This article is the second in a two-part series predicting the outcome of the Premier League table. For part one’s predictions for the 20th-11th team placements, read here.
10th — Newcastle United
It is another year under the ownership of Mike Ashley, despite Newcastle being so close to having new owners who would have been ready to start spending big money to get this club up the table. As a faithful fan of this team for the past 10 years, I really wanted to put them at the top, but, of course, I have to be realistic. This year, though, the Magpies have been busy in the transfer market by bringing in star duo Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson from Bournemouth to help score more, since this team only scored one goal per match last season. If Wilson can fulfill the striker role that Newcastle has been looking for, then I can hope that this Newcastle team will end up 10th or higher.
9th — Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves — or the Portuguese National team, as most soccer fans nicknamed them — have been in a run of good form for the past two years since their promotion. This year, though, the Wolves could face some challenges as the other top 10 teams improved this year. They sold one of their star forwards, Diogo Jota, to Liverpool, but received Forward Fabio Silva from FC Porto. Silva is a young 18-year-old prospect but will have trouble finding time to play with the first team. Last season, Wolves scored 1.3 goals per game, with star Striker Raul Jiménez scoring 17 goals in the season. Wolves can certainly move up the list, but they will have to help Jiménez with the scoring end.
8th — Tottenham Hotspur
Last year, the Spurs ended up in a disappointing sixth-place finish, meaning that they would be playing Europa League football. This year, I do not see them moving past sixth, and that is only if their star Striker Harry Kane stays healthy for the whole season. Kane was only able to score 18 goals last year, one better than last year and 12 goals less than his best season three years ago. They do have their defensive issues, as seen in their first game of the season where they lost 1 – 0 to Everton and were outmatched throughout the game. However, with the addition of forward Gareth Bale and Left Back Sergio Reguilion from Real Madrid, they could possibly push for a top-four spot if everyone on the team stays healthy — something that they seem to struggle with.
7th — Leicester City
The surprise 2015 – 16 Premier League Champions have been a top club for the past four years, with star Striker Jamie Vardy looking as young as ever, scoring 23 goals last season, and winning the golden boot. With the loss of Left Back Ben Chilwell, who provided three assists and three goals last season, the Foxes could face some defensive troubles as they go further into the season. However, with the addition of forward Cengiz Ünder, they do have many attacking options at their disposal. As of now, the Foxes are in first place, winning their first two games and scoring seven goals while allowing only two goals to get past Keeper Kasper Schmeichel. If everything plays outright, and their team plays great as a whole, they could be looking at a title fight this year, as well as a Champions League spot for next season.
6th — Everton
Everton finishing this high could be a surprise for everyone. Last year, they finished 12th as they struggled to score goals, averaging 1.2 goals a game, and struggled defensively, conceding 1.5 goals a game. This year, however, they only strengthened their midfield, bringing in 2014 World Cup Star James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, who adds creativity as well an attacking threat to this team. Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was also found from early scoring four goals in the first two games helping Everton start the season at second.
5th — Manchester United
Look Manchester fans, I am not saying fifth is certain, I am just stating what I think your team is capable of right now. Last year, Manchester finished third thanks to the addition of midfielder Bruno Fernandes. However, this year, not many additions have been made, with only Midfielder Danny van de Beek being added from Ajax over the transfer window. No one else was added, as they have been solely focused on signing young England star Jardon Sacho, who Borussia Dortmund does not want to give up, as he is their best player. Also, their defense still lacks quality; Harry Maguire has not lived up to the price tag from which he was bought, and David De Gea is not the same keeper he was three years ago, as he keeps making simple mistakes by letting in goals during crucial moments. This showed as they lost in the first game of their season against Crystal Palace 3 – 1. If Sancho somehow does sign, I can see the team fighting for a top-four spot, though it does not seem likely.
4th — Arsenal
If everything goes correct for Arsenal with defense and offense, then they could finish in the top four for the first time in three years. This Arsenal team has so far shown their offensive power as star duo Pierre-Emrick Aubamayang and Alexandre Lacazette started out wonderfully with three goals between the two players. The defense was also strengthened with new signing Gabriel coming in this transfer window helping a very weak Arsenal defense, who last year allowed 1.3 goals per game, mainly due to defensive errors. If Arsenal can keep up a good form throughout the season they could be in the top four, which would be far better than last season when they finished eighth.
3rd — Chelsea
Chelsea have probably the busiest this transfer season, spending over a total of $200 million on new players. Most notable additions are German striker Timo Werner, German midfielder Kai Havertz, and Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech. These new additions give the team a strong attack, which will trouble many teams. This shows ambitions for a title, as Werner will be the main source for goals as last season he scored 28 goals for his last team. Though, with all that new talent, they still might have trouble beating top teams, as they lost to Liverpool this past weekend 2 – 0 due to errors committed by Keeper Kepa, who has been on the hot seat for his goalkeeping errors. If Chelsea hopes to challenge for a title, a new keeper might need to happen for them.
2nd — Liverpool
Last year, Liverpool was the best team in the league, dominating throughout the season and cruising to their first league title in over 30 years; this year might be a different story. During the restart of the season last season, they had some defensive troubles, but had such a huge lead in the league table that it didn’t matter. This year in the transfer market, Liverpool have not been too busy, only bringing in Spanish Midfielder Thiago and Portuguese Forward Diogo Jota. Jota might not see much playing time since Liverpool have three of the best attackers in the league and Thiago could find a starting position if he plays well. Liverpool could be top of the league if their three-star players start off strong and their defense returns to the form they had at the beginning of last season.
1st — Manchester City
Manchester City have been a good bet to win the league for the past six seasons, as they are consistently great with form and have some of the best organization that any team could only hope for. Along with arguably the best player in the league, Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, the team has the best midfield and one of the best attacks with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero. This team can be a dominant force and can be looking to score two or more goals in each game. They have also fixed some defensive issues with the addition of Nathan Aké but still could lose a game or two due to some defensive errors caused by the rest of the team. Once it is all said and done, Manchester City will be lifting the trophy.