Premier League predictions: Liverpool champions in 2022-23, Chelsea and Manchester United struggle
The Premier League is back! And that means it’s time for another dose of dubious predictions ahead of the 2022-23 season. This campaign promises to be the most sapping ever, with a World Cup shoehorned in the middle due to everyone’s reluctance to play football in 50˚C. Disclaimer: if you support either of the Manchester clubs, or both of them, this one probably isn’t for you...
Koulibaly reveals he called Terry to ask to wear No. 26 at Chelsea
Another edition of the Premier League kicks off on Friday as Crystal Palace ‘welcome’ Arsenal to Selhurst Park, while we offer warm greetings to Nottingham Forest and say "oh, they let you back in?" to Fulham and Bournemouth. Plenty of narratives are already beginning to take shape as the 2022-23 season looms: are Manchester United still hopeless? Will Everton sack Frank Lampard before, during or after October? Can Bournemouth get more than 10 points?
It’s also a World Cup year which throws another spanner in the mix – a pretty enormous spanner given the Qatar finals are plonked in the run-up to Christmas, with only a fleeting chance for pre-tournament preparations and post-tournament sleep.
Before you start shelling out your life savings on our predictions, it’s worth noting that last season we had Chelsea as champions, Manchester United in third and the truly sickening call of Everton to finish eighth.
But life is all about second chances – or 400th chances in our case – and so without further ado, here is how the Premier League table will 100% finish this season.
Look, Pep. The last time Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title, they decimated the competition the next campaign. Last season ended on a sour note as their quadruple dream was slashed in half, leaving them with only the FA Cup and EFL Cup to wave at fans from their double-decker, so it’s easy to forget they were the team in Europe from January onwards.
Not only that, but the World Cup is going to tip the balance in Liverpool’s favour. Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will ALL be sat at home, following Eurosport's minute-by-minute coverage of every game. With many of their rivals likely to return home jaded from Qatar, Jurgen Klopp's side will have enough freshness in their squad to see out the season and be crowned champions again.
Last season: 4th
Title odds: 12-1
Things always work out for Antonio Conte, until they suddenly don't, and the Italian now has the players he wants. Ivan Perisic has arrived to guide the raw Ryan Sessegnon and the rawer Djed Spence through wing-back lessons; Richarlison adds strength to what is already arguably the league's most potent attack; Yves Bissouma, the self-proclaimed best midfielder in the league, has touched down; Clement Lenglet is over for a season from Barcelona to show them how to defend. What's not to like?
Of course, it’s Tottenham, the only team capable of throwing away a four-point lead with one game remaining. But they finished last season on fire, had a brilliant summer and have a top-class manager, so why not let them dream?
New Tottenham Hotspur signing Djed Spence poses at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on July 19, 2022 in Enfield, England.
Image credit: Getty Images
3. Manchester City
Last season: Champions
Title odds: 8-13
Just because Manchester City have added an incredible goalscorer, doesn’t mean it will work immediately. Erling Haaland is one of the finest counter-attacking strikers, so he'll be upset to discover 95% of teams playing against City treat anything beyond the halfway line with suspicion.
It’s not that Haaland won’t score goals, he’ll probably bag a hatful. But his arrival means City will have to relearn how to play with a true No. 9 and that will require some adjustment. The good news for City is Haaland will not be at the World Cup; the bad news is there is only so many times Scott Carson will let the Norwegian and Riyad Mahrez blast the ball at him while everyone else is in Qatar.
Throw in the departures of decent quartet Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fernandinho, and Bernardo Silva eyeing up Barcelona’s cryptocurrency tree, and we’re concerned City might not quite be the force they were last season.
Last season: 5th
Title odds: 28-1
We’re still fully #ArtetaOUT – especially after seeing some of those All or Nothing clips – but there is something happening at Arsenal that can’t be ignored.
After Gabriel Jesus dropped the greatest pre-season since Yaya Sanogo, fans are dreaming of a return to the Champions League. So much will rest on Jesus actually being good, while it’s down to Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli to consistently deliver.
Arsenal’s superb early fixtures mean the title parade blueprints will be released in October, before the double curse of Thursday night football and being Arsenal see them fall away. Still, fourth is ripe for picking.
Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal during Pre-Season Friendly, The Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Sevilla at Emirates Stadium on July 30, 2022 in London, England.
Image credit: Getty Images
Last season: 3rd
Title odds: 16-1
They have loaned out their £97.5 million striker. Germany’s current No. 9 is a liability. Where are the goals going to come from?
When the only riposte seems to be ‘the goals will be shared around the team’, you know it’s game over. There is a peculiar aura around Chelsea right now, no doubt intensified by Barcelona’s unavoidably hilarious transfer strategy to abandon scouting in favour of signing anyone Thomas Tuchel wants.
They won’t sink too low – after all, they can always just recall one of the 14,000 players they have on loan to rescue them – but given Spurs and Arsenal have strengthened, their place in the top four is under threat.
6. Manchester United
Last season: 6th
Title odds: 33-1
We’re not making the same mistake as last season. Sure, Manchester United have had a nice pre-season, but let’s look at some of the facts:
1. Their best player actively hates them
2. Their error-prone captain now has a 5’9” defensive partner
3. They have spent all summer trying to sign someone who has no interest in joining them
4. This is Manchester United – and that’s no longer a good thing
Erik ten Hag is the latest manager to grab the wheel, but we all know how this works by now. Expect sightings of small aircrafts over Old Trafford by November.
Image credit: Eurosport
7. West Ham United
Last season: 7th
Title odds: 150-1
With the top six nailed on – assuming it’s not really bad at Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford – West Ham might be tempted to throw everything at another European push in the underwhelmingly-titled Europa Conference League.
Still, they look comfortably better than all the other also-rans and should consolidate seventh. It will be interesting to see how the Chosen One uses Gianluca Scamacca. Does he replace Michail Antonio or could they form a sensational aerial artillery in attack?
8. Aston Villa
Last season: 14th
Title odds: 250-1
We’re convinced that only one of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard can be a good manager. Given his GCSE in Latin, Lampard had the early advantage, but now it’s Gerrard’s to lose. The former-and-probably-future Liverpool man finally has the players he wants. Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos are massive signings and Leon Bailey is finally threatening to shine. A European push is on the cards.
9. Newcastle United
Last season: 11th
Title odds: 100-1
If Saudi Arabia can bid $800 million for Tiger Woods, they should have no problem snaffling up decent football players. Disclaimer: we all know, of course, that 80% of Newcastle is actually owned by the Saudi-led Public Investment Fund and is completely independent from the Gulf State – and the fact their away strip mirrors the Saudi national kit is completely coincidental.
Regardless, with so much cash available, and Financial Fair Play a long-abused system, it’s only a matter of time before Newcastle nudge their way into the title race. It won’t be this season – they’re currently after James Maddison, who only turns up for six games a season – but it won’t be that long either.
10. Leicester City
Last season: 8th
Title odds: 200-1
The last time we all wrote Leicester off, Andrea Bocelli was belting out Nessun Dorma in a Foxes shirt eight months later. That won’t happen this time around with the Foxes 100% in turmoil – plus Brendan Rodgers is more of a soft rock fan anyway.
Zero signings, an aging squad, Kasper Schmeichel out the door and Wesley Fofana and James Maddison in line to follow. It's not looking good. The Foxes are no longer best of the rest so what exactly are they? Worth a cheeky £1 on them to be relegated in 2023-24. Or this season, if you're feeling extra brave.
Last season: 10th
Relegation odds: 4-1
Now forever destined to finish between ninth and 13th after the dizzying Nuno years. Next.
12. Crystal Palace
Last season: 12th
Relegation odds: 6-1
Most suckers tipped Crystal Palace to struggle last season – including us, obviously – but they have looked decent under Patrick Vieira.
Can they cope without Conor Gallagher? And will there be enough goals? Cheick Doucoure has arrived to fill the hole in midfield, the defence is also looking solid and there’s some nice youngsters in the mix. Much will again depend on Wilfried Zaha, while this feels like an enormous season for Eberechi Eze.
Last season: 16th
Relegation odds: 10-3
Everyone’s dark horses to be relegated reach the dizzy heights of 13th in our Premier League table. It’s not that they are too good to go down, it’s just that there are some truly mediocre teams in the division this season.
The Everton board haven’t won many plaudits, except from rival fans, but will even they will be ready to axe Frank Lampard if/when it all fall apart. Our guess? Sean Dyche is already being tapped up, with former Burnley stars Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski already signed this summer to aid the mission. If Lampard fails, Dyche can unsink this sorry ship.
Frank Lampard says he accepts speculation around his future at Everton
Image credit: Getty Images
Last season: 17th
Relegation odds: 9-4
Marcelo Bielsa might have gone, but this Leeds side remains a lot of fun on paper: high energy and intense pressing with some really exciting young players. Have they remembered how to defend? And how big will the loss of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips be? However, Patrick Bamford is back and scoring. With his goals they should have enough.
Last season: 15th
Relegation odds: 11-4
Load up a random number generator, input numbers 7-20 and you have as good a chance as anyone of predicting where Southampton will finish this season. A great young core who will be a real nuisance for opposition IF they buy into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s system. But what if they don’t?
Hasenhuttl needs at least one of his teenage signings to make good on their wonderkid billing or he’s doomed. Even then, expect another 9-0 and the nerviest of seasons for Saints fans, with the odd sensational win thrown in. Hasenhuttl a serious rival for Lampard in the sack race.
Last season: 9th
Relegation odds: 8-1
Yves Bissouma gone, Marc Cucurella to follow. We all know Graham Potter is a magician – after all, it was he who brought Danny Welbeck back to life – but this squad undeniably screams ‘bang average’. If anything, 16th is kind to this lot.
Last season: 13th
Relegation odds: 12-5
Ever since Ipswich Town danced their way up the Premier League in the 2000-01 campaign, then discovered gravity the next, the phrase ‘second season syndrome’ has been much-loved by cliché fans. This year, it’s the turn of Brentford.
Christian Eriksen is an enormous loss for the Bees. Forget not that they were flagging in the winter, then the Dane arrived and carted them to survival. But will they go down? Perhaps not. Ivan Toney might pretend to hate Brentford when hosting a Q&A through a car window, but he loves them really and his goals and assists might just be the difference between survival and the drop.
Image credit: Getty Images
Last season: Championship winners
Relegation odds: 5-4
Here’s a conspiracy we’re fully onboard with: Fulham and Norwich are actually just one club. This year it’s the River Thames, next year it’s East Anglia, and so on. After all, they are destined to never play again.
Still, maybe that yo-yo run might end? Fulham have made a lot of really interesting signings and look the best-placed of the newly-promoted sides. There’s certainly a lot of creativity and structure, two important parts to any survival bid, and they have FORTY-THREE GOAL MAN Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack. Then again, we can easily see 43 becoming 3.
19. Nottingham Forest
Last season: Championship play-off winners
Relegation odds: 5-4
No splashy signings but some really sensible ones: a mix of established Premier League players and intriguing options from the continent. Then again, sensible probably isn’t enough to beat the drop. We hope we’re wrong – Fulham and Bournemouth have had enough chances, but few would begrudge sweet old Forest sticking around for another year.
Last season: Championship runners-up
Relegation odds: 2-5
When your own manager says you are “lacking in a lot of areas” you know it’s time to give up. Derby’s record of 11 points is probably safe for eternity, but expect Bournemouth to be well adrift come the end of the season (which given our track record of predictions means now is the time to back them for a top-half finish).