Previewing 2018-19 Premier League Season

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It is now a new season for arguably the best soccer league from around the world, and with the name of the Premier League, there is a good reason why. With 2018-19 campaign beginning, let’s take a look all the twenty teams that will competing for the coveted trophy.

Arsenal

It was an end of an era when Arsene Wegner stepped down as head coach leading way to Unai Emery to take the reigns. Emery will be inheriting a very talented squad with players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, and Alexander Lacazette on the roster. Arsenal finished sixth last season and hope to finish in the top four.

Bournemouth

Led by Eddie Howe, this team has played well the last two seasons as they finished 12th in the standings. Bournemouth acquired midfielder David Brooks to help add to a team that has Nathan Ake, Jermain Defoe, Junior Stanislas, and Emerson Hyndman and they could make some noise in the table. There is some interesting talent on this squad.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Chris Hughton’s club managed to survive relegation last season and they brought in more talent in hopes of doing better. The squad consists of players like Pascal Gross, Glenn Murray, Jurgen Locadia, and Jose Izquierdo, but they did add Leon Balogun, Florin Andone, Yves Bissouma, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Bernardo. Keep a close eye on them.

Burnley

The team had a great season as they finished seventh in the table as Sam Dyche will hope to replicate that same success in 2018-19. There are some notable players on the squad like Chris Wood, Steven Defour, Jonathan Walters, Aaron Lennon, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, and James Tarkowski. They also brought in Joe Hart to be the likely number one choice at goalkeeper as their normal number one, Nick Pope, has injury problems. The two of them, along with Tom Heaton, will battle it out for the top position. It will be interesting to see if last season was a fluke or not.

Cardiff City (Promoted from English Championship)

Possibly the weakest side in the entire league, Cardiff City and head coach Neil Warnock will look to stave off relegation as expectations are not high. With the likes of Aron Gunnarsson, Junior Hoilett, Greg Cunningham, Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid, and Sean Morrison, there is some talent here and these players will get their chance to shine on the big stage.

Chelsea

After just missing Champions League play, finishing fifth in the league, Chelsea will be looking once again to challenge for the top spot. The team hired Maurizio Sarri after Antonio Conte was fired, but Sarri inherits a roster that is loaded with talent with players like Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Willian, and Alvaro Morata, however they lost their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid leaving a question of who will be their number one choice in the net. Expect them to make a run for the top spot, but they also will likely finish in the top four.

Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson has a club that could make a run for a top of the table finish after finishing 11th and with a lot of promise. The squad boasts names like Wilifried Zaha, Cheikhou Kouyate, Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho, and Luka Milivojevic, but they did lose Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The season hinders on goalkeeping play as that had been a problem for a few years, but look for them to surprise.

Everton

A team that severely underachieved last season finishing eighth after a promising 2016-17 campaign, Everton, which boasts a ton of talent, look to finally break through. After acquiring players such as Richarlison and Lucas Digne, the roster is stacked as they join others like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun, Yannick Bolasie, Idrissa Gueye, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, plus they boast one of the best up and coming goalkeeping stars in the world, Jordan Pickford. With a new head coach in Marco Silva, you can see why there is hope with this squad.

Fulham (Promoted from English Championship)

Some people in America might recognize this squad as this was where many Americans called home. With Slavisa Jokanovic at the helm, the hope is that they can be a mainstay in the Premier League once again. With Andre Schurrle on loan to the team, there is a good amount of talented players here like Ryan Sessegnon, Maxime le Marchand, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Jean-Michel Seri that could suggest that they will make a run for a top spot in the table.

Huddersfield Town

Another side with low expectations after finishing 16th, just missing relegation, David Wagner will hope his team can surprise. There is some good talent like Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams, Jonas Lossl, Erik Durm and Terence Kongolo, however they need to be consistent if they want to win some games and avoid relegation.

Leicester City

Losing Riyad Mahrez will really hurt as that is a void that cannot be filled, Leicester City, led by Claude Puel, will hope to regain the magic from their 2015-16 campaign where they saw a magical run to the Premier League title. This team is still very talented with players like Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire, Kasper Schmeichel, and Shinji Okazaki and then getting some more in the offseason like Jonny Evans, Adrien Silva and, Kelechi Iheanacho. This could be a fun side to watch especially as they hope to build off their ninth place finish from 2017-18.

Liverpool

One of the top squads every single season, Liverpool led by Jurgen Klopp should be a favorite as they finished fourth in 2017-18. There is so much talent on this club as they have the breakout star of last season, Mohamed Salah, along with an absolutely stacked cast of players like Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren, and new additions Xherdan Shaqiri, Alisson, and Naby Keita. It will be fun to see what they can do.

Manchester City

Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will be looking to defend their championship, and with high expectations, they could very well do that. With talented players like Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Illkay Gundogan, Sergio Aguero, and Vincent Kompany, plus getting a transfer such as Riyad Mahrez, this is possibly the best team in the league and should be expected to win it once again. They will be very tough to beat as they netted 100 points in the table standings last season and could do the same in this campaign.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho might be a special coach, but he will be coaching one of the most recognizable soccer clubs in the world in what is arguably the best league in the world. He does have a lot of talented players on the team with a lot of fire power such as Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford on the roster. They will undoubtedly be a favorite to win the league hoping to do one better than a second place finish last season.

Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez is one of the more underrated head coaches in soccer as he leads a Newcastle United side that is hoping to finally breakthrough and finish in the top half of the table after finishing 10th in 2017-18. With players like DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Leschelles, Jonjo Shelvey, and Matt Ritchie, plus with the additions of Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon, this squad is poised to do big things.

Southampton

One of the more intriguing teams in the league as they have lots of talent, but low expectations especially after finishing 17th, one spot above relegation. Mark Hughes will try to work with what he has and make a big run. On the roster they do boast players like Charlie Austin, Ryan Bertrand, Fraser Forster, Shane Long, and Manolo Gabbiadini. Maybe they could be the surprise side this season.

Tottenham Hotspur

Interesting enough, they made no acquisitions this offseason, but are still very much a strong contender to win the championship as they finished third in the table last season. Mauricio Pochettino will lead this team through treacherous waters and hope to win their first ever Premier League title as they have one of the best rosters in the league with players like Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama, Christian Eriksen, and Eric Dier. Maybe this will be the year everything comes together for this squad.

Watford

Like Southampton, they are an interesting team with talent after finishing 14th last season. Javi Gracia will take over the head coach job after Marco Silva left for Everton as this will be a bit of a mystery of what they will do this season. They do have some talented players like Gerard Deulofeu, Troy Deeney, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Cleverley, Nathaniel Chalobah, and Ben Foster. Watford is a bit of a wild card.

West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini will be the head coach of a squad that has underachieved the last couple of seasons as West Ham United always seems like they were going to big thing especially in 2017-18 where they finished in 13th. There is a lot of talent on this squad as they have the likes of Javier Hernandez, Andy Carroll, Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, and Marko Arnautovic, plus they have brought in other talent like Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Issa Diop. This could be a fun team to watch.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (Promoted from English Championship)

Despite being a team that was promoted, Wolverhampton will have big expectations as they are likely to finish in the top half of the table. Nuno Espirito Santo will lead this team, but the bigger story is their acquisitions as they went out there and got Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore, Willy Boly, and Raul Jimenez to help with other studs like Ruben Neves and Danny Batth already on the team.

Predictions

James Rowe: You got to like Manchester City winning it all again and I feel like they won’t be quite as challenged this season. However, I see more of a battle for spots in the Champions League or for a top half finish. The teams that will be relegated almost seem like a foregone conclusion.

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Chelsea
  4. Arsenal
  5. Manchester United
  6. Tottenham
  7. Everton
  8. West Ham United
  9. Leicester City
  10. Wolverhampton
  11. Fulham
  12. Crystal Palace
  13. Newcastle United
  14. Burnley
  15. Bournemouth
  16. Watford
  17. Southampton
  18. Brighton & Hove Albion
  19. Cardiff City
  20. Huddersfield Town

Thomas Martin: Manchester City seems to be the favorite, and I’m not inclined to really disagree with that. After that, things get tricky. I suspect we will see a lot of movement this season.

  1. Manchester City
  2. Chelsea
  3. Tottenham
  4. Liverpool
  5. Manchester United
  6. Arsenal
  7. Everton
  8. Leicester City
  9. West Ham United
  10. Southampton
  11. Burnley
  12. Wolves
  13. Brighton & Hove Albion
  14. Crystal Palace
  15. Bournemouth
  16. Newcastle
  17. Fulham
  18. Watford
  19. Huddersfield Town
  20. Cardiff

Tali Raphael: Manchester City will win the title.

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Arsenal
  4. Tottenham
  5. Chelsea
  6. Manchester United
  7. Everton
  8. Wolverhampton
  9. Burnley
  10. West Ham United
  11. Leicester City
  12. Fulham
  13. Newcastle United
  14. Watford
  15. Southampton
  16. Brighton & Hove Albion
  17. Cardiff City
  18. Crystal Palace
  19. Bournemouth
  20. Huddersfield Town

John Illg: There are two legitimate contenders to win the title – Manchester City and Liverpool. Manchester City have the stronger, deeper squad and are coming off of a record-breaking season. Liverpool underperformed their expected goals (xG) defensively for the first half of the season before the addition of Virgil van Dijk and the promotion of Loris Karius meant that they matched City stride for stride after City’s blistering start. Luck also was not on the team’s side last season, in the form of penalties and improper offsides decisions given against them and penalties not called for them (ESPN’s luck index gives an accounting of this luck disparity here).

City have had far more exposure to the World Cup, with basically all of their key players sans Sane’ heavily involved. Liverpool have only had Alisson, Dejan Lovren, and Jordan Henderson as players who featured to a similar degree. Manchester City are the betting favorites, but I’m taking Liverpool with regression to the mean and fatigue bolstering their chances and holding City back. Besides, this is the year I think City make a deep Champions’ League run, which tends to cause even the best teams to drop league points.

Below that, Manchester United have a quality team that will be difficult to beat, but does not have enough individual firepower to overcome their lack of team offensive cohesion. Spurs are settled side with quality players that are lacking for depth after purchasing 0 new squad members over the summer. Arsenal and Chelsea are engimas with the capability for solid improvement and also for chaos.

Behind the top 6 teams is a big bowl of similarity, and I predict that there will be little stratification between the 7th team and the 16th team, making for a testy relegation run-in. West Ham have purchased several intriguing players and should play more progressive football under Manuel Pellegrini. Marco Silva is similarly an excellent upgrade for Everton over Sam Allardyce. Silva is in possession of a squad with more balance now that the team isn’t entirely composed of central attacking midfielders without pace. Burnley have a defined two-banks-of-four with goals coming from set-pieces identity that should keep them comfortably midtable. Rafa Benitez gives me more faith in Newcastle than just about any other part of the team deserves. Wolves were excellent last season in the Championship and I think that both they and Fulham will be closer to midtable than the bottom.

  1. Liverpool
  2. Manchester City
  3. Manchester United
  4. Tottenham Hotspur
  5. Arsenal
  6. Chelsea
  7. Burnley
  8. Everton
  9. West Ham
  10. Leicester City
  11. Newcastle United
  12. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  13. Bournemouth
  14. Fulham
  15. Crystal Palace
  16. Watford
  17. Brighton and Hove Albion
  18. Huddersfield Town
  19. Southampton
  20. Cardiff City

 

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