The Premier League is underway and it was a brilliant first weekend of action. Before the season kicked off Sportscast Jersey asked Jersey based Premier League fans what their predictions were for their respective teams.
We asked them the following:
1. How do you think your club did last season?
2. How has your transfer window been so far?
3. Who will be your key player?
4. What are your predictions for next season? What position and why?
5. Who do you think will win the league?
There have been bold predictions, rants and excitement over the start of the new campaign, and here is what they have said.
Again, please note that all questions were answered PRIOR to the opening weekend!
Arsenal: Max Young
1. I think the FA Cup salvaged our season and really brought a lot of optimism back into the fan base, it’s clear that we were nowhere near the level we should have been all season but in just 7 months, the progress we’ve seen under Arteta means we can at least be optimistic about the future again!
2. So far we’ve signed Willian, Gabriel Magalhães, and made permanent deals for Cedric and Pablo Mari whilst we’ve started to clear out the deadwood and I think there’s plenty more change to come with regards to ins and outs, but hopefully bolstering our midfield is the priority now.
3. Whilst players like Xhaka and Tierney are so important to the team as a whole, Aubameyang is by far the most important player we have. Realistically, we couldn’t sign anyone who brings as many goals to the table to replace him if Auba left.
4. I think we’ll be looking at 4th or 5th next season, we look to be having a great transfer window so far and Arteta clearly has a vision of who he wants and doesn’t want at the club, but there’s still a long way to go and the likes of chelsea aren’t slowing down with their upgrades too – I’ll be happy to see clear progress in the league compared to what we witnessed last year.
5. Man City – I think they’ll want to hit back hard after coming second by such a margin last season, they look to be spending heavily and De Bruyne seems to just be getting better and better. I think it’ll be very tight between Liverpool and City but City will just nick it.
Aston Villa: Bradley Vowden
1. Last year was extremely stressful but post COVID we appeared stronger and with the help of certain other results managed to stay in the Prem by the skin of our teeth.
2. Our transfer window has been a little disappointing but we have just signed a young talent from Notts Forest called Matty Cash and appear to be linked to a few others so fingers crossed
3. Clearly if we can keep hold of Jack Grealish then he will be crucial for us.
4. 40 points is our first target but if we get John McGinn fully fit and one or two morning signings then 10th is possible. Above Leeds is a certainty though!!
5. Man City with Chelsea 2nd and Liverpool 3rd hopefully!
Brighton: Dylan Hopwood
1. Last season was a transition for the club from Hughtons style to potters. Was tough but we finished strongly and with a club record point, so there was positives to take for sure.
2. Been very smart, brought in two out of contract players for next to nothing ( being Lallana and Veltman from Ajax). The club worked hard to keep Dunky and Ben White which is a massive positive. Other than that we’re trying to get a striker and LB which seems to be in the works.
3. Lewis Dunk. He is the current captain and was player of the season last year and I don’t see why he can’t continue is form into the new season.
4. Hopefully improve on 15th from last year. Like I mentioned, last year was the transition period and this season we can build on the foundations from last and push on, I’d say realistically 13/14th but being optimistic I feel we have the quality to break into the top 10.
5. City, closely followed by Liverpool.
Burnley: Matthew Bailey
1. All things considered, very well – I think everyone would agree, finishing top ten in the country is a massive achievement considering our budget.
2. None existent as of yet, but that’s part and parcel of being a Burnley fan – but I’m always the optimist so fingers crossed for something!
3. This is a tough one because for Burnley to maintain Premier League status and to stand alongside some of the best sides in the world, we need every player to be key in their given roles, we certainly can’t afford to carry anyone! However the key player I would choose is James Tarkowski, defending has been key to our recent success and I can’t imagine it will be any different this term.
4. If we keep hold of our top players, possible get a few new faces in and get some of the injured back fit I can see us finishing in a similar position again. On the flip side of that, if we don’t strengthen and we do lose keys players I can see us being in a real dog fight come the end of the season. Currently I predict 14th.
5. I think it will be a closer affair this season with Man City just getting over the line ahead of Liverpool.
Chelsea: Andy Bradshaw
1. Very well considering the club sold their best player, Eden Hazard, and not being able to recruit because of a transfer ban. There is a lot of criticism with the mount Chelsea are spending but with the money received for Hazard and previously Morata, Matic, Courtois and Mata.
2. This transfer has been brilliant and I think their are a couple more players to come as well, a goalkeeper and a centre half. I do feel for the academy players who moved up and impressed last season, it was refreshing to see the youth but a few of them will get much less first-team action this time round.
3. That’s a difficult question with so much talent being added. It’s a toss up, I’m hoping everyone can gel early and probably Kai Havertz is the one I’m looking too most as I really enjoy attacking midfielders who have the ability to score goals.
4. Silverware would be great but I don’t think it will be the league title, I think Man City will bounce back and be champions again. Liverpool runners-up with Chelsea battling for third spot along with Man Utd and Arsenal.
5. Man City
Crystal Palace: Rich English
1. It was a good season for Palace, being out of the relegation battle was nice for once.
2. It’s been very quiet, one signing, Eberechi Eze from QPR, but he looks decent. Palace definitely need a striker.
3. Zaha if he stays.
4. Mid-table again. If Palace don’t sign a striker, they could struggle and be in the relegation fight.
5. I think it will be close between Liverpool and Manchester City, I think Liverpool will win it.
Everton: Garry Lloyd
1. It was a pretty poor season, even by Everton’s standards with the only saving grace being the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. I think the loss to Liverpool’s C side in the cup will be there catalyst for an exodus of players simply not good enough for our side.
2. It’s early days but it looks very positive and seems to be that our ambitions need to match that of the manager. James, Doucoure and Allan would be a start but 2/3 more are needed including a new right back. I think us blues are also keen to see who’s going out the door.
3. I think Allan could be huge if we sign him. Watching clips and games for Napoli last year he has strength and power which we’ve needed in the last few years. I also think this will be a big season for Richardson.
4. Firstly I predict it’ll be one of the best PL seasons of all time with any one of 5/6 that could win it. For Everton a top 4 finish looks out of range but who knows with one or two more signings. A cup would be absolute scenes.
5. As I said above I think it could be any one of 5/6. Liverpool are very strong, City will get closer, Chelsea have recruited well and United too. I haven’t even mentioned Arsenal and Spurs but I think they’ll both come up short. If I had to nail my colours to the mast, I’d say City.
Fulham: Matthew Arter
1. We had a good season last year. Promotion was the aim and that’s what the team achieved. It was a horror show the season before so massive credit to Scott Parker who did a fantastic job to get our confidence back and turned us around so quickly. We had a talented squad for the Championship and at times there was some frustration that we weren’t challenging the top 2 enough, but at the end of the day we got promoted. It wasn’t pretty and nice at times, but we got the job done.
2. We’ve had a positive window so far. The main bit of business needed was to get Harrison Reed back on a permanent, he was a key player for us last year so to get him back was essential. We’ve also made some good reinforcements with Antonee Robinson from Wigan and Mario Lemina from Southampton. The best bit of business however could be keeping hold of Frank Zambo Anguissa. He went out on loan to Villareal last year and had a fantastic season and it looks like he may keep hold of him which would be superb business from us.
3. In defence Michael Hector was a god send last year. He’s one of our natural leaders and will be key for us to avoid the mistakes we made last time. Harrison Reed as already mentioned is key in that defensive midfield role for us And of course up top we have Mitrovic. 26 goals last year and our player of the season. He’s our main talisman and his form will be key to how we perform this season.
4. Most people have written us off due to what happened last time and the relatively short turnaround we have had since the play off final. But being the underdogs suits us, and I think we’ll surprise people this year, Parker knows the Prem well from his playing days. We have a group of players who are all keen to prove doubters wrong. We haven’t had to spend £100mill+ this time around and everything is a lot more settled at the club. I can see us finish in 16th. Nothing flashy and nothing special but enough for us to stay up and build solid foundations for us to become an established premier league side again.
5. It’s hard to see past Liverpool again. They have a very complete squad at the moment who are all in their peak and they’ll be difficult to beat. However it is difficult to retain the league so will be interesting to see how they perform. City look like they’re in somewhat of a transition period but they still have enough quality to mount a challenge. And I think Chelsea with all their new signings could be up there although it may take a while for their team to gel.
Leeds United: Jody Byrne
1. It’s certainly the best I’ve ever seen us play. Bielsa has changed the whole culture at the club and to watch us control possession so well press so high and create various chances so easily allowed me to enjoy watching my team like I never have before.
2. It’s been an excellent window so far, could never have dreamt of us being linked with a player of rodrigo’s quality let alone for us to actually pull it off, I’m sure Koch will be a great addition although I haven’t watched much of him before and we’ve really strengthened the u23’s again.
3. I think Phillips is the most crucial for the team to play our way. The few times he was out last season we didn’t look the same, we need him to sit between 2 cb’s in possession so he can link the ball from 1st to 2nd thirds and this allows our full backs to play higher which always gives us more success. Pablo will have his moments of magic and I think Rodrigo and Bamford will compliment each other really well.
4. Tough to say but I would guess 11th-15th. We broke down a high press well last season and struggled against a low block, I can’t see many teams sitting in a low block against a newly promoted team so I think we’ll create a lot of chances, as long as we have bielsa I think we’ll do alright.
5. Wouldn’t like to predict either way between Liverpool and Man City, 2 great teams and I think the games against each other are a very exciting prospect and will be crucial.
Leicester City: Dom Russell
1. Pretty good, excellent start but we lost some key players to injury and faded badly towards the end. All in all, have to be happy with fifth but with a deeper squad it could have been so much better.
2. Pretty quiet, leaving it late but we have signed a decent prospect in Castagne. Expect a few more, centre back for definite and a winger would be nice!
3. Vardy is always the key player for goals but we really missed Ricardo Pereira with his injury last year and so I will say Ricardo this year, so underrated and expect him to do really well this year.
4. I think Maddison, Ricardo Pereira and Kelechi Iheanacho will all have big impact this year. Top 6 would be amazing, realistically a top 10 finish and a decent run in Europe and FA Cup would be good. I will be posting and say 7th and fingers crossed for better!
5. It will interesting to see how quickly the new signings at Chelsea settle and Liverpool will be strong again but I think Man City will run away with it this year.
Liverpool: Dylan Buesnel
1. 9/10. A very convincing season, the players and manager showed resilience by grinding out games, there were a lot of matches won by one goal across the campaign. Klopp kept us consistent throughout the season helped get us past the slip ups that we’ve around January time. The cherry on the top would have been breaking the numerous amount of records that were on offer.
2. 6/10. This was written when there hasn’t been masses amount of transfer business from Liverpool. As expected Klopp and his data team and found relatively cheap options who fit the system. This is proven with the arrival of Konstantinos Tsimikas, who will be a good backup option for Robertson. Marko Grujic and Rhian Brewster have returned from loans spells after putting in some impressive performances. There are rumours Gini has agreed to join Barcelona and this will confirm the arrival of Thiago but as of yet it hasn’t gone through. The only issue is Gini is physical fit and Thiago isn’t, however, Klopp has shown he can adjust his system each year with us and this may be the next piece in the puzzle.
3. Virgil van Dijk. There are a lot of key players in this Liverpool team, such as Trent and Robertson as they‘re influential at full-back. Firmino is also key with his ability to draw players deeper and create space in behind for the inverted wingers (Salah, Mane). But since van Dijk’s arrival he has been phenomenal, in the last two seasons he is the only player for us to play all 38 games for us. Virgil van Dijk gives a positive directness in Liverpool’s build-up, his long range passes allow him to pick out long diagonal balls to the flanks. He will often find both the full-backs from a deep position, this forces the opponents to move across and this results in space for the attackers to utilise. Virgil van Dijk also has the ability to play it straight into Firmino by splitting the defenders and from their Firmino is in his accustomed false nine position where he can play through the inverted wingers. In defence he is also a man mountain, his speed and strength makes it so hard to get past. He has certainly made the biggest difference since joining Liverpool.
4. In the top two positions alongside Manchester City. I think the top 6 will be closer than ever, everyone has strengthened their teams and the managers have had time to implement their tactics/play style from last season. Chelsea have had a very strong transfer window, it’ll be interesting to see how Lampard sets them up. Arteta has shown his quality as a manager. He has proven himself against big teams and we saw the smartness in his tactics by drawing us in by playing it out of the back then overload in the channels for their goal in the Community Shield but Aubameyang still hasn’t signed a contract with them yet.
5. This will be Klopp’s hard season yet. After winning the league with Dortmund, Klopp got three more good seasons out of the squad before struggling in 2014/15. Even with certain players ageing, he will still be able to get the most out of them as they are only 27-30. Klopp will be challenged by getting the team to focus as they have achieved their goals in the past two seasons but I feel he showed that last season and why Liverpool can win it again. Chelsea are in the mix this season with their signings but I think Lampard needs some time to allow the team to gel as it’s been a short pre-season. Manchester City have brought in Ake from relegated Bournemouth. He can fill in at LB, CB and even DM if need be, this will help strengthen them as it was an area of weakness last season but their main focus is a European Cup. There are others like Arsenal, Leicester and even Everton who aren’t quite there yet but they are building up strong squads and bringing in the right staff personnel in. It will definitely be a great season for all.
Manchester City: Matthew Allo
1. Pretty disappointing, miles away from Liverpool and let ourselves down in the FA Cup and Champions league when both were winnable
2. 7/10. Sad to see Sane go but was on the cards for a while. Ake is a decent player which should improve our defence & Ferran Torres is a bit unknown but look forward to see what he offers.Another Centre back would help us massively.
3. Laporte. Having him playing makes a difference to the defenders around him. Being injured last season was one of the reasons we were so far behind Liverpool
4. City to win the league, and a Champions League final, just based on not winning the domestic cups due to the amount of games in a shorter season.
Manchester United: Jonny Leck
1. Overall I think we had a decent season. We managed to finish 3rd in the PL despite having a squad that had a lot of injuries and that was missing key personnel for most of the season. Furthermore we managed to compete on multiple fronts, reaching the semi-finals of every competition we were in, only thing missing was a trophy to cap off a promising first full season for Solskjaer’s side where we for the most part we played some exciting and attacking football.
2. At the time of writing the only transfer we have made is that of former Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek. I’m very happy with that signing, he’ll add depth and quality to our midfield, which we desperately needed last season when Pogba was injured and before we signed Bruno Fernandes. Securing Dean Henderson to a long term contract will also prove extremely valuable in the long term. Keeping hold of Pogba will be key to our plans going forward. Hopefully we can add a couple more before the window closes to push us that one step further!
3. There are so many players who could have taken this spot, but for me it’s Anthony Martial. The young Frenchman came on leaps and bounds this season as he made the centre forward position his own at the club. His hold up play, ability to bring in others around him, and clinical striking was a huge part of our success this season, and for almost half the campaign he managed to do that without Bruno Fernandes, Rashford and Pogba alongside him. Hopefully he can continue his upward trajectory next season, with some more creative players consistently alongside him.
4. It all depends on who we sign in the coming weeks I think. Otherwise I could see us having a fairly similar season to the previous one. Chelsea have gone big in the window, although we are yet to see if all their new players will gel instantly, Arsenal and Spurs will look to improve as well, so I would be happy with another 3rd place finish, providing we are also competing on multiple fronts yet again, and we can see signs of progress within the side and how we play. However if we sign Sancho, and another first team player or two, I could see us pushing closer to Liverpool and Man City at the top.
5. Manchester City. After their brush with UEFA and financial fair play, City now have the license to go out and spend big. Pep will no doubt spend millions more and improve that leaky back line, whilst their attack will still be one of the best in the world regardless of losing Leroy Sane – who barely played last season as it is. I think Liverpool will be burnt out. They looked less aggressive and dominant after the lockdown period, and sustaining success is far more difficult than winning the league once, which for them was such a huge and momentous occasion. They haven’t strengthened in the transfer market, and we’re still yet to see how they cope with a big loss to one of their front 3. All that high intensity pressing takes its toll and we’ve seen a Klopp side burn out after winning a title before in Dortmund. I think City have a much stronger and deeper, albeit far more expensive squad, overall.
Newcastle United: Daniel Seviour
1. We didn’t get relegated so that’s a bonus! Can’t say it was the most enjoyable but being realistic it was as good as we could have hoped for really. Matty Longstaff’s debut goal in the win against Man Utd and Hayden robbing Chelsea after being battered for 90 mins sits well in the memories
2. It hasn’t been the dream takeover that we all hoped for but with the recent signings we can’t complain too much. Would still like to see 1 or 2 more in but not overly hopeful on that.
3. I would like to think Callum Wilson however its more than likely going to be Dubravka stopping every other team scoring!
4. 12th. Can’t see it being any higher and hope we have enough not to be in a relegation scrap. A cheeky cup run would be nice too!
5. Man City
Sheffield United: Ben Silva
1. It was an incredible season for the Blades. 99% of people had us down as favourites for the drop, so to finish 9th was unbelievable. Look at the premier table per wage bill to see how we over performed!
2. Quiet start to the window. We have had to replace the excellent Dean Henderson in goal, and have brought back former Blades keeper Ramsdale as his replacement. Due to our low wage structure we have missed out on a few potential targets unfortunately!
3. Our key player could well turn out to be Jack O’Connell, as he proved a vital lose after lockdown when we stumbled. He is integral to our overlapping centre half method of playing!
4. Would be delighted to stay up again to be honest, as a period of consolidation in the premier league would be amazing for the club and city.
5. It is hard to look beyond Liverpool again to be honest, although if they suffer a few injuries it will allow Man City to push them hard again, especially if they can sort out their leaky defence!
Southampton: Jack Gowlett
1. The start was very poor and we looked down and out, the recovery was amazing though the way the manager pulled things together, started dropping off again but post lockdown we were one of the top teams in my opinion, looked quicker than a lot of others.
2. Kyle Walker-Peters has been a great signing for us, really happy in the deal with him and Hojberg, only issue is we haven’t get a replacement for Hojberg which could be an issue for us and leave us a bit thin on the ground in the midfield. He was a big player to let go and not replace.
3. Ings is probably most peoples first option but for me James Ward-Prowse is a key player for us, captain of the team now and with an England cap under him I can see him going from strength to strength. He has upped his game from just being a dead ball specialist to now working tirelessly on the pitch and becoming more of a player other teams don’t want to go up against.
4. I think we’re good enough for mid-table this season and to avoid a relegation scrap like the past few seasons, 10th would be a solid finish for us with a good cup run. We need a season to build off of after the last few, if we keep Ings fit and get Adams scoring like he did at the end of last season we could cause a few issues for other teams.
Spurs: Blake Bellot
1. Poor season, didn’t strengthen where we needed to and subsequently suffered massively with the injuries we had. Also managerial changes mid season are never easy.
2. So far so good, 2 key signings in areas that we’ve lacked the few seasons but still a lot to do before the end, primarily a back up ST and a LB.
3. Harry Kane.
4. 3rd/4th. Could see towards the end of the season that Jose is beginning to make his mark in the team and so long as he gets the last couple signings he wants, I think it will be a positive season.
5. Man City this season for me. I think it will be a much closer season this year but city have made some good signings so far and I think they’ll get back to top spot. I think Liverpool will struggle to repeat last season and with a lack of signings, key injuries could potentially hurt them.
West Brom: Zach Martin
1. Very well, we had a rough patch and still got managed to automatic promotion. Can’t really ask for much more.
2. We’ve bought in some key players from last season with Pereira and Diangana both joining on long term deal and we’ve added competition in goal and at centre back. We still need a Striker and a central midfielder on loan to wrap up our activity.
3. Our key player has to be Pereira for those who didn’t watch the championship he got the most assists last season and will hopefully create moments of magic when we need it. I also want a special mention for Semi Ajayi who could be a surprise package at centre back this season in the Premier League.
4. I’d like to think we can finish 16th but honestly I’m sure like every other West Brom fan I’ll take 17th. I think we’ve got experience in the squad with Livermore, Austin and Hegazi and players ready to prove themselves at the highest level in O’Shea, Diangana, Pereira and Sawyers.
5. Man City
West Ham: Ben Hick
1. It was disappointing. After a strong first 6/7 games, the wheels really fell off the wagon and (once again) we found ourselves in a relegation battle resulting in Pellegrini leaving and Moyes coming in for a second spell. I was not, and still am not, a big fan of his appointment but with the help of Soucek and Bowen coming in in January (along with the superb performances of Rice, Ogbonna and Antonio) our post lockdown form and performances were very good (enough to keep us up at least) and have given us something to build on this season.
2. Easily answered… poor. Apart from confirming the permanent signing of Soucek, which in itself is great business, our window has been all but non-existent, apart from players leaving. The sale of Diangana is not just disappointing but very worrying – we finally have some academy players coming through the ranks only to see one of the best leave on the cheap to a rival (especially when the players and Moyes all wanted him to stay). The owners have a big couple weeks ahead to rectify this otherwise I can see more protests at their leadership taking place. It’s also worrying to see every club around us spend money and strengthen.
3. If he stays, Declan Rice. He has been unbelievable in the past couple seasons, earning every plaudit he gets and losing him would be a huge loss. The job he does protecting our (VERY) shaky backline is superb, and often match-winning. Behind him, I’m excited to see what Jarrod Bowen does in his first full Premier League season – showed glimpses of what a good player he is, hope there bigger and better things to come from him.
4. My answer to this question could change based on our transfer business in the next couple weeks but as it stands, I do fear for us this season. We have a good starting XI but it feels like we’re an injury or two away from struggling. As a prediction, I’ll go 15th because we do have goals in our side, as we showed post lockdown, but I think our fate will rest on how we do keeping them out at the other end, with zero additions to beef up the backline so far. I can’t see there being too much of a point’s difference between 12/13th and below, it will be tight.
5. Manchester City, but it’s a tough call. I think City will put up more of a fight this season , Guardiola will make sure of that – and Ake + Torres are two solid additions. It will be interesting to see how Liverpool approach each competition as last year was all about securing the league. They don’t have the squad depth City do so it’ll interesting to see which comps they prioritise, and which they perhaps rotate younger players in for. Chelsea I can see fighting but their season lives and dies with how well the new signings gel with the existing squad.
Wolves: Adam Grocett/Darchangel
1. Remarkable! We must remember that we were written off by many at the start of the season as a team who would struggle to achieve the performances from last season and be in the europa league. But we finished 7th and got knocked out 1-0 to eventual winners Sevilla.
2. Brilliant. What I love about wolves is there’s no leaks, we go after targets and get them in. Our Young influential players are still with us so that’s great.
3. Rueben Neves is the closest thing I’ve seen to Xabi Alonso. A creative wonder goal machine who opposition teams sacrifice a player just to mark. He’s superb.
4. This year Chelsea will win it. We’ll finish 5th, because we’ll still take points off the “big teams” without slipping up against the rubbish teams. West Ham will get relegated.
A big thanks to everyone who took part in this season preview. It is set to be a brilliant campaign with both sides of the table very unpredictable.
Make sure to follow Sportscast Jersey for all updates for the upcoming season!