Pre-season predictions are kind of a crap-shoot aren’t they. I think we can all reasonably agree that Liverpool and Manchester City will be finishing top two and if you don’t have Fulham going down, I’d love to read your article previewing a sudden season-long Scott Parker tactical masterclass.
If you’re looking for a well thought out preview, including why Brighton will finish exactly 14th, no higher, no lower, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere (or at least at other articles on this website).
This table is made completely around gut feelings, preconceived biases, coin tosses and good old fashion intuition. Excuse me for taking a page out of the ex-player pundit playbook. Anyway let’s get on with it.
Fulham - 20th: Fulham are certainly not “doing a Fulham” this go around. According to the Guardian they’ve spent around 21 million on 6 players and look likely to retain the core of their squad from last year. Which is the same team that somewhat struggled to get into the Championship playoff last year, mind you. Will be fun to see Mitrović getting sent off for an errant elbow to Harry Maguire’s jaw. The pageantry of the Premier League we’ve all missed.
West Ham United - 19th: As someone who’s watched way too many West Ham games and follows the club closely, what an absolute dumpster fire on rollerskates. Zero signings and rivaling Newcastle for current worst owners in the Prem. I believe this is the year that the Olympic sized hole in this ship finally sinks it. Could be even uglier if they decide to sell Declan Rice to Chelsea around the transfer deadline. God I miss Upton Park. #GBSOUT
West Bromwich Albion- 18th: Slaven Bilic has done a great job with the Baggies but just don’t think their mostly unchanged Championship side has enough in them to finish outside of the relegation zone. I don’t have anything really fun to say about West Brom. Has anyone from England gone on holiday to West Bromwich? What do you like to do there? Please let me know in the replies so I can get my holiday sorted.
To me at least, picking 17-10 is like picking numbers out of a hat so I’ll quickly just list why each team could finish 17 or finish 10.
Brighton and Hove Albion:
Why They Could Finish 17 - Never really thought of Brighton as a Premier League club. To me their ceiling always felt more like a nice away day for long suffering Championship sides. Much respect to Neal Maupay for winding up Arsenal last season though. Maybe that’s a sign of growth.
Why They Could Finish 10 - “They’ve got Ben White, mate.”
Why They Could Finish 17 - They’ve got that weird rivalry with Brighton so it would make sense if they finished next to each other right. They’re also not very good.
Why They Could Finish 10 - Wilfried Zaha’s Stockholm Syndrome finally sets in and he decides he actually loves Crystal Palace, playing for Roy Hodgson and finishing mid-table each year.
Why They Could Finish 17: Maybe adapting to the Premier League is a little rougher than we expect. Maybe having only two fit centre backs was a misguided idea. I’d rather just not think about it to be honest.
Why They Could Finish 10: Premier League has to adapt to Bielsa Ball and they just can’t freaking do it. The mighty Whites walk the mid-table and gear up for a run at a Europa League place next season. Radz celebrates by making us wear two red kits next year but we don’t even care, too busy watching Kalvin quarterback England’s midfield during the Euro’s properly pissed off our heads.
Why They Could Finish 17: They were pretty lucky to stay up last year and I would probably have picked them to go down this year if not for the before mentioned dumpster fire on roller skates that is West Ham.
Why They Could Finish 10: Jack Grealish, fresh off his 14 minute debut for England and with his newfound moral superiority complex over his fellow England teammates runs the league absolutely rampant. This obviously gives Southgate the wonderful opportunity to omit him from the Euro squad if only to just watch Birmingham burn. Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins are also both pretty good signings I hate to admit.
Newcastle United -
Why They Could Finish 17: The Club is kind of hanging in limbo at the moment after that wacky (well, more serious than that but we will keep it light) takeover fell through. This finish becomes a lot more realistic if Joelinton continues to play like Joelinton and Callum Wilson is missed for an extended period of time.
Why They Could Finish 10: Allan Saint-Maximin is easily one of my favorite players in the Premier League. I’d go as far to say that wearing a Gucci headband should be a top flight uniform requirement. Just imagine Adam Forshaw wearing one, oh god, now I’m blushing.
Why They Could Finish 17 - Because it feels like they do every year.
Why They Could Finish 10 - Because it feels like they do every year.
Why They Could Finish 17 - The Premier League catches up to the gimmick that is overlapping centre-backs. All good things must come to an end anyway.
Why They Could Finish 10 - How do you stop overlapping center-backs? You don’t, it’s freaking brilliant. Chris Wilder takes over for Pep at Man City and promptly wins the Champions League after the Catalonian returns to Barcelona.
Wolverhampton Wanderers - 9th: FC Porto’s West Midlands offshoot club isn’t ready to make the jump into the top six yet but have another stable season and solid Europa League run. Meanwhile their development of young Portuguese talent becomes a major reason Portugal knocks England out of the quarterfinals of the Euros. Cheers Ruben Neves, sons crying.
Everton - 8th: Carlo Ancelotti did a wonderful job significantly improving Everton’s midfield while blissfully ignoring a defense that shipped 56 goals last season. Worth it to see James Rodriguez strutting around the Hawthorns on a rainy Tuesday night that will end in an uneventful 0-0 draw. What dreams are made of, that.
Leicester City - 7th: Wow, they really blew it last season. Probably won’t be high enough in the table at the end of the year to blow it again this season but maybe that’s a blessing. Would say a European tour would be fun at least too, but considering the state of the world that’s probably out of the question too. Ugh this is a bit grim.
Arsenal - 6th: They seem set to be perpetually good enough to finish fifth or six but not good enough to do much more than that. Should please the #WengerOut crowd. ArsenalFanTV will have plenty of content at least.
Tottenham Hotspur - 5th: Over/Under around October Mourinho calls Dele Alli a twat and it goes viral around this time next year when the next Amazon doc comes out. Their shameless eight hour club commercial still isn’t as good as ours though. ALAW.
Manchester United - 4th: If they finally get Jadon Sancho they could finish third, if not probably around 3-5. Ole’s at the wheel though so you can never count finishing sixth out.
Chelsea - 3rd: They’ve certainly spent a lot of money for Frank Lampard to just get it all wrong. Would be remiss as an American not to say that that Christian Pulisic fellow looks quite the player. Future Ballon d’Or winner perhaps. Carries Lampard and his lot to third at the least.
Liverpool - 2nd: After a stunning first matchweek loss to Leeds, they’ll probably bounceback and do alright. Not enough to win it, but alright enough.
Manchester City - 1st: Pep’s got a new sweater and he’s not messing around. First place seems about right to me. They’ve got a lot of money and play pretty well most of the time. That seems like enough these days.
Do you agree with my predictions? Where do you think Leeds will finish in the 20/21 Premier League table? Let us know @ThruItAllLUFC