2022/23 Premier League Season Preview

Premier League Gameweek 33 Betting Tips

 

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The following is a 2022/23 Premier League season preview. Futures betting tips are provided at the bottom. This preview covers every club’s form and stats, key squad changes, positives, negatives, a survey of pundit predictions and futures odds. This article will be updated daily to incorporate the latest news as we approach the start of the season on August 5 (August 6 AEST).

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Arsenal

Arsenal

Last eight season finishes: 3, 2, 5, 6, 5, 8, 8, 5
Last season:

Faded in the home stretch to miss out on Champions League football for the 6th season running. Asenal did, however, qualify for the Europa league for the first time in three years.
Placing:: 5th with 69 points and a 22-3-13 record (13-2-4 at home and 9-1-9 away)
Offence:: 61 goals scored (35 at home and 26 away) – league rank: 8
Defence:: 48 goals conceded (17 at home and 31 away) – league rank: 5

Squad:

Manager: Mikel Arteta. At the helm since 2019 and began his managerial career in 2019.
Key arrivals: Gabriel Jesus (Man City, £45m), Fabio Vieira (Porto, £34.2m), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Man City, £30m), Marquinhos (Sao Paulo, £3m), Matt Turner (New England Revolution, £4.7m)
Key departures: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon, free), Daniel Ballard (Sunderland, was previously out on loan), Mattéo Guendouzi (Marseille, £9m, was previously out on loan), Nuno Tavares (Marseille, loan)

Interesting stat:
Only had three draws last season. Only one of their last thirty games resulted in a draw. Part of this was due to Arsenal’s hot-and-cold nature, as highlighted by the fact that in their final 16 games, Arsenal scored exactly once in only two of them. During that run they scored 2+ goals in 9 games (all of which they won) and were held scoreless in 5 games (all of which they lost).

Positives:

They have plenty of young talent in the squad whose peak is ahead of them. Arsenal fielded the youngest average age in the league last season.
Strengthened the squad during the summer with acquisitions including Jesus, Vieira and Zinchenko. Jesus scrored seven times in pre-season.
Beat Chelsea 4-0 and Sevilla 6-0 in pre-season.
Manager Mikel Arteta has consistently had the backing of the club’s owners.

Negatives:

Have the added burden of the Europa League this season.
The Kroenke family, who own Arsenal, are unpopular with the fans.
Questions remain over Arteta’s coaching abilities following their late season capitulation in the Champions League race. Arteta isn’t as established as the managers of the other top-four hopefuls.
If they’re fit, at least nine members of the senior side will feature in the World Cup in Nov & Dec. This may create a post-World Cup hangover for the club.

Pundit table predictions: 6th1, 5th2, 5th3, 5th4, 4th5, 5th6, 6th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 34.00
Top four: 2.75
Not top four: 1.40
Top six: 1.57
Top half: 1.10
Bottom half: 7.00
Relegated: 501.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Last eight season finishes: 17, 20, 13 (C), 4 (C), 5 (C), 17, 11, 14
Last season:

Aston Villa ended manager Dean Smith’s three-year tenure after Gameweek 11 in response to a five-game losing streak. They enjoyed an immediate lift under new manager Steven Gerard as Villa won four of their next six fixtures. They only won 6 games from their remaining 21 fixtures and 2 games from their final 11 games, however, as Aston Villa’s season ended quietly.
Placing:: 14th with 45 points and a 13-6-19 record (6-5-8 at home and 7-1-11 away)
Offence:: 52 goals scored (29 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 11
Defence:: 54 goals conceded (29 at home and 25 away) – league rank: 10

Squad:

Manager: Steven Gerrard. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2018.
Key arrivals: Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona, £17m – previously on loan), Diego Carlos (Sevilla, £26m), Robin Olsen (Roma, £3m – previously on loan), Boubacar Kamara (Marseille, free), Ludwig Augustinsson (Sevilla, on loan)
Key departures: Matt Targett (Newcastle, £15m – had been on loan to Newcastle since Jan), Trézéguet (Trabzonspor, £4m, had been out on loan)

Positives:

Have secured the long-term services of Philippe Coutinho following his successful loan spell in January.
Got a lot of their transfer business done early in the window.
Finished 14th last season but Aston Villa actually had the 9th best offensive record and the 10th best goal difference.
Have strengthened at the back with the signing of the Brazilian centre-back Diego Carlos.
Managed to bring in the promising French international Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer.

Negatives:

Struggled for consistency last season and finished the campaign in 2-3-6 form.

Pundit table predictions: 10th1, 12th2, 10th3, 7th4, 10th5, 9th6, 9th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 251.00
Top four: 17.00
Not top four: 1.025
Top six: 6.00
Top half: 1.72
Bottom half: 2.00
Relegated: 11.00
Not relegated: 1.05
Rock bottom: 41.00

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Bournemouth

Bournemouth

Last eight season finishes: 1 (C), 16, 9, 12, 14, 18, 6 (C), 2 (C)
Last season:

Ex-Fulham manager John Parker took the helm at the start of the season. Bournemouth jumped out of the gates with a 15-game unbeaten streak that included a 9-1-0 run. They stumbled mid-season with a 3-3-6 run before powering home to secure automatic promotion on a 7-6-2 run. Bournemouth finished just 2 points behind champions Fulham.
Placing:: 2nd in the Championship with 88 points and a 25-13-8 record (13-7-3 at home and 12-6-5 away)
Offence:: 74 goals scored (41 at home and 33 away) – league rank: 1
Defence:: 39 goals conceded (21 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 2

Squad:

Manager: Scott Parker. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2019.
Key arrivals: Ryan Fredericks (West Ham, free), Joe Rothwell (Blackburn, free), Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough, £10m)
Key departures: Nathaniel Phillips (returned to parent club Liverpool following a loan), Gary Cahill (free agent)

Positives:

Dominic Solanke scored a career-high 29 league goals last season. This was almost double his previous season high and he’s only 24 years old.
Led the Championship in defence with only 39 goals conceded last season.
The signing of right-back Ryan Fredericks adds experience to the squad.

Negatives:

Five of the last eight teams to be promoted as Championship runners-up were relegated the following season.
Centre-back Nathaniel Phillips has returned to Liverpool following a sucessful loan spell last season. He is one of six loan singings that have not returned. On paper Bournemouth now have a weaker squad than they did in last season’s Championship.
Their top striker Dominic Solanke only managed 3 goals from 32 appearances in his last Premier League season.

Pundit table predictions: 20th1, 20th2, 20th3, 19th4, 20th5, 20th6, 20th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 2001.00
Top four: 151.00
Not top four: 1.001
Top six: 41.00
Top half: 15.00
Bottom half: 1.03
Relegated: 1.44
Not relegated: 2.75
Rock bottom: 2.37

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Brentford

Brentford

Last eight season finishes: 5 (C), 9 (C), 10 (C), 9 (C), 11 (C), 3 (C), 3 (C), 13
Last season:

Started as 2nd favourites at 2.10 odds to be relegated but never spent a single week in the relegation zone as Brentford enjoyed a thoroughly successful first season in the Premier League. The January signing of Christian Eriksen proved to be a masterstroke. Brentford stormed home in 7-1-3 form.
Placing:: 13th with 46 points and a 13-7-18 record (7-3-9 at home and 6-4-9 away)
Offence:: 48 goals scored (22 at home and 26 away) – league rank: 12
Defence:: 56 goals conceded (21 at home and 35 away) – league rank: 13

Squad:

Manager: Thomas Frank. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 2008.
Key arrivals: Aaron Hickey (Bologna, £17m), Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull City, £20m), Thomas Strakosha (Lazio, free), Ben Mee (Burnley, free)
Key departures: Christian Eriksen (Man Utd, free)

Positives:

Overcame 1-1-7 barren run to finish last season in 7-1-3 form.
Owner Matthew Benham is highly regarded in the field of sports analytics. Benham has implemented a bespoke ‘Moneyball’ approach to player selection, which has worked wonders. Some of the most successful acquisitions and subsequent sales are: $3.8 million paid for Said Benrahma before selling him for $40 million, $2.3 million paid for Ollie Watkins before selling him for $36 million and $2.1 million paid for Neal Maupay before selling him for $26 million. Brentford achieved promotion despite these high-profile sales.
Have directly addressed an area of weakness by singing left-back Aaron Hickey .
With possibly only two players expected to be called up to their national sides, Brentford will be relatively unaffected by the World Cup in Nov & Dec.
Have retained the services of Ivan Toney, who scored 12 goals and provided 5 assists last season.

Negatives:

Will have to avoid the second-season syndrome. Sheffield United finished 9th in their first Premier League season in 2019/20, only to finish 20th and 16 points adrift of safety a year later. Leeds finished 9th in their first EPL season in 2020/21, only to finish 17th the following season.
Star January signing Christian Eriksen has departed. Since his first start on March 5th, Eriksen was ranked 3rd for chances and created and passes into the final third. Brentford went 7 -1-2 from the ten games that Eriksen started.

Pundit table predictions: 17th1, 15th2, 16th3, 12th4, 18th5, 16th6, 18th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 751.00
Top four: 51.00
Not top four: 1.002
Top six: 17.00
Top half: 5.50
Bottom half: 1.14
Relegated: 3.40
Not relegated: 1.30
Rock bottom: 10.00

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Brighton

Brighton

Last eight season finishes: 20 (C), 3 (C), 2 (C), 15, 17, 15, 16, 9
Last season:

Started the season well and ended strongly but went through long barren runs in-between. Nine of Brighton’s twelve wins came between Rounds 1-5 and 32-38. Their 9th place finish was the best in club history.
Placing:: 9th with 51 points and a 12-15-11 record (5-7-7 at home and 7-8-4 away)
Offence:: 42 goals scored (19 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 6
Defence:: 44 goals conceded (23 at home and 21 away) – league rank: 10

Squad:

Manager: Graham Potter. At the helm since 2019 and began his managerial career in 2010.
Key arrivals: Simon Adingra (FC Nordsjaelland, £7m, sent out on loan to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise), Julio Enciso (Club Libertad, £9.5m)
Key departures: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham, £30m), Leo Ostigard (Napoli, £5m, was previously out on loan to Genoa), Taylor Richards (QPR, loan), Abdallah Sima (Angers, loan), Aaron Connolly (Derby County, loan)

Positives:

Finished last season on a 5-1-2 run with all five wins coming over sides in the top half of the table.
Had the 5th best away record last season.
Had the 6th best defensive record last season.
Received a good transfer fee for Yves Bissouma given he only had 12 months left on his contract.

Negatives:

Key midfielder Yves Bissouma has departed.

Were held scoreless 11 times last season which contributed to an 11-game winless streak and a separate 6-game losing streak.
Had only the 16th best home record last season.
Had only the 15th best offensive record last season as they struggled to convert their chances.
Marc Cucurella handed in a transfer request and has been the subject of sustained transfer speculation.

Pundit table predictions: 11th1, 11th2, 12th3, 8th4, 11th5, 12th6, 12th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 251.00
Top four: 17.00
Not top four: 1.025
Top six: 8.00
Top half: 2.20
Bottom half: 1.61
Relegated: 9.00
Not relegated: 1.062
Rock bottom: 34.00

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Chelsea

Chelsea

Last eight season finishes: 1, 10, 1, 5, 3, 4, 4, 3
Last season:

Were in a tier of their own for most of the season. Chelsea never really threatened for the title while their 3rd place spot was rarely under threat. They had to deal with the uncertainty of future ownership following sanctions on Russian owner Roman Abramovich. The club was eventually sold for £4.25bn to a consortium led by American Todd Boehly.
Placing:: 3rd with 74 points and a 21-11-6 record (9-7-3 at home and 12-4-3 away)
Offence:: 76 goals scored (37 at home and 39 away) – league rank: 3
Defence:: 33 goals conceded (22 at home and 11 away) – league rank: 3

Squad:

Manager: Thomas Tuchel. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2007.
Key arrivals: Raheem Sterling (Man City, £50m), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, £33m)
Key departures: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan, loan), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid, free), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona, free)

Positives:

The ownership/sanctions uncertainty that hung over Chelsea’s head last season has now been resolved.
Finished 3rd last season despite N’Golo Kante having an injury impacted campaign and Ben Chilwell picking up a season-ending injury in November. Chilwell is now back to full health.
Have addressed the lack of a reliable scorer up front with the signing of Raheem Sterling, who scored 10+ goals in each of the last five seasons.
Have addressed centre-back Antonio Rudiger’s departure by signing “the wall” Kalidou Koulibaly.

Negatives:

Recent expensive signings have underwhelmed. Last season’s £97.5m signing Romelu Lukaku scored just 8 league goals last season compared to his haul’s of 23 and 24 for Inter Milan in the preceding two seasons. This follows underwhelming results from Chelsea’s £200m spending spree the summer before that, with Timo Werner among the biggest disappointments.
Chelsea had only the 6th best record from January onwards and the rest of their season stats were a long way off the top two clubs.
Thomas Tuchel questioned Chelsea’s commitment and said they need signings urgently after a 4-0 pre-season defeat by Arsenal.
Antonio Rudiger departed during the summer for free.

Pundit table predictions: 4th1, 2nd2, 4th3, 3rd4, 5th5, 4th6, 3rd7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 17.00
Top four: 1.66
Not top four: 2.00
Top six: 1.22
Top half: 1.05
Bottom half: 11.00
Relegated: 2501.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Last eight season finishes: 10, 15, 14, 11, 12, 14, 14, 12
Last season:

Commenced the season with a lot of uncertainty following the appointment of Patrick Vieira to replace outgoing manager Roy Hodgson. Palace had suffered a number of false starts in finding a new manager, which led to Vieira having a truncated off-season to prepare. Palace also had to rebuild a younger squad with nine first-team players leaving the club over the summer. Vieira guided Palace to a respectable 12th place finish to go with an FA Cup semi-final run, which by and large was a successful season for the club.
Placing:: 12th with 48 points and a 11-15-12 record (7-8-4 at home and 4-7-8 away)
Offence:: 50 goals scored (27 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 7
Defence:: 46 goals conceded (17 at home and 29 away) – league rank: 7

Squad:

Manager: Patrick Vieira. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2016.
Key arrivals: Cheick Doucoure (Lens, £18m), Sam Johnstone (West Brom, free) , Malcolm Ebiowei (Derby, compensation fee), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich, £8.m)
Key departures: Conor Gallager (returned to parent club Chelsea following a loan spell), Cheikhou Kouyate (free agent), Martin Kelly (free agent)

Positives:

Despite joining late last summer, manager Patrick Vieira sucessfully guided Palace’s transition to a younger squad that plays more attractive football.
Talisman Wilfried Zaha scored a career-high 14 league goals last season.
Finished last season with five consecutive home clean sheets, with Man City, Arsenal and Man Utd among those who were held scoreless.
Palace finished last season with a positive goal difference in the top flight for the first time since 1991. Their goal difference was the 7th best in the league and their expected goal difference (xGD) was the 6th best in the competition.
Palace had the 7th best defensive record last season. They finished the season with five consecutive clean sheets at home for the first time since 1992. Only Liverpool recorded more home clean sheets from January onwards than Crystal Palace.
Don’t have many players who will feature in the World Cup, so this year’s mid-season tournament shouldn’t affect Palace as badly as other clubs.
Earned victories against Tottenham, Man City, Arsenal and Man Utd last season.

Negatives:

Loan signing Conor Gallager, who was the club’s player of the season last year, has returned to Chelsea.
Nine senior players couldn’t make the overseas tour, so the club had a disruped pre-season with two separate squads, one playing overseas, the other in England.

Pundit table predictions: 12th1, 13th2, 11th3, 11th4, 12th5, 13th6, 11th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 501.00
Top four: 34.00
Not top four: 1.005
Top six: 13.00
Top half: 3.25
Bottom half: 1.33
Relegated: 7.00
Not relegated: 1.10
Rock bottom: 21.00

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Everton

Everton

Last eight season finishes: 11, 11, 7, 8, 8, 12, 10, 16
Last season:

Had an incredibly stressful campaign. Picked up 13 points from their first 6 matches but only 11 points from the next 23. Everton sacked manager Rafael Benitez in January, at which time they were sitting 15th in the table. New manager Frank Lampard couldn’t improve upon their league standing as Everton slid slowly but consistently down the table until they sat in the relegation zone with a few rounds to play. Three wins and a draw from their last six fixtures saw Everton avoid the drop by a four-point margin. The relegation drama was despite the fact that Everton had spent more than £500m in the transfer market since Farhad Moshiri bought the club in 2016.
Placing:: 16th with 39 points and a 11-6-21 record (9-2-8 at home and 2-4-13 away)
Offence:: 43 goals scored (27 at home and 16 away) – league rank: 16
Defence:: 66 goals conceded (25 at home and 41 away) – league rank: 16

Squad:

Manager: Frank Lampard. At the helm since 2022 and began his managerial career in 2018.
Key arrivals: James Tarkowski (Burnley, free), Ruben Vinagre (Sporting Lisbon, loan), Dwight McNeil (Burnley, £20m)
Key departures: Richarlison (Tottenham, £50m), Fabian Delph (free agent), Cenk Tosun (free agent), Gylfi Sigurdsson (free agent), Jarrad Branthwaite (PSV Eindhoven, loan)

Positives:

Have strong home support, which contributed strongly to Everton finishing with the joint 10th best home record despite a shambolic 2021/22 campaign.
Have strengthened at the back with the signing of ex-Burnley free agent James Tarkowski.
Managed to stay up last season despite star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin only making 17 appearances due to injury.

Negatives:

Have had six different managers and three directors of football since 2016.
Everton continue to be a risk of breaching FFP regulations. The club posted £372m in losses over the last three years and they are burdened by the £500m+ planned expenditure on the new stadium. Everton’s spending spree since Farhad Moshiri bought the club has not brought success.
Had the second worst away record (2-4-13) in the league last season.
Fielded a strong squad yet lost 4-0 to Minnesota United in pre-season.
Richarlison has departed and no marquee signging has been brought in to replace him.
Had the second worst away record (2-4-13) in the league last season.
Have agreed to play in the Sydney Super Cup in November. This might prove to be the last thing Everton need if their league form is poor.

Pundit table predictions: 14th1, 15th2, 14th3, 15th4, 14th5, 14th6, 13th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 501.00
Top four: 34.00
Not top four: 1.005
Top six: 13.00
Top half: 3.75
Bottom half: 1.25
Relegated: 4.33
Not relegated: 1.20
Rock bottom: 15.00

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Fulham

Fulham

Last eight season finishes: 17 (C), 20 (C), 6 (C), 3 (C), 19, 4 (C) , 18, 1 (C)
Last season:

Manager Scott Parker left during the pre-season and was replaced by former Watford and Everton manager Marco Silva. Fulham won promotion with striker Aleksandar Mitrović scoring 43 goals. Fulham’s best form came in the middle of the season during which they enjoyed a 17-5-2 run. The Cottagers slumped at the end of the season but still won the title despite 2-1-4 closing form.
Placing:: 1st in the Championship with 90 points and a 27-9-10 record (14-4-5 at home and 13-5-5 away)
Offence:: 106 goals scored (56 at home and 50 away) – league rank: 3
Defence:: 43 goals conceded (20 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 1

Squad:

Manager: Marco Silva. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2011.
Key arrivals: Joao Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon, £17m), Andreas Pereira (Manchester United, £10m), Manor Solomon (Shakhtar Donetsk), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg, £6.4m)
Key departures: Fabio Carvalho (Liverpool, £5m), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguisa (Napoli, £10m, had been out on loan last season)

Positives:

Striker Aleksandar Mitrović scored a career-high 43 league goals in 44 appearances last season.
Fulham scored 106 goals last season, which was 32 more than the next best Bournemouth.
Manager Marco Silva has plenty of Premier League experience.
Fulham’s last two unsuccessful promotions were via the playoffs. Last year they won promotion as the Championship winners, so they’ve had more time to prepare for this season compared to their previous two stints.
Fulham has very few squad members who will be playing in the World Cup, so they should be less impacted by the Nov/Dec tournament.

Negatives:

Aleksandar Mitrović only scored 3 goals in his last Premier League season.
Fulham limped over the line in 2-1-4 Championship form last season.
The successful January loan singing Neco Williams has joined fellow relegation rivals Nottingham Forest.
Fulham’s last two stints in the Premier League resulted in relegation after one season.

Pundit table predictions: 19th1, 17th2, 19th3, 18th4, 16th5, 19th6, 19th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 1001.00
Top four: 67.00
Not top four: 1.001
Top six: 26.00
Top half: 7.00
Bottom half: 1.10
Relegated: 2.25
Not relegated: 1.57
Rock bottom: 7.50

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Leeds

Leeds

Last eight season finishes: 15 (C), 13 (C), 7 (C), 13 (C), 3 (C), 1 (C), 9, 17
Last season:

Leeds endured an injury-ravaged second season in the top flight and finished 17th compared to 9th the season before. They parted ways with manager Marcelo Bielsa after Gameweek 27 following a number of heavy defeats. Leeds went 4-3-5 under new manager Jesse Marsch to finish the season. They survived the drop after being in the relegation zone going into the final round.
Placing:: 17th with 38 points and a 9-11-18 record (4-6-9 at home and 5-5-9 away)
Offence:: 42 goals scored (19 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 19
Defence:: 79 goals conceded (38 at home and 41 away) – league rank: 18

Squad:

Manager: Jesse Marsch. At the helm since 2022 and began his managerial career in 2011.
Key arrivals: Marc Roca (Bayern Munich, £10m), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, £20m), Luis Sinisterra (Feyenoord, £21m), Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg, £22.2), Rasmus Kristensen (Red Bull Salzburg, £10m), Darko Gyabi (Man City, £5m), Sonny Perkins (West Ham, free)
Key departures: Kalvin Phillips (Man City, £45m), Raphinha (Barcelona, £49m)

Positives:

Managed to avoid relegation last season despite a horror run with injuries. Bamford made just nine league appearances and other injuries forced the club to introduce a league-record nine teenage debutants.
Have been active in the summer transfer window, bringing in five £10m+ signings to counter the departures of Phillips and Raphinha. The squad how has greater depth as a result.

Negatives:

Regressed badly last season. Finished 17th compared to 9th the season before.
Leeds’ injury woes last season exposed a lack of squad depth.
Arguably their best players in Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha have departed.
Defence last season was a massive issue. Leeds finished last season with the second worst defensive record with 79 goals conceded. Their -37 goal difference was the worst of any team to survive relegation and 13 goals worse than any other surviving club. Only the relegated Watford recorded fewer clean sheets than Leeds’ 5 last season.
Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling will miss the start of the season due to long-term injuries.

Pundit table predictions: 15th1, 16th2, 18th3, 16th4, 17th5, 15th6, 14th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 501.00
Top four: 51.00
Not top four: 1.002
Top six: 17.00
Top half: 5.50
Bottom half: 1.14
Relegated: 3.25
Not relegated: 1.33
Rock bottom: 9.00

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Leicester City

Leicester City

Last eight season finishes: 14, 1, 12, 9, 9, 5, 5, 8
Last season:

After starting the season by winning the Community Shield, Leicester City regressed following two top-five league finishes. There were mitigating circumstnaces to their drop to 8th. The main issue was player injuries. Striker Jamie Vardy missed 13 games, whcih was particularly impactful. The Foxes also had to juggle their run to the semi-finals in the Europa Conference League. This greatly increased their fixture burden.
Placing:: 8th with 52 points and a 14-10-14 record (10-4-5 at home and 4-6-9 away)
Offence:: 62 goals scored (34 at home and 28 away) – league rank: 14
Defence:: 59 goals conceded (23 at home and 36 away) – league rank: 8

Squad:

Manager: Brendan Rodgers. At the helm since 2019 and began his managerial career in 2008.
Key arrivals:
Key departures: Eldin Jakupovic (released), Vontae Daley-Campbell (Cardiff, free)

Positives:

Don’t have the additional burden of European football this season.
Have managed five consecutive top-ten finishes.
Won 8 of their final 13 home league games last season.
Had the 5th best offence in the league last season.
Had injury excuses for why they finished 8th last season compared to the year before.
Have thus far retained the services of James Maddison despite strong interest from Newcastle.
Striker Jamie Vardy has retired from international football so he won’t have the added burden of the Nov/Dec World Cup.

Negatives:

Were overly reliant on the fitness of 35-year old striker Jamie Vardy last season. Leicster City collected 41 points from a possible 72 with him in the side and just 11 from 42 when he was absent.
Leicester City are also heavily reliant on the health of James Maddison, who had a direct hand in 32% of Leicester City’s total goals last season.
The Foxes had only the 14th best defensive record last season. Only three clubs recorded fewer clean sheets than Leicester City’s 7 in the last campaign.
Leicester City had only the 15th best away record last season.
They have yet to make a significant signing this summer and need to raise funds to allow Leicester to comply with Financial Fair Play.
Leicester City’s squad depth isn’t as strong as other European hopefuls.

Pundit table predictions: 9th1, 7th2, 9th3, 9th4, 8th5, 10th6, 10th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 201.00
Top four: 17.00
Not top four: 1.025
Top six: 6.00
Top half: 1.66
Bottom half: 2.10
Relegated: 15.00
Not relegated: 1.03
Rock bottom: 51.00

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Liverpool

Liverpool

Last eight season finishes: 6, 8, 4, 4, 2, 1, 3, 2
Last season:

After picking up six draws and two defeats in the first 21 rounds, Liverpool looked out of the title. The Reds then went on a 10-game winning streak and the title race ended up going down to the final week. Their title challenge was maintained despite deep runs to finish 1st, 1st and 2nd in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League, respectively. Some of Liverpool’s mid-season lift in form can be attribted to the January signing of Luis Díaz (€40m + €20m potential add-ons) from Porto.
Placing:: 2nd with 92 points and a 28-8-2 record (15-4-0 at home and 13-4-2 away)
Offence:: 94 goals scored (49 at home and 45 away) – league rank: 1
Defence:: 26 goals conceded (9 at home and 17 away) – league rank: 2

Squad:

Manager: Jürgen Klopp. At the helm since 2015 and began his managerial career in 2001.
Key arrivals: Darwin Nunez (Benfica, £64m + £21m in potential add-ons), Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen, £4.2m), Fabio Carvalho (Fulham, £5m)
Key departures: Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich, £35m), Takumi Minamino (Monaco, £15.5m), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest, £17m), Divock Origi (free agent), Owen Back (Famalicao, loan), Ben Davies (Rangers, £4m)

Positives:

In part due to the shrewd acquisition of Luis Díaz in January, Liverpool finished last season on a 19-game (16-3-0) unbeaten streak. Their form during that run was superior to Man City’s. In 2022 Liverpool picked up 8 more points than City.
Mohamed Salah has signed a new three-year contract, Joe Gomez has signed a new five-year contract and Jürgen Klopp has extended his contract to 2026.
Beat Manchester City 3-1 to win the Community Shield.

Negatives:

Have replaced the proven Sadio Mane with the unproven Darwin Nunez.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury.
Roughly half of Liverpool’s first team squad will be involved in the mid-season World Cup.

Pundit table predictions: 2nd1, 3rd2, 2nd3, 2nd4, 2nd5, 2nd6, 2nd7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 3.50
Top four: 1.12
Not top four: 7.00
Top six: 1.03
Top half: 1.001
Bottom half: 101.00
Relegated: 4501.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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Manchester City

Manchester City

Last eight season finishes: 2, 4, 3, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1
Last season:

Won the EPL title for the 4th time in five years after they fought off an immese chase by Liverpool in the second half of the season. City had to come back from two goals down to secure the title in the final week. This was City’s only silverware for the season.
Placing:: 1st with 93 points and a 29-6-3 record (15-2-2 at home and 14-4-1 away)
Offence:: 99 goals scored (58 at home and 41 away) – league rank: 1
Defence:: 26 goals conceded (15 at home and 11 away) – league rank: 1

Squad:

Manager: Pep Guardiola. At the helm since 2016 and began his managerial career in 2007.
Key arrivals: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, £51.2m), Kalvin Phillips (Man City, £45m), Stefan Ortega Moreno (Arminia Bielefeld, free)
Key departures: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal, £45m), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea, £50m), Fernandinho (free agent), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal, £30m), Gavin Bazunu (Southampton, £12m), Romeo Lavia (Southampton, £14m), Darko Gyabi (Leeds, £5m)

Positives:

After playing without an orthodox number nine last season, Manchester City have signed the highly coveted Noregian striker Erling Haaland. Haaland scored 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund and he won’t be involved in the mid-seaon FIFA World Cup due to Norway failing to qualify.
City won four of the last five EPL titles and they finished no worse than 2nd during that run.
Man City scored the most goals in the league last season and they finished joint first for conceding the fewest goals.
They have plenty of talent brewing in the youth ranks. Man City won both the Under-18 Premier League North and the Under-23 Premier League 2 Division 1 titles in each of the last two seasons.

Negatives:

They might be tempted to put more emphasis on winning the Champions League, the one title they have failed to achieve.
Collected fewer points than Liverpool in the second half of last season. In the 2022 calendar-year Man City picked up 8 fewer points than Liverpool.
Have sold high quality players during the off-season to other Premier League clubs.
Lost 1-3 to Liverpool in the Community Shield.
City’s quest to sign left-back Marc Cucurella, intended as a replacement for Oleksandr Zinchenko, fell through.
A large portion of the squad will be involved in the mid-season World Cup.

Pundit table predictions: 1st1, 1st2, 1st3, 1st4, 1st5, 1st6, 1st7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 1.61
Top four: 1.03
Not top four: 15.00
Top six: 1.002
Top half: 1.001
Bottom half: 101.00
Relegated: 4501.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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Manchester United

Manchester United

Last eight season finishes: 4, 5, 6, 2, 6, 3, 2, 6
Last season:

Despite the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United endured a torrid season last year. Noteworthy was their drop in away form from 12-7-0 in 2021/22 to 6-5-8 a year later. Rumours persisted of discord in the dressing room as United failed to improve under interm manager Ralf Rangnick following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjær in late November. United won just 16 games, which was their lowest win tally since 1990/91. It was their 5th successive season without a tropy – their longest barren run since 1977/78-81/82.
Placing:: 6th with 58 points and a 16-10-12 record (10-5-4 at home and 6-5-8 away)
Offence:: 57 goals scored (32 at home and 25 away) – league rank: 13
Defence:: 57 goals conceded (22 at home and 35 away) – league rank: 9

Squad:

Manager: Erik ten Hag. At the helm since 2022 and began his managerial career in 2012.
Key arrivals: Christian Eriksen (Brentford, free), Tyrell Malacia (Feyenoord, £13m), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax, £57m)
Key departures: Juan Mata (free agent), Edinson Cavani (free agent), Nemanja Matic (Roma, free), Paul Pogba (Juventus, free), Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest, free), Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest, loan), Andreas Pereira (Fulham, £10m)

Positives:

United have the opportunity to start a new chapter following the appointment of new manager Erik ten Hag. He took his previous club Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 22 years. He also won the Eredivisie in the three full seasons that he was at the helm of Ajax and he guided them to two KNVB Cup wins. While ten Hag has no managerial experience in England, he will be supported by Steve McClaren as an assistant coach.
Over the last three decades Manchester United have been England’s most consistent club. They only finished worse than 6th once in the last 32 years, which was when they finished 7th in 2013/14.
United managed to qualify for the Europa League despite a shambolic season by their standards. This gives them an alternative possible pathway into the Champions League next season.
United beat Liverpool 4-0 in a pre-season friendly.
Have addressed their defensive issues by signing centre-back Lisandro Martínez, a player Erik ten Hag knows well from their Ajax days. United have also signed left-back Tyrell Malacia.
Have signed Christian Eriksen on a free transfer following his highly impressive tenure at Brentford.

Negatives:

United finished last season in 2-2-5 form and they had only the 9th best record in 2022.
United finished last seaon with their lowest ever Premier League points tally. They finsished four places and 16 points worse off than last year and had a goal difference of 0 compared to +29 the year before.
There were persistent rumours of discord in the locker room last year as many of United’s key players consistently under-delivered on the field.

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The owning Glazer family are unpopular with fans.
Finished last season with only the 13th best defensive recrod. Only four clubs recorded fewer clean sheets than United’s 8 last season.
United had only the 9th best goal difference last season.
They have had a drawn out transfer saga with target Frenkie de Jong the summer.
It has been speculated that Cristiano Ronaldo wishes to leave the club. He missed the club’s pre-season tour for personal reasons.
Captain Harry Maguire was booed for poor his form by supporters at times last season. He was also booed in pre-season.

Pundit table predictions: 5th1, 6th2, TBA3, 6th4, 6th5, 6th6, 5th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 29.00
Top four: 2.50
Not top four: 1.53
Top six: 1.44
Top half: 1.083
Bottom half: 8.00
Relegated: 1001.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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Newcastle

Newcastle

Last eight season finishes: 15, 18, 1 (C), 10, 13, 13, 12, 11
Last season:

Newcastle experienced a season of two halves, with the side starting a new chapter following the purchase of the club by the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund in October. Manager Steve Bruce was sacked two weeks later, at which time Newcastle sat in the bottom three. Under new manager Eddie Howe they only picked up seven points from his first fourteen games in charge. The club then invested £85m in the January transfer window with those signings by and large proving to be a big success. After winning just 1 of their opening 20 games, Newcastle won 12 of their remaining 18 fixtures.
Placing:: 11th with 49 points and a 13-10-15 record (8-6-5 at home and 5-4-10 away)
Offence:: 44 goals scored (26 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 15
Defence:: 62 goals conceded (27 at home and 35 away) – league rank: 14

Squad:

Manager: Eddie Howe. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2008.
Key arrivals: Sven Botman (Lille, £32m), Matt Targett (Aston Villa, £15m – had been on loan to Newcastle since Jan), Nick Pope (Burnley, undisclosed fee)
Key departures: Dwight Gayle (Stoke City, free), Jeff Hendrick (Reading, loan), Isaac Hayden (Norwich City, loan), Ciaran Clark (Sheffield United, loan), Freddie Woodman (Preston, £1m)

Positives:

Newcastle have the wealthiest owner in world football.
Newcastle won 12 of their final 18 games last season. They finished on a 6-0-2 run and had the 4th best record (12-2-5) from January onwards.
January signging Kieran Trippier has recovered from his broken foot.
Have signed Matt Targett on a long-term deal following a successful loan spell.

Negatives:

Had only the 15th best defensive record last season.
Were ranked 16th for expected goals last season.

Pundit table predictions: 7th1, 9th2, TBA3, 13th4, 7th5, 7th6, 7th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 101.00
Top four: 9.00
Not top four: 1.071
Top six: 3.25
Top half: 1.33
Bottom half: 3.25
Relegated: 26.00
Not relegated: 1.01
Rock bottom: 151.00

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Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Last eight season finishes: 14 (C), 16 (C), 21 (C), 17 (C), 9 (C), 7 (C), 17 (C), 4 (C)
Last season:

Made a 0-1-6 start to the season which resulted in the sacking of manager Chris Hughton. Forest immediately lifted under new manager Steve Cooper and lost only 6 of their remaining 39 fixtures. They went on a 9-1-2 run at the end of the season to make the playoffs as the 4th seed. Forest squeaked through on penalties in the semi-finals before winning the playoff final at Wembley.
Placing:: 4th in the Championship with 80 points and a 23-11-12 record (13-4-6 at home and 10-7-6 away)
Offence:: 73 goals scored (43 at home and 30 away) – league rank: 2
Defence:: 40 goals conceded (22 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 3

Squad:

Manager: Steve Cooper. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2019.
Key arrivals: Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, £17m), Dean Henderson (Man Utd, loan), Moussa Niakhate (Mainz, £13m), Neco Williams (Liverpool, £17m), Wayne Hennessey (Burnley, free), Lewis O’Brien (Huddersfield, £6m), Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield, £4m), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd, free), Orel Mangala (Stuttgart, £12.7m), Brandon Aguilera (Alajuelense, will go to Guanacasteca on loan for six months), Omar Richards (Bayern Munich, £8.5m), Giulian Biancone (Troyes, £5m)
Key departures: Lewis Grabban (free agent), Brice Samba (RC Lens, £4.3m)

Positives:

Have been very active in the transfer market. A number of their acquisitions have plenty of Premier League experience. Jesse Lingard on a free transfer in particular was a great coup.
Achieved promotion despite making a 1-6 start to last season, which resulted in the sacking of the previous manager. Had the season started the day the current manager arrived, Nottingham Forest would have won the league.
Steve Cooper has an impressive resume for a young manager. He led England’s U17 side to victory in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup. Cooper also took Swansea City to the playoffs in both seasons that he managed them. The year prior to his arriveal Swansea finished 10th and the year following his departure they finished 15th.
Nottingham Forest reached the FA Cup quarter-finals last season, beating Leicester City and Arsenal along the way, before losing 1-0 to Liverpool.
Have retained the services of 21-year old winger Brennan Johnson, who scored 16 league goals last season.

Negatives:

Five of the last eight teams to be promoted via the Championship playoffs were relegated the following season.
Five of their first-team players last year were on loan and have not returned this season. This includes Djed Spence, who was named in the Championship team of the year.
With so many new faces, it may take time for the new-look squad to gel and for the manager to establish his best starting side.
While Forest have spent £100 million this summer, two recent playoff winners spent heavily only to have disappointing seasons. In 2018 Fulham were promoted via the play-offs and, like Forest, had six first-team players on loan. During that summer they spent over £100 million on 15 new additions but only finished 19th, 10 points adrift of safety. In 2019, Aston Villa were promoted via the playoffs, spent £133 million during the summer, but only survived relegation a single point.

Pundit table predictions: 18th1, 19th2, TBA3, 20th4, 19th5, 18th6, 17th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 751.00
Top four: 67.00
Not top four: 1.001
Top six: 29.00
Top half: 7.00
Bottom half: 1.10
Relegated: 2.20
Not relegated: 1.66
Rock bottom: 5.50

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Southampton

Southampton

Last eight season finishes: 7, 6, 8, 17, 16, 11, 15, 15
Last season:

Made a promising start to the season and were 9th in the table in February. Southampton’s form then fell off a cliff as they finished in 1-2-9 form.
Placing:: 15th with 40 points and a 9-13-16 record (6-7-6 at home and 3-6-10 away)
Offence:: 43 goals scored (23 at home and 20 away) – league rank: 17
Defence:: 67 goals conceded (24 at home and 43 away) – league rank: 17

Squad:

Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 2007.
Key arrivals: Armel Bella-Kotchap (Bochum, £8.6m), Gavin Bazunu (Man City, £12m), Mateusz Lis (Altay, free), Romeo Lavia (Man City, £14m), Joe Aribo (Rangers, £6m), Sekou Mara (Bordeaux, £11m)
Key departures: Fraser Forster (Tottenham, free), Armando Broja (returned to parent club Chelsea following a loan spell)

Positives:

Have been active in the transfer market. Southampton have brought in six new signings so far.
Have retained the services of the set-piece wizard James Ward-Prowse. The central midfielder scored a career-high 10 league goals last season.

Negatives:

After achieving four consecutive top-ten finishes, Southampton have failed to finish in the top ten in the last five seasons. Four of those seasons saw them finish 15th or lower.
Finished last season on a 1-2-9 run and had the 3rd worst record (5-4-10) in 2022. It was as similar story at the end of the 2020/21 season and this carried over with Southampton making a 0-4-3 start to the 2021/22 season.
Went cold for long stretches. Southampton won 3 out of 4 matches at one stage and 4 out of 7 at another, but they won only one other game apart from those spells.
Southampton’s six signings thus far have an average age of just 21. This builds towards the club’s future but it remains to be seen what impact they can have this season.

Pundit table predictions: 16th1, 18th2, TBA3, 17th4, 15h5, 17th6, 15th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 751.00
Top four: 51.00
Not top four: 1.002
Top six: 17.00
Top half: 5.50
Bottom half: 1.14
Relegated: 4.00
Not relegated: 1.22
Rock bottom: 11.00

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Tottenham

Tottenham

Last eight season finishes: 5, 3, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 4
Last season:

Tottenham started the season with Nuno Espirito at the helm. This had followed an arduous search for a new manager during the off-season. Despite a 3-0-0 start to the campaign, Espirito’s tenure was short lived as Tottenham lost five of their next seven fixtures, conceding three goals in four of those five defeats. Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte was appointed a few days later and Tottenham improved under his management, with only Liverpool and Man City picking up more points than Spurs in 2022.
Placing:: 4th with 71 points and a 22-5-11 record (13-1-5 at home and 9-4-6 away)
Offence:: 69 goals scored (38 at home and 31 away) – league rank: 4
Defence:: 40 goals conceded (19 at home and 21 away) – league rank: 4

Squad:

Manager: Nuno Espírito Santo. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2012.
Key arrivals: Yves Bissouma (Brighton, £30m), Richarlison (Everton, £50m), Djed Spence (Middlesbrough, £20m), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan, free), Fraser Forster (Southampton, free), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona, loan)
Key departures: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax, £26m), Joe Rodon (Rennes, loan)

Positives:

Only Man City (21) and Liverpool (21) recorded more clean sheets than Tottenham’s 16 last season.
Finished last season in 8-2-1 form and had the 3rd best record, picking up just 2 points fewer than Man City, from January onwards.
Went 2-2-0 in their fixtures against Man City and Liverpool last season.
Boast a world-class manager in Antonio Conte, who managed to steer them to a top-four finish last season despite a poor start under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Have strengthened the squad during the off-season. The new signings are well suited to Conte’s style of playing.
Didn’t have any disruptive Harry Kane transfer speculation this summer like they did last year.

Negatives:

Striker Harry Kane might feature heavily in the World Cup. This could impact his performance following the tournament.

Pundit table predictions: 3rd1, 4th2, TBA3, 4th4, 3rd5, 3rd6, 4th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 13.00
Top four: 1.66
Not top four: 2.00
Top six: 1.22
Top half: 1.04
Bottom half: 13.00
Relegated: 1001.00
Not relegated: N/A
Rock bottom: 4501.00

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West Ham

West Ham

Last eight season finishes: 12, 7, 11, 13, 10, 16, 6, 7
Last season:

West Ham just missed out on a top-six spot and will particpate in the UEFA Conference League rather than the Europea League this season. Due to their European involement last year, West Ham played a total of 56 games last season, so they did well to only slip one position from the year before. The lengthy campaign took its toll on the side. After winning 11 of their first 21 fixtures, West Ham won just 5 of the remaining 17. The Hammers limped home with just 1 win from their final 7 games.
Placing:: 7th with 56 points and a 16-8-14 record (9-5-5 at home and 7-3-9 away)
Offence:: 60 goals scored (33 at home and 27 away) – league rank: 9
Defence:: 51 goals conceded (26 at home and 25 away) – league rank: 6

Squad:

Manager: David Moyes. At the helm since 2019 and began his managerial career in 1998.
Key arrivals: Nayef Aguerd (Rennes, £30m), Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo, £30.5m), Alphonse Areola (Paris St-Germain, £10.5m, had been on loan to West Ham), Flynn Downes (Swansea, £12m)
Key departures: Ryan Fredericks (Bournemouth, free), Andriy Yarmolenko (Al-Ain, free), Sonny Perkins (Leeds, free), Mark Noble (retired)

Positives:

Only dropped one spot in the league standings from the year before despite the extra burden of the Europa League. West Ham’s semi-finals run in that competition had a big impact on their fixture schedule.
Have retained the services of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen.

Negatives:

Finished last season in 1-2-4 form and had only the 13th best record in 2022.
They could have another fixture-heavy campaign if West Ham go deep in the UEFA Conference League.
Only four clubs recorded fewer clean sheets than West Ham’s 8 last season.
New signing Nayef Aguerd injured his ankle in pre-season, which required surgery.

Pundit table predictions: 8th1, 8th2, TBA3, 10th4, 9th5, 8th6, 8th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 151.00
Top four: 13.00
Not top four: 1.04
Top six: 5.00
Top half: 1.57
Bottom half: 2.25
Relegated: 21.00
Not relegated: 1.015
Rock bottom: 67.00

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Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton

Last eight season finishes: 7 (C), 14 (C), 15 (C), 1 (C) , 7, 7, 13, 10
Last season:

Wolverhampton commenced life under new manager Bruno Lage and improved upon their 13th place finish from their injury-hit 2020/21 campaign. Wolves were guilty of being mercurial at times and would have finsihed higher had it not been for their 0-2-5 run to end the season.
Placing:: 10th with 51 points and a 15-6-17 record (7-3-9 at home and 8-3-8 away)
Offence:: 38 goals scored (20 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 5
Defence:: 43 goals conceded (25 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 12

Squad:

Manager: Bruno Lage. At the helm since 2021 and began his managerial career in 2018.
Key arrivals: Nathan Collins (Burnley, £20.5m), Hee-chan Hwang (RB Leipzig , £15m, had been on loan to Wolves last season), Morgan Gibbs-White (had been on loan to Sheffield Utd last season)
Key departures: Romain Saiss (Beşiktaş, free), Andriy Yarmolenko (Al Ain, free), Fabio Silva (Anderlecht, loan)

Positives:

Have managed a top-ten finish in three of the last four seasons.
Had the 5th best defensive record last season.
Have retained the services of Rúben Vinagre.

Negatives:

Were notoriously inconsistent last season.
Finished in 0-2-5 form and had only the 13th best record in 2022.
Have had a run of injuries in pre-season. Chiquinho is out for 6-9 months with an ACL injury, Adama Traore picked up a hamstring injury and Raul Jimenez injured his knee and groin.
Only scored 38 goals last season, which was the 4th fewest in the league.

Pundit table predictions: 13th1, 10th2, TBA3, 14th4, 13th5, 11th6, 16th7
bet365 futures odds:

Title winner: 501.00
Top four: 34.00
Not top four: 1.005
Top six: 13.00
Top half: 3.40
Bottom half: 1.30
Relegated: 5.00
Not relegated: 1.16
Rock bottom: 17.00

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Clubs I’m Optimistic For

Newcastle now have the richest owners in world football. They took full advantage of the January transfer window and in 2022 they had the 4th best record in the league. Newcastle won 12 of their final 18 fixtures. They have since strengthened this summer with defensive acquisitions. The club’s summer business is likely not yet complete with James Maddison one of their current targets.

Tottenham lifted once Antonio Conte was appointed last season. Only Liverpool and Man City picked up more points than Spurs in 2022, with City managing just 2 points more than Tottenham from January onward. Spurs have since strengthened the squad with the acquisitions of Bissouma and Richarlison.

Arsenal also look promising due to their young, exciting squad that has been further strengthened over the summer. The remaining question marks are whether their peak will be in future seasons and whether Mikel Arteta’s managerial prowess is in the same league as Conte, Tuchel, Guardiola and Klopp.

Clubs I’m Pessimistic For

Southampton finished last season on a 1-2-9 run and they had the 3rd worst record in 2022. It was as similar story at the end of the 2020/21 season and this carried over with Southampton making a 0-4-3 start to the 2021/22 season. While the Saints have been active in the transfer window, their signings include mainly teenagers. While this bodes well for the club’s future, it remains to be seen what impact those players can have this year.

Wolves finished last season in 0-2-5 form and they had only the 13th best record in 2022. They have had an injury-impacted pre-season. Chiquinho is out for possibly the whole season, while Traore and Jimenez are set to miss the season start.

Bournemouth earned promotion using a squad that featured six loan players who have since returned to their parent clubs. Their transfer window has been relatively quiet for a newly promoted club.

Everton were heavily involved in the relegation scrap last season and they have since sold arguably their best player in Richarlison.

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Winner

This season is unique because it will pause for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which runs from November 21 to December 18. The Premier League will start again on Boxing Day. This will adversely affect the bigger clubs to a greater extent because they will have more players involved in the tournament. Club fans will be hoping that their players’ countries drop out at the group stage. Any players involved in a deep run into the tournament will come away physically and mentally drained, so we could see a hangover effect from the competition. There’s also the chance of players picking up injuries during the World Cup, which has been added on top of an already heavy fixture schedule. The World Cup increases uncertainty, which makes backing favourites less desirable.

Man City are the obvious favourite at 1.75 (Unibet). Those odds have actually drifted since they lost the Community Shield 3-1 to Liverpool last weekend. City have won four of the last five seasons and they have added Erling Haaland & Kalvin Phillips to the squad, but I’d rather play wait and see and then bet on this market as the season progresses. Markets are incredibly reactive at the start of the season so even after Gameweek 1 you may see higher odds for City given they have a tricky away fixture against West Ham while Liverpool travel to the newly promoted Fulham.

Liverpool at 3.50 (various bookmakers) holds appeal given they out-performed Man City in the 2022 calendar year. If Erling Haaland doesn’t live up to the hype for City then Liverpool stand a good chance of winning the title.

Relegation

My list of teams that could theoretically go down is:
Aston Villa, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds, Wolves, Brentford, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Fulham, Bournemouth

Of those sides, I predict that Aston Villa, Brighton, Crystal Palace will have sufficient squad depth and quality to avoid trouble. Leeds have spent the transfer fees received for Kalvin Phillips & Raphinha to add depth during the off-season and they had injury excuses last year. I don’t expect Wolves will have a great season but I can’t overlook the fact that they had the 5th best defensive record last season, which always puts you in good stead. Somewhere like 13th-15th looks more likely than 18th for them. Brentford finished last season strongly and they have strengthened during the summer. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Nottingham Forest will be safe. It’s not so much because of their epic spending spree, although bringing in Jesse Lingard helps, but because of their manager Steve Cooper. Forest would have won the Championship had it started the day Cooper took over and they enjoyed a strong FA Cup run during which they beat Leicester City and Arsenal before losing narrowly to Liverpool. This suggests Cooper has the tactical nous to succeed in the Premier League.

This leaves the following primary candidates for the drop:

Everton at 5.50 (PlayUp)
Frank Lampard is virtually everyone’s favourite to be the first manager to be sacked. To comply with FFP regulations they can’t spend much this summer and they have been forced to sell Richarlison.

Southampton at 4.50 (BlueBet)
They finished last season in really poor form. Southampton have brought in new signings but they’re primarily young players with a look to the future.

Fulham at 2.25 (bet365)
Their previous two promotions resulted in immediate relegation and while manager Marco Silva does have Premier League experience, his results were poor. Striker Aleksandar Mitrović set the Championship alight last season but he only managed 3 goals in his previous Premier League season.

Bournemouth at 1.60 (BlueBet)
Bournemouth relied on six loan signings last season and all of those players have returned to their parent clubs. They have been relatively quiet in the transfer market.

bet365 offers a ‘Relegated Teams’ market where you can pick your trio of clubs to be relegated. If I had to make my best guess I would select:
Bournemouth, Fulham, Southampton at 23.00 or
Bournemouth, Everton, Fulham at 34.00

Some longer odds selections are:
Bournemouth, Everton, Southampton at 51.00
Everton, Fulham, Southampton at 67.00

Winner W/O Big 6

For the winner without Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United & Tottenham, my pick is Newcastle at 3.25 (Unibet). Now with the richest owners in world football, Newcastle won 12 of their final 18 fixtures last season and they have strengthened this summer with defensive acquisitions. Their main rival for this market is West Ham, who have the added burden of the Europa Conference League – a competition they have the ability to go deep in. West Ham faded at the back end of last season as their Europa League journey took its toll.

Winner W/O Man City and Liverpool

Tottenham holds appeal at 2.75 (Unibet). They only picked up 2 fewer points than Man City in 2022 and they have since added quality to the squad during the off-season.

Winner W/O Man City

Liverpool holds strong appeal at 1.50 (Unibet). Their new striker Darwin Nunez scored against Man City in their 3-1 Community Shield win and they finished last season in 16-3-0 form. Liverpool scored 8 more points than any other club in 2022.

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Notes

Table prediction sources:

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Author: Ken Sutton