Premier League Predictions – Club By Club By Their Supporters
“Premier League, you’re having a laugh” the song goes, well it does for some. The joy, pain and indifference is back for another season as it kicks of in the second week of August 2017.
We’ve asked supporters of each club to share their thoughts on their clubs for season 2017-18 and here they are, club by club
Brighton & Hove Albion
Liam Gavin James
As a Palace fan, I think this is the most exciting times in our football club since we gained promotion. With arch rivals Brighton finally following us into the Premier League after four years of waiting and with ex champions league winner Frank de Boer in charge Palace have shown the target for the upcoming season!
The exciting signings of Jairo Riedewald, Ruben Loftus- Cheek, and looks like the done deal of Timothy Fosu- Mensah, FDB looks to be looking at young stars to help the palace team boost the squad depth! Also with the attacking threats of Wilfred Zaha, Jason Puncheon, and Christian Benteke, I am very excited to see how Palace adapt to a change in style. I think Palace will finish a respectable 12th.
Prediction = 12th
by Jack Milward
Evertonians are expecting big things this season and they have every reason to be optimistic, for the first time in a long time the club have invested heavily in the transfer market and they are not finished yet.
by Rob Mills
As the start of the 2017/2018 English Premier League season Liverpool FC are a club still looking for the final piece in the jigsaw. Whilst they have invested in players including Mo Salah, Andrew Robertson and Dominic Solanke they are well aware that they need to stand firm and rebuff the advances of Barcelona and their efforts to prize away Phillippe Coutinho.
Jurgen Klopp, their inspirational leader has gone on record as saying that he believes in his defensive team but had that been so he would not have been chasing Virgil Van Dijk. Whilst their captain Jordon Henderson is back they are without doubt missing a leader at the back in the mould of a Jamie Carragher or John Terry. They have no one in their central defending ranks that will lay his life on the line. Klopp has some interesting decisions to make when picking his full backs, with the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold in pre-season and the acquisition of Robertson from Hull meaning that previous shoe-ins Clyne and Milner will have to be at the top of their game.
In midfield they have a number of options but I would lean to a midfield three of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Coutinho. Both Wijnaldum and Henderson can alternate between sitting in the hole to break up opposition attacks and stepping forward to support the front line. Emre Can, whilst a great talent needs consistency in his game to force his way into the starting 11.
In attack Liverpool again have some interesting dilemmas. They could go with the pace of Salah and Mane supporting the tricky feet of Firmino, but they also have Origi, Sturridge and the recent Under 20’s Fifa World Cup winner Solanke in reserve. A fit Sturridge is a force but his injury issues must be a concern to Klopp. Origi is a willing front man but his control sometimes lets him down whereas Solanke is a raw talent who chose to take a chance with Liverpool rather than staying in the ranks of Chelsea’s second string. His recent exploits with the England U20’s, where he won the Golden Boot, show he has an eye for goal but he is not yet the finished article.
In all Liverpool are still a few players off being a serious title contender but a top 4 finish is well within their locker!
Prediction = 3rd.
by Dan Townley
Whilst winning the League Cup and Europa League saved the overall season, the 16/17 Premier League campaign for United was one to forget. There was visible room for improvement in Mourinho’s first season as manager and this year’s signings (and outgoings) are going to go a long way to help that.
One of the constant frustrations shared by almost everybody last season was the lack of goals in the league. Despite having Zlatan Ibrahimović leading the line, United only managed to score 3 or more goals in two games last season and was one of the reasons we had so many draws (15) as we just simply couldn’t kill the game off and ended up conceding silly goals from mistakes made in midfield.
Step forward Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic – two new signings who have joined us at Old Trafford the start of the 17/18 season and two players which definitely have the qualities we need to move forward from last season. Lukaku scored 25 goals last Premier League season and finished second to Harry Kane for the golden boot and Nemanja Matic is the player we’ve been looking for to give Paul Pogba the freedom to move forward creatively. He’s also happy to sit back and command the midfield – something we have lacked for such a long time at United it’s been a DREAM to watch him in his two games of pre-season to see a glimpse of what he’s going to offer over the course of the Premier League.
I would love for us to resign Zlatan when he’s back from injury, but with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial absolutely tearing it apart during preseason I don’t think he’ll be a great miss if he does end up in the MLS.
We have a really good opportunity this season and the depth we have in the squad is much better than some of the teams around us which will no doubt help when the Champions League kicks off again and the fixtures begin to pile up.
With the strengthening of the squad that as already happened (and also getting rid of the deadweight that was holding the team back) I’m going to say United will go on to win the league and we’ll be seeing Michael Carrick and co lifting the Premier League trophy in May.
Prediction = 1st.
A season of transition for the Potters with Mark Hughes coming under a little pressure from some sections of the support towards the end of last season. I can see that pressure continuing to build if Stoke have a similar start to that of the last couple of seasons when we were languishing in the bottom three after 6 or 7 games, this won’t be helped by having to play Chelsea, Man. City, Man Utd. and Arsenal in their opening handful of fixtures in 2017/18.
The Naysayers will be saying that the “DNA” of the club is drifting out of the stadium as Hughes as seen Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, Phil Bardsley leave the club along with the enigmatic Marco Arnoutovic and fans favourite Marc Muniesa. Others will be saying it’s decision time for Sparky and he’s seen the best of the majority of the old school and it’s time to move on.
For me players like Xherdan Shaqiri need to come to the party, play more games, show some leadership and step up to live up to his reputation. Signings like Darren Fletcher and on loan Kurt Zouma are definite improvements to the squad, while Eric Choupo-Moting and Josh Tymon have great potential. Talking of potential, is this the season we see Ramadam Sobhi get a run of games and come to the fore, will Bojan turn his promise into performance, will Berahino re discover his shooting boots and did the spell in Spain for Joselu help him find his way? All these are questions that none of us can answer with great certainty at this stage.
It will certainly be an interesting season and one that will keep Stokies talking. My personal opinion is that Stoke will finish in the bottom half of the table, probably about 14th. following early concerns about being in the bottom three! Have we got enough for a decent cup run….I don’t think so. That’s been the script for the last few seasons and to be honest I don’t see the writing on the wall to see a significant change.
Prediction = 14th.
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
by Chris Land
West Ham enter the new season looking to recapture the form of two seasons ago that saw us finish 7th and not the inconsistent form of the 2016/2017 season that saw us flirt with relegation before eventually finishing safely in mid-table on 45 points.
Expectations this time around are certainly more grounded than 12 months ago, when the move to the London Stadium was hyped by the owners as the chance to move to the fabled ‘next level’ but only produced a season of disappointing home form, teething trouble at the ground, the ‘Payet saga’ in mid-season and a number of injuries to our strikers.
Our summer signings seem to point to lessons learnt from previous summers as well. We have clearly targeted players with Premiership experience in the form of club record signing of Marko Arnautovic and the experienced pair of Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City. Crucially we have added a top class striker in Javier Hernandez to greatly reduce the reliance on an injury plagued Andy Carroll.
Away from the playing staff, questions remain on the future of the manager. Is he the guy to ensure that the form of last year is not repeated and two years into the job, Bilic seems to still be searching for his favoured formation. He experimented with a back three at times last year and whilst this did bring about increased defensive stability it was at the expense of attacking options. Time will only tell but for now, Bilic retains the backing of the vast majority of the West Ham support. Another flirt with relegation will surely see that backing evaporate quickly and despite the lack of silverware in recent memory, West Ham remains an attractive job for managers.
Finally, for many the key to a successful season will sit in the form of Manuel Lanzini. Our stand out creative force last season needs to kick on again this year if we are to stand any chance of finishing in the top 8.
The new signings settle in quickly, Lanzini’s star shines brighter than ever, the London Stadium feels like home and a top eight finish is in sight.
Prediction = 8th.