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We are less than a month away from the 2022/23 Premier League season. The summer transfer window is going on in full swing as teams are preparing themselves for the challenge of the new season.
Manchester City will enter the fray as the reigning champions of England. Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title last season and will be hoping for better luck this time around.
AFC Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, and Fulham will occupy the vacancies left behind by Watford, Norwich City, and Burnley. For Nottingham Forest, in particular, the upcoming season will be a truly special one as the former European champions will be playing top-flight football for the first time in 23 years.
Going into the new Premier League season, every team will have its own set of aspirations. We have taken a look at the sides and tried to predict what we can expect from each of them in 2022/23.
Eddie Howe had taken AFC Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League in 6 years. When the Cherries had made it to the Premier League for the first time in their history, only playing in the highest level of English football appeared to be a remarkable achievement for them. Not a lot of people would have put their money on Bournemouth surviving in the Premier League for 5 seasons.
After dropping back in the Championship in 2020, Bournemouth have returned to the rank of the elites. Scott Parker’s side made it to the Championship final to secure Premier League football for 22/23, but could not put the cherry on the cake by beating Fulham to the Championship title.
Under Scott Parker, Bournemouth has not been the most flamboyant team to watch. They have mostly relied on defensive solidarity and it’s a no-brainer to assume they will take on an even more conservative approach to navigate the troubled waters of the Premier League.
Bournemouth has only recruited Premier League veteran Ryan Fredericks and former Blackburn midfielder Joe Rothwell. Both of them came on free transfers. Even though Bournemouth are yet to splash the cash on the market, they have held on to most of the players who guided them back to the Premier League.
Predicted Finish: 20th
A dismal run of results in the final few weeks saw Arsenal drop out of the top four race in the recently concluded Premier League season. While the club’s collapse late into the season was an agonising sight for the club’s fans, there was some evident signs of progress as well.
Mikel Arteta is now in his third year at the club. The former Gunners midfielder has divided opinions, given the time and resources he got. But finally, we are getting a clearer vision of the team he is trying to build.
Arsenal have strengthened by signing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City and Portugal U-21 star Fabio Vieira. They are also in talks for more signings to add depth to the squad. The North London outfit is shaping up to be a serious contender for Champions League spots this season.
Predicted Finish: 5th
Aston Villa are one of the clubs that have been making waves in the transfer market this season. The Villans made the signing of Philippe Coutinho permanent and also brought in Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos, and Robin Olsen.
Steven Gerrard had an impressive start to his managerial stint at Aston Villa. But, he failed to sustain the momentum later on and Villa fell to a 14th-placed finish. In Gerrard’s own admission, the season was far from a success.
Gerrard will be keen on improving his record of 35 points from 28 league games, and he certainly has the tools to do so. The current crop of Aston Villa players including the likes of Emi Martinez, Lucas Digne, Coutinho, and Tyrone Mings can deliver a top 10 finish.
Predicted Finish: 9th
Brentford drew the limelight last season for their Moneyball approach which ended their 74-year top-flight hiatus. Thomas Frank’s team had more surprises for us in store as they ended the season in 13th position ahead of many established Premier League sides.
Brentford have done a remarkable job in fending off interest for their star striker Ivan Toney, who had 17 Premier League goal contributions last season, and other key players. Christian Eriksen’s departure will be a loss indeed, but it was a blow that the club saw coming.
The Bees have already signed winger Kean Lewis Potter from Hull City and fullback Aaron Hickey, who drew attention from some big names. But, they need to bolster their midfield to improve their odds of Premier League survival.
Expected Finish: 17th
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton have been a difficult team to play against under Graham Potter, but they drew a lot of criticism last two seasons. Two disastrous spells nearly derailed their season. However, the Seagulls still managed to slip into the top half of the table with a 9th place finish.
In fact, it’s Brighton’s best finish in Premier League history to date. Brighton’s last summer signings were integral to their success. One of them, Marc Cucurella might be on the move this season. But, Brighton will definitely charge premium money for the left-back.
Yves Bissouma has already left for Tottenham, but Moises Caicedo has emerged as a worthy successor. Julio Enciso and Simon Adingra have been the only signings for Brighton so far. A few more additions could keep their top ten spot safe.
Expected Finish: 11th
The unthinkable has happened: Roman Abramovich has sold Chelsea and the Londoners have entered a new era. New owner Todd Boehly is a newcomer in the world of football but has shown he is willing to keep the money flowing to bring success at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were unsuccessful in their attempt to sign Raphinha from Leeds United, but they have secured the signature of Raheem Sterling, a proven PL goalscorer, and Kalidou Koulibaly, one of the highly-rated defenders in the world.
However, it would still be a tough ask to match the heights Manchester City and Liverpool have reached in recent seasons. Thomas Tuchel’s men might have to stay content being the best of the rest for now.
Expected Finish: 3rd
In their last home match of the season, Crystal Palace delighted the Selhurst Park crowd with a stunning 1-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City. It was a testament to the progress the club has made under Patrick Vieira.
The Eagles finished two steps above their 14th-place finish in 2020/21 and made it to the FA Cup semis. It was a remarkable campaign for Palace and topping it will be no piece of cake this season.
Viera coped with the mass exodus that saw the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Andros Townsend, and Wayne Hennessey leaving the club. Now, he will be hoping the club rewards him with proper financial support in the transfer window to keep the ascension going.
Expected Finish: 12th
Improving upon a 16th-place finish should not be a difficult challenge for a club with Everton’s resources. Frank Lampard needs to build on the confidence that steered the club to safety in the final stages of the season.
The Toffees have a Richarlison-shaped void to fill in the attack. Till now, they have only made the signing of James Tarkowski. The ex-Burnley defender will add steel to an Everton defence that shipped a whopping 66 goals last season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin seems to stay at the club this season. If Everton don’t sign a new striker, he will have to step up to the challenge and spearhead the frontline. A top-half finish is not out of the question, but it will not be easy either.
Expected Finish: 13th
Fulham have played some scintillating football en route to their Championship crown last season. Under Marco Silva, the Cottagers developed an entertaining style of play that saw them score 106 goals in the Championship 21/22 season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic provided 43 goals by himself, claiming the record of scoring the highest number of goals in a 46-match Championship season. The Serbia international bagged a brace on the final day of the season to replace Ivan Toney in the record books.
But, both Mitrovic and Silva would know that the Premier League is different gravy. While Mitrovic failed to have a prolific scoring record at the Premier League with Fulham before, Marco Silva has failed to make a mark with three different Premier League teams so far.
Expected Finish: 18th
The 2021/22 season was a close call for Leeds United. The magic of head coach Marcelo Bielsa had apparently dissipated, they seemed destined for relegation, and Bielsa had to leave to change the scenario.
Jesse Marsch could not steady the ship right away. But, he oversaw a final day 1-0 win over Brentford to marginally escape relegation. That result momentarily let Leeds fans heave a sigh of relief, but they would know the team needs to improve to retain its Premier League status.
The highs of 2020/21 seem like a distant memory now, particularly with the departures of Raphinha and Kelvin Phillips. Leeds fans might have to experience another nail-biting end to the season, but they might see their team live to fight another day (or should we say season?).
Expected Finish: 16th
After narrowly missing out on the Champions League spots twice and winning an FA Cup, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City made many critics question the status quo of the so-called ‘’Big 6.’’ So, an 8th-placed finish last season was a massive disappointment for the Foxes.
Can they bounce back this season? Perhaps, it won’t be that easy. With no European football this season, Leicester can concentrate solely on domestic football next season. However, that might not be enough to top the advancements some teams have made over last season.
Jamie Vardy’s injury woes have affected Leicester’s season grimly in 21/22. However, the 35-year-old is not getting any younger. Uncertainties over the futures of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans might also have an impact next season. A period of transition seems to be around the corner.
Expected Finish: 10th
Sadio Mane has left Liverpool for Bayern Munich. Losing the Senegalese will be a big blow for Liverpool, but they will be relieved to finally be able to tie down their other African talisman, Mohamed Salah, to a fresh contract.
The Reds are not lacking firepower in the attacking department despite the departure of Mane. They have beaten many top clubs in Europe to sign Darwin Nunez. Luis Diaz made an instant impact upon his arrival last season, and also there’s Diogo Jota.
Liverpool are a well-oiled machine under Jurgen Klopp and the German’s long-term commitment at Anfield will motivate the Reds to push harder for silverware. The Reds mounted a convincing quadruple challenge last season. Maybe, this season will bring them more glory.
Expected Finish: 1st.
Manchester City have already done some brilliant business this summer. They have moved on Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling for good sums and are also in the talks for selling Nathan Ake, who is surplus to requirements.
In terms of arrivals, City have pulled off the most high-profile transfer of the season. They have added Erling Haaland, who is considered one of the best strikers in the world. Citizens have also brought in Kelvin Phillips to bolster their already rich midfield.
On paper, there seems to be no stopping Man City. But, we believe Pep Guardiola will prioritise the trophy that has eluded him since leaving Barcelona; the Champions League. Perhaps, City’s focus on winning the Champions League will hand Liverpool an edge in the title race.
Expected Finish: 2nd
Manchester United have dismantled arch-rivals Liverpool 4-0 in a pre-season friendly lately, While that’s an encouraging sign indeed, United fans should keep their expectations in check because transitions don’t happen overnight.
Erik ten Hag has bid farewell to Ajax to take the reigns of Man United. The Dutchman is aware of the struggles the Mancunians have gone through lately and will be plotting a blueprint to steer the club out of misery.
But, that could take some time. Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba have left United. Veteran Cristiano Ronaldo‘s future is also unclear. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty around Man United at the moment and asking Ten Hag to wand a magic wand and make them go away immediately would be quite unfair.
Expected Finish: 6th
Newcastle United’s new owners have deep pockets and they surely have big ambitions. In year two of their project, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United will set their sights on Europa League and European Conference League spots, or perhaps, even higher.
In their last 19 Premier League games, Newcastle averaged 2 points per match. That kind of return in a full season would be enough for a top-four finish. So, dreaming of Champions League football is not so outlandish from Newcastle’s perspective.
The Toon Army made significant improvements to their squad in the winter window when they signed the likes of Bruno Guimares and Kieran Trippier. In this window, Newcastle have landed Nick Pope, Sven Botman, and Matt Target to solidify their backline. They are favourites to improve on their last season’s 11th place finish.
Expected Finish: 7th
Nottingham Forest have been busy in the transfer market to prepare themselves for a long-awaited Premier League return. Forest saw off Huddersfield Town in the Championship playoffs to qualify for the Premier League, but now greater challenges lie ahead.
Nottingham Forest have spent almost €70 million to bring in Neco Williams, Taiwo Awoniyi, Moussa Niakhate, Giulian Biancone and Omar Richards. Man United goalkeeper Dean Henderson has also joined on loan.
Steve Cooper will hope the new signings will help his side continue their awe-inspiring journey. Forest, once giants of English football, have waited two decades for reliving the euphoria of Premier League football. But, they might find themselves in a relegation dogfight towards the business end of the season.
Expected Finish: 19th
Southampton have been flirting with relegation over the past few seasons. When Ralph Hussenhuttl took the Southampton job in 2018, he was one of the most exciting coaching prospects around Europe, and also earned rave reviews from his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp back then.
But apart from the 2019/20 season, when the Saints finished 11th, Southampton have failed to put more than 45 points on the board under Hussenhuttl. Even though they never got relegated in that period, Southampton have been hovering dangerously above the drop zone.
Signing young players to replace experienced ones have been a common narrative under Hussenhuttl. That trend has continued this season as three of their five acquisitions this season are aged 20 or below. Investing in future is a wise strategy, but Southampton need to bring in some players who will hit the ground running. Otherwise, it will be hard to envision Southampton having a better campaign in 2022/23.
Expected Finish: 15th
Antonio Conte is a proven winner. He has won league titles for three different clubs across major European leagues. So, the Italian would be confident to break Tottenham’s barren trophy run of 14 years.
After a topsy turvy first season, Conte’s Tottenham got the job done in the end and secured Champions League football for the next season. So, Tottenham have access to a sizable war chest for funding summer transfers this season.
Spurs have already brought in Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, and Clement Lenglet. Rumours suggest they are also looking to buy a winger and a defensive midfielder. Tottenham will be heading into the season as firm top-four favourites.
Expected Finish: 4th
West Ham have developed into a formidable side under David Moyes in recent seasons. A late run of poor results deprived the Hammers of a Europa League spot, but they will surely look to build on the foundations laid by Moyes next season.
West Ham’s start to the 21/22 season was contrastingly different to their low-spirited end to the season. Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen, and Declan Rice were in excellent form as West Ham climbed up the standings.
A lack of proper squad depth proved too costly in the end. So, the West Ham recruitment team should emphasise handing Moyes more alternatives to his first-choice options. Nayef Aguerd and Flynn Downes are the new additions to the club. Alphonse Areola, who was on loan from PSG last season, has become a permanent West Ham player as well.
Expected Finish: 8th
Life without Nuno Espirito Santo did not start well for Wolves. Bruno Lage lost all three of his first matches in charge, before starting to turn things around. A strong midseason run put them in contention for a European spot, but a subdued finish to the season pushed Wolves to the 10th position.
European football was a near miss for Wolves; fans of the club would have a hard time digesting that fact. Regardless, it was a season of progress for the Wolves as they moved three steps ahead in the standings.
With the introductory season behind him, Bruno Lage now should have a better understanding of his team. With the departures of Ruben Vinagre, Roman Saiss, and Marcal, Wolves are now in dire need of defensive reinforcements.
Nathan Collins has arrived from Burnley to strengthen the backline. After a successful loan spell from RB Leipzig, Wolves have permanently signed South Korean striker Hee-chan Hwang. Without more signings, however, Wolves would struggle to keep their place in the top half.