which saw Roman Abramovich forced to sell the club following government sanctions.

Subsequently, technical advisor Petr Čech, director Marina Granovskaia and many other people in important roles have departed the club.

So, reportedly, new owner Todd Boehly has taken a more ‘hands-on’ approach when it comes to transfer business.

In fairness, he hasn’t done too badly with Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly joining the club.

The latter bolsters defensive options following two departures on free transfer.s

But Thomas Tuchel remains very much a frustrated figure, with Chelsea missing out on numerous targets.

So, could the off-field turmoil lead to a downturn in on-pitch results?


6) Manchester United

In: Lisandro Martínez (Ajax; £48 million), Christian Eriksen (Brentford; free), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord; £14.5 million).

Out: Paul Pogba (Juventus; free), Nemanja Matić (Roma; free), Edinson Cavani (unattached; free), Juan Mata (unattached; free), Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest; free), Andreas Pereira (Fulham; £10 million), Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest; loan), Lee Grant (retired; free).

Have you or anyone you know every played for Ajax?

Then you might be entitled to play for Manchester United this season!

As is the case for every club, a new season brings new optimism, but, even under new management, Manchester United remain baffling.

So far, the Red Devils have signed Lisandro Martínez from Ajax, Christian Eriksen once of Ajax and Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, for a bit of variety.

Their other prime targets are Antony and Frenkie de Jong, just to maintain the theme.

Non-league style, the recruitment strategy seems to be based on who Erik ten Hag has the phone number of.

On top of all this, last season’s top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to leave, even if he has no suiters.

This means Anthony Martial could lead the line on the opening day against Brighton; hadn’t we all established he wasn’t the answer?

Meantime, Scott McTominay and Fred are still the defensive-midfield options, while Martínez’s arrival could signal the end for club captain Harry Maguire.

In short, it’s difficult to make a case for Manchester United finishing in the top four, but they’ll probably just win the Europa League and it won’t matter.


7) Newcastle United

In: Sven Botman (Lille; £35 million), Nick Pope (Burnley; £10 million).

Out: Dwight Gayle (Stoke; free), Ciaran Clark (Sheffield United; loan), Jeff Hendrick (Reading; loan), Isaac Hayden (Norwich; loan).

Exactly a year ago, if someone had said Newcastle United were serious candidates to qualify for Europe, they’d have been laughed out of town.

But, a lot has changed on Tyneside, not least the takeover of the club, with Mike Ashley selling to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

When the take-over happened, the Magpies were rooted in the relegation zone but, after winning 12 of their last 18 matches, they ultimately finished 11th.

Based on points-per-game from their matches in 2022, Newcastle would accumulate 76 points this season, a tally that would see them finish in the Champions League places.

While this is unlikely, Eddie Howe’s team can surely be aiming for European qualification.

The summer spending spree many predicted hasn’t materialised, although Nick Pope and Sven Botman defiantly improve this XI.

Alongside the business done in January, Bruno Guimarães in particular, this could be the start of Newcastle’s time as a serious force.


8) West Ham United

In: Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo; £35.5 million), Nayef Aguerd (Stade Rennais; £30 million), Flynn Downes (Swansea; £12 million).

Out: Mark Noble (retired; free), Ryan Fredericks (Bournemouth; free), Andriy Yarmolenko (Al-Ain; free).

Will West Ham United continue to compete with the best, both domestically and on the continent?

Last year’s seventh place finish means the Hammers have finished in the top seven of the top division in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever.

This is made all the more impressive by the fact David Moyes’ men reached the Europa League semi-finals, their best run in UEFA competition since 1966.

The Irons will be back in Europe this season too, entering the Europa Conference League in the play-off round; ties to take place on 18 & 25 August.

Assuming they get through that, they’ll face another busy schedule, which could cost them in the Premier League.

The arrivals of Nayef Aguerd and Gianluca Scamacca in particular certainly improve their starting XI.

West Ham are likely to remain competitive, but another deep continental run could hamper their Premier League progress.


9) Brighton & Hove Albion

In: Julio Enciso (Club Libertad; £9.5 million), Deniz Undav (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise; £6 million), Kacper Kozłowski (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise; £7 million), Kaoru Mitoma (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise; £2.5 million).

Out: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham; £25 million), Jayson Molumby (West Brom; £1 million), Leo Skiri Østigård (Napoli; £4 million), Abdallah Sima (Angers; loan), Aaron Connolly (Venezia; loan).

Having finished ninth last season, the club’s best-ever top-flight finish, will Brighton & Hove Albion enjoy another successful season?

Graham Potter’s side ended last season in style, beating Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham in April/May, securing that historic finish.

So far this summer, Yves Bissouma has left for Tottenham, with Marc Cucurella sent to follow, possibly to Chelsea.

Ecuadorian Moisés Caicedo only made his Premier League debut at Arsenal in April, but will feature more heavily this year as Bissouma’s replacement.

The Seagulls’ only first team edition this summer is Julio Enciso from Paraguayan champions Club Libertad.

Could he be the ‘15-20 goal a season striker’ Brighton have always needed.

However, Kacper Kozłowski, Kaoru Mitoma and Deniz Undav will also be integrated into the squad.

All three joined from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in January, before being loaned back to the Belgian club who, as it happens, are also owned by Tony Bloom.

Another solid mid-table finish seems the most likely outcome for Brighton.


10) Aston Villa

In: Boubacar Kamara (Marseille; free), Diego Carlos (Sevilla; £25 million), Ludwig Augustinsson (Sevilla; loan).

Out: Trézéguet (Trabzonspor; £4 million), Wesley (Levante; loan), Indiana Vassilev (Inter Miami; loan).

Having arrived last November, Steven Gerrard will be looking forward to his first full-season in charge at Villa Park.

Gerrard won 11 of his first 23 Premier League matches as a manager, before the Villans ended the campaign winless in four.

All in all, the Claret and Blue Army ended up in 14th, two points higher than they were when the change was made.

Nevertheless, having proven his credentials north of the boarder with Rangers, expect Gerrard to build a team that is competitive.

In the transfer market, Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara are high-class editions, while Philippe Coutinho has made his loan permanent.

The biggest question marks really surround how do Villa get all their best players in the same team.

Can Emi Buendía and Coutinho play together? Can Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins function as a front two?

This certainly isn’t a bad place to be, with Aston Villa likely to be even stronger than last season.


11) Crystal Palace

In: Chris Richards (Bayern Munich; £10 million), Cheick Doucouré (Lens; £21 million), Sam Johnstone (West Brom; free), Malcolm Ebiowei (Derby; compensation).

Out: Cheikhou Kouyaté (unattached; free), Martin Kelly (unattached; free).

Will Crystal Palace continue to improve under the stewardship of Patrick Vieira?

This time last season, the Eagles were firm relegation favourites, but ended up 12th, 13 points clear of danger.

Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, was a central figure in this success, so coping without him could be tough.

Cheick Doucouré is his direct replacement, while Chris Richardson and Malcolm Ebiowei also look like shrewd acquisitions.

In goal, it’ll be interesting to see if Sam Johnstone has come in as number one, or to provide competition for Vicente Guiata and Jack Butland.

The main transfer news is that none of Palace’s stars have left, or look like doing so, meaning another strong season seems likely.


12) Leicester City

In: N/A.

Out: Eldin Jakupović (unattached; free).

The biggest drop off predicted for any club in this preview is that set to be endured by Leicester City.

Last season, the Foxes finished eighth and reached a first-ever European semi-final, this coming in the Europa Conference League.

So, on both fronts, they narrowly missed out on European qualification for a third successive season.

Under Brendan Rodgers, Leicester have come fifth in back-to-back seasons, won a first-ever FA Cup, lifted the Community Shield and reached that aforementioned first continental semi-final.

However, it feels as though this team have peeked, with the vibes coming out the camp not particularly encouraging.

Leicester are yet to make a signing, while star players such as Youri Tielemans and Kasper Schmeichel are seemingly determined to leave.

No one could argue that 11 teams boast stranger squads than Leicester, but a down season appears to be on the cards in the East Midlands.


13) Southampton

In: Joe Aribo (Rangers; £6 million), Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City; £12 million), Roméo Lavia (Manchester City; £10.5 million), Sékou Mara (Bordeaux; £11 million), Armel Bella-Kotchap (Bochum; £9 million), Mateusz Lis (Altay; free).

Out: Fraser Forster (Tottenham; free), Shane Long (Reading; free), Will Smallbone (Stoke; loan).

Will Southampton continue to be nowhere near the relegation zone but also not in European contention?

That sounds about right doesn’t it?

Since Ralph Hasenhüttl’s arrival on the South Coast, the Saints have finished 16th, 11th and then 15th twice.

Last season’s biggest improvement was the fact that Southampton managed to avoid losing 9-0 to anybody.

This summer, they’ve managed to hold onto James Ward-Prowse, but Armando Broja, who scored nine times last season, won’t be returning after his loan.

His direct replacement is Sékou Mara, so they’ll need him to hit the ground running.

Gavin Bazunu and Joe Aribo will go straight into the starting XI; time will tell if their other younger signings can establish themselves.

Overall, Southampton’s squad appears to be marginally stronger, so a slightly higher finish seems likely.


14) Nottingham Forest

In: Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin; £17.5 million), Neco Williams (Liverpool; £16 million), Moussa Niakhaté (Mainz; £9 million), Giulian Biancone (Troyes; £5 million), Omar Richards (Bayern Munich; £8 million), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United; free), Dean Henderson (Manchester United; loan), Wayne Hennessey (Burnley; free), Orel Mangala (Stuttgart; £13 million), Lewis O’Brien (Huddersfield; £7 million), Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield; £3 million), Brandon Aguilera (Alajuelense; £800,000).

Out: Brice Samba (Lens; £4 million), Tobias Figueiredo (Hull; free), Gaëtan Bong (unattached; free), Lewis Grabban (unattached; free), Ethan Horvath (Luton; loan).

Nottingham Forest are back in the Premier League after 23 years away and their supporters very much intend to party like it’s 1999.

Having narrowly missed out on automatic promotion, the Reds’ wait finally came to an end as they beat Huddersfield in the play-off final.

As has been well document, when Steve Cooper took over on 21 September, they were rock bottom of the table, having accumulated just one point from seven games.

To say they’ll be hoping for a better start this time round is an understatement.

However, last season might have little barring on their survival bid, given that Forest have made 12 first team editions already.

It’s very possible that just two players who started at Wembley, Joe Worrall and Brennan Johnson, will be in the team to face Newcastle on Saturday.

Nevertheless, the City Ground is going to be bouncing all season, and Forest should have enough to beat the drop.


15) Wolverhampton Wanderers

In: Nathan Collins (Burnley; £20 million).

Out: Rúben Vinagre (Sporting CP; £9 million), Romain Saïss (Beşiktaş; free), Marçal (Botafogo; free), Fábio Silva (Anderlecht; loan), Ki-Jana Hoever (PSV Eindhoven; loan), John Ruddy (Birmingham City; free).

Little under two years ago, Wolverhampton Wanderers were narrowly beaten by Sevilla in a UEFA Europa League quarter-final.

These days, there are serious concerns in the Black Country that their team could find themselves in a relegation battle.

Last season, Bruno Lage’s team actually finished tenth, ending 16 points clear of danger and just five points below the European spots.

However, only the three relegated clubs scored less goals than Wolves’ 38, although, conversly, only the top four conceded fewer than their 43.

The lack of goals is alarming, with Raúl Jiménez not the same player since his horrific skull injury.

The hope is that Pedro Neto, who hardly featured at all last season, will be back to his best this time round.

In the transfer market, very little has changed, with Nathan Collins the only noteworthy edition.

One change to look out for is Wolves have been deploying a back four during pre-season games.

This is a big change for a squad who’ve, almost always, been playing in a back three ever since Nuno Espírito Santo arrived in 2017.

So, it could be another season of regression for Wolves, but they’re unlikely to be embroiled in a relegation dog-fight.


16) Leeds United

In: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig: £19.5 million), Luis Sinisterra (Feyenoord; £20 million), Brendon Aaronson (RB Salzburg; £25 million), Rasmus Nissen Kristensen (RB Salzburg; £10 million), Marc Roca (Bayern Munich; £10 million).

Out: Raphinha (Barcelona; £55 million), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City; £50 million), Kiko Casilla (unattached; free), Charlie Cresswell (Millwall; loan), Tyler Roberts (QPR; loan).

After only surviving with the final kick of the final day last season, will Leeds United fans be in for an easier ride this time round?

Well, based on these predictions, no is the answer to that.

Having only lasted 21 matches at RB Leipzig this time last year, Jesse Marsch will be looking to prove his credentials in his first full season at Leeds.

What’s far from ideal is that Leeds’ two best players, Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, have both left the club.

Conversely, the five players they’ve brought in all improve the starting XI and all, on paper, looks like shrewd editions.

However, none of the quintet have ever played in the Premier League before, so nothing is certain.

They will need these signings to hit the ground running, but Leeds do look to have done enough shrewd business to keep them up.


17) Brentford

In: Aaron Hickey (Bologna; £20 million), Ben Mee (Burnley; free), Thomas Strakosha (Lazio; free), Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull; £16 million).

Out: Christian Eriksen (Manchester United; free), Mathias Jørgensen (unattached; free), Marcus Forss (Middlesbrough; loan).

Without wanting to revert straight to clichés, will Brentford avoid a second-season syndrome diagnosis?

Last season, the Bees’ first top-flight campaign for 74 years can be broken down into three chunks.

They sat 14th just after New Years’ Day, but then added just one more points from their next eight matches.

After that, Christian Eriksen started their 11 remaining games, with the Bees winning seven of them.

This saw Thomas Frank’s side end the campaign in 13th but, without Eriksen, life is likely to be much tougher.

Ben Mee, Aaron Hickey and Thomas Strakosha look like sensible editions.

The Albanian will compete with David Raya to start in goal; this was a problem position last season.

There is certainly a precedent for teams struggling in their second season, but Brentford might, just, have enough to stay up.


18) Everton

In: Dwight McNeil (Burnley; £20 million), James Tarkowski (Burnley; free), Rúben Vinagre (Sporting CP; loan).

Out: Richarlison (Tottenham; £60 million), Cenk Tosun (Beşiktaş; free), Gylfi Sigurðsson (unattached; free), Fabian Delph (unattached; free), Jonjoe Kenny (Hertha BSC; free), Jarrad Branthwaite (PSV Eindhoven; loan).

After so nearly suffering relegation last season, could Everton’s 69-year stay in the top-flight actually come to an end?

The Toffees were in serious trouble towards the end of last season, just about staying up, winning three of their last six.

On the road, they’ve only won one of their last 17, with home wins over Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United key to their survival.

Since, their squad has actually been massively weakened by Richarlison’s departure for Tottenham.

Dwight McNiel is his replacement, while former Burnley man James Tarkowski bolsters defensive options that needed bolstering.

Goals will continue to be hard to come-by, with Andros Townsend sidelined long-term with Dominic Calvert-Lewin desperately hoping to remain injury free.

In Frank Lampard, they have a very unproven manager, who’s still never been particularly successful at any of his three clubs.

The Toffees best route to safety could be a catastrophic start which sees Lampard sacked and a more competent manager replace him around November.

Sean Dyche is available…. just saying.


19) Bournemouth

In: Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough; £10 million), Ryan Fredericks (West Ham; free), Joe Rothwell (Blackburn Rovers; free).

Out: Gavin Kilkenny (Stoke; loan), Gary Cahill (unattached; free), Robbie Brady (Preston; free),

The last time AFC Bournemouth came up, they surprised everyone by staying up for five seasons.

These days, led by Scott Parker, will the Cherries be set for another extended stay?

Well, at this precise moment, this looks unlikely.

Last season, after two campaigns in the Championship, Bournemouth were promoted back to the Premier League.

They did so in style, beating promotion rivals Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Dean Court; Kieffer Moore’s late winner will live long in the memory.

Since then, they’ve not been at all busy in the transfer market, only spending money on Marcus Tavernier.

Of course, signings aren’t the be all and end all, with Parker showing faith in those that got them up.

Dominic Solanke is likely to lead the attack; he’s previously struggled in the Premier League, but netted 29 times last season.

Meanwhile, Ryan Christie, Emiliano Marcondes and Moore, playing in the Premier League for the first time, will need to step-up quickly.

An instant return to the Championship seems likely for Bournemouth, but you just never know.


20) Fulham

In: Andreas Pereira (Manchester United; £10 million), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg; £5 million), João Palhinha (Sporting CP; £17 million), Manor Solomon (Shakhtar Donetsk; loan), Bernd Leno (Arsenal; £8 million).

Out: Fábio Carvalho (Liverpool; £5 million), Jean Michaël Seri (Hull; free), André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli; £15 million), Cyrus Christie (unattached; free), Michael Hector (unattached; free), Fabri (unattached; free).

Last, and very much least in terms of this season preview, can Fulham avoid the drop?

To gain promotion, the Cottagers won the Championship title at a cantor, scoring 106 goals, featuring a trio of 7-0 wins.

Aleksandar Mitrović netting 43 times in the league last time round, breaking all sorts of second-tier records.

Now though, Fulham are aiming to survive in the Premier League for the first time in a decade.

Despite having previously managed Hull City, Watford and Everton, Marco Silva is still unproven at this level.

The last two times the Cottagers have come up, they’ve gone on a mad, chaotic spending spree, trying to avoid a repeat.

To date, they’ve made five signings, all of whom should improve the starting XI.

Thus, players like Tom Cairney and Mitrović will, this time, need to make the step-up a division.

The Serbian striker averages a goal every 117 minutes in the Championship, with this figure 289 in the Premier League.

So, at this stage, it would be a major surprise if they maintained their top-flight status.



Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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