Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Premier League 2022: Full predictions for 2022/23 season, champions, golden boot winner, predicted ladder, top four, Champions League, who will get relegated, first manager sacked

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The 2022/23 Premier League season is just days away as football fans across the world rejoice that the action us finally upon us.

There’s already plenty of storylines ahead of this season.

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Liverpool and Manchester City spent some serious coin on a superstar striker to lead their respective forward lines and is sure to set up an enthralling battle for the golden boot award.

Manchester United also has a new manager and Red Devils fans will be anxious to see how he has the team playing once the season gets underway.

Moving down the ladder and the mid-table battle looks stronger than it ever has before.

While two teams are already heavy favourites to be relegated, does a newly-promoted team stand a chance of causing a major shock and staying afloat for another season?

Two of Fox Sports’ resident football reporters gazed into their crystal ball for the 2022/23 season and revealed their predictions for the upcoming campaign!

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Champions: Manchester City

Zac Rayson: They might miss out on signing Brighton’s defensive star Marc Cucurella, but will it really matter? They’ve fixed their biggest squad weakness by signing a superstar number nine, and Kalvin Phillips might prove to be an even more important arrival. Meanwhile, Liverpool has lost Sadio Mane, and I think he’ll simply be too hard to replace for the Reds to overtake City.

As for the rest of the chasing pack?

New striker Gabriel Jesus has settled very well at big-spending Arsenal and will be crucial for their hopes … but top four is still a far more realistic goal than the title.

Chelsea have added a superstar defender in Kalidou Koulibaly and a consistently elite performer in attacker Raheem Sterling, but will their forward line really produce enough goals to overtake City, who scored 23 more times last season than the Blues? Doubtful.

I think Spurs now have the quality to launch another serious assault on Champions League qualification – but winning would take something truly special from coach Antonio Conte.

As for Manchester United? Well. Christian Eriksen is a superb free signing, Lisandro Martinez is a MUCH-needed centre-back reinforcement, but I’m just not convinced Erik ten Hag can turn around their woes quickly enough to challenge this year. Will they improve on last year’s dismal sixth… my bet is no.

It might be closer this time around, but the top two have such a head start on their rivals – and I don’t see them giving up the top two spots.

That leaves me with this for the Top Six: City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Man Utd.

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CHAMPIONS:

Alex Conrad: Manchester City. The bigger question is, how narrow will the gap be between Pep Guardiola’s side and the chasing pack?

Despite Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko heading out the exit door, the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Kalvin Philipps serves as a stark reminder that City are still the top dogs of the league.

Anything less than the Premier League trophy remaining at the Etihad would be the biggest surprise of the season.

TOP SIX?

AC: Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United (in order)

So Manchester City winning the title is settled, but how will the rest of the top six shape up?

A full pre-season under the watchful eye of Antonio Conte, coupled with some vital additions to the squad, as Tottenham primed for their best season in some time.

You only have to look at the blistering manner in which they finished the 2021/22 season to know what this side is capable of.

Conte is a serial winner and he appears to be the man to elevate Spurs to a new level.

Liverpool will finish behind Spurs, but not by much. A lot of the Reds’ success will hinge on how quickly new striker Darwin Nunez hits the ground running. He could take like a duck to water and ruin this prediction entirely.

Snapping up the final Champions League spot will be Chelsea. It’s not going to be a pretty season at Stamford Bridge and Thomas Tuchel is already under pressure before the first game.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is already under pressure to succeed. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is already under pressure to succeed. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Big-money arrival Raheem Sterling will add plenty of goals to Chelsea, but is it enough to stay in the top three? I have my doubts.

Although Chelsea may be slightly off the boil, they will pip Arsenal to a spot in the top four.

Granted, Gabriel Jesus has been in scintillating pre-season form for the Gunners but as we know, the league isn’t won based off a few friendlies.

But he represents an astute piece of business, as does Oleksandr Zinchenko who can fit in at multiple positions.

A season where Arsenal finishes 5th shouldn’t be seen as a failure, but rather a sign of progress as Mikel Arteta continues to strengthen his managerial credentials.

That leaves us with the final team in the top six: Manchester United.

It’s yet another season of transition at Old Trafford (a penny for every time we’ve heard that since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013) but admittedly there does seem to be a different scent around the club this time.

Erik ten Hag’s no-nonsense personality is exactly what this club needs, but it might not exactly rub well with some of United’s bigger stars. You know exactly who I mean.

The Dutchman will navigate some treacherous waters throughout his first year at the club, but foundations will be put in place for the future.

Can Erik ten Hag prove the doubters wrong in his first season as Red Devils boss? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Relegated: Fulham, Bournemouth, Leeds

ZR: Fulham is the definition of a yoyo club: they’ve been relegated twice and promoted three times in five seasons. So will they bounce right back down? The signs point to yes. Coach Marco Silva is raging at the owners for a lack of transfer action – and fair enough too – with a lack of defensive depth likely to leave them in dire straits if they cop too many first-team injuries. In their favour is Aleksandar Mitrovic and his record-breaking scoring feats in the Championship last season. Should he score even half as many goals as last year, they’ll survive.

Bournemouth are the polar opposite to Forest, stylistically. They favour a well-organised approach. It’s backs-to-the-wall, gritty and often ugly. It was good enough to get them back into the Prem … but I worry that resilience could fade away when faced with the brutal reality of life in the top flight.

Leeds have lost two of their best players in Raphinha (Barcelona) and Kalvin Phillips (Man City). It could prove fatal. Coach Jesse Marsch did well to keep his side in the top flight last year with a final-day reprieve. They’ve kept the mad Marcelo Bielsa pressing approach, but there’s a little more balance now.

So who survives? Well, the surprise would be Nottingham Forest. They play such a delightful brand of football, but will it hold up in the top flight? I’m not convinced. It’s great to have the historic club back at long last, and they’ve made some great signings in Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, and Taiwo Awoniyi to name a few. £70 million on 12 new signings is a hell of a lot for a promoted club, and hopefully money can buy happiness – or safety in this instance.

AC: Bournemouth, Fulham and Leeds go down.

If Scott Parker keeps Bournemouth up, give him all of the managerial awards there are in football.

The Cherries have lost more than they gained ahead of the new season and, to put it bluntly, they simply aren’t good enough to compete. They will come dead last.

As much as Fulham would like to shake the tag of being a yoyo club between the Premier League and the Championship, that reputation is only enhanced even more.

All it takes is for Aleksandr Mitrovic to get annoyed just once and everything will spiral out of control.

If the Serbian striker can’t find his goalscoring boots, the Cottagers are headed for a quick return.

The Premier League is undeniably better with Leeds in it, I will happily concede that.

But losing their two best players in Raphinha and Kalvin Philipps who, let’s face it, were neck and shoulders above the rest of the squad in terms of quality, will be detrimental to their hopes.

Jesse Marsch performed a minor miracle to keep Leeds up last season, but the American doesn’t have enough fairy dust to sprinkle for more magic this time around.

Will Jesse Marsch be able to keep Leeds up once again? (Photo by Trevor Collens / AFP)Source: AFP

Golden boot: Mohamed Salah

ZR: All the talk is about Erling Haaland, and fair enough too – I think he’ll bag a hatful. But Salah needs to fire for Liverpool to have any title hope, and his new contract shows he’s fully committed. His new teammate Darwin Nunez could take some time to hit the ground running, but Harry Kane should certainly feature in the scoring race again.

AC: Since arriving at Liverpool in 2017, Mohamed Salah has ended the season with less than 20 goals just once.

Even then, he was one goal shy of cracking that number in the 2019/20 season.

That’s why it’s almost impossible to overlook him again for the golden boot gong this season.

The Reds have a new-look frontline for the first time in quite a while, but it will do little to stop Salah from finding the back of the net time and time again.

Salah will be pushed harder than ever in this year’s golden boot race, but the Egyptian will go back-to-back.

Mohamed Salah scores goals, plain and simple. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Which team will impress the most:
ZR:Crystal Palace

Last year, they finished in 12th place with 48 points. If that sounds solid enough, consider this: based on expected points (a statistical metric derived from both teams’ expected goals in every game), the Eagles should have finished SIXTH. They’ve lost Conor Gallagher, but they’ve kept just about everyone. I’m predicting a top eight finish.

AC: I never thought I’d see the day when I’d write Crystal Palace and sexy football in the same sentence.

Damn you, Patrick Vieira.

The Arsenal legend took over at Selhurst Park last season and not only slashed the club’s average age, but he revolutionised the team’s style of play from the eyesore brand of football under predecessor Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles ultimately finished 12th last season, but perhaps more importantly Vieira oversaw talismanic winger Wilfried Zaha’s biggest goal return to date, bagging 14 goals to date.

If Zaha maintains that level of performance this season, coupled with star midfielder Eberechi Eze hitting the ground running after a heavily disrupted campaign last year due to injury, Palace have a real chance to shock a few people.

Zaha’s form will be key to Crystal Palace having a good season. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Biggest disappointment:

ZR:

I might be biased against them, but Manchester United.

Unless they can solve the Cristiano Ronaldo conundrum – and soon – his remaining at Old Trafford could prove a deadly blow to the team’s hopes. Having an unhappy player around is always bad. It’s much, much worse when that player is one of the two greatest stars of all time. He was brought in to be a leader and to set the standards for the next generation of rising Utd stars. Right now, he’s demonstrating a very bad example. Erik ten Hag is a good coach with a very gifted squad, with a top four finish not just a hope but an expectation. I’m expecting them to fail dismally … again.

AC: It’s Leicester City’s turn to join the midtable peloton. After years of punching above their weight after that Premier League title win along with numerous European tours, this is the season the Foxes finally lose a bit of steam.

At the time of writing, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has essentially a full deck of cards to work with in terms of player fitness and I could easily be proven wrong.

But as last season showed, it takes just a few injuries to a number of key players to derail things.

A run of three wins in the final four games helped the Foxes to an 8th-placed finish on the ladder last season, but all of those wins came against teams 15th or below.

There’s been an alarming lack of signings arriving at the King Power Stadium.

Everything just seems almost too perfectly set up for the wheels to not necessarily fall off completely, but with significantly more wobbles than usual.

Brendan Rodgers could be in for his toughest season yet as Leicester’s manager. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Who will be the first manager sacked?: Marco Silva of Fulham

ZR: Another one we agree on! His relationship with owner Shahid Khan and his son, Tony Khan, the director of football operations, is already on thin ice. Some poor results early on, or god forbid a Mitrovic injury, and Silva could be first out the door.

AC: Well, with Watford now back in the Championship, I actually now have to give this answer a little bit of thought.

Of course, any answer provided for this question is going to be harsh and perhaps unfair, but someone is going to have the unfortunate honour whether we like it or not.

It’s hard to see anyone else other than Fulham boss Marco Silva being that man.

Silva is already on the record as saying that his overall squad is “not ready” for the upcoming season, especially in the centre-back department where he has just two senior players available.

With fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea in their first seven games of the season, the initial outlook couldn’t be bleaker for Silva.

How long will Marco Silva last in the job at Fulham? (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Predicted Premier League Table:

ZR:

AC: 1: Manchester City

2: Tottenham Hotspur

3: Liverpool

4: Chelsea

5: Arsenal

6: Manchester United

7: West Ham United

8: Aston Villa

9: Crystal Palace

10: Newcastle United

11: Brighton

12: Wolverhampton Wanderers

13: Leicester City

14: Everton

15: Southampton

16: Brentford

17: Nottingham Forest

18: Leeds United

19: Fulham

20: Bournemouth

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