THE PREMIER LEAGUE is just around the corner, and anticipation is growing ahead for the new season.
The new season will begin with the Friday tie between Crystal Palace and Arsenal. It's fair to say that excitement is about to hit a boiling point for football fans.
Every fan becomes the hopeful optimist at the start of the season before their hopes and dreams are smashed into a thousand tiny pieces with the first loss or draw on the opening weekend.
This year, there will be managerial sackings, new signings, flops, new heroes, drama, and much more to unpack during the season ahead.
Here are a few predictions for the 2022–23 season.
3️⃣ days to go. pic.twitter.com/JH5OGNjYYB
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 2, 2022
Premier League winners
Manchester City 1st Premier League winners
Manchester City looks destined to win their third title in a row next year and has added immense quality to their team.
The signings of Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), and Julian Alvarez (River Plate) have all joined a star-studded line-up. It's hard to see anything other than a City treble in May.
Manchester United are the only team in the Premier League era to win the Premier League three times in a consecutive season. Alex Ferguson's side has done it twice. 1999-2001 and 2006-2009.
Pep is an elite manager, and you would not back against the Spaniard joining that elite club alongside Ferguson when the league finishes up.
What could go against them this year is the fact they have signed a number nine.
For years Manchester City has worked with a false 9. The system change is my only question mark
Premier League Champions League places
Liverpool are an excellent side with arguably the best manager in Jurgen Klopp, but it remains to be seen if Liverpool can hit the heights, they did last year by staying in three competitions until May.
The departure of Sadio Mane and the arrival of Darwin Nunez have added an air of unpredictability around the club. Nunez could go on to be a star like Mane was, but nobody, not even Klopp, can guarantee that outcome.
Liverpool must keep Thiago fit for the whole season for a title push. The midfielder's influence will be critical. They will push City close, but City's millions and Pep's rigid structure will be too much, in my opinion.
Liverpool will be a force regardless.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur 3rd
Tottenham Hotspur looks like the only side primed to break the duopoly of the Premier League's best sides,
Antonio Conte is a superb manager who has won titles wherever he has gone, whether in England or Italy. He has the winning formula on his side, but I think that stranglehold will be challenged, not broken, for now.
Spur's innovative business this season means Spurs will become a pain for the rest of the league. Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, Richarlison, and the permanent buy of Dejan Kulusevski improve Spurs immeasurably for the new season.
Who knows? Conte has worked miracles before, and we could be looking at a new Premier League champion come May time, but I wouldn't bank on it for this season at least.
Arsenal's evolution under Mikel Arteta is becoming more and more clear as the weeks pass.
A solid preseason has ignited the belief in Arsenal fans again, and this could be the start where people stand up and take Arsenal more seriously under Arteta.
Arsenal have one of the youngest sides in the league and at times last year were excellent, despite falling to make top four.
With the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Viera, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and William Saliba, you have to believe that they won't blow that chance this year.
Chelsea and Manchester United have too much work to do, and I believe that Arsenal has a free run at the final spot in the top four.
The difference between third and fourth is Spurs have a better manager. I believe this will be the difference next summer.
Manchester United 5th
Manchester United had a horrific season last year; the less said, the better.
The squad last year underperformed to levels unseen at the club, and it's again become a reset at the club.
United are short in several areas and will not have enough to break into the top four despite having a top-class coach.
But let's be honest, some players are not as bad as they showed last year. It got as bad as it got, and I don't think another season like it will suffice under better management.
Next year for United, it will be all about laying down foundations in terms of a structure and identity; for United fans, that may be the most positive aspect of the campaign ahead.
It's a long-term fix, and due to the quality of the players and the upturn which will happen, I think they will get Europa, but that could change if they bring more players in
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 1, 2022
Chelsea has had a weird summer due to Roman Abramovich's departure and the frantic action in the transfer window.
Tuchel has looked like a tetchy figure in the preseason and looks like one of the prime candidates to leave his job this year.
I think Chelsea will have too much for the chasing pack of West Ham, Leicester, and whoever is behind them.
The Southwest London club have too much quality for them, but again it could all change with more arrivals at the at the Premier League club
Fulham are everyone's red hot favourite to back down to the Championship.
Their battle with Norwich to become the Premier League's biggest loser and the Championship's serial champion is a game that I believe will continue.
They are a yo-yo club, and I cannot see that changing under Marco Silva next year.
He won't be sacked more than likely and will end up in the Championship again.
Like Fulham, Scott Parkers' side does not look like a side that will test the cream of the crop in England's first division.
There is not much to say, and it would take a brave man to bat against them going down.
The difference between The Cherries and Nottingham Forest is Steve Cooper, and I'm backing Bournemouth to go back down due to the coaching issues.
Leeds United 18th
I think Leeds will struggle next year under Jesse Marsch. The American isn't a bad coach, but many of that squad are not fit for Premier League despite staying in the league last year.
Marcelo Bielsa was able to maximize the potential out of Leeds, but now that the legendary coach has gone, I expect the work rate to drop. How could it not?
Talent isn't enough. Hard work will push you further, and with both of these aspects gone, it could be severely tested next year with the departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha.
Premier League top scorer Mohammed Salah
Last year Mohamed Salah finished on 23 goals and shared the Golden Boot with Son Heung-min from Spurs.
I fancy Salah to win back his crown despite the likes of Erling Haaland entering the league.
Salah has already won three Golden Boots at Liverpool, and I believe now that his contract issues are out of the way, he will return to his early season form from last year.
It looked like Salah's head was elsewhere last year, and his form slipped. I think he could easily hit 30+ now that's behind him.
The signing of the season Gabriel Jesus
I believe that Arsenal has done significant business in bringing in Gabriel Jesus for £45M.
Jesus is guaranteed to get goals now that he will become Arsenal's new number 9.
Arsenal also looks like a side ready to hit the next step in the adventure under Mikel Arteta and Jesus, which I believe will be a massive part of that.
The first three managerial sackings and who I think replaces them.
Frank Lampard Everton
For me, Lampard is nailed to lose his job this year, and I wouldn't back against it being before January.
Everton were horrible last year and have lost players like Richarlison to Spurs. There may be more come to fruition at the end of the window.
The replacements do not move me, and Lampard's record isn't the strongest.
I believe that Lampard eventually gets replaced by Sean Dyche to link up with his former players Dwight McNeill and James Tarkowski.
MANAGERIAL SACKING BINGO - who have you got not finishing the 22/23 season with their current club?
I'm going Tuchel (will probably ragequit rather than get sacked), Rodgers, Gerrard, Lampard and Marco Silva. Everyone else stays at least until the end of the season.
— Lewis 🏴🇮🇪 (@MackayoSaka) July 27, 2022
Jesse Marsch Leeds
For the reasons outlined above, I believe that Leeds will end up near the relegation places, and this will force the owners to act.
I don't know when that happens, but the last thing Leeds fans or management want is to return to the Championship, where they spent so long trying to get out away from.
Marsch, for me, seems like a safe bet to end up on the gaffer scrapheap due to Leeds's talent level.
I think they'll bring in someone like Nuno Espirito Santo to help steer the ship.
Scott Parker Bournemouth
Bournemouth are doomed aren't they. I would be amazed if Scott Parker managed to keep the south coast club up and kept his job this year
Their moves in the market wouldn't move a feather on a windy day and with that they are destined to go straight back down to the Championship to become one of the best sides in the league again, just like Fulham and Norwich are.
I think Parker gets replaced by someone like Roy Hodgson at the end of the season.
Other honourable mentions
Brendan Rodgers Leicester City
Brenan Rodgers, for me is on borrowed time at Leicester City. Speaking to fans at the club, there seems like an inevitable conclusion is coming at the King power
Last year Leicester's stop start campaign didn't go down well with fans and with the potential departures of their best players I'd believe that Rodgers will lose his job this campaign.
Wesley Fofana, James Maddison, Youri Tieleman's potentially leaving any club would affect any club.
They haven't brought anyone in as of 3rd of August 2022.
Rodgers gets replaced by Rafael Benitez
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea
This is a wild one but hear me out first.
Tuchel has had problems with his last two roles in Paris Saint Germain and Borruisa Dortmund. I think he runs into similar issues at Chelsea now that a cloud of uncertainty has come over the club.
The club's transfer business is quite something, and it looks like it's affecting the German already.
It's a left-field one, but I think Chelsea will have a new boss before the year is out.
I would not be surprised if Chelsea's new owners pull the plug and replace the German with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
I also believe Brendan Rodgers loses his job at Leicester City, but that won't be part of the first three and comes after the trio mentioned.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Thomas Tuchel (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)