Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Premier League Preview 2016-17
1 Manchester United
Money has been thrown and thrown, Paul Pogba has returned in a world record fee and Zlatan is in the Premier League. Oh and now Jose Mourinho is at Old Trafford talk about star names all in one place. It will be interesting viewing from the entire league. Does Jose care about the kids? Can he get United back in top 4? Can they win it? I think yes to the last 2 anyway and Jose will buy and bully his way to the top of the Premier League, just. I'm pretty sure no United fan will care.
Key Man – Anthony Martial his second year in English football he had a good start, I expect all eyes will be on Ibrahimovic, Pogba maybe even Rashford see how he does. Personally I think Martial could outshine them all.
2. Manchester City
Pep Guardiola in the Premier League, City have been after him for years. So after success in Spain & Germany how can he do in England? Well I think he will do very well but that defence at the minute will cost them! John Stones has come in but they need more at the back. Attacking wise they will be exciting maybe even the best in the league.
Key Man – Kevin De Bruyne will be vital to how Pep plays, he has pace power can score and create. When he was injured last year City missed him a lot.
Antonio Conte will have a no nonsense winning mentality this season. He will be animated on the touchline as he kicks every ball with his teams. I think he will get the best out of Chelsea but just miss out on top two. No European football works in his advantage. There's no way Chelsea will be as bad as they were 2 years in a row and that is what makes them a danger.
Key Man – Eden Hazard it seems like he only turned up for the Tottenham game last year. On his day he's one of the best in the league. I think Conte will demand a much better year from him.
All seems very familiar this, Arsenal looked good but imploded. They have not done enough this summer for me to think they will do any different. It may have been the best chance in a long time for the Gunners to win the league last season, they may rue that again this year. They will finish above Spurs that’s the only guarantee.
Key Man – Mesut Ozil how many assist was it last year? Sure any Arsenal fan will tell you. Expect many more and should add to his goals tally too.
5. Leicester City
The Champions of England no one expected that. It really was an extraordinary season for them. They didn’t have many injuries, they played 4-4-2 they didn’t have any major stars but they won the league in style. Some key bits of business is Jamie Vardy staying which could be the biggest of them all. Mahrez is still at the club as of now. Claudio Ranieri has brought Nampalys Mendy and Ahmed Musa, they will need more though to boost the squad for their European adventure. Momentum will carry them to 5th for me.
Key Man – Kasper Schmeichel, 15 clean sheets in the league last season. The outfield players may make the headlines but if he has another season like this following in his Dads footsteps could well be in the making for sure.
Tottenham did have a fantastic season, one of the best defences in the league, Harry Kane and Dele Alli were on fire. They’re a young side and will have an opportunity to shine in Champions League too. The English players may receive some stick at away grounds they will need to be strong in the early games. Spurs took full advantage of others being rubbish last season, I can't see them top 4 this season.
Key Man – Dele Alli like I said he did have a fantastic season but a very disappointing Euro 2016. I expect him to make the next step in his career this season.
7. West Ham
The last season at the Boleyn Ground or Upton Park whichever way you call it, will be remembered for Dimitri Payet. The Frenchman had a stand out season and was pretty good at the Euros too. Deadly free kicks and plenty of assists he will be looking to make a impression at the Hammers new home of the ‘London Stadium’. Well London’s team I think will do well again under Bilic.
Key Man – This could be more of a signing that went under the radar but West Ham snapped up winger Sofiane Feghouli who I think will have a good season.
Attackers galore at Liverpool just who they will go for is anyone’s guess. Klopp got Liverpool to 2 finals but lost them both. The weak links at Liverpool last year were all at the back, the likes of Mignolet, Moreno & Sakho are all still at the club. I expect much of the same for the reds going well in cups but there not consistent enough for top 6.
Key Man – Roberto Firmino an impressive first season in England went a little un-noticed racking in 10 goals, expect more from the Brazilian.
New head coach Claude Puel will have some big boots to fill at St Marys. The former manager Ronald Koeman guided them to 6th, he has moved on and Puel has a pretty good team on his hands. Saints seem to never get weaker even when their better players leave. This summer Pelle and Mane have departed so more game time for Charlie Austin and Southampton picked up Nathan Redmond in the summer.
Key Man – Virgil Van Dijk an impressive first season on the south coast saw the Dutchman being offered a new 6 year deal after only being at the club 8 months.
Ronald Koeman rocks up at Goodison Park with expectations high. Everton failed with a very talented group under Martinez. So now a fresh man with new ideas is what they need. He does need to sort out that defence, leaky is not the word. I can only see them finishing 1 place higher than last year though.
Key Man – Ross Barkley didn’t get a kick in the summer so a clean slate after a poor season by his standards. Could be rejuvenated under Koeman.
The dizzy heights of 9th last season Mark Hughes has done a good job at Stoke. Solid and strong through the whole side a comfortable mid table finish on the cards once again.
Key Man – Marko Arnautovic best scoring season at Stoke hitting 11 goals can play in midfield and up top.
A very impressive first season in the Premier League, Eddie Howe had no sign of fear. Bournemouth played just like they did in the Championship so what's next? Second season syndrome? I think Howe is too smart to let his side slip, Jordon Ibe and Nathan Ake could be some smart bit of business.
Key Man – Callum Wilson missed much of the season to injury, hopefully he stays fully fit and gets amongst the goals again.
Started last season like a train but slowed right down after Christmas. I expect much of the same, a fast start and once safe they will take the foot off the gas. All bets are off if Ighalo or Deeney leaves then Watford may struggle.
Key Man – Odion Ighalo netted 16 times last year and was a real handful. He does though need to turn up all season.
Swansea finished 12th last season I see them a little lower this year. All eyes will be on the new front man Llorente as a source of goals. A talented midfield with the likes of Britton, Fer, Sigurdsson and Routledge should see them out of any danger.
Key Man – Gylfi Sigurdsson confidence should be high after an impressive summer. One of the best goal scoring midfielders in English football and the key to everything the Swans to well.
15. Crystal Palace
Palace fell like a stone at the end of last season. A lack of a striker at the minute will be a big worry for the Palace fans. Pardew’s ego took a bit of a knock too but he will come back firing as ever.
Key Man – Andros Townsend could be one of the best deals of the summer. Can score from the wing and should be exciting to watch along with Puncheon and Zaha.
David Moyes back in English football and with a point to prove. Sunderland are the right size club for him. But they are still a poor side and I think they will still struggle under him, expect a bunch of Manchester United youngsters to arrive very soon. They will do just enough to stay up as they always seem to do.
Key Man – Jermain Defoe can still score goals score goals in the Premier League and he will be key, a England recall may even be on the cards.
Boro’ back in the big league I think they have just enough to survive. Aitor Karanka is a good manager and will keep them up. Their home form will be key. Nobody will want to go there play in the winter so they have to take advantage of that. They do have some gems in that squad too Valdes, Ayala, Adomah and Rhodes could all shine.
Key Man – Alvaro Negredo on loan from Valencia did well at City, now in the North East his Premier League experience will be crucial.
18. West Brom
'Pulis sides never go down'. This year I think he will come unstuck. They only scored 34 goals last season and they still don’t have a decent striker in. Berahino looks like he may finally be out the door along with a aging midfield I think there in trouble and will find themselves in the bottom 3.
Key Man – Ben Foster the England keeper will be kept extremely busy this year.
A serious lack of investment I can only see them going right back down to the Championship. More of a shop window season for the likes of Gray and Heaton.
Key Man – Andre Gray should take to the Premier League like a duck to water he was at Luton a few years ago so this is a great opportunity to show what he can do on the big stage.
20. Hull City
No chance of staying up. Trouble in the board room, Bruce has gone and a load of injuries, things are looking bad. One and done for me. The fans care more about Rugby League anyway so no real loss.
Key Man – Abel Hernandez the main source of goals he will have his work cut out.
The cups an early shout for:
FA Cup - Tottenham
League Cup - Manchester United
Champions League - Barcelona
Follow me through the season for more previews and predictions.