We are just 24 hours away from the start of a new Premier League season and it looks set to be another blockbuster campaign. On Tuesday I provided my relegation tricast which had odds of 33/1, today I bring you another 33/1 tricast, this time I try and predict who the top three teams will be and in what order.
This time last year I remember saying this is the strongest the Premier League has ever looked, and it was so hard to call which clubs would have successful seasons. Roll on another 365 days and I find myself in the same predicament, the standard of the squads is outrageous, and the top 6 might find itself becoming a top 7/8 before we know it.
What are my top three predictions?
Liverpool 1st, Man City 2nd, Arsenal 3rd 33/1
So there you have it, I am backing Liverpool to win the Premier League this season. They came within a whisker of winning it last time out and nearly completed an unprecedented quadruple. This season I have a feeling they will be spurred on by how the last campaign unraveled. Much has been made about how Manchester City have strengthened over the summer, I still have questions over whether they have improved as much as people are letting on. Liverpool were dealt a huge blow when Sadio Mane was sold to Bayern Munich, but they could have unveiled a potential colossus in Darwin Nunes.
We are yet to see Klopp operate with a traditional number 9 in the Premier League; but if the early evidence of the Community Shield is anything to go off it could be a masterstroke. Origi has been the closest thing Liverpool have had to a classic centre forward in recent years and if we are honest, when called upon he has delivered in big moments. The signing of Darwin Nunes signals a time of change perhaps for Liverpool, we could see a more cut throat approach, with Nunes operating as a target man. We have grown accustomed to pace and intricacy at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp, now they have added a new element to the table in strength.
With Trent Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson already knocking up unprecedented assist stats for full backs, imagine what they could achieve with a natural target man. Sadio Mane played a pivotal part in Klopp’s system and it remains to be seen what impact his sale will have on the club, but there are promising signs that Luis Diaz is ready to step in and offer Liverpool the same attacking threat. They still have Diogo Jota who has been prolific when fit and Roberto Firmino who understands Klopp’s system and links play well when called upon. Thiago is a mini monster in the middle of the park for the reds, and he has taken to the Premier League incredibly well. If he has another season like the last I think that he will take the league by storm again and orchestrate a trophy lifting season.
All the talk is about Erling Haaland and how many goals will he provide Man City, but they allowed Raheem Sterling to exit via the back door and I fear that he could be a huge loss to the dressing room. Jack Grealish didn’t hit the ground running in his first season at the Etihad and there is still speculation surrounding the future of Bernardo Silva. I also feel they might have dropped a clanger selling Zinchenko and Jesus to Arsenal.
Of course City still have an abundance of options and have brought in Kalvin Phillips over the summer, to further bolster their midfield, I just think there is going to be a few bumpy moments if a couple of key players pick up injuries. There is a lot of pressure now on Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to deliver in their first ever Premier League campaigns. If they do win the league again this year then Pep deserves immense credit, because it isn’t as nailed on as the bookies are suggesting, pricing them at 8/13.
So it’s widely expected to be another two horse race at the top, behind that it’s believed that Chelsea and Tottenham are the two candidates for 3rd place. Here is where I chuck my Arsenal spanner in. Although Chelsea finished 3rd last season they haven’t had the most inspiring of transfer windows, missing out on major targets and losing two centre-backs. I do think that Raheem Sterling is a great addition to Tuchel’s squad, but I think they have some defensive frailties if either of Koulibaly or Silva pick up an injury.
Tottenham have had a good transfer window, I am still unsure whether Richarlison was the big summer signing they needed, but he certainly gives them more options up top, especially with the 5 subs rule being brought in next season. My big concerns with Spurs are that they might ‘do a Spurs’ and find themselves in a wanting position and completely capitulate out of nowhere. I also have to take into consideration Antonion Conte’s second season syndrome, which has followed him around his career, where players seemingly struggly to keep up with the huge demands put on them by their manager.
So why Arsenal? To be honest I surprised myself in picking this but I have been hugely impressed with them in preseason and I think that adding two seasoned Premier League winners to the squad in Zinchenko and Jesus is brilliant business. These were two of the areas that Arsenal had significant problems last season and they have addressed it.
They weren’t a million miles off top four last time out and had they had the options available in the squad that they have now they more than likely could have taken a top four place. William Saliba has enjoyed good loan spells abroad and gives Mikel Arteta a much wanted selection problem. It seems like Mikel Arteta is gradually creating a positive environment in the Arsenal dressing room and maybe this is the first season where we see his work behind the scenes begin to pay dividends.