My League Predictions For The 2018/19 Premier League Season.

20th – Cardiff City: Probably the weakest team in the Premier League overall and Neil Warnock has a bad record in the league too. They’ve made some decent signings in Harry Arter and Bobby Reid but I’d be shocked if they managed to stay up.

19th – Southampton: Really surprised at how much they’ve declined in the last few years. The current squad is the weakest it’s been for a while and Mark Hughes is a bad manager. Most of their signings have been average at best.

18th – Huddersfield: They were close to being in the bottom three last season and think they’ll only just get relegated this time around. Some players will do really well (Like Mounié and Kongolo), but most will be bad.

17th – Watford: The Hornets were pretty inconsistent overall last season but they should be safe. Not the biggest fan of Javi Gracia as a manager but their starting squad looks good, Gray will need to step up.

16th – Newcastle: Pretty much the only reason I have Newcastle here is because of Rafa Benitez, a fantastic manager that deserves so much better (as well as the fans). The squad is pretty poor but it’s good in some areas. Wouldn’t be surprised if they stayed up.

15th – Bournemouth: Pretty decent side with a pretty decent team. Don’t think their squad is good enough to push for a top 10 spot but their position in the league should be safe.

14th – Brighton: Expecting a solid season for the Seagulls. Great manager, good team and a pretty good transfer window. Pascal Groß will definitely establish himself as one of the top players outside of the top 6 clubs.

13th – Burnley: After overachieving heavily last season I’d be shocked if the Clarets got close to their achievements from last season. Still a good squad with a very good manager. Should progress to the groups of the Europa and maybe even reach the knockout stages.

12th – Crystal Palace: I’ll admit I was completely wrong about Palace appointing Roy Hodgson. He’s been fantastic with the Eagles and they should have a good season. A really good transfer window too bringing in Ayew+Meyer along with keeping Zaha.

11th – West Ham: Some very good signings but also some signings I think will end up being pretty bad. A decent first season for the Hammers under Manuel Pellegrini, big improvements from the antics from last season.

10th – Wolves: Predicting a really good debut season for Wolves. Making too many signings could unbalance the squad but they should be fine. Midfield looks amazing but attack is a slight worry – particular their options at striker. Diogo Jota to be a contender for YPOTS.

9th – Fulham: Expecting a very similar season to Wolves, great team on paper but a few too many signings could be a worry. Overall, I think their squad is slightly better than Wolves. Like with Jota, Ryan Sessegnon will have a fantastic season and be a contender for YPOTS.

8th – Leicester City: Another good season for the Foxes, their defensive options are fantastic and the overall squad looks really good too – should push for a top 7 spot. Unsure about the wingers though, don’t think either Gray or Ghezzal will be that good.

7th – Manchester United: Watch this come back to haunt me, United have a really good team but I don’t think Mou is the right manager to get the best out of them – especially with his “third season syndrome”. With most teams around them strengthening, I expect a bad season for Utd.

6th – Everton: I’ll admit I’ve had a big turnaround towards Everton this past week. Zouma and Mina *should* solve their defensive issues and I think Digne/Gomes have a lot to prove after poor spells with Barca. Marco Silva should get the most out of them. Front three looks class.

5th – Arsenal: I’m not quite sure how but the Gunners defence has gotten much worse in the last twelve months. If these areas were properly strengthened they could challenge for the league, but they’ll leak too many goals and it’ll cost them. The attack is one of the best though.

4th – Tottenham: They may not have bought a player this summer, but they’re still a fantastic team with a fantastic manager. Lack of signings should harm them in the long-run but they should have another good season.

3rd – Chelsea: I’m expecting the Blues to adjust to Sarri’s system rather quickly. Will sacrifice UEL in order to finish in the top four. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was Eden Hazard’s best season yet at Chelsea. Great start to build on this in future.

2nd – Liverpool: This seems fairly obvious, along with my pick to win the league. Liverpool’s squad looks fantastic and they should do well in all competitions this season. Serious questions probably need to be asked if Liverpool don’t win a trophy this season.

1st – Manchester City: Well… absolutely no surprises here. The Citizens have the best squad as well as the best manager in the league, I’d be shocked if they failed to win the league this season.

 

5 Under-23 players to look out for in the 2018/19 Premier League season.

The wait is almost over, after months of patience and anticipation we’re just under a week away from the return of the Premier League. With the summer transfer window also concluding in the coming days, now seems the perfect time for fans from across the globe to cast their predictions ahead of the new season. If you’re eager for my thoughts you’ll have to wait a little more, but for now here’s my perspective on five under-23 players you should look out for ahead of the new season.

5) Matteo Guendouzi | Club: Arsenal | Position: Midfielder | Age: 19

After Arsenal announced the signing of Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient, I don’t think anyone could have imagined that the 19-year-old would hit the ground running so quickly. While he has only featured in preseason fixtures, Guendouzi has typically been one of the best players on the pitch and looks set to make his debut for the Gunners on Sunday against Manchester City.

Overall, Guendouzi has a good reading of the game and also looks very composed when on the ball. His movement on the pitch also looks impressive thus far with him always trying to create a passing option for a teammate. In addition, his passing during preseason fixtures has also been a joy to watch. Similarly with Granit Xhaka, the 19-year-old can always play a simple pass but he also has the intelligence and technique to produce a long pass that puts a player further up the field through on goal.

When he’s played, Guendouzi has helped balance the team and will likely get a lot of opportunities with the first-team during the season – especially with Arsenal contesting in the Europa League once again.

Matteo Guendouzi

4) Issa Diop | Club: West Ham | Position: Defender | Age: 21

Out of all of the players that West Ham have signed this summer, Issa Diop could definitely go on to become the best of the lot. After last season’s antics, the Hammers needed to bring in a top defender and they couldn’t have done much better than signing Diop.

Despite his young age, Diop has had a pretty successful career thus far. The Frenchman has played an integral role in the heart of the defence for France at youth level as well as for former club Toulouse where he made 85 appearances for the club and captained the side last season.

With a host of top European clubs previously interested in the defender, West Ham inherits a top prospect that should bolster their defender for years to come. As you’d expect from a 6ft 3in defender, Diop is an imposing figure and also strong in the air, yet he’s also comfortable on the ball and can help West Ham build-up play from the back.

I expect the 21-year-old to be one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Hammers, and it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts to life in the Premier League.

Issa Diop

3) Ryan Sessegnon | Club: Fulham | Position: Wide Midfielder| Age: 18

In case you didn’t know, Ryan Sessegnon is only 18-year-old! Be prepared to hear that statement on numerous occasions from commentators this season. Sessegnon is arguably the most exciting player coming from England and the praise he’s received is certainly justified.

Similarly, with Diop, Sessegnon is no stranger to first-team football like most young players and has shown tremendous loyalty to Fulham in the last two years. Sessegnon’s versatility has been significantly beneficial for manager Slaviša Jokanović. Despite initially playing as a left-back, Sessegnon has also flourished as a wide midfielder as well as a winger – both on the left flank.

Assuming the young Englishman will take up the left-wing spot for Fulham this season, it’ll be exciting to see how he links up with new recruits Aleksandar Mitrović and André Schürrle in attack. It’s fair to say that Fulham will have a very underrated attack next season and Sessegnon will be integral to this.

Ryan Sessegnon

2) Ben Chilwell | Club: Leicester City | Position: Left Back| Age: 21

And here we are now with a natural left-back and yet another Englishman. In a league that lacks top performers in the left-back position, this season could be the perfect opportunity for Ben Chilwell to establish himself as one of the best players in the league in this role.

Although the 21-year-old has typically lacked game time for the Foxes, he finally became their first-choice left-back towards the end of last season, replacing Christian Fuchs until he was forced out of the squad with an injury in May. With the latter slowly declining, now is the perfect opportunity for Chilwell to get the consistent game time that he needs and try to establish himself as one of the best left-backs in the league.

From an Arsenal perspective, I’d absolutely love for us to sign him in next season’s summer transfer window.

Ben Chilwell

1) Diogo Jota | Club: Wolves | Position: Winger/Forward | Age: 21

Last but not least, while most football fans will probably be interested in seeing how Rúben Neves performs for Wolves this season, I’d like to draw your attention to a different Portuguese player who will also be playing at the Molineux Stadium, this season.

For Wolves, the 21-year-old has typically been deployed on the left flank in attack acting as an inside forward but has also played down the middle when Leo Bonatini has been unavailable. On the left flank, Jota likes to cut inside and dribble towards the goal (or produce an opportunity for a teammate)

Last season, Jota scored seventeen goals and produced six assists as Wolves went on to lift the Championship title. While he was unlucky to not be featured in the Championship Team of the Season, you can’t deny the influence he has had on the club. Stepping up now to the Premier League, it’ll be exciting to see how Jota performs against better opposition.

Diogo Jota

Arsenal confirm the signing of Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be around £18 million.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

The 30-year-old started off his senior career as a prospect of the AEK Athens Academy. The Greek defender made his debut for the club in 2005 and went on to make just over 50 appearances for the club. Sokratis has also played Genoa, AC Milan, and Werder Bremen. While his playing time for the Rossoneri was limited, he did earn a medal after the club won the league in the 2010-11 league season.

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