Who will be crowned 2016-17 Premier League Champions?

 

After a long summer, (especially for England fans!) Premier League football is BACK, and it is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best seasons ever.

With some of the best players in the world as well as some of the best managers in the world now gracing the league, we take a look at the main title contenders and give our predicted final league table.

Last season’s surprise Premier League title winners Leicester City were priced at 5000-1 at the start of the season, so will we get another shock or will the title go back to one of the bigger teams?

Either way, tomwaterhouse.com/soccer has all of the soccer tips and analysis you need to make an informed decision on your bet and hopefully make you some money!


 

Manchester United

A new era has dawned at Old Trafford after what many United fans have considered as two of the most uninspiring seasons in the club’s history.

New manager Jose Mourinho has breezed into the club and has done his main transfer business early with Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitarayan, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all joining the club.

Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly will be deployed in defence, joining the returning Luke Shaw who almost feels like a new signing having missed the majority of last season after a horrific leg break.

With the Armenian attacking midfielder Mkhitarayan and the super talented Paul Pogba pulling the strings in the centre of the park they will be the perfect foil for Swedish goalscoring sensation Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Mourinho’s decision to play Wayne Rooney in his preferred attacking role seems to be the final part of the jigsaw for what will undoubtedly be a strong season for the Red Devils.


 

Tottenham Hotspur 

Although their season fell away towards the end last year, Spurs fans can look forward to another exciting year at White Hart Lane (or at least what’s left of it with the current renovations happening).

A youthful team with a year of experience within the top echelons of the Premier League under their belt, this Tottenham team will undoubtedly be in contention for this year’s title.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t made huge waves in the transfer market this summer but the team has a strong nucleus which meant that he didn’t actually need to.

The arrivals of Victor Wanyama from Southampton to play alongside Eric Dier and Vincent Janssen as cover for Harry Kane are great additions to a squad which only needs minor adjustments from last year.

A little tweaking here and there and Spurs will surely be challenging for the title next May.


 

Manchester City

New manager Pep Guardiola has his work cut out with a team which failed to set the league alight last season after just scraping into the Champions League places.

Guardiola has been busy in the transfer market and has had to invest heavily in young, talented players such as Leroy Sane to add to an ageing squad.

The main problem Guardiola could face is the time it takes for the team to adjust and adapt to his passing style of football.

If the players struggle with his system it would result in a slow start to the season which will ultimately mean that they will be playing catch up for the rest of the campaign.

City fans will have to be patient in the league this season whilst the team get to grips with the new style but they are more than capable of winning a cup, whether it be a domestic one or the coveted Champions League trophy.

Guardiola is fully aware that this team is a project which might not bear fruit straight away and a proper Premier League title challenge in 2017-18 is a more realistic target.


 

Chelsea

Another of the ‘big guns’ with a new manager in Antonio Conte, Chelsea can’t possibly have a season as bad as the last.

Conte knows that he has the basis of a fantastic team and will put last season down to a freak one-off whilst he strives to get players like Eden Hazard and Diego Costa back to their best.

Alongside his established players he has invested wisely with the purchase of gritty Leicester City midfielder Ngolo Kante and exciting forward Michy Batshuayi from Marseille.

Chelsea fans will also be delighted that he has secured the services of long-serving club captain John Terry for another year who will marshal an aging but very experienced defence.

A top four Premier League finish this year is likely, but Conte will have to look at integrating some of their exciting youngsters into the first team this year to replace some of the older players come next year.


 

Arsenal 

It’s always tricky to predict how Arsenal’s season will pan out, but this year could be the first in seventeen years that they finish outside of the top four and therefore miss out on Champions League qualification.

Wenger’s continued reluctance to dip into the transfer market has once again got Arsenal fans calling for his head and he could have big problems if he suffers injuries to his top players.

He will be hoping that the English trio of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck stay fit and new signing Granit Xhaka hits the ground running.

Whilst both Aaron Ramsay and Mesut Ozil had a fantastic Euro 2016, tiredness could be factor for both players and whilst Mr Wenger feels that he has strength in-depth, many speculators would disagree that his squad just doesn’t have enough quality.


 

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s first full season at the club should see Liverpool edge closer to where they want to be and considered a major force once again.

Klopp has worked with the team now since October 2015 and has identified and subsequently sold off those that he considered weak links in players such as Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen.

He has also been very shrewd in the transfer market, reinforcing his team with solid signings with Premier League experience in Saido Mane from Southampton and Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United.

Klopp will also be hoping that Daniel Sturridge stays injury-free for the duration of the campaign and forge a decent partnership up front with Roberto Firmino and/or Divock Origi.

Although Liverpool still have a long way to go in order to break into the top four once again, the signs are there that they are on the right path and it’s only a matter of time before they do.


Here is our predicted final league table for 2016-17

1/. Manchester United

2/. Tottenham Hotspur

3/. Manchester City

4/. Chelsea

5/. Arsenal

6/. Liverpool

7/. West Ham United

8/. Everton

9/. Crystal Palace

10/. Leicester City

11/. Southampton

12/. Middlesbrough

13/. Stoke City

14/. Sunderland

15/. Bournemouth

16/. Swansea City

17/. West Bromwich Albion

18/. Burnley

19/. Watford

20/. Hull City

For more information on what your favourite ex Premier League players are doing now, visit www.premierleagueheroes.com

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