In a shameless rip off of the experts at the Guardian, we fancied having a go at predicting how this new Premiership season will go.
Bearing in mind that we know nothing about anything, here are our 2015-16 Premier League predictions…
- Title winners – My heart’s saying Arsenal buy my head’s saying Manchester City, so I’ll go with City. It will be very, very close though this season, especially with Man United and Liverpool splashing some serious dollar.
- Relegated – I can see Norwich really struggling and Watford not fairing much better. There are half a dozen other teams who could well join them but I think it will be Leicester City who take the plunge.
- Player of the season – The likely candidates (Hazard, Aguero, Costa) will leave a mark but I think this will be the season we finally see the real Mesut Ozil step up and show everyone what a talent he is.
- Surprise of the season – Bournemouth finishing in the top half of the table. You heard it here first.
- Signing of the season – A lot has been made of City’s signing of Sterling, but signing Memphis Depay could be exactly what Man United need. Like Di Maria, but with balls and hunger.
- Young player of the season – After a lacklustre season last year, Luke Shaw should cement his place in the Man United and England first XI.
- Least excited about – Watching Chelsea and listening to the river of drivel come out of Alan Shearer‘s mouth on Match of the Day.
- Most excited about – Seeing Walcott get played in his preferred central striker role for a run of games, and the sheer joy if LVG crumbles in his second season.
- Title winners – As much as I’d love to see Arsenal finally mount a serious challenge, it probably has to be Chelsea. The only slight hitch might come if 45-year-old Diego Costa (there’s no way that guy is in his mid-twenties) gets injured, as Falcao’s dodgy year in Manchester doesn’t inspire huge amounts of confidence.
- Relegated – Leicester, as Ranieri seems a bit too all over the place; Sunderland, as they were terrible last year and I can’t see them improving; and Watford, as a promoted team has to go down, surely?
- Player of the season – A close call between Petr Cech, who will transform the Gunners and ensure the title race is the closest in ages, and Harry Kane, who will prove he is no one-season wonder.
- Surprise of the season – I think (and hope) that Bournemouth will bring their swashbuckling style of attacking to the top division and achieve a comfortable mid-table finish.
- Signing of the season – As per my previous answer, Cech will prove the greatest bit of business Arsene Wenger could have hoped to do this summer, but for the sake of variation I’ll say Nathaniel Clyne. He’s a vast improvement on Glen Johnson and should bring some much needed attacking flair to Liverpool’s defence.
- Young player of the season – If (and it’s a very big if) he stays at Everton and plays every week, John Stones will shine and cement a starting place for England at the Euros next summer. If he goes to Chelsea, he’ll be one of their standout performers in the League Cup and make about 9 league appearances (6 as a substitute).
- Least excited about – Seeing Man United start to be good again.
- Most excited about – Apart from seeing an Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook-inspired Leeds finally make their return to the big time, I can’t wait to watch Arsenal‘s attacking options in full flow. Oh, and seeing a wide selection of expressions from Phil Jones.
- Title winners: Chelsea – like a sober guest at a boozy dinner party, relentlessly banging on about kale and their new cycling helmet whilst everyone else drowns in an orgy of camembert and merlot, they have the staying power.
- Relegated: Leicester, Norwich, Watford – Leicester had a funny old season with some amazing highs (remember the 5-3 win over Man United), but this time round I think they will be heading Championshipwards alongside Norwich and Watford, both of whom will struggle.
- Player of the Season: Mesut Ozil – with his first proper pre-season under his belt, I’m backing the German to really shine this campaign.
- Surprise of the Season – Bournemouth to finish in the top ten.
- Signing of the Season: Raheem Sterling – now he’s been at the honey & lemon he’s miraculously recovered from the illness that stopped him training with Liverpool pre-season. If he can recapture his most scintillating form he’s a sure bet for a hatful of goals and assists.
- Young player of the Season: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – his goal against Chelsea in the Community shield showed what he’s capable of. If he can stay fit and get ahead of the glut of Gunners’ midfield talent then he could really prove his worth.
- Least excited about – The torrent of bullshit that is Transfer Deadline Day, as Jim White tries to pretend Stoke signing a 37-year-old right-back on loan from Sporting Dildo is the most exciting thing he’s ever heard.
- Most excited about – The continuation of Brendan Rodgers’ hilarious, David Brent-esque philosophising.
Check back at the end of the season to see how wrong we were!