Updated: Oct 3
With under 48 hours until the new Premier League season kicks off, we preview what to expect from the 31st campaign of the most superior football league. Following a most dramatic finale last time out, we are braced for another year of thrills and spills in England’s top-flight.
Here’s what the 365Scores team can see happening in the upcoming Premier League season:
Title race: In terms of top honours, Liverpool and Manchester City are once again the leading contenders to capture the prestigious Premier League crown. One of these two sides has won the league in each of the last five seasons and following their most recent battle in the Community Shield last weekend, managers Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are set to fight it out once more for the ultimate prize in English football.
The Reds came agonisingly close to league glory but a turnaround victory on the final day of last season saw the blues of Manchester celebrate a fourth PL title in five years. The transfer window has seen both clubs bid farewell to key players, particularly in their respective attacking units, as Sadio Mané left for Bayern Munich after six glorious years at Anfield.
Darwin Nuñez completed a big-money move to Merseyside and the Uruguayan striker complements a forward line consisting of the electric Luis Diaz and reigning Golden Boot holder Mohamed Salah. City too have reshaped its attacking line-up with the addition of Erling Haaland who will be of huge significance if Guardiola's men are to mount a successful title defence. With that being said City also lost out on two senior forwards in Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, both of whom have been signed by fellow Premier League clubs.
While there are a handful of teams likely to fight it out for the remaining top-four places, it is hard to imagine anyone other than Klopp or Guardiola hoisting the Premier League crown next May. bet365 have Manchester City at 1.61 to win the Premier League, while Liverpool are 3.50 to prise the trophy away from the Citizens.
European places: Arsenal were left licking their wounds after narrowly missing out on qualification for the UEFA Champions League, but the Gunners will be out to make up for last season's shortcomings. Mikel Arteta has wrapped up key signings in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Man City, where the Spaniard worked with both players during his spell as assistant to Guardiola.
Now with a squad which boasts considerable quality in depth, Arteta will be looking to extract maximum potential from this group of players which has largely been recruited and developed by the current boss. Arsenal are 2.50 to finish within the top four this season.
Chelsea are undergoing a transition period on the field of play as well as in the boardroom. Having already lost out on two senior defenders, and with the possibility of that tally rising to four by the end of the transfer window, Thomas Tuchel's backline is in need of a substantial makeover. The purchase of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli was a sharp acquisition on Chelsea's part however they are still lacking in defence and require another high-profile addition to keep up with the chasing pack.
Meanwhile, in attack, acquiring Raheem Sterling is another shrewd piece of business by the Blues. The England international is an extremely decorated and talented individual and, still just 27, he has the capacity to fill the void of Romelu Lukaku whose ill-fated return to England was underwhelming by anybody’s standards. Chelsea are currently 1.72 to earn a top-four finish, as per bet365.
Leicester City came into last season as the FA Cup holders and with a spring in their step, however commitments in the Europa League and later the Europa Conference League took a toll on the Foxes’ league campaign. Now with no distractions in the form of European football, Brendan Rodgers is eager to revive the team’s upward trajectory following the Northern Irishman arrival at the King Power Stadium in 2019. Leicester are priced 6.00 to claim a top-six finish.
After their worst season in PL history, Man United would imagine they can only go up from here. Last term the Red Devils collected their lowest points total in a PL season (58) and finished further behind the league champions than ever before (35 points). United also conceded its most league goals for 43 years and they leaked four more goals than relegated Burnley.
Now that Erik ten Hag has taken the reigns at Old Trafford he has begun to stamp his authority as he looks to instil direction and discipline to what seemed a broken and divided United squad. bet365 have Man Utd at 2.75 for a top-four finish.
Tottenham have made a statement of intent in the transfer market, so far adding six new faces to Antonio Conte's ranks. Spurs will have to continually shift focus between Premier League and Champions League football although they are now equipped to do so with the signings of Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, and Ivan Perišić.
These players, together with the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, offer serious strength in depth as Conte's men seek to nail down a top-four place and also end the club's 14-year trophy drought. Spurs are 1.61 to finish inside the top four this season.
A promising campaign last time out saw West Ham claim a 7th-place finish as well as a European semifinal for the first time in 46 years. Playing in the Europa Conference League this term may hinder the Hammers' efforts domestically and their best chance of retaining continental football for the 2023/24 season could come in the form of winning Europe’s tertiary club competition.
David Moyes has kept hold of his best players and also added attacker Gianluca Scamacca and defender Nayef Aguerd to the fold. West Ham are 5.00 to end in the top six places.
Mid-table: Aston Villa players enjoyed their first pre-season under Steven Gerrard and the ex-Liverpool and England captain will work towards earning the Villains a first top-half finish in the Premier League since 2011. Villa are priced 6.00 to end within the top six.
Last season Graham Potter guided Brighton & Hove Albion to the club's first-ever top-half finish in the top-flight and he will undoubtedly look to keep the Seagulls flying high. Potter has thus far done a stellar job at the Amex Stadium and bet365 have Brighton listed at 8.00 for a top-six finish.
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira took many by surprise in what was his first year managing in the Premier League. Palace took points from five of the top seven teams last season and Vieira's soaring Eagles are out to build on their 12th-place finish. Only once before have Palace ended inside the top half of the Premier League (2014/15) and bet365 have them at 3.25 to finish in the top 10 this season.
Newcastle's spree in the January window inspired the Magpies to steer clear of the drop zone after sitting bottom for the entire first half of last campaign. Eddie Howe's troops mustered an 11th-place finish and now they strive for a top-half finish in the first full season of the club's Saudi-led ownership. Newcastle are 3.25 to finish inside the top six.
Since returning to the Premier League in 2018 Wolves have finished in the top 10 three times out of four. Question marks remain over the future of Rúben Neves who has been crucial in Wolves’ midfield for the last five years. Bruno Lage's team are 3.40 to finish in the top half this season.
Fight against relegation: There could be as many as seven teams involved in the scrap for Premier League survival.
PL returnees Bournemouth are back after two years away and manager Scott Parker has a huge task on his hands. Bournemouth have an inferior squad in comparison to most other teams and they may seriously battle to stay up come the late season run-in. According to bet365, the Cherries are favourites to be relegated (1.44) and to finish bottom (2.37).
Christian Eriksen was vital in Brentford’s second half of last season and losing out on a player of his ilk could deal a massive blow to Thomas Frank’s team. That, together with the well-known phenomenon of second-season syndrome, may potentially spell danger for the Bees. Brentford are 3.40 to succumb to relegation and 10.00 to finish bottom of the pile.
Everton remain in limbo having avoided the drop by just four points last term. After a relegation scare too close for the club's liking, Frank Lampard has his sights set on reviving the Toffees and steering them up the table. The departed Richarlison leaves a gaping hole in the camp and they are 4.33 to be relegated to the Championship.
For newly-promoted Fulham, this is the third time since 2019 they have risen to the top of the English football pyramid. Aleksandar Mitrović netted a record 43 goals as the Cottagers won the 2021/22 Championship, however the Serbian striker has amassed just 24 goals in 104 Premier League appearances. Fulham are 2.25 to go down and 7.50 to finish last.
Leeds Utd survived relegation by the skin of their teeth, finishing only three points above Burnley. They have also parted ways with two of their best players after Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips left for Barcelona and Man City, respectively. Jesse Marsch's five new signings are each aged 25 or younger and they are all unfamiliar with Premier League football. Will they be able to jell and keep Leeds up? The Yorkshire side are 3.25 to fall into the Championship.
PL newcomers Nottingham Forest return to the big time following a 23-year hiatus. Forest endured a meteoric rise after Steve Cooper took over at the City Ground last September and now the Tricky Trees have welcomed 11 new signings this summer, including Jesse Lingard and Neco Williams. Forest will feel they have nothing to lose upon returning to the top-flight, however bet365 have them at 2.20 to be relegated and 5.50 to finish bottom of the table.
Last but not least, Southampton have finished within the bottom six places in four of the last five years. The Saints picked up one win from March until the end of last season and conceded 30 goals in their last 12 league games; only Watford let in more goals across their final dozen matches. Southampton are 4.00 to go down at the end of the season.
How the Premier League table could look come May 28th, 2023:
Over and above the playing and managerial staff in the league, there have also been changes amongst match officials as Martin Atkinson, Mike Dean and Jon Moss all called time on their professional refereeing careers. In addition, ex-referee Mike Riley left his post as general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) after 13 years in the job and it has been widely reported that another former PL referee, Howard Webb, is set to take up a major role with the organisation.
Riley was tasked with the implementation of the video assistant referee (VAR) system in the Premier League in 2019 and his resignation came amidst a flurry of complaints, especially surrounding the efficacy of VAR in England. Webb, meanwhile, has been head of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) in Major League Soccer (MLS) since 2017.
Leave a comment with who you think will emerge as Premier League champions, as well as top-four finishers and which three clubs will succumb to relegation at the end of the 2022/23 season.
*All betting odds are accurate at time of writing.