The 2016/17 Premier League Season is under way, and from what we’ve seen so far I think it’s going to be very competitive. There are for me a number of teams who can win it this year, and it’ll be a very exciting season. With the addition of cards for dissent being dished out, and penalties being given for holding in the area, if the players don’t adjust quickly, we could see some very interesting results, and very interesting final positions come May.
I will now give a team by team analysis, and where I think they will each finish.
ARSENAL – They finished runners up last season, which was their best finish since the 2004/05 season. There is talk of ‘Wenger Out’ and this could well be his last season. The acquisitions of Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding are hardly going to set the world alight. Wenger’s reluctance to spend money could come back to haunt him this season. Which I predict will be his last at the Arsenal Helm. I think that they are going to be very unlucky to miss out on the top four for the first time under Wenger.
LAST SEASON: 2nd
THIS SEASON: 5th
BOURNEMOUTH – Hands up, who gave Bournemouth a chance at the start of Last Season? They finished 5 points off the relegation zone last season, and losing previous top scorer Callum Wilson early on in the season, put them under extreme pressure early on. Two wins in their first 14 games was followed up with victories over Chelsea, Man United and West Brom. Which gave them the impetus to kick on. I think they will stay up, but just!
LAST SEASON: 16th
THIS SEASON: 17th
BURNLEY – The Ginger Mourinho, Sean Dyche has been here before, every time Burnley have come up to the Premier League, they have gone straight back down, I’m afraid I can’t see this season going any different for them. They have recruited club record signing Steven Defour, but I’m not sure they have enough fire power to survive in the league.
LAST SEASON: 1st (In the Championship)
THIS SEASON: 19th
CHELSEA – Last season was a huge disappointment, From 2014-15 Champions to a 10th place finish last season, Chelsea looked a shadow of their former selves. I believe under Antonio Conte they will be a force to be reckoned with, he’ll have them playing some great football. With no European Football, they will have the freshness factor in their favour. I reckon they still have a few slip ups in them, and Diego Costa’s discipline could well cost them points!
LAST SEASON: 10th
THIS SEASON: 2nd
CRYSTAL PALACE – Positives and Negatives were the highlight of the last two seasons for Palace, from looking like they could make Europe, to scraping out of a relegation battle. The signing of Christian Benteke looks a good one, as does Andros Townsend, but losing Yannick Bolasie to Everton could prove to be a mistake. Palace have had a tough time of late. But I reckon they will be absolutely fine this season.
LAST SEASON: 15th
THIS SEASON: 14th
EVERTON – A lot was said about Roberto Martinez as Everton manager, and after the fantastic job that David Moyes did before him, they ended up with a disappointing finish. Keeping hold of key players like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku is key for Everton, and despite losing the youth of John Stones, they have a fantastic defender and leader in Ashley Williams to sure up their defence. I think they could be ones to watch this season. For me they will get a European place.
LAST SEASON: 11th
THIS SEASON: 6th
HULL – What a calamity this football club is at the moment. Manager Steve Bruce leaving with just weeks to go before the start of the season, no players signed, and at the moment only 13 fit senior players. Mike Phelan is doing a commendable job at the moment and they’ve made a brilliant start to the season, but unless they can get some players in soon, they’re going back to the Championship, and Rock Bottom.
LAST SEASON: 4th (Championship – Play Off Winners)
THIS SEASON: 20th
LEICESTER – Nobody saw Leicester winning the league last season, but they did! They have the lure of Champions League football this season, which could cause a bit of a problem for Claudio Ranieri. And could fall away completely… I think as long as they keep Vardy, Mahrez and Schmeichel fit, and keep Huth and Morgan together. They will be absolutely fine this season.
LAST SEASON: 1st
THIS SEASON: 8th
LIVERPOOL – Jurgen Klopp’s men just blow hot and cold. One week they’re fantastic, the next week they’re diabolical, and a complete shambles. I believe Klopp has what it takes to keep them on track for European football this season. And may even win a trophy. With no European football, like Chelsea they could do well. But they’re too prone to making mistakes. I think they will finish below Everton this season.
LAST SEASON: 8th
THIS SEASON: 7th
MAN CITY – It’s going to be a very long season for Guardiola’s men. Will his favouritism for ‘Tika-Taka’ football work in the Premier League? Pep is a serial winner, and the inclusion of John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito could well add something special for them. I still believe keeping Kompany fit is the only way they’re going to win the league. But he doesn’t look like he’s going to.
LAST SEASON: 4th
THIS SEASON: 3rd
MAN UNITED – Here comes the part you say I’m being biased. But hear me out… The spine of this team, the last few years has been nothing less than shocking. Finally, with the additions of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitariyan and the return of Paul Pogba, coupled with The Special One, Jose Mourinho at the helm. I think this is the sleeping giant being awakened. I can see The Special One bringing Title number 21 to Old Trafford sooner rather than later
LAST SEASON: 5th
THIS SEASON: 1st
MIDDLESBROUGH – Who would have seen some of their signings coming at the start of the season. Alvaro Negredo, Viktor Fischer, Victor Valdes. It’s showing Aitor Karanka means business. Although I didn’t follow much of them in the Championship, I heard some good things about them. I don’t think they’re going to set the Premier League on fire and get into Europe, I believe that they will avoid relegation, like Bournemouth… Just, and it will give them a good chance to build on it for the following season
LAST SEASON: 2nd (Championship)
THIS SEASON: 16th
SOUTHAMPTON – Responsible for bringing through some of the brightest young players in the game at the moment, Southampton really blossomed under Mauricio Pochettino, and then again under Ronald Koeman, with the addition of European Football at St. Mary’s this season, new man Claude Puel will have his work cut out, but he was left a great bunch of players, the departures of Pelle, Mane and Stekelenburg shouldn’t hurt them too much, and I think they will have another solid season, and finish in the top half.
LAST SEASON: 6th
THIS SEASON: 10th
STOKE – When they first came into the Premier League, no one gave them a hope in hell’s chance of sticking around. Nine seasons on, and they’re Premier League stalwarts now. They were lead to a third consecutive 9th Place finish last season. And with Joe Allen bolstering the midfield and adding a touch of class in there, I don’t see there being too much difference this time around. Another solid mid-table finish is in store for Mark Hughes’ team.
LAST SEASON: 9th
THIS SEASON: 11th
SUNDERLAND – Some would say they were thrown into turmoil with the untimely departure of Big Sam Allardyce to become England manager, but the new man David Moyes was brought in swiftly, and hasn’t taken long to stamp his mark on the team. Signing no fewer than four former players of his in the form of Donald Love, Paddy McNair, Adnan Januzaj and Steven Pienaar. If Moyes’ record at Everton was anything to go by, then Sunderland will improve year on year. In Jermain Defoe, they have one of the best natural goal-scorers in the game. A player who many say kept them up single handed last season! If he stays fit he wins this team points.
LAST SEASON: 17th
THIS SEASON: 15th
SWANSEA – The departure of Garry Monk last season, came as a surprise, almost as much as the appointment of Francisco Guidolin. He managed to guide Swansea to a very respectable 12th placed finish last season. This season has been hampered by the departure of skipper Ashley Williams, and the loaning out of Bafetimbi Gomis. But the arrival of Spanish International Striker Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston, could well be the firepower they need to fire them again to a mid-table finish.
LAST SEASON: 12th
THIS SEASON: 12th
TOTTENHAM – Last Season was probably their best ever chance of winning the league, and Leicester’s brilliance, and their sheer capitulation at the end of the season meant it was a disappointing third place finish. This team will only blossom under Mauricio Pochettino, and the arrival of Victor Janssen to take some of the pressure off of Harry Kane up top. But the demands of Champions League football, could hamper them slightly. I can see them sticking in the top four this season, although Arsenal will run them close.
LAST SEASON: 3rd
THIS SEASON: 4th
WATFORD – Again, I think no one saw it coming that Watford would remain in the league, but Quique Sanchez Flores’ men performed some heroics throughout the season. The partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo was a joy to behold at times. They managed a 13th Placed finish last season. But the dismissal of Sanchez Flores could prove to be costly, and cause a return to the Championship.
LAST SEASON: 13th
THIS SEASON: 18th
WEST BROM – The little defensive genius that is Tony Pulis makes his sides hard to beat, and always goes into a game with the mentality of if his team can’t win then make sure they don’t get beat. They have enough experience in the team to be able to compete with the mid table teams. And could cause a few upsets against the bigger teams. Saido Berahino could be important for them if he decides to stay. I think a solid season is again in store for Pulis and West Brom.
LAST SEASON: 14th
THIS SEASON: 12th
WEST HAM – There is no doubt that Slaven Bilic has his team playing some good football, and is building a solid foundation. The move to The London Stadium could be more a hindrance than a help, the narrower and more intimate setting of The Boleyn Ground was often very intimidating for opposition teams. I feel that Europa League football will drop the Hammers down slightly, but not too much! They could well have a good run in one of the cups, and I think they will finish mid table.
LAST SEASON: 7th
THIS SEASON: 9th
- Man United
- Man City
- West Ham
- West Brom
- Crystal Palace