I can’t make my mind up on Wolves. The Portuguese revolution has extended to a second summer as Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho have joined the club and on paper they look like a certainty to survive the drop this year. In fact, many are tipping Wolves for the top 10, but I don’t think they’ll go that far.
Adama Traore will hope that he can right the wrongs of his last Premier League season when he failed to produce the goods in the final third despite his phenomenal dribbling skills.
In my eyes, Wolves are a strong centre forward short of the top ten, but the supporting cast looks promising, especially as they feature a former Liverpool player called Conor.
Wolves are evens to finish in the top half.
Another team that many are undecided on, I really rate Brighton’s transfer window. In Pascal Gross, last season they had one of the best signings, and this year they’ve picked up more players who might have otherwise flown under the radar.
I’m really excited to see how Yves Bissouma adapts to the Premier League, and he will give some much needed protection to Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk. Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Yes, I had to Google it) has impressive stats from the Eredivisie, too, though I admit to never having seen him play.
Jahanbakhsh is 5/1 to be Brighton’s top goalscorer in the league.
Burnley’s campaign last year was their best in a long time, and now they have one more hurdle to jump to reach the Europa League group stage. This, of course, comes with its down side as they now have to stretch their already thin squad.
Joe Hart has to perform in the small window he will have in goal for the club, as Nick Pope should be number one when he returns from injury.
Expect them to play the exact same style, as they brought in a limited amount of recruits who fit their system. They won’t score many, and they won’t concede many. Midtable.
Burnley are evens to finish above Bournemouth.
Bournemouth have now converted themselves into a regular Premier League side, which would have been unthinkable five years ago.
Their signings this season haven’t been great, but they’ve not lost anyone of note. Once again, they should do an okay job with an average set of players. 20 odd million looks a lot for Jefferson Lerma, a man who was booked 16 times in 26 league games last season. Impressive.
Callum Wilson is evens to top score for the Cherries.
- Crystal Palace
Another unspectacular summer for Crystal Palace. Cheikhou Kouyate will beef up the midfield, and Max Meyer seems a decent signing on paper.
Yohan Cabaye has swapped the Premier League for the UAE Arabian Gulf League effectively signalling the end of his career, and Damien Delaney has moved back to Ireland with Cork City. The club could probably do with reinforcements in defence, but should survive the season.
Wilfried Zaha is as high as 3/1 to top score for Palace.
Once again, Rafael Benitez will be asked to work miracles for the Magpies. He’s been handed a tiny budget, but has reinforced defensively enough to probably keep Newcastle up again. They look a little light in midfield, but Salomon Rondon up front should be a good signing.
Rondon looked good enough to cut it in the Premier League and hopefully joining a new club will bring him back to his best.
Newcastle are 5/1 to go down.
One that not many may agree with me on. I don’t think the appointment of Mark Hughes was the best for the club, and they could find themselves near the bottom of the table again come the end of the campaign.
I really hope that Danny Ings does well on the south coast, and he should score a few goals if he avoids injury. To his credit, Hughes has strengthened at the back with Vestergaard and Angus Gunn.
Dusan Tadic will be a big loss for the Saints, though.
They’ll have to get off to a good start to remove any bad memories from last season.
Southampton are at 8/1 to go down.
I can’t quite put my finger on who will be the closest to surviving the drop. I’ve hesitated between Huddersfield, Southampton and Newcastle, but I’ve gone for the former.
Their signings have been decent enough and could well be enough to save them. Adama Diakhaby in particular is one to watch this season if David Wagner gives him some game time. The form of Mounie will be very important too, after he got Huddersfield off to a fantastic start last season.
Huddersfield are evens to be relegated.
A friend of mine is a season ticket holder for Watford and was complaining at the back end of last season about the side’s negativity under manager Javi Gracia. Losing Richarlison will make them only more dull, and they haven’t made any inspiring signings this summer.
They’ve been in the Premier League since the 2016/17 season, but I think their spell in the top flight may come to an end unless there’s a drastic overhaul.
Watford are 2/1 to go down.
I see no other team finishing bottom this season. Cardiff had the lowest pass accuracy and the fewest completed passes of any team in the Championship last year but they snuck into automatic promotion.
Their signings have come mostly from the second tier, and it’s hard not to see them going straight back down. Neil Warnock’s negative style shouldn’t last more than a season in the Premier League.
Cardiff are 2/1 to finish bottom.
Mohamed Salah’s debut season with Liverpool was one he’ll never forget. He set a new record for goals scored in a 38 game season in the Premier League and led his team to the Champions League final.
This season, it will be tougher for him as an individual. Yes, Liverpool have strengthened, but the goals should spread around the team a bit more with the introduction of Keita and the revival of Sturridge. Teams will adapt this year, too, to limit his effectiveness.
Harry Kane is always going to be mentioned in the Golden Boot conversation, and rightly so. Nevertheless, I don’t think he’ll be the top scorer this year, mainly due to Tottenham’s failure to recruit this summer. One injury to Eriksen, Alli, or even Trippier, and he loses a major source of goals due to Spurs’ squad depth or lack thereof.
My pick for the Golden Boot is Aubameyang. The Gabonese international ended last season in fine form and should pick it up again this year. Granted, Alexandre Lacazette will also be chipping in with goals, but Aubameyang should be the senior partner in Arsenal’s strike force.
Sergio Aguero also deserves a mention, and if he can start strongly, will be a contender.
Player of the Year
Golden Boot and Player of the Year can go hand in hand, as we found out last year when Salah took both awards. For that reason, Aguero and Aubameyang could be in with a shot.
Kevin de Bruyne was my pick last year, and he came so close. This season, he should be well equipped to give it another close run and he is the favourite for the award at 8/1 while Salah is just behind at 10/1.
Roberto Firmino could be an interesting choice as well. If Liverpool are to push Manchester City all the way, he will be integral, and at 28/1 looks like better value.
I think that it’s between de Bruyne and Aguero, personally, and the Belgian just about edges it for me.