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The National Student Sports Writer's Premier League Predictions 2018/19

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The wait is almost over! The 2018/19 Premier League season is nearly upon us and five of our sports writers from the National Student’s Sports Section have given their views and predictions for what is expected to be yet another enthralling and entertaining Premier League campaign. Let’s take a look at what we have all predicted for the new season: 

 

Oliver Thomas 

UCFB Wembley - Studying Multimedia Sports Journalism

  

Who will win the Premier League?

Manchester City

Manchester City cruised to claim the title in style last season finishing head and shoulders above all their rivals whilst breaking several Premier League records along the way. I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to only get better. The addition of Riyad Mahrez will add even more competition to the plethora of attacking quality they have. I also expect Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to stand out once again this campaign. I predict the reigning champions will retain their title – something which hasn’t been achieved since 2009.

 

Who will make the Top 4?

Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs

Both Manchester City and Liverpool have strengthened well this transfer window and have squads that will compete for the title, so I see no problems for either side making the top four. Chelsea have hired an impressive manager in Maurizio Sarri who will instal an attractive philosophy into his team and they have also made three decent signings. Tottenham’s young and hungry squad is still capable of cementing a top four spot, despite Pottechino failing to add to his side. Although there is plenty of optimism surround Arsenal this season, I feel that they may come up short this time around, and with all the negativity surrounding Jose Mourinho and Manchester United during pre-season, and with a lack of stand-out signings, I can see the Red Devils dropping out of the top four.

 

Who will be relegated?

Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, Watford. 

Out of the three promoted sides, Cardiff seem to have the weakest squad lacking Premier League quality players. The likes of Bournemouth and Huddersfield have surprised many in recent years, however, I can’t see the Bluebirds making any great escape this campaign. I also feel that Huddersfield may suffer from second season syndrome this time out, with a squad that failed to improve greatly over the summer. Watford are the final team I can see struggling. Losing Richarlison was a blow, but despite receiving around £45m, they didn’t really invest with any recognisable replacements. This could be the year we see the Hornets drop down to the Championship.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

I’m opting for Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker scored 10 goals in just 13 appearances after joining the Gunners in January as well as scoring 98 goals during a four-and-a-half-year spell with Borussia Dortmund. The 29-year-old is a clinical finisher and has electric pace that will frighten and punish many teams this season. Aubameyang is set to be the focal point in Unai Emery’s attack and if he can hit the ground running early on, he is sure to be in contention for the Golden Boot.

 

Which team could be a surprise package?

Wolverhampton Wanderers  

Both Wolves and Fulham have impressed us all in the transfer market, strengthening their sides in readiness for life in the Premier League. However, I feel that Wolves, in particular, are capable of more than just avoiding relegation. After a remarkable title-winning season in the Championship last year, Nuno Espirinto Santos has bolstered his squad further, making a number of high profile signings once again. Santos has managed to expand the Portuguese contingency at the Midlands club by bringing in the likes of Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio. Wolves also broke their transfer record to sign Spanish winger Adama Traore from Middlesbrough. Exciting times are ahead for Wolves fans and with the squad they now have, Wolves could surprise many this campaign.

  

George Mooney

 Newcastle University - Studying Politics and Media 

  

Who will win the Premier League?

Manchester City 

The start of the new season has undoubtedly ushered in the battle between Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, with both teams looking to battle it out for the trophy. The Premier League title is definitely Guardiola's to lose and all eyes are looking to the Etihad to see how they cope with the pressure. But, with City already claiming world-class talents and impressive tactics, I fail to see how Klopp will pull the rug from underneath Guardiola and claim the title.

 

Who will make the Top 4?

Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs, Manchester United

Liverpool have unfinished business when it comes to the Premier League as well as the Champions League, but despite heading in the right direction, for me, they aren't quite able to trump the best in Europe. I think Tottenham will surprise a few people this season. Despite not making any signings this summer, I think the team will come back from the World Cup with the players who will be hungry to prove that no new talent was needed anyway. Manchester United have surprised a lot of people this transfer window after failing to make any big-name signings, but I think Jose Mourinho will be able to squeak a top four finish with the players he already has.

 

Who will be relegated?

Cardiff City, Watford and Bournemouth.

For me, Cardiff have already been relegated. Looking at the other promoted teams, in the transfer window they haven't been able to bolster their side to ensure Premier League safety. The same goes for Bournemouth and Watford as neither side have made the same kind of signings that the teams around them have made. Look at the spending of Everton, West Ham, Fulham and Wolves, I cannot see how they are supposed to stay up without making the same kind of gains in the transfer window as other teams did. I wouldn't be surprised if Crystal Palace look shaky this season either. With an unimpressive transfer window, they may also face a tough relegation battle.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane 

Coming back from Russia with the Golden Boot and missing out on the trophy to Mohamed Salah last season, I can already see how determined Harry Kane is to prove himself once again. I can see Kane raking in the goals this season, but he will be chased all the way by Salah himself as well as Romelu Lukaku.

 

Which team could be a surprise package? 

West Ham United 

Despite making insane signings this transfer window, West Ham's best signing is definitely Manuel Pellegrini. By bringing the Chilean to East London, the club’s board have certainly made a statement of intent. I expect nothing less than a top half finish for the Hammers, with hopes that they will even push the top 6. Fulham, Wolves and Everton have also done incredible business this summer and I believe they will pull out some huge surprises.

 

Keith Watkins

City, University of London - Studying Journalism 

  

Who will win the Premier League? 

Liverpool 

Liverpool will finally end their 28-year League title drought and win the Premier League this season. They acted efficiently in this summer's transfer window, significantly strengthening their areas of weakness. Alisson is a considerable upgrade in goal from Loris Karius; whilst the further additions of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri drastically bolster their midfield and give them much needed squad depth.

 

Who will make the Top 4?

Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal

With their eyes focused on the Champions League, I see Manchester City going far in Europe, but stumbling in the league, allowing Liverpool the opportunity to snatch the crown away from them. Maurizio Sarri will integrate his possession-based philosophy at Cobham, and Chelsea will play free-flowing attacking football again. This will be mainly a transitional season for Chelsea, I expect them to mount a serious title challenge in 2019/20. Arsenal will improve drastically this season. I have a sneaky feeling that they'll win the Europa League too. Manchester United will miss out on the top four this season following the standard Jose Mourinho third season meltdown. Spurs will also drop out of the top four after becoming the first Premier League team ever to not make a summer window signing.

 

Who will be relegated?

Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Watford

Cardiff City will finish bottom of the table as their squad looks a little raw compared to its peers. This summer they have spent the least amount of money in the transfer window between the three promoted clubs. Huddersfield will too be relegated, finding life much more difficult the second time round in the top flight. Watford will be the third team to be relegated, as they will struggle to cope with the loss of star player Richarlison.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane 

Harry Kane will win the golden boot. He has scored at least 20 goals in each of the past four seasons, gradually increasing his tally with 21, 25, 29 and then 30 goals last season. Mohamed Salah's historic goalscoring run last season denied Kane his third consecutive Golden Boot, and the Tottenham man will be back for vengeance this season. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will run him close.

 

Which team could be a surprise package?

Fulham 

Fulham will be this seasons surprise package. The additions of Jean Michael Seri and German international, Andre Schürrle will give the Cottagers quality and experience. Whilst young star Ryan Sessegnon has the opportunity to show his huge potential on a weekly basis in the Premier League this season. At only 18 years of age, Sessegnon contributed with 16 goals and eight assists for Fulham in the league last season. Sessegnon will continue to grow this season by leading Fulham to an 8th place finish while scooping up the Young Player of the Year award along the way.

  

Gaurav Chaddah 

University of Salford - Studying Multimedia Journalism

  

Who will win the Premier League?

Manchester City 

I can’t look past Manchester City to retain the title which they so easily won last season. City might have only added Riyad Mahrez to what is already an outstanding squad, but none of the chasing pack has done anything in the transfer window in my view that’ll enable them to finish ahead of the champions.

 

Who will make the Top 4?

Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs 

Obviously, Manchester City will make the top four, and I think they’ll be followed by Liverpool in second place who, along with Arsenal, who are the only club at the top of the table to have significantly added to their squad. Despite making no additions, I think Spurs will finish third again and mainly due to their strike force I fancy Arsenal to pip fourth spot ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea who could miss out.

 

Who will be relegated? 

Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Watford

I think Cardiff will struggle and I can see them finishing rock bottom. I felt Huddersfield were lucky to stay afloat last season and despite having David Wagner as manager I feel like they might not have enough this season. Finally, I think Watford could find themselves in the last relegation place.  They’ve got away with it for a few seasons now, but I think their constant changing of managers will catch up on them this season.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane

I just can’t see past Harry Kane for this. There is a wealth of good strikers in the league but Kane for me is the best. He was outscored by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah last season, but I think he’ll reverse that this year.

 

Which team could be a surprise package?

Fulham

I think you have to be impressed with the way Fulham have gone about their business this summer with some very impressive signings such as Andre Schürrle, Alfie Mawson and Jean Michael Seri. As we saw last season, once they put a win or two together they can get on a role and I think they could have a very good season.

 

 

Adam Clancy

City, University of London - Studying Journalism

  

Who will win the Premier League?

Manchester City

They broke all kinds of records last season under Pep Guardiola, arguably the best manager in world football. Riyad Mahrez will provide excellent competition to their already frightening front line options, and their strength in depth over the rest of the pitch will make Manchester City the team to beat again this season.

 

Who will make the Top 4?

Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs, Arsenal

Liverpool will be Manchester City's closest challengers having brought in quality players, including a much-needed goalkeeper. Even though Spurs didn't sign anyone, they have kept their core and in their new home, they will be pumped for the new season. Arsenal may surprise a few people; under Emery, they will be tactically better and have also brought in some quality additions.

 

Who will be relegated?

Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City 

Southampton struggled in front of goal last season and I'm not convinced by their front options for this season to get them the goals they need to push up the table. Huddersfield had a remarkable season but I'm not sure the quality all over the pitch is good enough this time around, especially since clubs are buying top quality players in and around them. Cardiff has only really bought in Championship quality players and overall, they will have to rely on their strong defensive unit to have any chance.

 

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Harry Kane 

Harry Kane. Who else? He shoots more often than most strikers and claims goals that are not his! He is capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch and always has the hunger to score more than his challengers.

 

Which team could be a surprise package?

West Ham United

West Ham has done some incredible business this transfer window and I think the Hammers have the potential to really push for the top six. After a disappointing campaign last season, Pellegrini's men will look to please their demanding fans this season by taking a European spot.

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manchester_City_pitch_invasion.JPG)

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