In just a few days, the new English Premier League season will begin, where 20 clubs will compete to see who is the best in the country. It’s really down to just a few teams, and only six clubs have actually won the league title, but as last year proves, any club can end up as champion.
As is typical, many people speculate on who will win title this year, many hoping their club end up at the top of the table after 38 matches, but only one can do so; RAGS has gotten in on the action as well, as the prediction for the 2016/17 Premier League table can be seen below, along with a brief explanation for each team’s placement.
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- West Ham
- Crystal Palace
- Swansea City
- West Brom
- Hull City
They’re back. Mourinho at the helm is exactly what United needed; the successors to Sir Alex Ferguson are two periods that Manchester fans would largely like to forget, besides this past year’s FA Cup win. Now that they’ve put Pogba to paper, United’s midfield is looking solid, and with a deep squad they should have no trouble managing many competitions at once, and dominating them all. United might come away with more than one trophy this year.
Pep Guardiola & Co. will give their crosstown rivals a run for their (insanely large amounts of) money, but it won’t be enough; injuries and a slump from Sergio Aguero lead to a few dropped points which will be key, but don’t expect the race to be over in March, let alone late April.
Pep knows how to win trophies, but that doesn’t mean his players will be able to give him what he wants. Cityzens, better luck next year.
Tottenham will finally claim a rung in the league table that is higher than Arsenal; last time they did that, there were 22 clubs in the Premiership, not 20. It’ll be 22 seasons since they last avoided St. Totteringham’s Day, the day that Arsenal fans celebrate when they finish above their north London rivals. A third-place finish will be made even sweeter due to Arsenal missing out on a Champion’s League spot, a ticket they’ll see punched in the 2016/17 season.
The Kop is going to be lit this year, just like back in the 60’s when everyone was singing songs in perfect unison and scaring the shit out of opposing players; they were mostly Beatles songs, but the swaying crowd and united voice shook Anfield, surely giving any opposition the jitters. Now that Klopp has a year with the players under his belt, as well as a few acquisitions to cover a minor exodus this summer, Liverpool should perform well, earning a top-four spot.
Just don’t expect an FA Cup win.
After the coming season, Arsene Wenger will resign from Arsenal, opening up the managing position to anyone with the balls to take the job. A fifth-place spot is not good enough for Arsenal’s top brass and fanbase, and it is time for a new direction at the Emirates; this isn’t Highbury anymore, and Arsene refuses to buy anyone, so Arsenal surely won’t improve on last year.
Oh, and expect Ozil and Sanchez to leave by next summer; they’re sick of Arsene’s stinginess as well, and want the trophies they were surely promised, they’ll just have to find them elsewhere.
Fans of the wealthy London club can rest assured that this season will be a vast improvement upon the last, as Antonio Conte establishes his regime, one that will run for more than Jose Mourinho’s three-years-and-out. In his first campaign, Conte will get used to the highly competitive Premiership, but Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi will provide enough goals to propel the club to a 6th-place finish, a respectable one for Conte.
Not sure how the diehard fans will take it, though.
Everyone knows it’s not going to happen again, especially with the loss of N’Golo Kanté, but another Leicester title run would be spectacular. The club will be able to retain their form, spurred on by Vardy’s goals and Ranieri’s brilliance, although it will only amount to a finish in 7th. Riyad Mahrez will stay put for the campaign, but the winter transfer window will be a tense one for anyone rooting for the Foxes; after the coming season, Leicester may recede back to the old days.
A cloud is forming over Leicester, but it’s just a small one now.
The 2016/17 Premier League season will the Hammers maintain a steady pace, claiming the 8th spot in the table, a predictable finish given the territory they will occupy all year. Club-record signing Andre Ayew will supply a decent amount of goals, but the real fireworks will be provided by Dimitri Payet and Andy Carroll, who will finally find his form; look for those two to come in clutch during crucial moments, especially in domestic tournaments.
Mark Hughes’ squad hasn’t changed much besides adding on Joe Allen and Ramadan Sobhi, a winger on the left side from Egyptian club Al Alhy, although it is likely that the teenager is going to be loaned out to some harsh eastern European climate. Joe Allen, on the other hand, is likely to play, although not very well. Stoke finished ninth last year, and I guess if it’s not broken, don’t fix it – or in this case, don’t improve it.
What’s the point, the top 6 or 7 in the table are basically locked, and Stoke City don’t have the key.
Ronald Koeman has a tough job ahead of him, what with an Everton squad that didn’t seem to finish many games last year, and now the Toffees’ defense has taken a hit, as John Stones has completed a move to Manchester City. Their offense looks suspect as well, what with Romelu Lukaku transfer rumors circulating again, and it doesn’t look like they’ll die down until a move is made or the transfer window closes.
If Lukaku stays, Everton can still count on a place in mid-table, although it won’t be easy if they are to play the way they did last year; Koeman must institute some kind of structure in midfield to keep the defense from getting bombarded every week; signing Wales captain Ashley Williams surely helps, but it only lessens the damage, rather than making the team that much better. If he can’t get 11 guys to play together and finish games, Everton won’t even come close to doing anything remarkable.
Not that Everton fans would have to get used to that.
They lost Sadio Mané and Victor Wanyama, among others, but the Saints’ signing of winger Nathan Redmond from Norwich was a nice pickup; he’s a pacey player with a nice first touch, although he will not be a sufficient plug for the gaping hole left in Southampton’s midfield. Last year saw a 6th-place finish, but with just Redmond and 20 year old Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg coming into the midfield, they’ll likely see a fall to mid-table obscurity.
Watford fans are buzzing after a successful ride through the Premiership last year, as they finished a respectable 13th overall, playing entertaining football and finally giving Hornets fans a full season with just one manager. Quique Flores has provided much stability in terms of management, and given a talented, youthful squad, Watford should have a seat reserved at mid-table for a few seasons.
More of the same for the Hornets with a finish in 12th this campaign, but that’s totally fine for a team with much room to grow.
Eddie Howe lost Matt Ritchie and Tommy Elphick this summer, two major blows for the Cherries, although it won’t cause their Premier League party to end; signings like Jordon Ibe and Nathan Ake (on loan) will suffice for the time being, especially so for Ibe. Jordon is going to be around for a few years, but his talent might not come into full effect this season, which is why they could wander close to the relegation zone.
Howe has proven that he’s capable of getting a lot out of younger players, but he does have a big task in front of him in keeping Bournemouth afloat. He should manage it just fine, even improving on last year’s result, where they finished in 16th.
Yannick Bolasie could be on his way out, which is troubling news for Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace fans, and the coming season will be one that everyone associated with Palace will want to forget. Miserable, but not totally terrible football awaits, and that will require more expenditures either this winter or next summer.
If they don’t buy anyone worth writing home about, expect Crystal Palace to go the way of Newcastle or Aston Villa in the coming seasons – down the toilet.
The Black Cats staved off relegation thanks to Sam Allardyce’s command of the players set before him, as he got a team that couldn’t win and turned it into a club that couldn’t lose (too often) after the winter transfer window ended. Still, they barely avoided the drop, but they’ve lost Big Sam, as he is now the skipper for England.
Can they avoid relegation again this year? Yes, and only because five teams will be worse.
A major departure in Ashley Williams, Swansea’s coming season doesn’t look too bright. A team that had a -10 goal difference last year surely won’t improve after losing their defensive anchor, and the Swans definitely won’t come close to repeating last year’s 12th-place finish.
2016/17 will be a tense campaign, one fought many weeks agonizingly close to the relegation zone, although they will avoid it simply because there are worse teams in the league.
As of yet, the only player to join the Hawthorns is Matt Phillips from QPR, and it doesn’t seem like many more signings will come in, as West Bromwich Albion couldn’t sign more than one player this summer to save their lives. It doesn’t look like the coming season will be enjoyable for anyone who cares for West Bromwich Albion.
Jonathan Leko should have fun breaking in to the first team, though, so fans have that to look forward to, which is better than the next three teams.
Not-so-level-headed manager Aito Karaoke has a tough defence to help him in 2016/17, a defence that gave up just 31 goals last year in the Championship, but without a formidable striker up front, Boro’ won’t make any waves in their first visit to top flight in seven years.
Speaking of failure to sign, Burnley have had offers for guys back in the Championship rejected over and over again, which doesn’t speak too well for their survival chances. Andre Gray can’t keep them in top flight by himself, although he surely carried the club on his back as they mounted a successful promotion challenge this last season.
If Sean Dyche can bring in some first team talent, then that could change things, although it doesn’t appear like any significant additions will come to Turf Moor this summer.
Does Hull even have 11 players available? Do they have a manager?
If the guy who got you into the Premier League left you for a team headed for the Championship, things must be seriously wrong for the coastal club.
The 2016/17 season will be one of the worst on record for a Premier League club.
Hull fans, just sleep for a year.
Where did your team end up? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.