Watford is sweeping all before them, and the only real question is which team will finish a distant second.
But seriously, I expect the usual suspects to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. To begin with, Manchester City’s record-breaking side have been enhanced by Riyad Mahrez. Even though they are missing their talisman in Kevin De Bruyne for a few months through injury, they should once again be champions by a comfortable margin.
Among their challengers, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all in with a shout. As others have predicted, José Mourinho’s third-season antics threaten to derail their underrated consistency of last season, though individual performances and the overall quality of their play has been patchy for years. This is best represented by Paul Pogba, an outstanding player who looks diminished when playing for United, and Victor Lindelof, who everyone (including his manager) seems to agree is not very good, but is somehow starting at center back.
Arsenal and Chelsea have also been unable to recapture their swagger of previous years. Spurs have had another year to gel, but have not reinforced their squad. All of them should fall away well before May. Liverpool, on the other hand, are a team on the up, and have brought in a decent midfielder that suits their style in Naby Keïta. They’ve also replaced goalkeeper Loris Karius, the villain of last year’s Champions League final, with Allison, who has already been earning rave reviews through his first few games. They may make the run-in interesting, but ultimately don’t have the quality throughout the squad to take the title from Manchester City.
Beyond that group are teams hoping to push themselves into the European places (Burnley, Everton, and Leicester City). Others are dreaming about exceeding expectations, but nervously looking over their shoulders lest they become embroiled in a relegation scrap (Crystal Palace, Watford, Newcastle, Brighton, and Bournemouth). The rest will be hoping to steer clear of relegation. Fulham, Wolves, and Huddersfield should fancy their chances, while Cardiff City are likely resigned to going down. West Ham and Southampton will also be full of fear with big wage bills failing to return decent football.
Here’s to another season of the Premier League!
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Leicester City
- Crystal Palace
- Brighton and Hove Albion
- West Ham
- Cardiff City
La Liga: Barcelona
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich
Serie A: Juventus
Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain
Champions League: Manchester City