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Rewind just a couple of months and Chelsea were being crowned the 2016-17 Premier League champions.

And now, here we are with 26th season of the English Premier League underway with the opening game between Arsenal and Leicester City bringing us an incredible match for 4-3. Olivier Giroud was the hero with an 85th minute goal for the home side to help reverse the #WengerOut trends! 

The northern hemisphere summer has flown by and been packed full of transfers, new managers and new signings, with more money spent throughout the league than ever before. It’s a little crazy to see clubs such as Watford spending £18 million on a player without a blink of an eye! And it is no longer a surprise to see Manchester City and Pep splash a healthy £200 million to bolster their already impressive squad.

Love or loathe the money, on the upside, Premier League fans like me can happily say goodbye to football withdrawal symptoms and breathe a sigh of relief: the Premier League is back. It’s time to reach for your phone and set your alarm for those lovely 2am kick offs as without question, the 2017-18 season will bring us another quality, exciting campaign. 

But who will prevail? Will Chelsea defend their title? Or will we see Pep’s Manchester City climb to the top? Will the big spending equate to success? And how will newbies, Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield fair in the top flight? Will they sink or swim?

It’s certainly a tough one to call, but here are my bold predictions:

Top Four:

1.     Manchester City

2.     Tottenham

3.     Chelsea

4.     Manchester United

Relegation

  • Burnley
  • Swansea
  • Stoke

I think Manchester City will prove too strong to stop this season, but I think it will go right down to the wire with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United being very close behind. (Besides, with their swanky new dressing room pictured above, how could they not win!?)

I’m not so confident on the order of numbers two to four, with any of those three teams possibly ending in second spot! Perhaps a photo finish one way or another! 

As for relegation, all the trends would suggest Brighton and Huddersfield are two of the most likely candidates as so often we see teams that go up from the championship, sadly find the leap to big and go straight back down. I think both the Seagulls and the Terriers will find it exceptionally tough and I wouldn’t be surprised to see both flounder and struggle and perhaps be part of a relegation battle. However, as a lifelong Seagulls fan, I’m trying to remain optimistic and hope that we buck the trend. Let’s emulate Bournemouth instead!  Time will tell.

Here’s a quick recap of what we can look forward for the remainder of this weekend.

The early match on Saturday evening local time is between Watford and Liverpool. Despite Watford spending big (for them), I can't see Liverpool losing this.

Chelsea start at home against Burnley. No surprises for guessing I'm going for Chelsea.

Newcomers, Huddersfield Town, will be under the spotlight as they face Crystal Palace away in their first week. Australian midfielder, Aaron Mooy will be aiming to cement his place in the starting eleven after a record £10 million signing that has made him the most expensive Australian player in Premier League history. I'll tip Huddersfield, to keep my Australian friends happy!

Other newbies, Brighton and Hove Albion have been handed a tough yet glamourous opening fixture as they play host to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in their first ever Premier League fixture.  I’m fearful Brighton might get stage fright and concede a stack full of goals, but here’s hoping they prove me wrong!

Championship winners, Newcastle United also have a tricky first home fixture as they play host to last season's Premier League runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur. In saying that, it was Rafael Benitez's team that thumped Spurs 5-1 at St James' Park the last time they played a Premier League game.

Manchester United kick off at home in a meeting with West Ham, which should be a good game. But I think Mourinho has done quite well in the off-season and United will win. 

Everton start their campaign by playing host to Stoke City at Goodison Park, while the other games on the first matchday see Southampton host Swansea City and West Brom welcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to the Hawthorns.

Whoever your team - or even if you don't have one - hope you enjoy the football this weekend! It's great to have it back. 


Categories: News | Premier League

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