Premier League 2022/23 Outright Preview & Predictions


Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

City certainly did it the hard way on the final day last season. 2-0 down at home to Aston Villa in the 75th minute before 3 goals in the space of 6 minutes saw City steal the title back from the grasps of Liverpool. Four titles in the last 5 seasons show the dominance that Pep Guardiola and his team have in England at the moment, and it is tough to look beyond them once again this campaign. 

A real busy summer for City thus far and something of a transition in the squad as plenty of long-serving players leave for pastures new. Gabriel Jesus (233 apps), Oleksandr Zinchenko (127 apps) and Raheem Sterling (337 apps) have all departed the club to join English rivals which is a slightly risky ploy by Pep Guardiola. Only Sterling could really be considered a key player out of the trio but all three very much played their part and will be a loss for the club. 

You would however trust Pep and his recruitment team to get it right and their incomings are very exciting to say the least. The outrageously talented Erling Haaland joins from Borussia Dortmund and if he stays fit, I struggle to see how he doesn’t hit 35-40 goals in all competitions this season. The Norwegian international bagged 85 goals in 88 appearances during his time in Germany which gives you an indication into his goal scoring prowess. Elsewhere, England international Kalvin Phillips joins from Leeds United for a hefty fee of around £45m. His job will be to replace the departing Fernandinho who leaves after 9 years at the Etihad and looks a solid piece of recruitment. Julian Alvarez also joins up with City from River Plate and based on his performances in preseason you can see why Pep sanctioned the departures of Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. 17 goals in 23 apps at River last season suggest he might be more than just a bit-part player this season and his goal in the Community shield shows he has what it takes to deliver on the big occasion.


It may take a little while for Haaland to adapt to the Premier League but once he does, I can only see success and goals from him. The loss of long-serving players such as Sterling, Jesus and Zinchenko is sure to hurt them in the short-term, but City have a squad with incredible depth and summer recruitment has been impressive. Once again, I can only see the title heading to Manchester and with Liverpool losing Sadio Mane I expect the gap to be slightly bigger than it was last season. 

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Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A strange season for Liverpool in the end in 2021/2022. A quadruple was on for much of the campaign so coming away with just a domestic double (League Cup & FA Cup) is somewhat disappointing. A Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid and final day drama in the Premier League in which City snatched the title in the space of 6 minutes will most definitely leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Jurgen Klopp and his squad. Revenge in the Community Shield on Saturday will give the squad a boost going into the new season. 

It remains the case however that Liverpool are a truly exceptional side, the fact that they just missed out on a quadruple shows just how impressive this Liverpool team is. It has been a summer of transition of sorts as Sadio Mane departs for Bayern Munich which is a huge loss for the club. Klopp made no secret of his desire to keep him and the Senegalese international has been very much a catalyst of the success since joining from Southampton 6 years ago. Another long-serving squad member leaves for pastures new in the shape of Divock Origi, he leaves for AC Milan on a free transfer and his knack of scoring important goals will also be missed at Anfield. 

Liverpool, as they so often do, moved quickly to secure a replacement for Mane. The highly thought of Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez was signed from Benfica for a fee of around £70m and based on his performances last season looks to have the quality to fill the void. He will inevitably take a little bit of time to settle at his new club and his performances in preseason have been a little rusty but I am confident he will come good as Liverpool rarely miss in the transfer market.  His goal on Saturday will give him a huge boost going into the season. Elsewhere, highly-rated youngster Fabio Carvalho joins from Fulham as does Calvin Ramsey from Aberdeen. 

Arguably Liverpool’s best piece of business this summer was tying down Mo Salah to a new 3 year deal after months of speculation. They broke the bank with rumours of around £400k per week being offered but it was a necessary deal for the club who simply couldn’t afford to lose both Salah and Mane in the same summer.


I still very much believe that Liverpool are the only side capable of taking the title away from Manchester City. They nearly did it last season and Klopp will be hopeful they will go close again this time around. Much will depend on Darwin Nunez and how he adapts to the Premier League I feel if they are to mount a serious title challenge. With City capturing Haaland it is difficult looking past them retaining their title and I think Liverpool will finish just short once again in 2nd.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A lot of people will say Arsenal threw away the top 4 last season and while to some extent that might well be true, Spurs relentless end of season form was equally as crucial. They won 9 of their last 13 Premier League games to pile the pressure on their North London rivals and eventually grab a Champions League place on the final day with the 5-0 thrashing away at Norwich. 

Love him or loathe him, Antonio Conte is a world class manager and he has transformed this Spurs side into a well drilled, fit and explosive outfit who nobody will like coming up against this season. Footage from Spurs’ preseason tour of South Korea saw players quite literally collapsing in exhaustion as the Italian put the players through gruelling fitness drills. It will no doubt pay dividends when the season comes around though and England captain Harry Kane said going into this season he is in the best physical shape of his career. 

Spurs have been very busy in the transfer window as they look to add both more quality and more depth to the squad as they return to the glamour of Champions League football. Credit to them, they have done almost all of their business very early in the window giving the new players time to adjust and acclimatise to their new surroundings. Around £95 million spent at time of writing with 5 notable arrivals coming through the door of White Hart Lane. Experienced Croatian Ivan Perisic arrives on a free transfer from Inter Milan. He is a player Antonio Conte knows well having worked with him at the Italian club and he is expected to be first choice in the left wing back position this season. Elsewhere, Yves Bissouma joins from Brighton for a fee of around £25 million which I feel is the club’s best piece of business this summer. The Mali international has been exceptional during his 4 year spell at Brighton and will be a massive addition to the Tottenham midfield. The impressive Djed Spece, who was instrumental in the promotion campaign of Nottingham Forest last season, joins for a fee of around £15m from Middlesbrough to add competition down the right hand side. Their biggest and most expensive signing was the £55m capture of Richarlison from Everton. While I like Richarlison and I think he is a good addition, I personally think that sum of money is too much for a player who isn’t a guaranteed starter in this side. He does however provide much needed back up to the front 3 which will be much needed given the hectic Champions League schedule. 

On a departure front, Spurs will be pretty pleased with their business. Nearly £30m recouped for Steve Bergwijn is very good business for a player who was little more than a bit-part for them since joining. Elsewhere they received £6m for Cameron Carter-Vickers who made his loan move to Celtic, permanent as did Jack Clarke who joined Sunderland permanently having spent the second-half of the season on loan there. Spurs will be pleased to have extinguished the links with Harry Kane and the exit door and it now seems more likely than not that the England captain will sign a new deal rather than leave the club which seemed almost certain just this time last year. Hard to argue that it has been an excellent transfer window from Spurs and everyone at the club will be content with their summer business.


A fine summer transfer window, a world class manager, a settled squad and Harry Kane and Heung-min Son happy and playing at their best, things are looking pretty good at Tottenham, eh? It will be interesting to see how they cope with the demands of returning to the Champions League which is both physically and emotionally taxing for the players and coaching staff. However, I would argue the squad has never looked better prepared to deal with this extra vigour and I expect good things from Spurs this season. It will be extremely tight between the three London clubs (Spurs, Chelsea & Arsenal) for 3rd, 4th and 5th in the league but I feel at this moment in time, Spurs are just about the best set to take pole position in that race.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

So close, yet so far for the Gunners as they just missed out on a top 4 place to bitter rivals Spurs last season. It was very much in their hands going into the final weeks of the season but disappointing defeats to both Tottenham and Newcastle highlighted that this young squad wasn’t quite ready to compete in Europe’s elite competition. 

All things considered though; I would say it was a positive season for Arsenal. There was clear progression in both their results and playing style following two successive eighth-place finishes. The young squad should also learn from this season’s experiences and grow stronger from it. There is a real young core of quality, and it is now up to Arteta to add both quality and experience to the squad to take it to the next level. 

The experienced and slightly egotistical duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette have now gone and now the young crop of Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe are the future of Arsenal. It is a likeable group of players, and it seems clear they play for the manager but it was evident at the business end of last season they lacked experience and leadership which ultimately cost them. That is surely the target of this summer transfer window, bring in players who have been there and done it. 

A centre forward was the priority for sure. Eddie Nketiah was the only senior number 9 at the club and although he enjoyed a decent spell at the end of last season, he needs support. Welcome Gabriel Jesus who joins from Premier League champions Manchester City for a fee of around £45m. He is a proven winner with 4 Premier League titles and I think is an astute capture from the Gunners. Elsewhere they have signed Fabio Vieira from Porto in a deal which seemingly came from nowhere for a fee of around £30m. Remains to be seen whether he can cut it in England, but he is certainly rated in Portugal. Zinchenko looks like another clever buy as he joins for £30m from Manchester City adding more depth at left back to cover for the injury-prone Kieran Tierney as well as offering more options in midfield. It was vital Arsenal added more strength in depth this season too with the added demands of Europa League football meaning they will now play at least twice a week for the majority of the season. Important transfer window for Arsenal and from the outside looking in it looks as though Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu have done a stellar job.


You can’t help but feel Arsenal missed a trick as they failed to qualify for the Champions League last season. They were without European football so had a big advantage on the teams in and around them who were all playing twice a week in the Champions League/Europa League. They are back in Europe following a 5th placed finish so won’t have that same luxury this year and will need a far bigger squad to be able to cope with these extra demands. 

That said, this young Arsenal squad are a year more experienced and there were plenty of positive signs last season that this team is going somewhere. The fans are very much behind this young team and the manager and overall, the Emirates seems a pretty positive place. They will of course battle for top 4 once again but with the added demands of European football it will be tough. I do however expect them to leapfrog Chelsea into the top 4 given a fairly traumatic 12 months at Stamford Bridge which has clearly impacted them.  Preseason form has been exceptional with all the new signings bedding in well, in particular Gabriel Jesus. I fancy Arsenal to crack the top 4 codes this season and get themselves back in the Champions League.

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Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A very strange season for Chelsea last year. They went into the campaign as European Champions and had seemingly strengthened significantly with the £100m signing of Romelu Lukaku. On paper they looked all set for a title challenge alongside Liverpool and City in what many thought would be a really exciting three horse race. 

They started the season well but the title challenge quickly faded and they ended the season a mammoth 19 points behind eventual champions Manchester City. Lukaku flopped, they had a lot of injuries and of course the situation regarding the ownership of the club with Roman Abramovich certainly didn’t help their season. 

The ownership situation has now seemingly been resolved which is a huge boost for the club going into next season and I expect them to invest heavily in the playing squad this window. They really need to with the amount of players leaving, particularly in defensive areas. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have already left the club on free transfers. Both will be big losses, particularly Rudiger who for me was Chelsea’s star performer last season. It also seems likely that Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilcueta could be moving onto pastures new leaving the Blues really light in defensive areas. Romelu Lukaku returns to Inter Milan on loan to put an end to his dreadful return to Stamford Bridge so fair to suggest that Chelsea have it all to do this summer in the transfer market. Kalidou Koulibaly finally joins Chelsea after being linked for multiple summers and looks an excellent replacement for Rudiger. £40m seems a hefty fee for a 31 year old but needs must for Chelsea who lost a number of key defenders so simply couldn’t afford to miss in that area. Many of the transfer targets they had this season were snatched from their grasp by Barcelona with both Raphinha and Jules Kounde deciding to join the La Liga club rather than move to West London, something that will have greatly frustrated the club. The lack of a number 9 could be a problem following the departure of Lukaku but the capture of Raheem Sterling for a fee of £45 million looks like astute business and he will bring plenty of goals to the frontline.


At the time of writing, the squad looks a little disjointed and weaker than it did 12 months ago which must be a real concern for Thomas Tuchel. It has been a turbulent 12 months in West London following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich and the ongoing saga of trying to find a new owner. American businessman Todd Boehly is the new owner and we will have to wait and see if he delivers the same kind of heavy investment as his predecessor. Whichever way you look at it, the off-the pitch turmoil at Stamford Bridge has left Chelsea playing catch-up both on and off the pitch. The squad looks light both in defensive and offensive areas and they have an awful lot to do between now and the season starting on August 6th. They have also lost transfer kingpin Marina Granovskaia who has departed the club after nearly 20 years as a director which will make transfers even more difficult to sanction as the Barcelona situation illustrates perfectly.  Although I feel top 4 remains possible, I think they could easily be leapfrogged by Spurs this season and will be put under intense pressure by Arsenal for their top 4 spot. Don’t expect an overly successful season from the Blues this campaign.

 Predicted Position: 5th

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A new season, and yet another new era at Manchester United. It now falls upon Dutchman Erik ten Hag to turn the underperforming juggernaut of Man United around as he stares down the barrel of his debut season in English football. On the pitch, it’s looked pretty good so far. Only one defeat in pre-season including a 4-0 thumping of an albeit youth ridden, Liverpool side. The small improvements in the passing style of football is evident, and some players seem to have a rejuvenated confidence in their body language. 

Off the pitch, well, less so. The usual bore of Manchester United transfer business has dominated our social media feeds, as is the yearly occurrence at this stage. There have been plenty of exits, with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and of course Paul Pogba all departing the club, indicating that ten Hag will not particularly adopt the same ‘mollycoddling’ style of management as seen under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Another who may very well be out the door is Cristiano Ronaldo. The former-multiple time Ballon D’Or winner seems to have downed tools after only one season since his return to Old Trafford. The disaster of the Ralf Rangnick era has left its mark as United failed to clinch Champions League football, and now starman Ronaldo has seemed to have had enough. It’s dominating the headlines and really is creating a sour atmosphere around the club before a ball is even kicked.

There have been additions. Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez have both arrived from the Eredivisie, both boasting pretty decent reputations. Ten Hag has also brought Christian Eriksen aboard the Old Trafford train in what truly has been one of the most heroic sporting comebacks of the modern era. Surprise surprise though, the glaring issues are still there – that being the lack of an out and out central midfielder. The patented ‘McFred’ just won’t cut it at the top level if United are to be competing at the top again, and ten Hag seems to have arrived on the doorstep of Barca maestro Frenkie de Jong in a plea to get the Dutchman signed up to fill this void. The only problem is, de Jong doesn’t want to answer. Ongoing issues at the Nou Camp mean that de Jong is being shown the door against his own will, and why United are forcing de Jong to the North-West of England against his own will, is simply baffling and indicative that the culture may not really be changing behind the scenes.


United may have a fresh coat of paint and may have made their shrewdest managerial appointment since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but I can’t see them closing the gap from last season. As of writing, de Jong is nowhere to be seen and Ronaldo has essentially handed in his notice of resignation. There are some positives to look forward to however. Early indications show Anthony Martial may be back to his best if pre-season performances are to go by, as have the performances of Jadon Sancho and young central midfielder, Zidane Iqbal. Europa League football should comfortably be within United’s grasp, but they need to give ten Hag the resources and time to even get within touching distance of City and Liverpool. Other teams around the Top 6 have recruited far better, and the atmosphere around the team just has all the recipe for another mediocre season.

 Predicted Position: 6th

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

David Moyes really has brought the good times back to East London and West Ham have a team to be really proud of once more. He guided the Hammers to 6th in his first full season and for much of the campaign they were competing fiercely for a top 4 spot. In the season just gone by he guided them to a respectable 7th and took his side to the Europa League Semi-finals where they were eliminated by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt. This was West Ham’s best performance in Europe for the best part of 50 years since they won the European Cup Winners Cup back in 1965. It really is testament to David Moyes and his coaching staff how far they have taken the club in his nearly 3 years at the helm. 

The challenge this season will be to mimic that recent success. Challenge for a top 6 place and perform well in Europe. It was very evident in order to do that consistently the squad needed more quality and certainly more strength in depth. All too often Moyes relied on the same players both in Europe and domestically and that led to injuries and fatigue as the season went on. This really was proven in the Europa League semi-final where West Ham looked leggy and just couldn’t match the energy of the German side who surrendered their league campaign in order to go all out for the Europa League. 

The need for a striker has been evident for a number of years and it was vital it was addressed this season for the club to progress. Michail Antonio has done a stellar job as West Ham’s number 9 for the past 2/3 seasons but he isn’t a natural finisher and at 32 he also isn’t getting any younger. In steps Gianluca Scammaca who joins for a fee of approximately £35m from Italian outfit Sassuolo. I don’t want to jinx it but this looks an absolute gem of a capture and it says a lot when the likes of PSG are after your signature. At 6 foot 4 and 13.5 stone, Scammaca certainly has the stature to be able to cope with the physical demands of England. EuroSport Italia journalist Davide Bighiani said this on the striker “Scamacca is certainly a central striker who knows how to score goals in every way: with his head for sure, but also in acrobatics and from outside the box, “Bighiani writes. “But he’s not a typical number nine, he can start further back too.” Obviously a striker from abroad brings risk but I am confident the Italian will prove to be a success in East London. 

Scammaca isn’t the only big money signing at West Ham this summer. Another £50m has been spent on another trio of captures. Alphonse Areola makes his loan move from PSG permanent for a fee of around £8m and will give Lukasz Fabianski genuine competition for the number 1 spot this season. The highly rated Flynn Downes joins from Swansea City for a fee of around £9m and will act as a perfect replacement for the now retired Mark Noble and looks a shrewd capture. They spent another £30m bringing Moroccan international Nayef Aguerd to the club who will likely slot straight into the centre of defence. He is brilliant aerially and won the most duels of any defender in Ligue 1 last season (3.10) during his time at Rennes. Technically sound and left footed, he will be a big addition to an already solid West Ham backline. 

In terms of sales the club haven’t really lost anyone that they would have wanted to keep which is a bonus. Andriy Yarmolenko leaves on a free transfer to join Ail-Ain but he was little more than a bit-part player over the last 18 months or so. Likewise Ryan Fredericks who leaves on a free transfer to join up with newly-promoted Bournemouth. Club legend Mark Noble retires and while his presence might not be particularly missed on the pitch having been a fringe player in recent years, his experience and leadership will be a huge loss.


Robinson will continue to be bold with his tactics and play an entertaining brand of football, that sometimes leaves them open to concede, but on the whole brings the best out of the squad. It feels very unlikely that Oxford will slip out of the bottom half and their repeatable processes should stand them in good stead for another play-off push.

 Predicted Position: 7th

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A bit of an odd season for Aston Villa last year and overall a largely disappointing one. Like many others, was impressed with their transfer dealings as they brought in exciting talents such as Danny Ings, Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey to replace Jack Grealish. It certainly didn’t go to plan though and after a dreadful start Dean Smith was sacked. Steven Gerrard was brought in as his replacement in Mid-November and has done a satisfactory job at Villa Park without being extraordinary.  

A 14th placed finish for an expensively assembled squad is some way below par and I think a top-half finish is the requirement for Aston Villa for the upcoming season. Gerrard has been backed once more in the transfer market and Villa were one of the earliest movers getting plenty of business done early. 

Phillipe Coutinho has been brought in on a permanent basis from Barcelona for a fee of around £17m after a productive loan spell during the second-half of last season. Elsewhere, highly-rated defender Diego Carlos signs for a fee of £28m from Spanish outfit Sevilla. The pick of the bunch though in my opinion is the capture of defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer from Marseille. He is now a full French international and as many as 15 clubs were thought to be keeping tabs on him and Villa did well to win the race for him. 

On the departure front, Matt Targett has made his loan move to Newcastle permanent for a fee of around £15m which seems like a decent deal for all involved. Villa purchased Lucas Digne from Everton in January as Gerrard saw Matt Targett as something of a weak link and Digne is an improvement. 

On paper the squad looks very impressive. A real strong core of players backed up by experience means Villa have a serious amount of strength in depth. If Gerrard can get it right tactically, they should be in for a decent season.


I predicted Villa to have a good campaign last season (I went with 7th) so to say I was disappointed with their performances to only finish 14th would be an understatement. They struggled to cope without Jack Grealish and the men brought into replace him simply weren’t doing the business. Buendia had a strong finish to the season and with Coutinho signing permanently they certainly shouldn’t have issues from a creative sense. The captures of Carlos and Kamara look top bits of business and I again fancy Villa to have a strong campaign. Anything other than a top-half finish really should be considered a massive let-down and I have tipped them to come 8th in the 2022/2023 Premier League season.

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Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Amazing what being the richest club in the world can do isn’t it? Newcastle went from being 19th at Christmas (10 points from 18 games played) to finishing the season in 12th with an impressive 45 points. In the calendar year of 2022, only Liverpool, Man City and Spurs accrued more points than the 38 picked up by the Magpies. 

A combination of a decent January transfer window and the appointment of Eddie Howe proved to be the catalyst for a very impressive second half of the season. Bruno Guimares, Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Kieran Trippier proved to be excellent pieces of business while the signing of Chris Wood directly weakened a rival at the time in Burnley. Much of the credit must however go to Howe who transformed Newcastle into certain relegation candidates to a team which looked capable of finishing in the top half. He has also made previously underperforming players immeasurably better. You only have to look at the development of a player like Joelinton to see what impacts an impressive coach like Howe is having. 

Summer business so far has been decent with around £60m spent but I would still expect plenty more to be done between now and the end of the window. Matt Targett makes his loan move from Aston Villa permanent for a fee of around £15m which looks a shrewd piece of business. Elsewhere, Nick Pope joins from Burnley for a fee of around £10m and will undoubtedly be the club’s number 1 going into next season. Pope was arguably the clarets best and most consistent player during their 7-year spell in the Premier League and will be an excellent addition. The biggest and possibly most exciting transfer of the summer at St James Park is the arrival of Dutch defender Sven Botman from French side Lille. Botman was heavily pursued by Italian giants AC Milan for much of the summer so the fact he opted for Tyneside is a real coup and shows the desires of the club to reach the very top.


An ongoing upward trend is what I expect for Newcastle, and it really is an exciting time to be a Toon fan. Money to spend, a young, progressive coach and a constantly improving playing squad makes me believe it won’t be all that long before they are challenging for a top 4 spot. Challenging for the top 8 will likely be the target for the season and while they are most definitely capable of making it, I do feel like they will just fall short. Ninth place is my prediction for the Magpies but with an impressive January window, who knows maybe a top 8 finish isn’t beyond them.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Before the start of last season, Leicester were many people’s tip to break into the top 4. They had just won the FA Cup, finished 5th, just 1 point off the top 4 and were playing some sublime football under Brendan Rodgers. It didn’t quite go to plan last season and their frailty in defence (particularly from set-pieces) continued to make them a soft touch for much of the campaign. They ended the season strongly which took them eighth, but they were 19 points off the top 4 which will be a big disappointment for the Foxes. 

The squad looks okay but needs strengthening ahead of the new season. The return of Wesley Fofana to the heart of the defence will be a huge boost as the Frenchman missed much of the last campaign through injury, but is now subject to heavy speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea. Jamie Vardy is now 35 so it remains to be seen whether he can still cut it at this level. The future of Youri Tielemans too remains very much in the air and a move to Arsenal still seems more likely than not at the time of writing. 

Business is non-existent at the time of writing and that can’t remain the case if Leicester are to have a successful season. They look short in attack with Vardy their only consistent goal threat and it is difficult to rely so heavily on a 35 year old. They have plenty of creativity and goals in the shape of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes but will need more if they want to break into the top 6. 

I would expect some business to be done between now and the end of the transfer window and I do feel it is necessary if the Foxes are to challenge for a European place. Sources seem to understand that Leicester need to sell before they can buy and with Soumare and Tielemans likely departures I would expect them to make some moves to bolster the squad.


It is hard to be overly positive for the season given the distinct lack of transfer business at the time of writing. The club seem to have tightened the purse strings following the heavy £67 million loss they made during the pandemic and seemingly aren’t willing to invest heavily in the squad.

Much of the talk throughout the summer has been regarding outgoings rather than incomings as the Youri Tielemans saga continues to rattle on. Their squad as it stands I would suggest is still just about good enough to finish in the top half. However, given they were genuine top 4 contenders just a year ago it is slightly worrying for Foxes fans. A tenth placed finish for the East Midlands outfit is my prediction at the time of writing.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Brighton are very much an established Premier League outfit. The appointment of Graham Potter as head coach just over 3 years ago has seen them transform into a very capable footballing side which thoroughly deserve their place in the English top-flight.

Similarly, to Brentford, Brighton are owned and run by a gambling syndicate who use state of the art technology to aid and assist the club in the transfer market. They tend to perform well when conducting business and have plenty of success stories in recent years including Ben White, Yves Bissouma, Robert Sanchez, Marc Cucurella and Leandro Trossard. That combined with a forward-thinking coach in Potter makes for a really nice recipe for success and it is fair to say that the Seagulls are in a very good place.

The target for them would be to become an established top-half Premier League side which is difficult considering the financial clout that the majority of clubs within the top half possess. They will be competing with the likes of Aston Villa for example who over the past 3 seasons have spent around the £400m mark which indicates the sort of financial muscle you might need to compete at this level. It also further highlights what a magnificent job Graham Potter has done at the helm and what a wonderfully well run club Brighton have become. 

The task for Brighton will be to try and keep hold of their key players, a lot of which I have already mentioned in the above paragraph. They are used to losing big players though, last summer they lost Ben White to Arsenal for £50m and coped in his absence. Bissouma will be a miss in midfield as he joins Spurs for £25m but I feel that Brighton will find the right man to replace him. 

Only a couple of signings to mention as the Seagulls remain patient before deciding to make their move in the transfer market. No surprise to see both the new names come from fairly obscure clubs as they look to find the next gem in the market. Julio Enciso joins from Libertad of Paraguay while winger Simon Adingra comes in from Danish outfit FC Nordsjealland. Adingra however will spend the season on loan as isn’t quite deemed ready for Premier League football.


A brilliant end to the season saw Brighton finish 9th in the Premier League last season, their highest ever Premier League placing. The 4-0 hammering of Manchester United at the start of May was a real highlight and shows just how far they have come as a football club. The key for me is keeping hold of Graham Potter, if they can keep the Englishman at the helm then the threat of relegation seems almost non-existent for me and they can continue to look up rather than down. 

However, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Potter as the new England manager in the not-too-distant future and replacing him would be an almost impossible task for the seagulls. Until then though, things are good at Brighton and I fully expect them to finish in and around the top half of the table once again.

Team: Brighton & Hove Albion

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

A very respectable 12th placed finish last year for the Eagles and at no point did relegation look a real possibility. In the 4 years prior under the management of Roy Hodgson, the football was bleak and boring and fans became frustrated. He fulfilled his duty in that he kept them in the Premier League but it was quite clear they weren’t really going anywhere under the 74 year old. 

Time for a fresh start then and in came Patrick Vieira who was sacked by French club Nice in December 2020. It was a risky appointment but one that ultimately paid off. The Frenchmen has Palace playing expansive, flamboyant football with a group of exciting young players and Selhurst Park appears to be the most content it has been in many years. The football has been terrific to watch too. According to the reputable StatsBomb, Crystal Palace were the most improved side in Europe’s top five leagues on xG differentiation with a 0.72 xG per game improvement on the season prior! 

A young English core of players are at the heart of this new Palace team with the likes of Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell, Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze really flourishing in South London. They are supported by more experienced heads to guide them with Vicent Guaita and in particular Wilfried Zaha taking leadership roles in supporting this young team.

The loss of Conor Gallagher is enormous and can’t be understated. The Chelsea loanee won Palace Player of the Season last year and will be pretty much irreplaceable as he returns to his parent club. In terms of incomings, Palace have brought in West Brom and England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to the club on a free transfer. A decent bit of business and Johnstone will provide genuine competition to current number 1, Guaita and is a big improvement on current second choice Jack Butland. More recently they spent big on the capture of Cheick Doucoure who joined from Lens for a fee of around £20m. His aim, bolster the midfield and try to lessen the blow of losing the outstanding Conor Gallagher this season. Talented young American Chris Richards makes the move to South London from Bayern Munich to add further to the long list of exciting youngsters at the club.


Palace fans will be counting down the days to the new season and will be keen to see if Vieira and this exciting Palace side can mirror last season’s achievements. The targets from what I have read is to push for the top half and try and go deep in the domestic cup competitions, similar to what was achieved last season. Vieira has the full backing of the Palace fans and even has his own chant sung by supporters throughout games both home & away which illustrates his popularity at Selhurst Park. They seem to be a club very much on the up and another successful season seems likely in my opinion with a top 10 finish very much achievable. I predict 12th with a decent run in the cup is the most likely scenario.

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Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Things don’t feel overly positive at Molineux going into the new season. A poor end to last campaign has fans a little worried about the lack of progress and direction at the club. They relied heavily on an air tight defence which at times looked as though it could push into Europe before the end of season collapse saw them end up in 10th. Jose Sa, Max Kilman and Conor Coady will again be fundamental to their success but it is vital for Wolves to progress they need to improve on their pretty hapless attack. 

38 and 36 goals in their last two seasons simply isn’t good enough and is an issue that needs to be addressed. To put that into further context, only the bottom 3 scored less than Wolves in the Premier League last season. Raul Jiminez unfortunately doesn’t look the same player since his horrific fractured skull injury and they never sufficiently replaced Diogo Jota following his departure to Liverpool. 

Despite the lack of firepower, Wolves biggest signing of the transfer window at the time of writing is another central defender as they sign the promising Nathan Collins from Burnley for a fee of £22m. They have also signed Hee-Chan Hwang on a permanent deal from RB Leipzig who spent last season on loan at the club. The highly-rated Morgan Gibbs-White could be key to helping them improve going forwards as will the return of the supremely talented Pedro Neto who missed a large portion of the season through injury. If Neto can rediscover his fitness and form, he will be a massive addition to this Wolves attack. Adama Traore also returns from a largely unsuccessful loan spell at Barcelona. He will bring the usual unpredictable chaos that he does as well as his blistering pace & power. Wolves need unpredictability in their attack however so the return of these players is sure to offer a boost.

Wolves fans will probably be pleased to see the back of Fabio Silva who moves to Anderlecht on loan. The young Portuguese striker has been pretty disastrous since signing for the club for a mammoth £35m fee back in 2020. Other notable departures are Ruben Vinagre who has ended up at Everton and Roman Saiss who moves to Besiktas. Saiss will be a big loss with him being very much a first-team regular since joining the club back in 2016.


I am not overly optimistic for Wolves given the distinct lack of goals within the squad. They will have to defend extremely well yet again to have a productive season and that puts an awful lot of pressure on the back 3 week in, week out. The return of Neto, Gibbs-White and Adama will add more unpredictability to the attack and the club will be delighted to have kept hold of Ruben Neves who looked destined to leave having waved goodbye to the fans at the back end of last season. I have seen some outlets suggest they will be in a relegation scrap this season but I do feel they are too good for that and a lower mid table finish is the more likely scenario for Wolves in my opinion.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Fantastic first season in the Premier League for Thomas Frank and his men as they finished 14th, 10 points clear of relegation in their debut campaign in the top-flight. I thought they would do well (predicted 15th) so they even outdid my predictions. They have a direct, aggressive style of play and a high-pressing style which has proven to be effective and made them a difficult side to play against. 

They had a little mid-season wobble when they lost some key players through injury and looked a little lost for ideas. The January acquisition of Christian Eriksen proved to be a master stroke from Frank as the Dane provided the much-needed creativity for the Bees. His accurate set-piece delivery proved extremely valuable for Brentford too. Eriksen provided 5 goal contributions in his 11 Premier League apps reminding everyone what a fantastic player he is. Eriksen ranked third in the division for chances created and passed into the final third since his first start in Early March. He leaves for pastures new at Manchester United and you could argue he can’t really be replaced. 

The success of Brentford in my opinion will rely heavily on whether they are able to convince key players to stay in West London. Eriksen has gone but the likes of Ivan Toney and David Raya just to name a few must be retained. The Bees aren’t blessed with massive strength in depth and they do rely quite heavily on a select 14/15 players to stay fit and perform on a consistent basis. The arrival of Ben Mee, Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter will certainly provide more competition places as well as more general quality to the squad. Hickey was a target of Arsenal earlier in the window and his versatility in both full back areas will come in very handy. Mee is a leader and an experienced Premier League pro and on a free transfer looks a lovely bit of business. Keane Lewis-Potter is a very exciting capture from Hull City for a sizable £16 million. He, like Hickey, brings plenty of versatility and will catch the eye this season with his exceptional dribbling ability. The fact the Bees have given the new signing a 6 year contract shows the level of faith they have in him. 

There is a lot of interest in Toney who enjoyed a fine debut season in the Premier League. Frank must ensure that if his stars don’t continue to leave, they are adequately replaced or risk being dragged into an unwanted relegation fight.


Whatever happens with Raya & Toney, you would back Brentford to get it right in the transfer market, and they almost always do. Their smart, stats-based recruitment model will help identify the players they need and this is a major reason why I expect them to steer clear of trouble. A similar season to the one they had last year will be the target for the Bees and I expect them to be able to do it. A 14th placed finish to match their performance in the 2021/2022 season is my prediction for the Bees.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Last season was a bit of a disaster, wasn’t it? Just a year after Carlo Ancelotti led the Toffees to a respectable 59 points in the league, the club avoided relegation by quite literally the skin of their teeth. 

It hasn’t been through the lack of investment either. Since the Farhad Moshiri takeover in February 2016, Everton have spent a staggering £561.88million on transfers. They have the 7th highest net spend in the division over the past 5 years behind the usual big 6 but have very little to show for it. 

Despite his investment, it seems pretty clear that Moshiri doesn’t know how to effectively run a football club. He has shown many times he lacks the knowhow to be an effective owner and forcing through the appointment of Rafa Benitez as manager despite the clear disarray shown by the fans was yet another disastrous decision from the otherwise successful businessman. They need stability desperately, especially as they head to a new £500m stadium in the coming years, they simply can’t afford to drop down to the second-tier. Hopefully for the Toffees Frank Lampard can provide that much-needed stability. 

An important task for the club will be trying to keep hold of their key attacking assets in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Anthony Gordon. DCL had an injury-hit season but remains a top player, while Richarlison was quite possibly their player of the season with 15 Premier League goal contributions (10 goals, 5 assists). He joined Spurs for £60m which seems a good deal for both parties with Everton recouping a very decent transfer fee. Elsewhere Jonjoe Kenny, Fabian Delph, Cenk Tosun, Andy Lonergan and Gylfi Sigurdsson have all left the club on free transfers. 

I thought they would have spent a little more of the Richarlison money by now with Dwight McNeil the only incoming so far where a fee was spent. He joined from Burnley for a fee thought to be around £20m. The winger is talented but just 1 assist and 0 goals in 38 Premier League appearances last season highlight that his output must improve drastically this season. James Tarkowski also comes in from Burnley and looks a very solid piece of business, bringing consistency and physicality to a fairly flaky Everton backline.


I do expect better from Everton this time around. Lampard is a popular manager at least which can’t be said about his predecessor Rafa Benitez and will be supported and backed by the Goodison crowd. They also had woeful luck with injuries last season and were officially the second most injured team in the Premier League- only Leeds had more. Long-term injuries to Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Andros Townsend as well as regular niggles and minor injuries to other key players like Richarlison, Allan, Demarai Gray and Ben Godfrey had a large impact on Everton’s inability to pick up any momentum last season. With a little bit more luck with injuries, some stability provided by Lampard and a couple of decent transfers I expect Everton to just about steer clear of danger. A top-half finish will be the ambition, but I can’t see the current squad being able to deliver that. A 15th placed finish is my prediction for the Toffees this campaign.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

It simply can’t be underplayed how impressive the job done by Steve Cooper has been since taking over at the City Ground in September of last year. They were rock-bottom of the Championship table having lost six of their first seven. In stepped the Welshman who guided them to a 4th placed finish and promotion through the playoffs thanks to a 1-0 win over Huddersfield in May. 

Cooper has certainly been backed in the transfer market as Forest look to ensure that their stay in the Premier League isn’t a short one. At the time of writing a hefty £75m has been spent and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more before the close of the transfer window. Business from the outside looking in looks smart as Cooper invests in a mix of young and exciting players combined with experienced Premier League heads who will guide them. 

The captures of Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson from Manchester United bring Premier League experience with Henderson having an excellent loan spell at Sheffield United previously and Lingard racking up close to 200 EPL appearances. Both too bring a lot of quality and Lingard could prove to be an exceptional signing should he recapture the form he had during his loan spell at West Ham back in 2021. Elsewhere there have been exciting captures in the shape of Taiwo Awoniyi, Omar Richards and Moussa Niakhate who all come from the German Bundesliga. Awoniyi (previously of Liverpool) enjoyed a brilliant campaign with Union Berlin scoring 20 goals in all competitions and will be looking to prove he has what it takes to excel back in England. Welsh international fullback Neco Williams joins from Liverpool for a sizable fee of £18m and will have the tough task of replacing the exceptional Djed Spence who himself joined Spurs this window and it remains to be seen whether he is capable. 

In terms of departures, Forest have lost two key players from last season. Spence, who I have already mentioned, heads to Spurs and his presence will certainly be missed both defensively and offensively down the right hand side. They also lose number 1 Brice Samba who was integral to their promotion campaign, particularly in the playoffs where he was outstanding. He moves to Lens but I feel has been adequately replaced with the loan signing of the talented Dean Henderson.


Maybe a slightly bold call to suggest that the team promoted through the Championship playoffs will have a better season than those who made it up automatically. I did the same last year though with Brentford and that worked out well and I am doing the same here. Forest are a massive club and should be playing in the top-flight. Steve Cooper is a fantastic manager, I like the business they have done so far and I feel the City Ground could be something of a fortress of this season. All in all, I feel Forest have just about enough to avoid the drop this year and I fancy them to finish 16th.

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Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

It has certainly been a hectic summer at Elland Road who at the time of writing have both spent (£100m) and received (100m) the most money of any Premier League club. It was pretty clear from the get-go based on the money Leeds were spending that they were going to lose some key players. 

That has since materialised with key players Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha moving onto pastures new. Phillips moves to Premier League champions Manchester City for a fee of £44m and Raphina moves to Barcelona for a fee of around £60m which could eventually rise to around £70m. They are of course massive losses but Leeds were too often reliant on one or two players and Marsch seems keen to build more of a well-rounded squad to cope with the vigour of the Premier League. 

Leeds moved quickly, bringing in 6 players for a combined fee of around £100m. The club have put ultimate trust in Jesse Marsch with a number of these players having worked with the American previously at both RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg. It remains to be seen whether this will be successful but it is certain that the club now have more strength in depth than they did last season. 

Leeds stayed up by the skin of their teeth last season on the final day at Brentford and will be hoping for a more comfortable campaign where they aim for midtable security as they did in the first season under Bielsa. The return from injury and ultimately the fitness of Patrick Bamford will be key with the Leeds number 9 missing the majority of last season with niggling injuries and he is a player the club simply don’t have an adequate replacement for.


A summer of change at Leeds and there is quite a big question mark on how they will fare this season. The loss of Phillips and Raphinha can’t be underestimated with the pair the best two players at the club in recent years. Their success will depend enormously on how the new signings get on. None of them have played in the Premier League so there is plenty of risk but also potentially plenty of reward if they adapt quickly. I think Leeds will have just about enough to avoid the drop and the return to fitness of Patrick Bamford will prove to be an almighty boost. Marsch seems to be popular in the dressing room and the players seem to want to play for him. A 17th placed finish is my prediction for Leeds in 2022/2023.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

Just one win from their final eleven Premier League games saw the Saints dragged dangerously close to the drop zone once again. This isn’t the first time that it has been too close for comfort to the South Coast club and I expect a long, hard season for Southampton once again here. 

They have had a very interesting transfer window and it is certainly a bold and very risky strategy to invest so heavily in young players with little, to no Premier League experience. It could prove to be a master stroke by Ralph Hasenhuttl and the club but it could also be a complete disaster. I like the idea of investing in youth but it remains to be seen whether these young kids have what it takes to deal with the physicality and pressure of Premier League football. 

Approximately £51 million was spent by the club at the time of writing with Gavin Bazanu (20), Sekou Mara (19), Romeo Lavia (18), Armel Bella-Kotchap (20) and Joe Aribo (26) the significant incomings. Between the five new signings the average age is just 20.6 years of age and there are a total of 0 (zero) combined Premier League appearances between the five of them. Granted the likes of Lavia and Bazanu have both played in England at Manchester City so aren’t strangers to top-flight English football but all their appearances have been in Premier League 2 which is a different ball game entirely. 

In terms of departures there have been two of three notable outgoings from St Mary’s this summer. Experienced goalkeeper Fraser Forster moves to Spurs on a free transfer having amassed 162 appearances in his 8 years on the South Coast. Shane Long who has been a bit-part player in recent seasons moves back to Reading and the most notable departure is that of Armando Broja who returns to parent club Chelsea. The Albanian international enjoyed a productive season and although he managed only 9 goals, his performances were very impressive and he will be missed. At the time of writing he is yet to be adequately replaced.


I touched upon it previously but I can’t help but worry for Southampton this season. They are a team who have been on the decline for some time and I feel their time in the top-flight might finally be up. In their last five seasons their league finishes read as follows: 17th (under Mark Hughes), 16th, 11th, 15th & 15th. They were just five points clear of the drop last season and if the season continued for another month or so I feel like they would have been the side to face the chop. A lot of pressure on these young players to perform and while it is a possibility they could really hit the ground running, I would suggest it is more likely they will struggle and take time to adapt. Time is not something this Saints side lacking in quality have and I feel they will be the side to fill the final relegation spot in 18th this season.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

I think Fulham were everyone’s pick (including mine) to win the Championship last season and they duly delivered. Apart from a few hiccups here & there it was largely a canter for Marco Silva’s men who registered 90 points despite a rather inconsistent few months at the back end of the season. 

The football was impressive for the most part and what was even more impressive was how Marco Silva rejuvenated a Fulham side which looked a little lost following relegation from the Premier League just a season prior. Tom Cairney, Neeskens Kebano and most impressively Alexander Mitrovic responded brilliantly following disappointing campaigns in the Premier League to fire their side back to the Promised Land at the first attempt. 

The squad, as is so often the case with Fulham, looks like one which is too good for the Championship but potentially not quite good enough for the Premier League. Key players such as Mitrovic and Cairney have tried and failed in the top-flight and it remains to be seen whether this is the year they can finally crack it. Mitrovic comes into the new season off the back of the most remarkable Championship campaign of any player in the history of the league. 43 goals in 44 appearances is literally ridiculous even by his high standards in a league which he has dominated since he moved to England. 85 goals in 126 Championship appearances very much highlights this and unfortunately until now he hasn’t been able to replicate this form in the top-flight (24 goals in 104 Premier League apps). 

Transfer business will be vital and will be the difference between staying up and relegation. At the time of writing 7 players have departed Craven Cottage. Zambo Anguissa has made his loan move to Napoli permanent (£13.5m), the highly talented Fabio Carvalho has joined Liverpool (£6m) and Jean-Michel Seri, Alfie Mawson, Michael Hector, Cyrus Christie and Fabri have all left the club following the expiry of their contracts. 

Four new names through the door at the time of writing with Joao Palhinha the biggest transfer with £18m required to secure his signature from Sporting CP. He was a key player at the Portuguese giants and early signs are positive with him reportedly shining in preseason. He plays as a number ‘6’ and at 27 years of age it is thought he will be ready to go straight into the Fulham midfield and hopefully flourish in the Premier League. Elsewhere, Manor Solomon comes in on loan from Shakthar Donetsk where he caught the eye in both the Champions League and Europa League in recent seasons. Anders Pereira joins from Man United and will add some much-needed Premier League knowhow in a squad which is lacking in that credential. He wasn’t a huge success at Old Trafford but still racked up 45 Premier League apps in his time there.


Fulham fans will hate the term but similarly to Norwich, they have become something of a yo-yo team. The goal is simple for Marco Silva and his men: avoid the drop! They will be competitive; I am confident of that but the Premier League looks very strong this season and I expect Nottingham Forest to avoid the drop. A lot depends on Mitrovic for me and whether he can score goals at this level – if he can manage somewhere around 13-15 league goals then Fulham have a real chance. Marco Silva will be hoping for a big impact from his new signings too, particularly Palhinha. Ultimately though, I feel they will be a little short and a 19th placed finish is my prediction for the Cottagers this campaign.

Squad Assessment & Transfer Business So Far

It was considered a controversial move by Scott Parker when he left his role as Fulham manager to become Bournemouth boss a year or so ago. Credit to Parker, he has done exactly what was asked of him as he earned automatic promotion for the Cherries at the first time of asking. Jason Tindall tried and failed to do the same the year before and could only finish 6th before losing to Brentford in the playoffs. 

Much more comfortable this time around as Bournemouth finished 2nd, 6 points clear of 3rd placed Huddersfield and although they had a few blips here & there throughout the season, automatic promotion never really looked in doubt. In order to guard against becoming a yo-yo club I feel the squad needs significant investment (£75m+) to have any chance of avoiding the drop. The squad on paper to me looks very much a Championship outfit and not too many players in my opinion are capable of cutting it in the top-flight. At the time of writing, the transfer business (or distinct lack of it) will disappoint Bournemouth fans. Two free transfers in the shape of Joe Rothwell from Blackburn and Ryan Fredericks from West Ham just simply is not enough and Bournemouth really need to get the cheque book out. 

I will watch Dominic Solanke with interest. He has always been heralded a prospect since breaking through at Chelsea and then making a move to Liverpool. He failed to make the cut on Merseyside and a £20m transfer to Bournemouth followed in 2019. He has been a massive success on the South Coast and was prolific last season with 29 Championship goals. I still have reservations as to whether he can be a success in the Premier League and based on his career so far he has been unable to cut it at the top level. Four goals in 63 appearances certainly illustrate that. He is however far more complete now than he was in his Liverpool/Chelsea days. He will certainly need an exceptional season if Bournemouth are to avoid the drop. 

Elsewhere, other notable names within the squad are Jefferson Lerma, Mark Travers and Philip Billing who enjoyed productive seasons. Even the most avid Cherries fan though I am sure would agree that the squad needs significant investment if they want to compete next season.


The smallest stadium and more than likely the smallest playing budget in the league. I have made no secret that I expect Bournemouth to struggle this season as you might have guessed by my 20th place predicted position. They have the look of Norwich about them in that they are a side that are slightly too good for the Championship but not quite good enough for the Premier League. I expect they will put up a better fight than Norwich did last season but ultimately won’t be good enough to avoid the drop and I fancy them to finish bottom of the pile.

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