The Premier League is back and ahead of the new season, our writers have made their best efforts to boldly predict the course of the 2021/22 campaign.
From predicting that Sheffield United would be the biggest fall from grace and Timo Werner being backed as signing of the season, it was a fairly mixed bag for our writers last time around, but at risk of making complete and utter fools of ourselves, we are back with out latest predictions for the 2021/22 campaign.
Premier League predictions for the 2021/22 season:
Player of the Season
Harry Diamond: Kevin De Bruyne. The best player in the Premier League, bar none.
Peter Henry: Bruno Fernandes.
Ben Guest: Kevin De Bruyne. I’m going to go for a bit of a boring and perhaps predictable choice and say De Bruyne. The man is pure class and an absolute creative genius. IF Man City sign Harry Kane – and that’s a big if – then his assist numbers could be ridiculous.
Robbie Walls: Bruno Fernandes. It’s likely to be another stellar campaign for Fernandes, whilst at City and Chelsea, there’s simply too much talent to see someone really grabbing all the headlines.
Ste Tudor: Hakim Ziyech. My theory goes like this – Chelsea sign Romelu Lukaku and with the Moroccan enjoying a second season explosion the pair hit it off famously. Ziyech scores 15+ and easily gets into double figures with assists.
Eoin Mac Raghnaill: Mason Mount. I expect the 22-year-old to excel again this season – the promise of a potent partnership with Romelu Lukaku is a mouthwatering prospect.
Best transfer signing:
Harry: Romelu Lukaku could be the difference for Chelsea.
Peter: Tempted to go with Billy Gilmour as I think he’s that good, but I’m gonna go with Danny Ings. He will bag 20 goals if his knees hold up.
Ben: While Romelu Lukaku will fill a glaring flaw in the Chelsea side, I’m going to say Raphael Varane could prove to be better value for money. A proven winner at the highest level and at less than £40m, Man Utd could have bagged themselves a player who could turn out to be as transformative as Virgil van Dijk or Ruben Dias.
Robbie: The one that excites me is Junior Firpo at Leeds United, the former Barcelona man likely to wreak havoc from left-back as part of Marcelo Bielsa’s maverick side.
Ste: Romelu Lukaku. He will transform Chelsea into champions.
Welcome home, @RomeluLukaku9. 💙#LukWhosBack pic.twitter.com/P43CAIVqfU
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 12, 2021
Eoin: Billy Gilmour. A fantastic deal for both clubs. The Scot fits Norwich’s system perfectly and, crucially for The Blues, he’s guaranteed to play a key role at Carrow Road.
Biggest transfer flop:
Harry: Bryan Gil is an exciting talent but will need some time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
Peter: Grealish. I reckon he’ll struggle going from being the main man at Villa to a cog in Guardiola’s machine. Also, I know this will wind up Ste T no end and he’ll launch into a 4,000-word defence of ol’ big calves.
Ben: It will be interesting to see how £100m man Jack Grealish fits into City’s side. Pep Guardiola said his side tried to run with the ball too much at the start of last season and got them to go back to basics as they eventually stormed to the title. Having been used to seeing plenty of the ball at Villa, he’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders to fit into Pep’s style of play.
Robbie: Cristian Romero – Tottenham’s move for Cristian Romero stands out as one that could go either way, the Argentine likely to be under pressure having cost a handsome £47m from Atalanta.
Ste: Josh Sargent to Norwich. Mainly because he resembles a grown-up Todd Flanders.
Eoin: Milot Rashica. I fear that the Kosovan winger – who scored just 3 in 26 for Werder Bremen last season – will struggle to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League.
Golden Boot winner:
Harry: Romelu Lukaku
Peter: Romelu Lukaku
Ben: If Harry Kane gets his move to City, then he should be picking up yet another Golden Boot award.
Robbie: Harry Kane. Whether or not he secures his move to Manchester City, Kane is likely to be the favourite for the Golden Boot, having collected the award last season as well as leading the assist charts. Expect Romelu Lukaku to run him close should his return to Chelsea go through.
Ste: Big Rom
Eoin: Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea. With Harry Kane’s fate as yet decided, Lukaku is the outstanding candidate.
Most improved player:
Harry: Whilst I’m backing Arsenal for another season of struggle, I think Nicolas Pepe could be the bright spark amongst much mediocrity if he maintains the form he showed towards the end of last season.
Peter: Christian Pulisic. I thought it would happen last season and I’m gonna stick to my guns. If he stays fit, he can move into the world-class bracket this season.
Ben: Any kind of form or run of games whatsoever will be a vast improvement for Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman has bulked up over the summer as he looks to rediscover the form that saw him become one of Ajax’s most sought-after players.
Robbie: Thiago Alcantara. The Spaniard came under fire at times last season during Liverpool’s wretched run, yet with the Reds now back to near full strength he should thrive as the creative force in midfield. Holding out a small hope that a beefed-up Donny van de Beek can also recover from his anonymous debut campaign.
Ste: Ziyech obviously, because he’s going to be a Premier League superstar. Can also see Van de Beek finally getting some game-time at Old Trafford and improving from a very low bar.
Eoin: Kai Havertz, Chelsea. After an underwhelming start to life in England the German wunderkind’s exceptional end to last season dispelled any doubts about his aptitude. A stronger second season looks likely.
Biggest fall from grace:
Harry: Southampton’s poor second half to the season, coupled with the losses of Ings, Bertrand and Vestergaard could see the Saints seriously struggle. If Ward-Prowse follows those names out the exit door, Ralph Hasenhuttl could be in trouble.
Peter: Auba. Looked woeful last season after he signed dat ting, and I just think it would be so Arsenal for their highest-paid player to be a bag of sh*t.
Ben: West Ham. The Hammers had a brilliant season last season, but haven’t really kicked on in the transfer market, and the Thursday/Sunday grind of fixtures that the Europa League brings could stretch their squad.
Robbie: West Ham. It’s difficult to see the Hammers being able to repeat their stunning form from last season, particularly with them having to juggle their European commitments. They remain without a recognised centre-forward and perhaps don’t have the squad depth. That could change before the August deadline, however.
Ste: Found myself really rooting for the Hammers last season but they’ll miss Lingard, and unless they sign more quality before the window shuts they might struggle with the extra demands of Europe. Mid-table meh awaits.
Eoin: Bernardo Silva, Man City. Having endured a patchy 2020/21 – followed by a sub-par Euro 2020 – the arrival of Jack Grealish at the Etihad may see Silva slide further down the City pecking order.
One to watch:
Harry: This may be tempting fate, but Naby Keita has been excellent in pre-season for Liverpool. His brittle body makes this one more of hope than expectation, however.
Peter: Francisco Trincao
Ben: Anthony Elanga. The kid has pace to burn and an eye for goal, and with Marcus Rashford out until October, he could be given a chance to impress.
Robbie: Anthony Elanga. May yet go out on loan but has done more than enough to earn a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad this season, having impressed at the back end of last term and throughout pre-season.
Ste: The player to watch is definitely Patson Daka at Leicester. He may not immediately set the world alight but give him time and he’ll bang in goals galore in the Premier League. The team to watch is of course Manchester City. Why would you bother with anyone else?
Eoin: Patson Daka. Daka plays very much in the Vardy mould – a real nightmare for defenders
Harry: If City sign Kane, I can’t see anyone stopping Guardiola’s juggernaut. Without a striker, this season could be the first multi-team title race in a while, and Chelsea could edge it.
Ben: Manchester City
Robbie: Manchester City
Harry: If it hasn’t happened already, this is the season the ‘big six’ officially becomes a top four once again as Tottenham and Arsenal fall further adrift. Leicester will be the nearest challengers, but the top four will be City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United.
Peter: Chelsea, City, Liverpool, United.
Ben: In no particular order, same as last season. City, United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Robbie: Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool (in that order) – In truth it’s hard to look past the same top four from the previous two seasons, with the only real question likely to be who comes out on top in the title race. City have to be favourites, although Chelsea’s signing of Romelu Lukaku could close the gap considerably
Ste: Chelsea first. City second. United third and Liverpool fourth. Another disappointing year for North London.
Eoin: Chelsea, City, United and Leicester – in that order.
Harry: Norwich, Burnley, Watford.
Peter: Newcastle, Watford, Brentford.
Ben: My money would be on the three promoted sides, Norwich, Brentford and Watford. Palace and Newcastle could also struggle.
Robbie: Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton – Burnley’s lack of signings surely has to catch up with them soon, while Newcastle just seem to be a team going nowhere. As for Southampton, the loss of Danny Ings could be huge.
Ste: Burnley have to go down at some point and I’ve a hunch their time is nearly up. If Watford sack Xisco for losing two games on the trot then the Hornets will struggle. After that let’s go for a long-shot and say Wolves.
Eoin: All of the promoted sides – in no particular order.
The club most likely to spring a surprise in the table:
Harry: Aston Villa have lost Grealish, but there looks to be a better balance to the side now. I’m backing Buendia to have a big impact surrounded by a better supporting cast.
Peter: I think Villa will surprise people with how well they do without Grealish. Solid keeper, defence, midfield and a front three of Bailey, Watkins and Ings looks tasty.
Ben: Aston Villa have made some very astute signings, even despite the loss of talisman, Grealish, and they could make a push for the European places.
Robbie: Crystal Palace. With a new manager in Patrick Vieira in tow, Palace have quietly gone about their business this summer and fended off competition to secure some astute signings, notably Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and the loan signing of Conor Gallagher. Having shifted the deadwood and removed some of the ageing legs of last year, the Eagles could surprise a few.
Ste: Would love the answer to be Brentford. The boring option is for Norwich to never really be involved in a relegation scrap.
Eoin: Leeds United. Bielsa’s fearless young side were a breath of fresh air last term. If The Whites can build some early season momentum perhaps they can emulate West Ham’s heroics from last season.
Manager of the Season:
Harry: Probably Guardiola. Yawn.
Ben: I’m going to go for the less than obvious choice of Dean Smith, if he can steer the Villains into Europe. Otherwise, it’ll be the bloke who wins the league.
Robbie: Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds look ready to kick on after an impressive first season back in English football’s top tier, with European qualification an attainable target for the Yorkshire club. The fact that such a prediction can be made is solely down to one man – Marcelo Bielsa.
Ste: Thomas Tuchel.
Eoin: Thomas Tuchel. I almost instinctively typed Guardiola but, having reflecting on the German’s profound impact on The Pensioners towards the tail end of last season, Tuchel shades it.
First manager to get the sack:
Harry: Xisco. Watford change their managers more than their bed sheets.
Peter: Patrick Vieira. Way too much turnover in that squad this summer.
Ben: Watford have a penchant for sacking their managers so Xisco has to be one of the front runners, but if Everton don’t get some results from what looks like a winnable set of opening fixtures, Rafa Benitez could be the first boss to face the chop – the Spaniard already a less than popular appointment.
Robbie: Mikel Arteta – Arsenal are still looking weak in a number of areas, particularly in midfield. The Spaniard has perhaps escaped criticism in recent seasons, but another poor start to the campaign could see him shown the door.
Ste: Xisco or Bruce are contenders given their employers but if the Wolves project collapses post-Nuno then Bruno Lage will be a forgotten man by the season’s end.
Eoin: Inexperienced Watford boss Xisco Muñoz is the obvious answer, but I’ll go for new Wolves coach Bruno Lage. I’m not convinced the Portuguese is the right man to lead the post-Nuno era.
Champions League winner:
Harry: PSG – If all else fails, sign the best player in the world on a free transfer.
Peter: Bayern Munich.
Ben: Lionel Messi’s PSG.
Robbie: Juventus. Can we hope for anyone but PSG? A ‘wildcard’ shout might be Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo is probably getting a little tired of all the attention on a certain Lionel Messi.
Eoin: Chelsea. Not PSG – despite the French superpower’s notable summer acquisitions. I think Chelsea are well-placed to defend their European title.
Got your thoughts and predictions on the season ahead? Drop us a comment below.
Read – Arsenal – Leicester: Premier League Season Preview part one
Read Also – Premier League Season Preview part two: Liverpool – Wolves
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