Opinion: 2022/23 Premier League table prediction and analysis

With the Premier League’s opening match less than two weeks away, I’ll be giving my early 2022/23 Premier League table prediction from 1st place down to 20th. 

With many Premier League teams strengthening already strong sides, the English top flight is set for an incredibly competitive season this year.

1st place: Manchester City

Winning the title in four out of the last five seasons, Pep Guardiola has turned City into a dominant force. Despite losing a few squad players, they’ve added Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, and Kalvin Phillips.

It looks unlikely anyone will steal their crown.

2nd place: Liverpool

Selling Sadio Mane this summer will likely have a huge impact on Liverpool’s attack. While Salah is their star man, Mane was the player who knitted everything together with his consistency and versatility.

The signing of Darwin Nunez, as well as the presence of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz will help fill the hole left by the Senegalese international, but none of them are likely to replicate his contributions on their own.

This feels like the beginning of a transition into a new chapter for Klopp’s men. I expect them to finish second again, but I don’t see them challenging City as close as last year.

3rd place: Tottenham Hotspur

Following Nuno Espirito Santo’s sacking midway through the campaign last season, new boss Antonio Conte lifted Spurs from mid-table obscurity to a fourth-place finish and Champions League football next season.

Finally, Daniel Levy has loosened the purse strings as he provided Conte with the money for six new signings so far this window. Those new arrivals include proven players like Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, and Ivan Perisic.

Conte is a manager who typically doesn’t join a team mid-season, but with Spurs he made an exception (Charlie Eccleshare). The improvement in just half a season is very impressive, and the prospect of a full pre-season with new signings is exciting.

If everything clicks with Spurs’ new signings and the team keeps developing under Conte’s tutelage, there’s no reason why they can’t do something great this season.

4th place: Arsenal

Arsenal endured a disappointing end to last season, slipping to fifth place, and relinquishing the final Champions League spot to rivals Tottenham. Despite this, there is a good feeling around the club as they continue to back manager Mikel Arteta.

The summer signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko know Arteta well from their time at City and should fit in well. Fabio Viera and William Saliba’s introduction to the squad should further strengthen the gunners.

While I think the signings they’ve made are good ones, it still doesn’t appear enough to pose any threat to Liverpool or City. Their squad depth is poor at defensive midfield and right back, and they lack an elite goalscorer.

With Chelsea looking weaker ahead of the season, I think a fourth-place finish is a fair prediction for Arsenal.

5th place: Chelsea

The feeling around Chelsea at the moment is far from positive. Manager Thomas Tuchel has voiced his unhappiness with his players and the hierarchy of the club, confessing he is not confident ahead of the new season (Metro).

The signings of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have replaced outgoings rather than strengthened their squad. Antonio Rudiger, Romelu Lukaku, and Andreas Christensen have left the club while Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso look set to leave too (90 min).

Chelsea have also seemingly missed out on various defensive transfer targets, leaving them short at the back. Also, they’re left with an attack that lacks an elite goalscorer. Sterling, Havertz, and Mount are great players but none are likely to score 20+ goals.

I expect Chelsea to make a few more signings and eventually whip themselves into shape, but I don’t think this will be enough for top four, and there’s still a possibility of things going really poorly for the Blues next season.

6th place: Manchester United 

Erik Ten Hag’s arrival at Manchester United has signalled a vision of rebuilding at the club. Therefore, the Dutchman will need patience and backing. So far he has been backed in the transfer market with the club bringing in several players that fit his philosophy.

Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, and Tyrell Malacia all improve the side. Despite this, Cristiano Ronaldo’s insistence on leaving the club leaves them light in attack (The Athletic). Without the Portuguese star, United are another side lacking a consistent goalscorer.

Many of United’s current players have seen their careers stall under former Red Devil managers. Therefore, it is logical to assume that those players will need time to recover their confidence and ability before adjusting to the unique philosophies of their new boss.

With all this uncertainty, I can’t see United improving so drastically so quickly, and therefore a repeat of their sixth-place finish appears likely to me.

7th place: West Ham United

West Ham looked set to challenge for fourth place at times last season, but ultimately they ended up in a disappointing 7th place.

They looked to have strengthened with the signings of Gianluca Scamacca and Nayef Aguerd, with a rumoured move for Filip Kostic still possible too (Sky Sports). Despite this, other clubs have strengthened significantly as well.

Therefore, I think West Ham missed their chance at top four last season, so I’m predicting another year finishing in the Conference League spot for them.

8th place: Newcastle United

After receiving a big money takeover, Newcastle’s fortunes turned remarkably quickly. The new people in charge swiftly replaced Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe as manager. Aided by a host of signings in January, the Magpies soared from relegation battlers to midtable.

They have continued their spending this summer, but not to the extent many expected. Securing Matt Targett on a permanent deal, as well as capturing Nick Pope and Sven Botman is good business, but not enough to make the European spots in my opinion.

Newcastle’s squad will likely continue to grow under Howe and his forward-thinking ideas. Their recent signings will also further acclimatize to the Premier League. Therefore, I’m predicting a three-place jump from last season’s eleventh-place finish.

9th place: Aston Villa

Villa are another team who have endured major change recently, replacing Dean Smith with Steven Gerrard, and bringing in a host of new signings. Ings, Coutinho, Buendia, Digne, Bailey, and Diego Carlos are all quality pieces they’ve added in the last two years.

Among all the new names, the arrival of Boubacar Kamara is particularly exciting as it will allow them to play more attacking and expansive football with a solid anchor in front of the defence.

Despite this, Gerrard failed to improve them significantly after coming in last season. Also, their new signings last summer failed to have the desired impact on the whole. Therefore, I’m going to be cautious and predict Villa to sit just inside the top half of the table.

10th place: Crystal Palace 

Since bringing in manager Patrick Viera, things have looked exciting for Palace. They have focused on assembling a group of exciting young players. Namely, Olise, Edouard, and Eberechi Eze look ready to develop their team into a real threat to the rest of the league.

The additions of young players like Cheick Doucoure and Chris Richards this summer further Palace’s exciting project.

A partnership of Guehi and Joachim Andersen at the back is solid. If Viera can get more goals out of his young, exuberant attack, there’s no reason Palace can’t crack the top half of the table next season.

11th place: Leicester City

After years of painfully just missing out on Champions League football, Leicester City looked like they were breaking into the traditional “top six,” but last season things took a turn for the worse.

Marred by injuries, the Foxes had a torrid and inconsistent season, dropping to eighth place. This summer, they’ve responded in unconvincing fashion, failing to sign a single player at the time of writing.

Furthermore, they could be forced to sell some important players such as James Maddison and Youri Tielemans among others in order to fund transfers this summer (Telegraph).

Things appear to be growing stale at the King Power stadium with little turnover in terms of players, a torrid club injury record recently, and uncertainty over Brendan Rodgers’ future looming at times (fourfourtwo).

With all of this taken into account, I can see Leicester slipping further away from the European places and into midtable.

12th place: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves have played a more attractive brand of football under Bruno Lage and appear to be slowly moving in the right direction, but they’ve been relatively quiet in the transfer market, only signing Nathan Collins from Burnley of note.

Fabio Silva has left on loan, leaving the burden up top solely on Raul Jimenez who hasn’t been the same player since his long-term head injury. Star player, Ruben Neves looks set to stay at Molineux which is a big plus though (Molineux News).

All in all, I don’t think Wolves have improved enough this window so I’m predicting a slight regression from last season’s tenth-place finish.

13th place: Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton are a team who play the right way, and while they may be inconsistent at times, they scalped enough big teams to finish in a comfortable ninth place last season.

Despite this, they sold star player Yves Bissouma, and rumours of a departure for Brighton player of the season Marc Cucurella are heating up this summer (Sky Sports). Players like Tariq Lamptey, Enock Mwepu, and Moises Caicedo will have to step up.

Even without their star players, I think Brighton can comfortably avoid relegation again under the guidance of a stellar manager in Graham Potter. He has a track record of developing players into stars and I expect him to continue to do so.

14th place: Southampton

Southampton are another club who have continued to build a young core to their squad. The signings of Gavin Bazunu, Sekou Mara, Romeo Lavia, and Armel Bella-Kotchap this summer back that up. They didn’t stop there, adding versatile midfielder Joe Aribo too.

Southampton are one of the most inconsistent sides in the league and are therefore tough to understand or predict. After a very poor year last season, I don’t expect the Saints to fly up the table.

Instead, I predict they’ll finish just one spot higher, making things a little bit more comfortable and building towards the future with their promising young guns.

15th place: Leeds United

Leeds endured a highly stressful 21/22 season, swapping beloved manager Marcelo Bielsa for Jesse Marsch. The young American pulled Leeds out of the relegation zone by the smallest of margins, securing their safety on the final day.

The losses of Raphinha and Phillips will be monumental but Leeds have recruited well with the money gained from those sales. Luis Sinisterra and Marc Roca’s signings should soften the blow of these losses, and have shown that Marsch is being backed by Leeds’ owners.

Summer signings Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, and Tyler Adams all have experience working under Marsch and should take to his ideas quickly.

Marsch doesn’t just seem like a good tactician, but rather he adds excellent man management to his tool belt. From the interviews during his time so far on British shores, it’s clear he understands players on a human level.

In a relegation fight, intangibles like that are invaluable and could be a deciding factor in whether or not Leeds stay up.

Maybe it’s because he reminds me a bit of Ted Lasso, but I’m choosing to believe in Marsch and Leeds, so I expect them to avoid relegation again next season.

16th place: Brentford

Before the arrival of Christian Eriksen in January, Brentford looked set to battle relegation last season. The Dane pulled them out of the darkness with stellar displays, knitting their play together.

With his departure, I think it will be tough to replicate their form during the second half of last season. Despite this, the presence of players like David Raya, Christian Norgaard, and Ivan Toney suggest they’ll have enough to avoid the drop.

The summer signings of Ben Mee, Thomas Strakosha, Keane Lewis-Potter, and Aaron Hickey represent smart business from the Bees. Additionally, Thomas Frank has cultivated a good atmosphere around the club, especially after last season’s overachievement.

I think a repeat or improvement on last season’s thirteenth place finish is unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out as there seems to be something special in the air at Brentford.

17th place: Nottingham Forest

Forest have been the most active Premier League team in the transfer market by a long way. They responded to losing Brice Samba, Djed Spence, and James Garner by bringing in over ten new players.

Among those new faces are Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Neco Williams, Moussa Niakhate, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Omar Richards. While this provides top-level experience, we have seen newly promoted teams splurge in the market before it all comes crashing down.

Sometimes so many new faces make it difficult for a team to gel. Fortunately for Forest, they have a great man manager in Steve Cooper who took Forest from the Championship relegation zone to promotion, developing players like Brennan Johnson on the way.

With all this taken into account, I think Forest can narrowly avoid relegation next season.

18th place: Everton

Everton are another team who have lost their star player, with Richarlison leaving this summer. They have brought in Ruben Vinagre, James Tarkowski, and Dwight Mcneil, but on its own it’s not enough to deal with the loss of the Brazilian.

At the moment, the goal burden is firmly placed on Calvert-Lewin’s shoulders. Furthermore, the defence is being barely held together by the form of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Tarkowski is a decent signing but they’ll need more defensive protection if they want to avoid the drop. The midfield doesn’t inspire confidence either with Tom Davies, Dele, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan, Gbamin, and Andre Gomes all unconvincing.

Frank Lampard didn’t improve the Toffees form much after arriving midway through the 21/22 season, and next season doesn’t look like it will be much easier. Therefore, I’m predicting Everton to finally succumb to the drop.

19th place: Fulham

Fulham have established themselves as a bit of a yo-yo club, bouncing between the Premier League and Championship.

Star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic epitomizes this with his stellar performances in past seasons playing in the second division often followed by disappointing numbers once back in the Premier League.

The level of Fulham’s squad is worryingly poor compared to the teams they will compete with next season.

In the transfer market, they have not done enough to bridge that gap in quality, only signing Manor Solomon, Kevin Mbabu, Joao Palhinha, and Andreas Pereira of note so far.

Unfortunately for Fulham, I don’t see anything other than a quick return to the Championship.

20th place: Bournemouth

Bournemouth are another team who have been known to bounce back and forth between the top two English Divisions. With a relatively inexperienced manager like Scott Parker, staying in the Premier League will be a tough job for the Cherries.

They have barely dipped into the transfer market, only signing Joe Rothwell and Ryan Fredericks on free transfers. Furthermore, their squad is of very low quality compared to the rest of the league.

I have nothing more to say, other than I expect a quick return to the second division for Bournemouth as well. Sorry, Scotty Parker.

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