A lifelong Birmingham City fan, Tom relocated to Germany for five years after graduating from university. His time in Germany saw an interest in the Bundesliga develop and he began writing about and betting on German football for FST in 2016. He's also an avid fantasy football player and closely follows the Premier League and European competitions.
Here at Free Super Tips, we’re counting down the days until the return of domestic football – and the Premier League in particular. Which got us thinking, how different will the 18/19 table look at the end in comparison to the 17/18 one? Other than with Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham replacing the now relegated West Brom, Stoke and Swansea, of course.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were arguably the most entertaining team to grace English football domestically last season – Liverpool were a close second if we were to include European adventures – but how will his side move forward after breaking so many records last season? Can City continue their dominance, or will the likes of Harry Kane or Mohamed Salah lead their respective clubs to glory?
Here are our full predictions for the upcoming Premier League campaign:
Premier League 18/19 Winners: Manchester City
2017/18 position: Champions
Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne
Key Signing: Riyad Mahrez
Pep Guardiola has one simple task going forward – make the best even better. Obviously that’s a lot easier said than done, but Guardiola is as critical and pedantic as they come and won’t accept anything less from his players. City should be even stronger next season with the addition of Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez and the return of Benjamin Mendy from a season long injury. Simply put, The Cityzens look too far ahead of the rest of the pack.
FULL REASONING: Manchester City set for back-to-back title wins?
Premier League Top Four:
2nd – Liverpool
2017/18 position: 4th
Key Player: Mo Salah
Key Signing: Naby Keita
Jurgen Klopp has been busy at Anfield this summer, bringing in Naby Keita and Fabinho to bolster the midfield, while also breaking the goalkeeping transfer record by shelling out £56 million for Roma’s Alisson. Liverpool have also added a bit of depth to their attack with Xherdan Shaqiri, and more importantly managed to keep hold of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane. It might not be enough to make up the 25 point gap between them and Manchester City from last season, but it should see them push above the rest.
3rd – Tottenham Hotspur
2017/18 position: 3rd
Key Player: Harry Kane
Key Signing: N/A
Bookmakers look to have lost favour in Tottenham Hotspur this summer, perhaps because Pochettino is yet to sign any new players. From Spurs’ point of view, that’s probably for the best though, as the most important thing for them is to ward off outside interest for star men like Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Deli Alli. Spurs have a stability that sides like Arsenal and Chelsea – both in transitional periods under new management – or even Manchester United might find themselves without at some point over the duration of the 18/19 season.
FULL REASONING: Spurs out for a fourth consecutive Top Four finish
4th – Arsenal
2017/18 position: 6th
Key Player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Key Signing: Bernd Leno
For the first time since 1996, Arsenal enter a Premier League season with a new manager at the helm. Having finished in 6th spot and a full 12 points outside the Champions League places in 2017/18, Arsenal chose to fill their managerial void by appointing the experienced Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement. Emery could be thought of as a “safe” but uninspiring choice, though his tactically philosophy should be able to bring out the best in both Arsenal’s old and new talents.
FULL REASONING: Will Arsenal be reborn under Unai Emery?
Other Notable Finishes:
6th – Manchester United
2017/18 position: 2nd
Key Player: Romelu Lukaku
Key Signing: Fred
Some people might think this is a harsh or biased prediction, but hear us out. Things are becoming increasingly tense at Old Trafford: Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward aren’t seeing eye to eye on transfer policy, whilst the fans are voicing loud opinions about Manchester United’s playing style. Mourinho has never had a successful third season at any club, and with him seemingly becoming ever more paranoid and downtrodden in the media, it’s certainly feasible we could see another collapse from the Portuguese manager.
FULL REASONING: Another disappointing season for United?
13th – Fulham
2017/18 position: N/A
Key Player: Ryan Sessegnon
Key Signing: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Having added some signings of genuine quality to a squad already adept at playing a progressive, modern style of football, The Cottagers look well equipped to settle straight back into the Premier League. Fulham are more than capable of taking a big scalp or two at Craven Cottage and might even be a reasonable shout for a top ten finish. Realistically, however, a finish anywhere between 10th and 15th would represent a fantastic season for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.
FULL REASONING: Fulham to feel at home in the Premier League
18th – Brighton
2017/18 position: 15th
Key Player: Pascal Groß
Key Signing: Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Survival is the name of the game for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2018/19 as they look to cement their place in the Premier League this season. However, the Seagulls may well end up having their wings clipped. An inability to win points on the road coupled with their lack of cutting edge in forward areas is a dangerous mix. New winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh was leading scorer in the Eredivisie last season, but we have seen talents fail to make the transition from the Dutch top tier before – Memphis Depay anyone? As things stand, relegation and a return to the Championship is a very realistic possibility for Brighton.
FULL REASONING: Brighton set for second season struggle?
19th – Huddersfield
2017/18 position: 16th
Key Player: Mathias Jørgensen
Key Signing: Terence Kongolo
Huddersfield are one of the bookmaker’s favourites for relegation for a reason. The Terriers were the joint lowest scorers in the Premier League last season alongside relegated Swansea City and their squad looks very short going forward in terms of quality and depth. Huddersfield can put up a solid defense, but that old cliché still applies – goals really do win games. Huddersfield simply don’t score enough of them and relegation and a return to the Championship looks likely.
FULL REASONING: Are Huddersfield Town’s Premier League days numbered?
20th – Cardiff City
2017/18 position: N/A
Key Player: Sean Morrison
Key Signing: Bobby Reid
Cardiff received plenty of criticism last season for what was perceived by many as a dated, reductive style of play. The Bluebirds have only scratched the surface in terms of the improvements needed in order to adjust to life back in the Premier League, and with the overall weaknesses in their squad considered, it’s difficult to see anything other than a swift return to the Championship this season.
FULL REASONING: Can Neil Warnock lead Cardiff City to safety?
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