It’s been a fun summer with the Euro’s and the Copa America along with the Olympics as well. Now though its time to return to club football and Premier League football. Fans are going to be back in the stadiums and hopefully people keep getting vaccinated and we keep getting the fans back. With that said let’s preview how the teams look going into the season.
Arsenal – Last Season (8th – 56 points)
Nuno Tavares (Benfica/Defender), Albert Sambi Lokonga (Anderlecht/Midfielder), Mika Biereth (Fulham/Forward), Ben White (Brighton/Defender), Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid/Midfielder), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United/Goalkeeper), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna/Defender)
David Luiz (Released), Dinos Mavropanos (Stuttgart/Loan), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille/Loan), William Saliba (Marseille/Loan), Joe Willock (Newcastle), Lucas Torreira (Fiorentina/Loan), Willian (Corinthians), Riess Nelson (Feyenoord/Loan), Alex Runarsson (OH Leuven/Loan), Hector Bellerin (Real Betis/Loan)
Arsenal had a lacklustre season and go into this one not playing European football after a very long time. In a way I feel that could help Arsenal. Arsenal are a team in transition and the extra time to work with the team could help Arsenal. The flip side is if it continues to go poorly then fans will be even angrier about the situation. The summer so far has been quite good for Arsenal. Lokonga, and Ben White are starters while there are rumours that more players could be added to the team. David Luiz is the only one who has left the club but it’s been a hard summer to sell players for many clubs. Arsenal have played 6 friendlies having won 2, drawn 1, and lost 3. 2 of those losses came to Chelsea and Spurs. It’s going to be a tough season for Arteta as things stand. The football has not been great as he struggles to play some mix of tiki taka and pragmatic football a fusion of Pep and Jose. The fans are not the happiest and with them back in the stadium there will be more pressure than ever to perform. There are a few more weeks in the window left but either way I see Arsenal fighting for a top 10 finish. I feel Arsenal will finish 8th again or lower.
(With the transfer window now closed, Arsenal sit bottom of the Premier League with 0 points and 0 goals. It’s not been the greatest start BUT the only silver lining for Arteta is that he doesn’t have a fit squad. White, Gabriel, Odegaard, Tomiyasu, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Partey, and even Ramsdale have barely played a game so it is yet to be seen if things change when they come in. Arsenal have been the window’s biggest spenders but I think they will struggle if Arteta stays.)
Aston Villa – Last Season (11th – 55 points)
Emiliano Buendia (Norwich/Midfielder), Ashley Young (Inter Milan/Defender), Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen/Winger), Danny Ings (Southampton/Forward), Axel Tuanzebe (Man United/Defender), Caleb Chukwuemeka (Northampton/Forward)
Ahmed El Mohamady (Released), Tom Heaton (Man United), Jack Grealish (Man City), Wesley (Club Brugge/Loan), Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United/Loan)
Villa had a brilliant start to last season and levelled out in the end but they improved by 20 points and just fell short of the top 10. Dean Smith has done a remarkable job and has been backed this summer with some very good signings. Buendia, Bailey, and Ings can cause havoc when they start while Young and Tuanzebe add defensive depth. Add those players to Watkins, Mings, McGinn, Cash, Luiz, Traore, Martinez etc and I can see Villa having a brilliant season. Of course Grealish has left the club in a Premier League record deal but these reinforcements are all quality and I don’t think it will be that big of a loss. Villa have played 4 pre-season games winning 3 and losing 1. Villa play appealing football and they should get better this season. I expect Villa to challenge for a top 10 finish and if I had to nail down a position I would say Villa will finish 7th.
(No major additions since the start of the season, Villa did their business early and did it well. Ings, Buendia, and Young have all featured but Bailey needs to return to fitness. Tuanzebe has been a decent addition as well. Villa have taken some time to get going but they should be around about where we predicted.)
Brentford – Last Season (Playoff Champions)
Frank Onyeka (Midtjylland/Midfielder), Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic/Defender), Myles Peart-Harris (Chelsea/Midfielder), Yoan Wissa (Lorient/Forward), Alvaro Fernandez (Huesca/Goalkeeper) Loan
Emiliano Marcondes (Released)
Brentford after many seasons of trying have finally reached the Premier League after having won the playoffs. Brentford finished 3rd in the regular season and have been sending players to the Premier League for a couple of seasons now. Watkins, and Benrahma have both come through Brentford. Brentford are managed by Thomas Frank and play an upbeat fluid form of football. It’s a team that likes scoring goals and likes to entertain it’s fans. Raya, Jansson, Dasilva, Mbeumo, and Toney are some of the names neutrals might know. Their incomings have been good as well with quality being added in all positions. Peart-Harris is an exciting attacking midfielder as well. Brentford have played 7 friendlies, winning 5, drawing 1, and losing 1. It’s been good preparation for the club. As with all promoted teams the main goal is to survive in the Premier League for the first season. My opinion is that Brentford will finish in the mid table positions and probably around 16th. I do think Brentford will survive.
(Brentford have started the season well and are unbeaten. A quiet end to the transfer window but the business was done early. I think Brentford could finish higher than we predicted but let’s see how it works out.)
Brighton and Hove Albion – Last Season (16th – 41 points)
Jeremy Sarmiento (Benfica/Forward), Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock/Midfielder), Enock Mwepu (RB Salzburg/Midfielder), Kjell Scherpen (Ajax/Goalkeeper), Kaoru Mitoma (Kawasaki Frontale/Winger), Marc Cucurella (Getafe/Defender)
Jose Izquierdo (Released), Davy Propper (PSV), Bernardo (RB Salzburg), Mat Ryan (Real Sociedad), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Ben White (Arsenal)
It’s been a busy summer at Brighton after what was a season of underachieving for the Seagulls. Many games last season Brighton were the better team and created several chances but they lacked a finisher up top and it meant they failed to score goals thereby dropped points. Graham Potter is a bright manager but again up till now they have not signed a striker that finish the chances they create. Mwepu is the signing that sticks out and with Bissouma he should build a brilliant midfield. White will be a loss at the back but I struggle to see who the replacement is. Lamptey is still out injured which is a loss as well. Brighton have only played 3 pre-season games winning 1, drawing 1 and losing 1. It looks like it’s going to be another season of struggle for Brighton but again they should avoid relegation although I see them finishing 17th this season.
(It was a good window for Brighton but they yet again failed to get a decent forward that can finish the chances they created. Cucurella who was signed recently is probably the pick of the bunch and I can’t wait to see the pacey defender/winger play. Brighton’s goalscoring is still an issue but they should survive as predicted)
Burnley – Last Season (17th – 39 points)
Nathan Collins (Stoke City/Defender), Jacob Bedeau (Scunthorpe/Defender), Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace/Goalkeeper), Aaron Lennon (Free/Winger), Maxwel Cornet (Lyon/Forward), Connor Roberts (Swansea/Defender)
Robbie Brady (Released), Ben Gibson (Norwich)
Sean Dyche and Burnley rallied at the end of last season to avoid relegation and finish 17th. It was an underwhelming summer last year and this summer seems like more of the same. Dyche will be left frustrated with what he has to work with and while there have been no big departures one has to ask how many times the Ginger Mourinho can pull off a miracle. There will be some key players back like McNeil but I see Burnley once again fighting for survival. Burnley played 7 friendlies winning 6 and losing 1. There are a few more weeks left in the transfer window but I think Burnley will once again be fighting for survival at the bottom of the table.
(The additions of Cornet, Lennon, and Roberts are decent ones for Burnley but they will be fighting it out for survival. The additions will probably help that push though)
Chelsea – Read the season preview.
Crystal Palace – Last Season (14th – 44 points)
Michael Olise (Reading/Midfielder), Remi Matthews (Goalkeeper), Marc Guehi (Chelsea/Defender), Joachim Andersen (Lyon/Defender), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea/Midfielder) Loan, Nathaniel Clyne (Defender), Will Hughes (Watford/Midfielder), Odsonne Edouard (Celtic/Forward)
Wayne Hennessey (Burnley), Andros Townsend (Everton), Mamadou Sakho (Montpellier), Patrick van Aanholt (Released), Gary Cahill (Released), James McCarthy (Celtic), Scott Dann (Released)
There has been a rebuild this summer at Crystal Palace with Roy Hodgson having left the club at the end of last season and several players being released. Patrick Vieira has come in as the Eagles new manager and the Eagles have backed him with some exciting young signings. Olise has been attracting a lot of attention in the Championship while Guehi is a highly rated Chelsea Academy graduate who had a brilliant loan season at Swansea last year. Andersen impressed at Fulham and has now sealed a move to Palace while Gallagher is another Chelsea player this time on loan who adds a midfield bite. Clyne adds experience to the side. Eze is still out with injury but Zaha, Benteke, Mateta, Ayew, Guatia, etc are all players that have remained. Palace have played 6 friendlies winning 4 drawing 1 and losing 1. It’s going to be an interesting season for Palace, I think they have made smart signings but the question mark remains over Patrick Vieira. I have them once again fighting between 10th and 15th and I would say they finished 12th IF everything works out for them.
(Hughes and Edouard joined Palace before the deadline and they cap off a brilliant window for the Eagles. It was a rebuild and while the signings might take time to gel there are positives from the opening few games. Gallagher especially is looking very good. An interesting season for the club.)
Everton – Last Season (10th – 59 points)
Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace/Winger), Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth/Goalkeeper), Demarai Gary (Bayer Leverkusen/Winger), Andy Lonergan (West Brom/Goalkeeper), Salomon Rondon (Dalian/Forward)
Theo Walcott (Southampton), Joshua King (Watford), Yannick Bolasie (Releasead), Muhamed Besic (Released), Bernard (Sharjah), Moise Kean (Juventus/Loan)
Everton had some great moments last season under Ancelotti, with the win against Liverpool being a crowning moment. It looked like the only way was up for the Toffees but in football things can change very quickly. Real Madrid came calling for Ancelotti and the Italian jumped ship and swam to Madrid. It was a shock and after some searching Everton settled on Rafa Benitez who famously is the manager who won Liverpool a Champions League. There is clearly a lot of work for Benitez to do to fix those tensions and the transfer window has not helped him. There have been no big departures and all key players are still around but the signings have been underwhelming. Everton have played 5 friendlies winning 3 drawing 1 and losing 1. Up until the 4-0 loss to Man United the defensive solidity that comes with being managed by Benitez was on show for fans. I think Benitez is a good manager and he will have Everton fighting to get into the top 10.
(Everton have started the season well under Benitez as expected. There is a solidity at the back and while the goals aren’t flowing in they are winning games. It was the most eye catching of windows but they are signings fit for purpose. Kean has gone back to Juventus as he never truly settled at Everton.)
Leeds United – Last Season (9th – 59 points)
Amari Miller (Birmingham/Winger), Jack Harrison (Man City/Winger), Junior Firpo (Barcelona/Defender), Sean McGurk (Wigan/Midfielder), Lewis Bate (Chelsea/Midfielder), Kristoffer Klaesson (Valerenga/Goalkeeper), Leo Hjelde (Celtic/Defender), Dan James (Man United/Winger)
Gaetano Berardi (Released), Ezgjan Alioski (Released), Pablo Hernandez (Castellon), Ian Poveda (Blackburn/Loan), Helder Costa (Valencia/Loan)
Leeds had a brilliant first season back in the Premier League. A top 10 finish was what they deserved after entertaining the fans and the neutrals alike. Bielsa has extended his contract for another year as he looks to improve on the 9th place finish. The summer has been quite good for Leeds brining in Firpo as one of the proper first team players. Miller, McGurk, and Bate would fall under up and coming talent but I can attest for Bate and say that he will be conducting Leeds midfield by the end of the season if he is given a chance. Alioski and Hernandez were stalwarts of Leeds journey but have left. Leeds have played 6 friendlies winning 1, drawing 2, and losing 3. It is safe to say that Leeds gung ho approach has not been tempered although they will have to improve defensively if they want to move further up the table. I have Leeds fighting in the top 10 once again and finishing higher than 9th will depend on there defence.
(It’s been a slow start to the season for Leeds but it seems they will be their entertaining selves once again. Dan James is the big one that’s come in on deadline day and Leeds have been after him for a while. The way Leeds play it should suit James and it will be interesting to see how it works out. No changes in the prediction, Leeds should be fighting where we expect them to).
Leicester City – Last Season (5th – 66 points)
Patson Daka (RB Salzburg/Forward), Boubakary Soumare (Lille/Midfielder), Ryan Bertrand (Defender), Jannick Vestergaard (Southampton/Defender), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig/Winger) Loan
Christian Fuchs (Charlotte), Matty James (Released), Wes Morgan (Retired), Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas), Dennis Praet (Torino/Loan)
Leicester had another nearly there season last year as they were in the top four for the longest period of time but failed to stick their landing and dropped down to 5th. An FA Cup win was a welcome addition and probably helped keep the fans on Rodgers side. The summer has been a typical Leicester summer with the club doing brilliant business. Daka is a top up and coming striker while Soumare has been labelled the same in midfield. Bertrand adds experience to the team. No one has departed the squad but experienced players in Fuchs, James, and Morgan have left or become a coach in Morgan’s case. Leicester have played 4 friendlies winning 1, drawing 2, and losing 1. They also beat Manchester City to win the Community Shield which should give them a bounce going into the new season. The loss of Fofana to a broken fibula will be big and they should be in the market for a new centre back in the coming weeks. Leicester have a good squad and once again will be fighting in the Europa League as well. The depth will help and if everyone stays fit I see them fighting for top four once again. This time I think they will stick the landing and finish 4th.
(Vestergaard came in soon after an injury to Fofana. Lookman capped off a good summer window for the Foxes as expected. Leicester are finally looking to break into that top four and while it might be tougher than it was 3 weeks ago there is still a big possibility).
Liverpool – Last Season (3rd – 69 points)
Ibrahima Konate (RB Leipzig/Defender)
Georginio Wijnaldum (PSG), Marko Grujic (Porto), Harry Wilson (Fulham), Ben Davies (Sheffield United/Loan), Xherdan Shaqiri (Lyon)
It’s safe to say last season did not go as expected for Liverpool as Champions of England. They were not able to celebrate their title like they should have. By the time the fans returned to the stadium they were no longer Champions and so it was a moo point of a title. Add to that the bucket load of defensive injuries and the misfiring attack and you had a very poor season. Still Klopp rallied in the end and managed to help the club finish in 3rd. The summer has not been great in terms of incomings at the club. Konate is a good addition at centre back but Wijnaldum will be a loss in the midfield. Players like Elliot have had good loans and are fighting for first team spots while defenders are back fit again most importantly Van Dijk. Robertson is once again injured though which is not a good sign heading into the start of the season. Liverpool have played 7 friendlies winning 3 drawing 3 and losing 1. They are due to play one more. With City and Chelsea steaming ahead and United also doing some good business Liverpool will have to rely on their fragile squad depth once again. If players stay fit then top four should be certain. I expect them to be fighting for the title but finish 3rd.
(Liverpool are expected to fight for the title and they will going off of what we have seen over the last 3 weeks. Where Liverpool have fallen short is the transfer window and they have probably had the worst one of the lot. The only incoming is Konate and he’s only going to play if Van Dijk or Matip is out. A tough time for Klopp but one he has to deal with).
Manchester City – Last Season (Champions – 86 points)
Scott Carson (Derby/Goalkeeper), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa/Midfielder)
Sergio Aguero (Barcelona), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Jack Harrison (Leeds)
City didn’t start last season all that well but by the end of it they were comfortably champions. They were of course aided by the fact that Liverpool dropped off a cliff and Chelsea went through their own rollercoaster ride. City also managed to reach the Champions League final but failed to beat Champions Chelsea. The summer has been decent in that no major player has left apart from Aguero who’s contract ended. Jack Grealish has come in for a Premier League record fee and they are still in search of a striker heading into the final few weeks. The main target remains Harry Kane although that will entail another Premier League record fee. Pep also probably wants to sell a few players to make up for the big spend. City played 3 friendlies which they won while they lost the Community Shield. Look if Pep spends north of 200 million on 2 players and that second player happens to be Kane then I expect them to win the title again. I think it will be a close race at the top though. The pressure for Pep will be to win the Champions League after having spent a billion on transfers during his tenure.
(The Kane chase led nowhere, and Ronaldo did not end up at the Etihad either. I don think City have been played on both front this season. On the pitch though they have scored 5 goals in two games alraead. Goalscoring is not an issue for City in games where they dominate it’s against the bigger teams where they will struggle to score).
Manchester United – Last Season (2nd – 74 points)
Jadon Sancho (Dortmund/Winger), Tom Heaton (Aston Villa/Goalkeeper), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/Defender), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Forward)
Sergio Romero (Released), Tahith Chong (Birmingham/Loan), Facundo Pellistri (Alaves/Loan), Axel Tuanzebe (Aston Villa/Loan), Andreas Pereira (Flamengo/Loan), Brandon Williams (Norwich/Loan), Dan James (Leeds United)
Finishing 2nd last season was a big achievement for Ole and United. It’s yet another season of Champions League football and they also managed to reach the Europa League final which they lost. After two summers of trying they have managed to seal Jadon Sancho’s transfer while Varane is a big coup for them as well. Heaton’s addition is confusing with both De Gea, and Henderson still at the club. On paper this is now a very good United team. All that is really missing is a CDM but Ole shouldn’t be crying. Ole is now into this 4th season as a United manager and the pressure is well and truly on to challenge for the title and win a trophy. Anything less than that and it would rile the fans. United have played four friendlies winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 1. Out of all the managers that need to deliver I think Ole is the one under the most pressure going into this season. I expect United to be fighting in around the top four but I feel they just might miss out and finish 5th. Unlikely prediction but I’ll stick with it, Ole does feel like he is the imposter in a game of Among Us and he just keeps winning but this time he might get caught.
(United were already having a good window when the season began but then City got close to signing Ronaldo, and United went in for their ex player and brought him back. United didn’t need Ronaldo and they needed a midfielder but getting Ronaldo will mean they have a world class player in their squad. The first three games has been more of the same for Ole with no tactics but just luck to see them through. It should be more of the same even with Ronaldo. I still see them dropping down to 5th).
Newcastle United – Last Season (12th – 45 points)
Joe Willock (Arsenal/Forward), Santiago Munoz (Santos Laguna/Forward)
Kyle Scott (Released), Florian Lejeune (Alaves), Yoshinori Muto (Released)
Bruce did well to guide Newcastle to a 12th placed finish last season. What I feel was needed this summer was some good investment into the squad and that has not happened. With 3 weeks to go though things could change. On the flip side there have been no major departures and they have managed to keep Saint-Maximin. Newcastle have played 6 friendlies winning 3, drawing 1, and losing 2. As thing stand and given the other teams and the business they have done I feel like Newcastle will be fighting for survival this season. It will be close but they will be part of that bottom 15 pile. If they sign Willock and keep Wilson fit then things could look up for the club.
(Newcastle managed to sign Willock and Wilson is fit but the season has started as expected for Newcastle. One signings isn’t enough and they are towards the bottom half of the table. It will probably be another long slog of a season).
Norwich City – Last Season (Championship Champions)
Milot Rashica (Werder Bremen/Winger), Angus Gunn (Southampton/Goalkeeper), Ben Gibson (Burnley/Defender), Dimitris Giannoulis (PAOK/Defender), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea/Midfielder) Loan, Pierre Lees-Melou (Nice/Midfielder), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/Forward), Christos Tzolis (PAOK/Winger), Brandon Williams (Man United/Defender) Loan, Mathias Normann (Rostov/Midfielder) Loan, Ozan Kabak (Schalke/Defender) Loan
Alex Tettey (Released), Mario Vrancic (Released), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa), Marco Stiepermann (Released), Josip Drmic (Rijeka/Loan)
Norwich are back for round two in three years and they are looking to survive in the Premier League this season having dominated the Championship last year. Everyone remembers Norwich for their free flowing football under Farke and that hasn’t changed although Farke will know defensively they have to be better this season. Rashica, Gunn, Gibson, and Gilmour are all quality additions to the squad. I know very little about Giannoulis, and Lees-Melou. Norwich played 5 friendlies winning 4 and losing 1. I think Norwich will be fighting that mid table battle this season but unlike 19/20 they will survive.
(Survival is the name of the game for Norwich and they have once again bought 4 more players since the start of the season. Norwich have not had the best of starts but they should manage to avoid relegation because they do play decent football, it’s all about finishing those chances).
Southampton – Last Season (15th – 43 points)
Theo Walcott (Everton/Winger), Romain Perraud (Brest/Defender), Dynel Simeu (Chelsea/Defender), Tino Livramento (Chelsea/Defender), Armando Broja (Chelsea/Forward) Loan, Adam Armstrong (Blackburn/Forward), Lyanco (Benfica/Defender)
Ryan Bertrand (Leicester), Wesley Hoedt (Anderlecht), Angus Gunn (Norwich), Mario Lemina (Nice), Danny Ings (Aston Villa), Jannik Vestergaard (Leicester), Michael Obafemi (Swansea)
Hassenhutl and Southampton began the season so well last year but fell down and finished 15th. It was a tough ending and there was another 9-0 loss as well. The summer has been a decent one with Walcott signing permanently while Perraud seems to be a replacement for Bertrand. Simeu is decent graduate from Chelsea’s academy while Livramento is the highly rated right back for the same academy. Bertrand, Lemina and most of all Ings will be a loss for the Saints. Southampton are looking to sign a striker in the coming days to replace Ings although it will be hard to replace that quality. Southampton have played 5 friendlies winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 1. I still think Hassenhutl is a good coach but he needs to adapt himself defensively. I think Southampton will be fighting that mid table battle this season in and around 12th and 16th. Keep an eye out for Livramento, and Broja though.
(Lyanco has come in to fill in the gap that Vestergaard left although it is yet to be seen if he will be as good as Vestergaard. Southampton generally have good scouting though and the players they have brought in have looked good so far. Livramento has been the most impressive of the lot. There is still work to do but Southampton should challenge in the are we expect them to).
Tottenham Hotspur – Last Season (7th – 62 points)
Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta/Goalkeeper) Loan, Bryan Gil (Sevilla/Winger), Cristian Romero (Atalanta/Defender), Pape Matar Sarr (Metz/Midfielder), Emerson Royal (Barcelona/Defender)
Danny Rose (Watford), Paulo Gazzaniga (Released), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Erik Lamela (Sevilla), Toby Alderweireld (Al-Duhail), Troy Parrott (MK Dons), Joe Hart (Celtic), Pape Matar Sarr (Metz/Loan), Moussa Sissoko (Watford), Serge Aurier (Released), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/Loan)
What a summer its been for Tottenham. After a tough season that saw Mourinho sacked and Ryan Mason become caretaker manager they then went on search for a new manager. Pochettino, Conte, Foncesca, Gattuso, and I’m probably forgetting a couple more as they finally managed to get Nuno Esprito Santo the former Wolves manager who left the club in the summer as well. Spurs have also appoint a director of football in Paratici who has so far done a decent job of overseeing a small rebuild. The 3 signings so far have been quite decent with Gil and Romero being highly rated as well. Of course the big question remains the future of Harry Kane who actually failed to return to training in order to push for a move to City but is now back as that saga rolls on. Spurs have played 5 friendlies winning 3 and drawing 2. I think Santo is a decent manager and it will be interesting to see what he does with better players. The signings have been good and there are probably more to come if Kane does leave. I have Spurs fighting for those European places and I expect them to finish in and around the Europa League spots. They are also part of the inaugural Europa Conference League the 3rd tier of European football.
(When this was written Kane looked City bound but since then Kane is staying and Spurs have won their first three games. Emerson is a decent addition as well. With Kane staying Spurs could push higher than 5th or 6th and fight for a 4th placed finish but they have not been that convincing in their games. Early days but keeping Kane is a big positive).
Watford – Last Season (2nd – Championship)
Imran Louza (Nantes/Midfielder), Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough/Forward), Danny Rose (Tottenham/Defender), Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge/Forward), Peter Etebo (Stoke City/Midfielder) Loan, Joshua King (Forward), Juraj Kucka (Parma/Midfielder), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce/Midfielder), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/Midfielder)
Carlos Sanchez (Released), Jerome Sinclair (Released), Mamadou M’Baye (Released), Ignacio Pussetto (Udinese/Loan), Isaac Success (Udinese), Will Hughes (Crystal Palace), Troy Deeney (Birmingham City), Andre Gray (QPR/Loan)
Watford are back in the Premier League after a short stint in the Championship with the guidance of their manager Xisco Munoz. Watford finish 2nd in the Championship and are now back to try and survive in the Premier League. I’m not going to try and sugar coat the situation but I feel Watford are going to head straight back down. There are some decent players of course like Sarr, Deeney, Chalobah, and now the likes of King, Rose etc but it looks like a scatter gun approach to transfers. Watford played 8 friendlies winning 3, drawing 2, and losing 3. Those 3 losses all came to Premier League sides as well. It’s not looking good for Watford and I have them in the bottom 3 and their fight will be trying to survive by anyway possible.
(Watford have reshuffled their striker force, I have predicted them to get relegated but they have shown fight in the opening 3 games. It is yet to be seen how long that fight lasts).
West Ham United – Last Season (6th – 65 points)
Alphonse Areola (PSG/Goalkeeper) Loan, Kurt Zouma (Chelsea/Defender), Nikola Vlasic (CSKA/Midfielder), Alex Kral (Spartak Moscow/Midfielder) Loan
Fabian Balbuena (Released), Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
West Ham with no fans in the stadium last year were allowed to develop and grow as a team under Moyes and they finished in 6th and secured a place in the Europa League as well. Coufal, Bowen, Soucek, Antonio, Rice, and Lingard for a few months caused havoc and deservedly finished where they did. The summer has so far been quiet with the only addition being Areola. There are rumours that a defender is inbound while a striker is also being looked at. Managing to keep Rice is also a positive as they head into a busy season. West Ham played 7 friendlies winning 5 and drawing 2. It’s been a good pre-season and I have them fighting for those Europa League spots once again. I think they need to add depth though because the Europa League can be taxing and it could see them fall down the top 10 if they are not careful.
(Moyes got backed in the end of the window with some quality additions which should allow him to manage the Europa League and Premier League. Zouma is a top defender that comes in while Vlasic, and Kral have caught they eye as well. It is looking like another good season for the Hammer).
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Last Season (13th – 45 points)
Yerson Mosquera (Atletico Nacional/Defender), Francisco Trincao (Barcelona/Winger) Loan, Rayan Ait-Nouri (Angers/Defender), Jose Sa (Olympiacos/Goalkeeper), Bendeguz Bolla (Fehervar/Defender), Hwang Hee Chan (RB Leipzig/Midfielder)
Ruben Vinagre (Sporting Lisbon), Rui Patricio (Roma), Bendeguz Bolla (Grasshopper/Loan)
Wolves were not able to replicate their 19/20 form mainly due to the injury to Raul Jimenez. Last season is a thing of the past now and Wolves also have a new manager in Bruno Lage. Bruno has coached Benfica and isn’t as defensive as Santo which should be refreshing to Wolves fans. There is a good squad as well with no major departures. Traore, Neto, Neves, Moutinho etc are all around while Trincao is an exciting addition. Wolves have played 6 friendlies winning 2, drawing 1, and losing 3. I have Wolves fighting in the mid table once again and I would not be surprised if they finish in and around 13th again. It all depends on how Lage clicks and whether they can get Jimenez firing again.
(Wolves have no points to their name yet but they have been impressive and done well in their games. What has let them down is their finishing similar to Brighton last season. If the goals start coming then Wolves should be fine)