Reflecting on the 2018/19 season, and looking forward to the imminent 2019/20 season, the actual outcome is almost impossible to predict.
Just thinking back to the 2015/2016 season, in which Leicester won the league, goes to show just how surprising one of the best football leagues in the world can be. This leaves me with a rather difficult challenge: spout enough statistics and nonsense in some sort of coherent manner to create a reliable prediction. God knows that looking back on these predictions in nine months time, I’ll definitely cringe at a couple players I said would shine, or a certain team that may surprise us.
Please keep in mind that whilst I’m typing this up, the transfer window has not yet closed, so it’ll be intriguing to see any new transfers within the Premier League.
That being said, with three days before the start of the new season, I present to you my Premier League 2019/20 predictions.
After achieving back-to-back title-winning seasons and a Champions League quarter-final, Man City are sure to have another stellar performance in the Premier League. With enough squad depth to ensure fitness throughout all major tournaments, and the new signing of Rodri bolstering their midfield, the only main threat towards matching an all-time Premier League record of three titles in a row would be that of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. With Brazil's national goalkeeper Ederson amassing 20 clean sheets (and one assist!) last season, and the new fullback signing of Angelino from PSV looking to replace the ever injury-prone Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City surely have the world-class calibre of players to guarantee another successful campaign.
Champions League title winners and second in the Premier League to a perhaps unfairly slim margin, League veterans Liverpool will be sure to put all their efforts into reaching their first title winning season since 1989/1990. The defensive squad depth of Lovren, Van Dijk, Matip and Joe Gomez, and of course the notorious big three of Salah, Mane and Firmino, leaves Klopp’s side looking extremely positive going into the 2019/2020 season. Falling short last season by only one point against Manchester City, but winning the Champions League, Liverpool should be refreshed looking towards this season. However, given that they just lost to Manchester City 5-4 in the FA Community Shield, they might not be ready to claim the Premier League title just yet.
Being notorious for a lacklustre transfer season every year, the signing of Ndombele is a welcome edition to the Premier League and to all Spurs fans. Full-back options at the time of publication are limited, with the loss of Trippier and the lack of quality in Rose, so some more signings, perhaps of Max Aarons from Norwich, or the more heavily linked Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham, would ensure a smoother season. That being said, coming off the back of a Champions League final, Spurs are looking quality for this season, with fan favourites Son and Kane sure to be leading the front line, and Champions League ‘hat-trick hero’ Lucas Moura looking to impress for the second season in a row.
Coming back from a somewhat lacklustre first season from Emery, losing in the Europa League final and scraping a top five finish, Arsenal are keen on improving their team. With the signing of Ligue 1 superstar Pepe from Lille for £72,000,000, and the signing of Madrid youngster Cebellos on loan, Arsenal are showing signs of development on the cusp of next season. With last season’s starters of Aubameyang and Lacazette desperate to get back into fighting form, and Aubameyang being last season’s joint golden boot winner, the attacking stability and midfielder of Arsenal shouldn’t disappoint this year. Defensively, they’ve introduced the new signing of William Sabilla for £27,000,000, but time will only tell how they’ll deal with the attacking forces of the Premier League.
Falling back from a few odd years since the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager in 2013, United are looking for some stability as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starts his first full season as United manager. The introduction of Wan Bissaka from Palace and Harry Maguire from Leicester will be sure to boost their back line, while Daniel James is hoping to fit into Solskjaer's new philosophy. Still waiting on the perhaps imminent transfer of Mario Mandzukic from Juventus, or perhaps the introduction of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, time will soon tell how significant new signings will be within United’s 2019/20 season.
Perhaps surprising everyone with their return to the highest quality of football in England, Wolves will want to continue their impact with a successful campaign in the Europa League, balanced with a quality Premier League season. The introduction of Cutrone from AC Milan, the official signing of Jiminez after his loan season, and the signing of young winger Neto from Lazio, will bolster their attack for next season, which may be one of their most successful in the Premier League in recent years. Whilst the Portugese veteran goalkeeper Rui Patricio achieved a somewhat sub-par seven clean sheets, it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the various European and English attacking fronts they’ll face this season.
All bias aside, being an Everton fan since I first got properly into football in 2013, I think this may be one of Everton’s most impressive seasons since I’ve been a fan. Desiring the same kind of prolific striker we had with Lukaku, the introduction of Richarlison and Tosun over the last couple of seasons in a hope to find a striker that fits just hasn’t gelled in the Premier League. The signing of Moise Keane from Juventus could see the young superstar gel into a team with regular game time and in desperate need of a new striker, whilst the loss of Gueye, and the subsequent signing of Gbamin from Mainz, sees another quality replacement within this year’s Everton team. Alongside Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph, Everton are looking like strong contenders to improve upon last season and reach the top seven this year.
With a transfer ban resulting in them relying on loan recalls, Chelsea may be facing a difficult season. With Frank Lampard being introduced as manager, the 41-year-old ex-Chelsea legend still has a lot to prove with the loss of Hazard and Higuain leaving gaps in their attack. They’ll have to rely heavily on some of the world-class stars they have at their disposal (N’Golo Kante, Willian, David Luiz), and perhaps some of their fresh faces (Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Abraham) in order to maintain a respectable finish. After winning the Europa League last season, they’ll want to continue in some sort of winning form.
Perhaps always being a shadow of their former selves, after winning the league in 2015/16 Leicester will be confident to replicate another successful campaign this year. The permanent signing of Tielemans will add a certain flair to their midfield, whilst the notorious striking force of Jamie Vardy, and stopping force of Schmeichel, should confirm a stable season in the Prem. Furthermore, James Maddison will be looking to improve upon an impressive season with the Foxes last year, achieving seven goals and seven assists, and the new signing of Ayoze Perez will add another attacking option for the club. However, the loss of Harry Maguire may prove critical to their campaign, leaving their defence open in the ever challenging Premier League.
The signing of Haller from the Bundesliga could be a sign of good things to come from the London-based team. Last year’s favourite Felipe Anderson will be looking to improve upon his nine goals and four assists for the club, while Declan Rice will be wanting to continue to dominate defensively as a CDM. However, the loss of Arnautovic, after a difficult series of negotiations, may leave tough boots to fill for the new French national, but with an impressive of 15 goals and nine assists in the Bundesliga last year, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to Premier League life.
Coming off the back of a quality season from the likes of Fraser, Wilson and King, Bournemouth will be hoping to achieve mid-high table next season. However, the Cherries have been reluctant to sign anyone significant in this transfer season. Hopefully the same old faces from last season can put another quality shift in for this one.
After the loss of fullback Wan Bissaka to Manchester United and striker Batshuayi back to Chelsea, and perhaps the incoming loss of Wilfried Zaha, Palace may be in for a tough season. They’ll need to ensure they sign wisely in order to replace these significant players, but the lacklustre signings of Jordan Ayew and return of Jason Puncheon may not be enough. Will the veteran players of Sakho and Milivojevic and their latest signing Gary Cahill be enough to result in a positive Premier league campaign for the Eagles?
With the permanent signing of last year's loan player Danny Ings, and the introduction of new England youngster Che Evans, Southhampton’s striking options looking into next season may be crucial to their success. However, with a lack of squad depth and quality within their defence, it may be an uninspiring season for the Saints.
Coming off the back of a disappointing season, Sean Dyche’s Clarets will have to capitalise on some of the weaker teams in the Premier League. The signing of Jay Rodriguez may bolster their attacking options alongside Ashely Barnes and Chris Wood, with the English striker sitting on 33 all-time Premier League goals, and a total of 22 Championship goals last season. However, the loss of Heaton to Villa will be sure to leave confusion over who will start in net for Villa this season, with both Joe Hart and Nick Pope available. Finishing 15th overall last season, Burnley will be desperate to regain some of their previous winning form.
Certainly rising to the challenge of the Premier League, Aston Villa have focused heavily on recruitment and signing a variety of different players to massively improve their team. League veteran goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Club Brugge striker Wesley, and Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings will be sure to strengthen the team with the hopes of Premier League survival, alongside the return of some Villa veterans, such as Jack Grealish.
There are not many top-class signings for the Hertfordshire based-club which is coming off the back of a poor season finishing 12th last year. With the ever growing intensity of the Premier League, this season may be a true test of their stability. Let’s hope that, as their former chairman Elton John says, they're ‘still standing’ at the end of next season.
This could be a very disappointing season for Brighton. The introduction of a new manager may be their one saving grace, given his success in managing in the Swedish league. Given the quality of the players, they certainly impressed in what may be viewed as a lacklustre side, and consequently I could see them scraping survival next season. Furthermore, a couple of new signings, such as Belgium Pro-League player Leandro Trossard, may help bolster this otherwise bland Premier League side.
The signing of Phil Jagielka from Everton back to his original club may increase their defensive diversity. It must be said that my knowledge of Championship football is limited, but given the attacking desire of Sheffield to make it into the Premier League this season, who’s to say they won’t be able to survive for another? It’ll be interesting to see how they adapt to the Prem, and if they don’t, who they’ll sign in the winter transfer season to ensure that they do.
After the loss of world-renowned manager Rafa Benitez, Steve Bruce has a lot to prove in order to change this Newcastle side. The loss of Ayoze Perez to Leicester, and their consequential signing of Hoffenheim striker Joelinton, may be a crucial factor in their survival this year. However, with the striker only amassing seven goals and five assists in total for last season, it could be a significant year for the Magpies, and could see a return to Championship football. That being said, this is the same side that beat Manchester City last season, and returned from 2-0 to beat Everton 3-2 (a game I’m sad to say was the very first Everton game I attended), so who’s to say Newcastle won’t clinch survival?
The new signing of Fahraman sees the Bundesliga veteran enter the Premier League on such a cheap deal of £4.5m, although the actual quality of the keeper may be questioned, only keeping three clean sheets in the entirety of last season. Sam Byram will help the back line but I still can’t see them adapting well to the intensity of the League. They’ll have to see how they perform for the first half of the League, and consequently sign as many improved players as possible in winter, for any sign of survival. However, as of today, I will have to place Norwich at the bottom of the Premier League, and thus returning to Championship football.