Premier League 2016/17 Season Preview
With the season fast approaching we at BT Sport are going to go through our usual EE Premier League preview with predicted finishing positions as well as last season's position and which key signing and key man to watch out for.
Predicted Position: 1st
Last Season: 1st
Key Signing: None
Key Man: Diego Costa
Chelsea won the title last season and despite not signing anyone they must surely be the favourites for the title again this season. Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard are going to be very, very important this season but we can not look beyond the London side although we think they could have done with a signing or two.
Predicted Position: 2nd
Last Season: 2nd
Key Signing: Sergi Samper (£31,500,000 From Barcelona)
Key Man: Falcao
Man Utd lost out last season by 6 points but unlike Chelsea they have strengthened over the Summer. Sergi Samper is an unbelievable talent and his signing is surely going to bring Manchester United closer to Chelsea again. It is going to be a tough season for United but they can win the title. Falcao did not have the best second season at United, so if he can find his form again, then he will have a chance at firing United to the title again under new boss Jurgen Klopp.
Predicted Position: 3rd
Last Season: 3rd
Key Signing: Erik Lamela
Key Man: Sergio Aguero
Manchester City manager Unai Emery thinks he has the squad to win the title this season, but we disagree. Yes they have got better but Chelsea are still amazing and Man Utd have made better signings in our opinion. In Erik Lamela they addres the lack of world class midfielders in the squad and he will bring quality to them. Lemela will be instrumental in how Aguero performs this season. The Argentine needs to have great service to pump in the goals and this will interesting to see how he can do this season but he needs a better one than last season that is for sure!
Predicted Position: 4th
Last Season: 5th
Key Signing: Mohammed Salah (£16,000,000 From Chelsea)
Key Man: Mesut Ozil
This season is going to go either way for Arsenal, twice now they have been up there challenging at Christmas but both time they ended up out of the top 4. This time though with a new manager in former Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini and the signing of Mohammed Salah should help them achieve Champions League football this season. It will all depend on the style that Pellegrini wants to play with Arsenal but we think they could do it. It also is very important for them to hold on to key man Mesut Ozil, Ozil is wanted by Juventus and THAT will be a big decider in what happens at The Emirates.
Predicted Position: 5th
Last Season: 6th
Key Signing: Lucas Digne (£10,500,000 From P$G)
Key Man: Mauro Icardi
Tottenham under Josep Guardiola looked a different side last season and the fans love him. He has used his money to spend well bringing in Lucas Digne from P$G for £10.5m and with Icardi banging in the goals for fun last season we see Spurs challenging for the top 4 this season but only just missing out. If Arsenal were to lose Ozil though, then they could sneak it but for now we will go with 5th.
Predicted Position: 6th
Last Season: 4th
Key Signing: Andros Townsend (£5,250,000 From Tottenham)
Key Man: Romelu Lukaku
Everton, despite finishing 3rd and 4th in the last two seasons Everton are still predicted to finish outside the top 4 despite signing Andros Townsend from Spurs and the manager Ronald Koeman thinks they can even challenge for the title but we do not agree.........yet. It will depend on whether Lukaku can perform to the same standard as the last two seasons. We think that the best they could hope for is 4th again.
Predicted Position: 7th
Last Season: 7th
Key Signing: Javi Manquillo
Key Man: Raheem Stirling
Liverpool had a half decent season last season under manager Sami Hyypia but again there lack of transfer activity is going hurt them this season although the signing of Javi Manquillo at right back is going to be a great piece of business but unfortunately for Liverpool they struggled to score last season and ultimately that will be what will hurt them this season, so that is why they will be behind Everton again this season.
Predicted Position: 8th
Last Season: 10th
Key Signing: Salomon Rodon (£39,500,000 From Tottenham)
Key Man: Jack Grealish
Aston Villa are team on the way up. Manager Paul McGrath has been building a team of young and talented players in the bid to have them grow up together and then launch an attack on the Premier League elite. The key this season for Aston Villa will be getting new signing Saloman rondon settled in from Tottenham. The Venezuelan scored 27 goals last season for Spurs but with them missing out on Europe McGrath swooped and got his man to join other new signings Salvatore Sirigu, Steven Caulker and Ludovico Bastienelli Villa will hope to challenge for the top 6 this season but we think that they need just one more season to be ready but a comfortable top 10 is on the cards.
Predicted Position: 9th
Last Season: 9th
Key Signing: Pajtim Kasami (£3,800,000 From Olympiakos)
Key Man: Jordan Ayew
Stoke are the complete mid-table team! They are always doing just enough to finish in the top half and are actually quite a boring side to watch, that is except Jordan Ayew. The Ghanian international has bundles of skill and is a very technical player but the question will be can they hold on to him? Manchester United and Chelsea are said to be chasing him but he has said that he will see out his contract at Stoke but if they want to hold on to him then Kasami is going to be a very important cog in the system for Stoke if they are to finish in the top 10.
Predicted Position: 10th
Last Season: 11th
Key Signing: Abel Henandez (£5,250,000 From Hull)
Key Man: Tim Krul
If Newcastle are to achieve a top 10 finish like we think they can this season then it will really come down to whether Tim Krul can get back four that he trusts. The talented Dutch keeper is rated as one of the best in the Premier League but with a defence that is very old they need to make sure they concentrate so that Franco Di Santo and new signing Abel Hernandez, a big money signing from Hull will hope to fire in the goals to hopefully fire Newcastle to the top 10.
Queens Park Rangers
Predicted Position: 11th
Last Season: 9th
Key Signing: Admir Mehmedi (£2,200,000 From Monaco)
Key Player: Jordan Mutch
Q.P.R will be looking to continue the way that they finished last season by targeting another top 10 finish but with Q.P.R signing Admir Mehmedi from Monaco, they have a great chance of hitting the top 10 again then they need Mehmedi to hit the goals as Q.P.R could not find a way to score many goals last season but one stand out performer was Jordan Mutch. The English midfielder has made Roy Hodgson's England squad on 3 occasions but has yet to make the step up and win his very first cap. We see mid-table mediocricy again this season.
Predicted Position: 12th
Last Season: 17th
Key Signing: Dominico De Migilo (£600,000 From Cosenza)
Key Man: Nathanial Clyne
We are saying that last season was an unfortunate blip for Southampton because they should be a lot better than 17th and some pundits including our very own Paul Merson think that Southampton should have gone down but they stayed up......JUST and this season will be consolidation for The Saints but being penniless have not been able to buy and could have to sell some of there star players because of being in such bad financial difficulty. If they can hold onto there players then they can avoid relegation with ease. Nathanial Clyne is definitely going to be the key for The Saints.
Predicted Position: 13th
Last Season: 12th
Key Signing: Michael Hector (£3,700,000 From Reading)
Key Man: Nathan Dyer
Swansea City perfomed really well last season but are predicted to stay around the same position. Michael Hector will add some steal at the heart of the Swansea defence and it will be down to Nathan Dyer to provide the service for the guys up front but unfortunately he is wanted by the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Celtic so it will be upto Swansea to keep a hold of him and then Swansea could well finish slightly higher up than they are predicted.
West Bromwich Albion
Predicted Position: 14th
Last Season: 14th
Key Signing: Billy Jones (£2,500,000 From Sunderland)
Key Man: Brown Ideye
West Brom were middle of the road last season and we do not see it changing again this season. They have just not signed enough quality in comparison to the rest of the teams in the Premier League but again they should have enough quality to stay up this season but as we found out with Southampton last season they could be the team to face the biggest struggle. Brown Ideye though is one player who has not performed well since moving to West Brom but could well be the match winner for them this season.
West Ham United
Predicted Position: 15th
Last Season: 13th
Key Signing: Gregory Van Der Wiel (£4,800,000 From Aston Villa)
Key Man: Mauro Zarate
West Ham are a side down the bottom reaches of the table that have added genuine quality to there squad. Former Villa right back Gregory Van Der Wiel has signed from the Midlanders in search for regular football and he could well be the guy to supply Andy Carroll and Mauro Zarate the balls for them to score. Zarate scored 14 times last season and if he can repeat that with Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll also chipping in, this should be a better season for The Hammers.
Predicted Position: 16th
Last Season: Champions Of Championship
Key Signing: Dele Alli (£3,500,000 From Charlton)
Key Man: Cauley Woodrow
Fulham are back in the Premier League after just one season out and we think they will stay up this season too. They finished as Champions of the Championship and will really need new England star Cauley Woodrow to show his class on the biggest stage this season. The signing of 20 year old Dele Alli from Charlton will also be pivital as they look to try and stay up. Woodrow, who went to the European Championship, where he has scored twice in his two appearances and last season he scored 24 goals in the Championship and will be looking to score that many this season in the Premier League.
Predicted Position: 17th
Last Season: Promoted via Playoffs Last Season
Key Signing: No One
Key Man: Lukas Jutkiewicz
Burnley, who were promoted via the playoffs last season come into this season with every chance to stay up. They defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 in the Playoff final but there squad looks like a Premier League squad already. With Danny Ings, Kieren Trippier and Lukas Jutkiewicz on there books we think they can just do enough to stay up, but it is going to be close at the bottom.
Predicted Position: 18th
Last Season: 15th
Key Signing: Solly March (£5,250,000 From Brighton)
Key Man: Dan Burn
Wigan had a great season last season but this season we see them struggling. Wigan though have only bought one player for a decent in Solly March from Brighton. The 21 year old has a big price-tag for an untested player in the Premier League. The guy that could have a stand out season is central defender Dan Burn. The Englishman has been tipped for big things and if he has a good season for Wigan then he might move up teams in the league but this season we expect Wigan to get relegated.
Predicted Position: 19th
Last Season: 16th
Key Signing: Jonjo Shelvey (£825,000 From Swansea City)
Key Man: Jordan Rhodes
Last season Forest surprised everyone by staying up but where most teams have gone forward, other than Shelvy and Rhodes, we believe they have gone backwards the most although there fans think they can get into the top half of the Premier League we think they are going to finish almost in last this season. A lot will depend on how good Shelvey is and how many goals Jordan Rhodes and he will need to improve on his 12 goals from last season and will need at least 20 goals we think for Forest to stay up.
Predicted Position: 20th
Last Season: Runners-up in the Championship
Key Signing: Lloyd Dyer (£295,000 From Watford)
Key Man: Adam Hammill
Huddersfield town were the complete shock team of last season. Second in the Championship last season, when favourites to be relegated at the start of last season. Adam Hammill deserves a chance in the Premier League after not being given a shot at Liverpool and although he has played 19 times in the Premier League for Wolves, he will try to take this with both hands and he will have to score for sure if they are to stay up this season. They lack the attacking options to do anything this season but we hope they prove us wrong.