Last season Manchester City and Liverpool took the title chase down to the final day while the bottom scrap for relegation safety also went down to the final day. Added to this the chase for Champions League spots also had fans on the edge of their seats.
This season would seem to be no different with City and Pool looking like the only title challengers while some teams who just missed out on Champions League football seem to be falling out of the reckoning this season.
We look ahead to the new 2022/23 season and will try to predict what’s going to happen.
Title Contenders: Manchester City and Liverpool
City’s addition of Erling Haaland will no doubt add some much needed attacking flair upfront with most of City’s goals coming from the midfield last term. Haaland’s prowess in front of goal for Borussia Dortmund saw the Norwegian score 22 goals in 24 matches with seven assists. In the past three seasons the front man has netted 62 goals in 67 appearances with 15 assists.
City have also offloaded quite a number of players, eight to be exact, with Gabriel Jesus being sold to Arsenal, and Fernandinho being released.
Liverpool have dumped nine players from their squad and have added just three players, Fabio Carvalho (Fulham), Dawin Nunez (Benfica) and Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen). Amongst the players that have departed, most notably of these are Divock Origi (AC Milan) and Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich). But Mane should not be missed too much with Nunez coming in.
Expect these two giants to fight it out again.
Champions League Chasers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United
Chelsea and Spurs made the Champions League spots theirs at the end of last season with Arsenal’s dreaded North London rivals pipping them by two points into fourth spot. Manchester United ended a distant 11 points adrift of Arsenal to join Mikel Arteta’s side in the Europa League while West Ham finished two points back of United to take the Conference League spot.
Chelsea and Spurs will again be chasing the sun and with Arsenal’s adding of Jesus to their ranks, along with midfielder Fabio Vieira and defender Marquinhos, Arteta will be hoping that the instability of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s quick departure to Barcelona and the uncertainty of Andre Lacazette’s contract talks will enable his side to settle in and push for higher honours this time round.
With Erik ten Hag now at the helm of the most decorated Premier League side in history, the Red Devil faithful will be hoping that their side can return to some form of consistency this season. Ten Hag has a job on his hands though with their leading scorer and hero, Christiano Ronaldo looking to exit Old Trafford.
Ronaldo has been a polarizing figure since rejoining United a year ago and with the Portuguese star wanting away, and Ten Hag having failed to land Frenkie de Jongh, things might get a bit awkward at the Theatre of Dreams unless Ten Hag can convince the hierarchy at Old Trafford to land Antony and Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.
David Moyes always seems to get the best out of his squad (excluding Manchester United) and the Scotsman has done wonders at the London Stadium. Moyes has added defender Nayef Aguerd, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, midfielder Flynn Downes and teenage striker Patrick Kelly.
Even with Spurs adding Richarlison from Everton, expect Arsenal to pip their rivals for fourth this term with Tomas Tuchel keeping Chelsea in third.
Possible Surprise: Newcastle United
Eddie Howe’s appointment at the Magpies midway through last season was a stroke of genius. The former Bournemouth manager turned a very precarious position at St James Park into a rather successful one. As one of my mates keeps pointing out, Newcastle were a ‘Top 4 Team’ in the second half of last season under Howe.
Newcastle had won just one game in 19 to sit near the foot of the table come December but Howe managed to earn 44 points in 27 games for Newcastle to help them to 11th place on the log.
Howe has added five players to his ranks in the summer transfer window with Matt Targett, Sven Botman and Nick Pope looking to push Newcastle to higher honours.
Newcastle could yet just surprise a few teams along the way and may just offer the chance at seeing the Magpies in a possible European spot come the end of the season. They may not make Champions League but perhaps, just perhaps, a Conference league or even Europa League spot could be on offer.
Relegation Fodder: Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, Brentford and Everton
Leeds United just escaped relegation last term, ending 17th and pipping Burnley by three points. Despite adding six players to their ranks, the loss of Kalvin Phillips and the very strong possibility of losing Raphinha as well, I don’t think Leeds will have the gas to escape this time around.
Brentford surprised one and all last term and ended a respectable 13th in their first season in top-flight football but Christian Erickson’s departure to Manchester United might just falter their season ahead. Erickson was instrumental in helping them survive the drop.
Having Nottingham Forest back in the Premier League is good to see but Brian Clough’s former side might just find life in the Premier League a bit too hot to handle and one can expect Forest to be fighting for survival come 28 May 2023.
Everton just escaped relegation last term and will find life more difficult without Richarlison while Bournemouth’s immediate return to the top-flight could be an immediate return to the Championship.
Expect a dogfight come May 2023.