The Premier League season begins on Friday when Leicester City visit Old Trafford; 379 games and a mass of blood, sweat and tears later, everything will be decided. Champions crowned as a nation of football supporters swings between ‘awww’ and raucous laughter at the tears of failure.
Manchester City are overwhelming favourites with Liverpool on fairly generous odds considering the squad Klopp has assembled. However, it’s worth looking at some of the offers from bookmakers to create value in the odds with sites such as PointsBet Bonus Code pointing you in the right direction.
So, who will win the league? 280 characters follows on each team, followed by the predicted table at the bottom of the page.
A new coach and philosophy is Arsenal’s best hope of improving on last year’s dismal effort. Aubameyang with 10 goals in 13 games is the prolific goalscorer needed but defence is still the weak point. If Unai Emery resolves that problem, definitely a candidate for the top four.
If they were a pop band: New Order – once creative and inspiring, now just plodding along to the same derivative tune
Eddie Howe’s team continue to defy the odds and remain firmly ensconced in the Premier League. Just two signings this summer and neither a striker, suggest the Cherries will not finish any higher than last season and so long as it’s outside of the bottom three, everyone is happy.
If they were a pop band: Beady Eye – the one everyone’s heard of but can’t name any of their songs.
Brighton & Hove Albion
The worst away record in the EPL and only 34 goals in total underlines how tough last year was. Only four defeats at home, they need the same again if they are to beat the drop. Ten new signings but not the consistent goalscorer they need. Will be a long season for the Seagulls.
If they were a pop band: Northside – in the big time, but a pale imitation of better acts.
Last year’s 7th is a tough act to follow. Only signing is Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough with few others on the horizon. Tough to beat, Burnley rely on a strong defence but need Chris Wood to find consistency in front of goal. Is the Europa League prove an unwelcome distraction?
If they were a pop band: Foo Fighters – make a racket but distinctly average.
The weakest of the promoted sides, Cardiff staying in the top flight will be a huge achievement. Don’t score enough goals but Bobby Reid may be the answer to that problem. Neil Warnock’s anagram will feature heavily in blog posts this season.
If they were a pop band: Milli Vanilli – pretending to be a big act but getting found out eventually.
Meet the new boss, is he much different from the old one? Needs a goalscorer because Morata can’t hit a bovine backside with a banjo. Maybe Tammy Abraham can deliver on his potential? A decent squad but lacks depth. Suspect centre of defence.
If they were a pop band: Genesis – been around for ages and as dull as dishwater
Signing Max Meyer was a coup but whether it’s money well spent is another matter. Relieves the creative pressure on Wilfried Zaha but could still do with a decent striker. Mid-table finish at best, depending on how well other sides around them invest.
If they were a pop band: An 80s revival tour. Harking back to better times, but repackaged as new.
Always promise more than they deliver. Dumping Allardyce may prove their best move yet. Digne is a good signing but Richarlison is a huge leap of faith by Silva. All eyes on Jordan Pickford in goal after a good summer. Could finish on the shoulder of sixth if things go well.
If they were a pop band: The Who – living off past glories but capable of the odd surprisingly good new tune.
Made some interesting signings in Seri, Schurrle, and Mawson. Mitrovic is the unknown quantity; can he score enough goals to keep them up. Much of the attention will focus on Ryan Sessegnon, who by the end of the season will probably be upping sticks to somewhere new.
If they were a pop band: Beck – always pleasing on the ear, the band everyone likes on the quiet.
It’s will be a long, hard season for the Terriers. Last season’s away form was dreadful and must be improved if they are to stay up. Only scored 28 goals last year. While Arsenal made a virtue of winning 1 – 0, Huddersfield need more of the nils. Championship-bound, I’m afraid.
If they were a pop band: Take That – once big in the charts but that was a long time ago.
Added well in the summer. Decent defensive signings while Maddison and Ghezzal are interesting from an attacking perspective. Still reliant on Vardy not getting an ASBO for a goal in games and without Mahrez, someone else needs to step up to the plate. Mid-table obscurity beckons.
If they were a pop band: Joe Dolce – one-hit wonder who kept better artists off the top spot.
Big spenders with some good buys. If Salah has a good season in front of goal, they can win the title. Questions remain about defence. Lovren isn’t as good as he thinks he is, Van Dijk isn’t as good as he should be. Goalkeeping problem solved so long as Alisson stays fit.
If they were a pop band: Snow Patrol – occasional hits, but most of the time people are sick to the back teeth of them.
The team to beat. Signed Mahrez to improve creativity. Without Kompany have a soft centre. Only problem is you have to get the ball to puncture it. Lack depth in defensive midfield but always score bucketloads so does it matter? May focus more on CL – will that distract them?
If they were a pop band: Anyone managed by Simon Cowell – money chucked at them, churning out the hits but nobody likes them.
The manager is their weakness. Mourinho’s third season syndrome is kicking and he’ll be neck and neck with Claude Puel for the first managerial sacking of the season. Pogba wants out, Martial as well. Damning that Kovacic didn’t want to sign because of Mourinho’s style of play.
If they were a pop band: Fleetwood Mac – hugely successful, always around but just a tribute act to their former glories.
One big club always struggles, and Newcastle have all the hallmarks of being that club. Salomon Rondon ought to score more goals than Gayle but that’s setting a low bar. Not convinced they will be relegated but could easily be dragged into fight. Deserve better than Mike Ashley.
If they were a pop band: U2 – always sell-out places but nobody can quite fathom why so many people love them so much.
Skin of their teeth survival last season and their summer business doesn’t look to be pushing them much higher up the table. Stuart Armstrong from Celtic is an interesting buy but losing Tadic is a blow. Potential to slump into bottom three but most likely a few places clear.
If they were a pop band:
New stadium in the shape of a toilet seat. No signings despite squad not being good enough to challenge for the title last season. 58 years wait continues… Reliant on Kane and Eriksen not getting injured while Alli continues to build a career on hype. Top six finish most likely.
If they were a pop band: Bryan Adams – occasional bouts of popularity, but big hits are a thing of the past. Been a droning noise in the background for decades.
Watford ended last season hopelessly out of form and Javi Gracia’s men must find Troy Deeney’s cojones to avoid being dragged into the relegation battle. None of the summer buys excites but for mid-table mediocrity, that’s not what is needed. Should avoid the drop. Just.
If they were a pop band: Morrissey – big in the 80s but utterly irrelevant now.
West Ham United
The ‘Appy ‘Ammers went all Viv Nicholson, adopting the Spend! Spend! Spend! ideology. Bought some good players as well – Yarmalenko, Wilshere, Anderson, and Fabianski – so have a half-decent chance of making the top half of the table come the season’s end.
If they were a pop band: Radiohead – used to be good but so inconsistent now that nobody really likes them anymore.
How the table might look in May 2019…
|9th||West Ham United|