Predicting the 2022/23 Premier League Table
Last season I published my attempt at predicting the premier league table. It was a lot of fun, but I failed miserably. You can read my predictions for last year here and see the results here. Hopefully I can do much better this year!
1. – Liverpool
Last season showed that Man City and Liverpool are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Man City had the edge over Liverpool last season but the margin was wafer thin. Liverpool keep getting better and better. They may have lost Mané but Diaz has already shown he is a special player and I think Darwin Núñez could elevate Liverpool to another level. Liverpool always seem to be a little worse than Man City at grinding out results against all the teams that sit deep and are hard to break down. I think the wealth of creative options they have upfront now will see them drop even fewer points. Of course these two teams are both so good and push each other to keep improving. It could easily go either way but I’m going to pick Liverpool to win the league and stop Man City winning three in a row.
2. – Manchester City
I’m very excited to see Haaland playing for Man City. He has a phenomenal goal-scoring record and gives Man City a real striker for the first time in two seasons. Guardiola has shown that you don’t need a striker to win the league, but surely a striker with Haaland’s quality will improve the team. Even with names like Sterling, Jesus and Zinchenko leaving, I assume they will be getting around ninety points as usual. The margin between the top two is going to be small again and it’s interesting to speculate what the difference between them will be. The team is in flux and the team might take a while to adapt to playing with Haaland upfront. They have dropped points early before and still won the league, but if Liverpool are as good as I think they will be, Man City will need to adapt to playing with Haaland very quickly.
Losing Zinchenko without signing another left-back is also concern, although of course the transfer window is still open for another month. These are pretty minor concerns but as I said the margins at the very top are small.
3. – Tottenham Hotspur
I’m confident Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea will be the next three clubs but I’m not confident in the order those two teams will finish in. There is a ton of positivity around Tottenham at the moment and they have signed good players for all the positions they needed. The squad now has good cover for every position and with Richarlison providing a rotation option for Son and Kane, the key players are protected from getting burnt out. Once Conte had gotten Spurs playing the way he likes they scored a lot of goals and got the best out of an exceptionally talented forward line. If they can maintain the levels they reached at the end of the season and integrate the new signings Spurs will have a great season.
4. – Arsenal
Arsenal narrowly missed out on fourth last season and the signing of Jesus could push them to the next level. They have scored a ton of goals in pre-season and I expect Jesus to hit the ground running. He has never been the best finisher but being first choice at Arsenal will do his confidence wonders. Arteta has already worked with him before and Jesus is a natural fit for Arsenal’s fluid attack and a big upgrade over Lacazette who really struggled in-front of goal last year.
5. – Chelsea
Chelsea had a mixed season last year. The signing of Lukaku looked like it could transform their season and make them title contenders. Instead he was a real flop that helped derail a very strong start to the season. At one point the top three clubs were clearly head and shoulders above the other teams but the fallout from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a big distraction and Chelsea dropped plenty of points. At first my assumption was they would have a much stronger season with the ownership problems all sorted and Lukaku out of the club for at least a season. But there are some reasons for concern. Their defence has been a real strength under Tuchel but they have lost key personnel like Antonio Rüdiger. I’m sure there will be signings but it might take time for the new defence to gel. I also worry about Chelsea because we know more players at the club want to leave and might not give their all this season.
Their preseason form has also been worrying including a eyebrow raising 4-0 thrashing to Arsenal. It sounds like the team still has a lot of work to do to get fit for the start of the season and it can’t be easily managing a team if players want to leave. I do however really like the signing of Raheem Sterling and I think he will do really well at Chelsea, even if I said that last year about Lukaku and we all know how well that went.
However there is so much positivity around Arsenal and Tottenham at the moment and they have made great signings that improve their first team. I have to back both of them to finish in the Champions League places which pushes Chelsea down to fifth.
6. – Manchester United
I have no idea what to make of Manchester United next year. They have looked good in preseason and frankly they can’t be worse than last season. They have some quality players like Rashford and Fernandes who massively underperformed last season. If Ten Haag can get the best out Man United they should improve massively. However the five teams above them are all really good and I can’t see them finishing above Arsenal, Chelsea or Spurs. There is also the Ronaldo situation which is bound to add drama and added tensions to the dressing room. It might be a blessing if Ronaldo is frozen out but he scored so many clutch goals last season it’s hard to be sure. I think he would be a great impact sub coming off the bench but I don’t know if Ronaldo’s ego will handle being used in that way.
7. – West Ham
Outside of the big six, West Ham have been the most consistent over the last two seasons. They coped well with the demands of the Europa League and I expect them to maintain their consistency again this year. Bowen was a revelation and West Ham have become a tough team that no-one looks forward to playing against. Being in the Conference League instead of the Europa League this year is also an advantage because it means the first team will be fitter and better rested for the league campaign. I don’t think they have added enough to push into the top six but they are still a top team.
8. – Newcastle
The 2021/22 season was a season of two halves for Newcastle. They were awful before the take-over and it looked like they were going to spend the whole season in a relegation battle. Things have completely changed under the new owners and Eddie Howe has given the team a cohesive game-plan. Of course they also made some excellent signings in January. It’s no surprise that Trippier make an instant impact and Bruno Guimarães was a fantastic signing. The signings this summer of Targett, Pope and Botman should also solidify the defence and make Newcastle much harder to beat. The plan for Newcastle is to challenge the dominance of the big six in the future and finishing eighth would be a great first step for the new regime.
9. – Leicester
I’ve put Leicester at ninth, but frankly they could finish much higher or lower. Only the season before last they finished fifth. Last year they struggled with lots of injuries and the demands of playing in Europe. This suggests they will have a much better season this year. On the other hand Leicester haven’t made any signings and key players like Maddison, Tielemans and Schmeichel are being linked with moves away from the King Power Stadium. Losing Maddison in particular would be a disaster and clearly have an impact on where they finish. If these big names did leave, Leicester wouldn’t have much time to find replacements before the season gets underway. Unfortunately I have to make my predictions before all the transfers are made so I have to hedge my bets and put Leicester in ninth but you can’t make a real prediction until you know if they keep their best players.
10. – Aston Villa
Aston Villa confuse me. They have a lot of good players and much better squad depth than the average Premier League team. Their away record last year was really good but they were a flop at home with only six wins at Villa Park. Last summer I expected big things from Aston Villa after the big money signings of Danny Ings and Emi Buendía but they only finished fourteenth. They have now signed Luka Digne and Philippe Coutinho, two more exciting signings. Will this squad continue to underperform? Will results start to reflect the quality Steven Gerrard has at his disposal? If Aston Villa had won two more home games they would have finished in the top half of the table. I think this is a reasonable target. If I look at the squad and ignore last season’s results I would expect this team to finish in the top half of the table.
11. – Brighton
We know what we are going to get from Brighton. They are very solid defensively, create plenty of chances going forward and play very good football. Their big weakness is a lack of a clinical finisher which holds them back from challenging for Europe. It doesn’t look like Brighton’s philosophy will be changing this season. They aren’t spending big money on a striker who can get twenty goals a season so it’s pretty safe to predict them staying at the same level as seen is previous seasons. My prediction of eleventh puts them two places below last year’s ninth. This isn’t because I think Brighton will be worse but shows how I expect teams like Newcastle and Aston Villa to improve.
12. – Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace really impressed me last year and were very solid and gave even the best teams in the league a difficult time. Palace had a big revamp last summer and Patrick Viera did a good job building a team out of a host of new signings. This team is much more settled and they have some key young players that will surely only improve. I have put Crystal Palace at twelfth which is exactly where they finished last year because they have lost Conor Gallagher who has gone back to Chelsea after his loan spell ended. Gallagher was such an important player and he was key to their midfield last year both for winning the ball as well as going forward and eight goals is a very good total for a midfielder. He was clearly their player of the season and losing him will be a blow. This means finishing twelfth again would still be a good season for Palace.
13. – Wolves
There are twelve teams I see as safe from relegation and then eight teams who could face a tough season battling relegation. I put Wolves at the top of that pile of eight teams because of their potential and their record in recent seasons. There are signs that Jiménez is back to his best after that horrific head injury although unfortunately he will miss the start of the season. They will need him especially as a number of players like Ruben Neves are being linked with moves away. It’s impressive that Wolves finished tenth when they scored less goals than any of the other clubs that stayed up. They also have Pedro Neto back to help score more goals. A lot of their points last year relied on some brilliance in goal from Sá. I think Wolves really need to score more goals this season. I find it hard to pick the best of the remaining eight teams, so I’m going to bet on Jiménez and Neto getting enough goals to keep Wolves in mid-table.
14. – Brentford
Brentford are in their second season in the Premier League and we have seen a lot of teams struggle in their second season even if they were excellent in their first season. After a season where players have pushed themselves to the limit to compete in the top flight, it can be a real challenge to stay at that level for a second year. Losing Christian Eriksen is also a big blow but they still have Ivan Toney and I think his goal threat is enough to keep Brentford safe. They managed to stay clear of the relegation battle for the whole season last year and whilst this year might not be as comfortable, I have a feeling Brentford will stay up again. They always seemed like a solid team last year and I think there are five or six teams that will struggle this year which will help Brentford fight for a position nearer to the middle of the table.
15. – Southampton
Last year I predicted Southampton to get relegated and I was totally wrong. I still don’t rate their manager or most of their squad but they always seem to find a way to prove me wrong. They finished fifteenth last year and I don’t see any compelling reason for them to suggest they will finish any higher or lower than that.
16. – Fulham
Fulham had an incredible season last year and scored a ridiculous 106 goals with Mitrović getting an unreal 43 goals. Any team that scores that many goals has to fancy their chances of beating the drop in the Premier League. The signings of Palhinha and Pereira will also strengthen the midfield. Fulham’s biggest issue will be the defence which could be really exposed in the top flight. For a team that dominated the Championship they only kept seventeen clean-sheets and conceded the most goals out of the promoted teams. I’m curious to see if their approach is different in the Premier League or if they adapt. I’m predicting them to stay up, but I’m very uncertain about this prediction and the next three. It seems much harder this year to predict who is going to get relegated.
17. – Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest have shown the most ambition out of the promoted teams with a host of new signings with Jesse Lingard being the headline new addition to the squad. It sounds like he will be a perfect fit for their system that is designed to create space for the number ten whilst the forwards keep the defence occupied. Steve Cooper has completely transformed the team since he arrived in 2021 and there is so much positivity around the club. I wouldn’t be surprised if the City Ground was a difficult place to visit and home form is often the difference between staying up or going down. I think a lot depends on how quickly they get the team to gel. I know most people will be predicting Forest to go down but I’m bullish on their chances and I’m willing to bet on them staying up.
18. – Leeds
I find it hard to see Leeds having a good season after losing their two best players in Philips and Raphinha. Jesse Marsch has done a good job at steadying the ship after the legendary Bielsa was sacked but he will need the new signings to have a good season to avoid relegation. The return of Bamford is a big boost to the team and I can easily see him being the difference that keeps them up.
19. – Everton
One of the big surprises for me last season was how close Everton came to getting relegated. Richarlison was the biggest reason that they stayed up so losing him is a big blow. Everton’s pre-season started really poorly with Frank Lampard being very public in his criticism of their performance. Their results did pick up after that but I can see Everton having another meltdown this season and not having the quality to be able to rescue themselves. The signings so far have been pretty uninspired. Tarkowski and Vinagre are solid choices in defence but the signing of Dwight McNeil baffles me. He registered only one assist and no goals last season so I’m not sure what he offers. I think Everton’s fate this season will depend of Calvert-Lewin staying fit and scoring plenty of goals.
20. – Bournemouth
Bournemouth are favourites with the bookies to go down and if I was a Bournemouth fan I’d be very worried about them. Scott Parker has been very vocal that the squad isn’t good enough and it’s weaker than the team that came second in the Championship last year. They don’t have enough experienced defenders available to start the season and couldn’t even fill their bench during a pre-season friendly. They have only made a couple of free transfers and it doesn’t sound like any big signings will be made before the transfer window shuts. It doesn’t look like Bournemouth will have the quality to compete this year so I’m putting them down to finish bottom of the table and I worry this could be a long and painful season for them.
How Many Will I Get Right?
Come back at the beginning of June to find out how many I got right as I review my predictions. Last year I only got one prediction exactly perfect so hopefully I can do much better this year.