It’s that time of year again to make predictions for the 2015-16 Premier League season. In many ways this is a lesson in futility. At the same time, it is always a fun thing to do and interesting to look back on at the end of the season.
Last season’s predictions went fairly well for me, at least in my opinion. I successfully picked Chelsea to win the league and Man City to finish second. I had predicted Manchester United to finish third with Arsenal fourth, so those two were flipped. Five and six I correctly predicted would go to Tottenham and Liverpool.
After that it gets a little bit iffy. I wasn’t one who thought Southampton would go down, but my 15th place pick was off quite a few from their 7th place finish. The rest of my predictions went like this with actual positions listed second:
- Newcastle United – Swansea City
- Swansea City – Stoke City
- Stoke City – Crystal Palace
- Sunderland – Everton (predicted for 7th)
- Crystal Palace – West Ham United
- QPR – West Brom
- Hull City – Leicester City
- Southampton – Newcastle United
- Leicester City – Sunderland
- Aston Villa – Aston Villa
- West Ham United – Hull City
- West Brom – Burnley
- Burnley – QPR
As you can see I wasn’t too far off for a lot of my picks. I got the European places predicted correctly, but then only got one out of the three relegated teams. I did manage to predict Leicester City staying up and picked Aston Villa to finish just above the drop.
For this season there has been quite a lot of movement in the league with transfers that should make it a very interesting year, and make it quite difficult to predict.
With that said here is my prediction for the final 2015-16 Premier League table:
- Manchester United
- Man City
- Swansea City
- Stoke City
- Crystal Palace
- West Ham United
- West Bromwich Albion
- Norwich City
- Newcastle United
- Aston Villa
- Leicester City
Granted, the transfer window has not yet closed, so there could be interesting deals made that either increase or decrease various team’s chances in the 2015-16 Premier League season.
At this point it is very difficult to see Aston Villa being able to stay up for another season. They have already been treading water for several years and have now lost key components with the loss of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph.
Leicester City are another one that could return to the Championship. There has been a whole lot of negative press coming out of Leicester this summer and they will need to start out the season strong.
It’s a bit of a toss-up for the remaining relegation spot. In fact, relegation is perhaps the hardest thing to predict considering how often teams are able to pull themselves out of it in the last month while another team takes a massive dip and slides down the table. Newcastle is just as likely to be sent down as a team like Watford or Bournemouth.
Likewise, the same could be said for Norwich or even West Brom and Sunderland. It will be interesting to see where teams like West Ham and Crystal Palace finish next season. With the new manager at West Ham there could be some changes made, either for the good or bad, it is hard to say right now.
Swansea had a great season last year and will certainly be targeting a finish in a European spot, which is also something that teams like Southampton, Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool will be fighting for.
Liverpool has the unenviable task of playing in the Europa League which certainly hindered Everton last term while Tottenham fared relatively well. In fact, without the Europa League for them this season Spurs could kick on and push for a top four finish.
In the top four each of the big three clubs in the league have strengthened, while Man City has also added a bit of English talent to their ranks in hopes of meeting quotas. It will be a very close race for the title this season as I see Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City all fighting to finish at the top this year.
Ultimately I do believe that the positive changes being made at Manchester United and Arsenal have them as contenders for the title, but Chelsea remain the strongest team in the league at this point. For additional honors there are other trophies up for grabs this season.
FA Cup Winners: Tottenham Hotspur
Capital One Cup Winners: Liverpool
Whether or not Tottenham actually target winning the FA Cup is a question, but considering that they have depth of talent and no Europa League trips to contend with they can certainly go all out on a trophy run this season.
Liverpool should also be targeting a trophy and the Capital One Cup is an excellent goal for them to reach for to kick start this team towards success.
Champions League Winners: Barcelona
Predicting the Champions League winner is such a difficult thing to do, however, with Pep making changes at the club and trying to inject fresh talent, they are a team that will definitely be challenging for the trophy. I am predicting a Bayern Munich v Barcelona final, but with Barcelona pulling off the first back to back Champions League win. They have the best team in the world right now and will be able to strengthen further come January (not that their so called transfer embargo has meant anything at all).
That wraps up another year of Premier League predictions in pre-season. With kickoff of the 2015-16 EPL season a little more than two weeks away, there is plenty of excitement for all of us fans.
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