EPL 2017/18 predictions: Experts' Picks for the Top 6 and Golden Boot
It's been dubbed one of the most highly-anticipated Premier League seasons of all time and the majority of fans would agree. All new managers at the top clubs have now had at least one full season to get their bearings and they will have a plan to challenge for the title.
In what will be the 26th season of the Premier League, there is no clear favourite for the title. But as the season gets underway, the Sportskeeda football team have their say on where the trophies on offer could end up come May 2018.
Anirudh Menon: Pep Guardiola and the fullback-heavy team he supposedly wants, Jurgen Klopp and his wingers-on-wings; Arsene Wenger and his new contract; Antonio Conte and his utter fury with everything and everybody; Jose Mourinho and his fabled second season ‘magic’; Ronald Koeman and Wayne Rooney (has there been a slower coach-veteran pairing in history?); Mauricio Pochettino, Daniel Levy’s refusal to up wages and Wembley; Slaven Bilic and Marko Arnautovic; Rafa Benitez and his facts…
It might the way-too-long summer break getting to me, but this right here has all the ingredients for a blockbuster season, doesn’t it?
While it’s always hard to call a winner in England (especially post the Fergie era), I’m going out on a limb and saying that the combination of Mourinho’s second season, Romelu Lukaku’s hunger to show he belongs and Nemanja Matic’s will-to-kill will lead Manchester United to the top of the pile this time around.
Oh, and weird left-field prediction for the season – Arsenal to finish outside the top 6.
Prediction: 1) Manchester United 2) Manchester City 3) Tottenham Hotspur 4) Liverpool 5) Chelsea 6) Everton 7) Arsenal
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku
Ashwin Hanagudu: As was the case last season, five or six teams look capable of challenging for the title. The Manchester clubs have invested heavily and I expect them to occupy the top two positions.
Arsenal will also have a strong season while the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea might regret their business in the transfer market.
Prediction: 1) Manchester City 2) Manchester United 3) Arsenal 4) Tottenham 5) Liverpool 6) Chelsea
Golden Boot: Gabriel Jesus. I expect him to really step up this season after a promising start in the last campaign.
Rohith Nair: One look at all the Premier League squads is all it takes to suggest that this season's title could be headed to Manchester.
Chelsea's squad looks threadbare and will find it tough with European football added to their calendar. Liverpool, too, only have enough for a top four challenge and, unless Jurgen Klopp rotates his squad, they could burn out by February. They could say goodbye to Philippe Coutinho too.
The north London clubs don't have what it takes to mount a challenge - Arsenal due to the Europa League fixture crunch and Spurs' terrible form at their temporary home Wembley. The Gunners could miss out on the top four yet again if they lose Ozil and Alexis before the transfer window shuts.
The only question that needs to be asked is whether it will be Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola holding aloft that beautiful trophy in May. Last season saw City let down by the defence which has seen a drastic overhaul. Mourinho will run him close but Guardiola's squad looks far superior to go all the way.
Prediction: 1) Manchester City 2) Manchester United 3) Chelsea 4) Arsenal 5) Tottenham Hotspur 6) Liverpool
Golden Boot: Harry Kane. The man cannot stop scoring and he has averaged 25 league goals in the past three seasons.
Shaurya Vineet: Jose Mourinho, second season, spending in excess of £150m, a near complete squad - all the signs point to Manchester United winning their first ever Premier League title in the post-Ferguson era.
Manchester City are probably the only other team capable of challenging the Old Trafford outfit but only if their central defenders are up for it and stay fit - and that's a big 'if'.
Chelsea look woefully undercooked for the new season and a successful title defence is surely not on the cards. However, expect them to sort out their squad before the end of the transfer window and give the top two a run for their money.
Arsenal can return to familiar territory with the signing of Alexander Lacazette but only the Frenchman's addition won't be enough to sustain a title challenge. Liverpool, with or without Philippe Coutinho, are currently not good enough for a title challenge. If no further signings are made, expect them to narrowly miss out on the top 4.
Cash strapped by the impending stadium move, Tottenham Hotspur have failed to make any additions to the squad and have already lost Kyle Walker with Danny Rose also agitating for a move. The season will be long and hard for Mauricio Pochettino's side and a lowly sixth placed finish beckons.
Prediction: 1) Manchester United 2) Manchester City 3) Chelsea 4) Arsenal 5) Liverpool 6) Tottenham Hotpsur
Golden Boot: Harry Kane is my favourite to make it three in a row. But expect Sergio Aguero to make things interesting - if he plays regularly.
Sunaadh Sagar: Money talks and Pep Guardiola has spent the most; he finally has 90% of the squad he wants to implement his ideas. City have looked frighteningly good in pre-season, and if they manage to keep their centre-backs fit, the Spaniard will conquer England.
Chelsea have their fair share of troubles, but have a bloody-mindedness about them that should get them to a distant second place while Arsenal may have bought their saviour in Alexandre Lacazette.
Spurs ought to round out the top four, if they retain their players, while I foresee troubling campaigns for Manchester United and Liverpool.
Prediction: 1) Manchester City 2) Chelsea 3) Arsenal 4) Tottenham Hotspur 5) Manchester United 6) Liverpool
Golden Boot: Gabriel Jesus.
This is a bit of a left-field choice, but I'm betting that the £27 million Man City spent on the Brazilian will look a huge bargain, especially with Sergio Aguero ageing, and Kevin de Bruyne set for the best season of his career.