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England Football Predictions – follow our english football section for the latest free football predictions, picks and news from Premiership, Championship, FA-Cup, EFL-Cup and more.

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Premier League 2017/18 Preview

Premier-LeagueTwo seasons ago we witnessed a great surprise when Leicester won the title of English champion, but last year things fell into place as the Blues from London, led by Italian coach Conte, have simply swept the competition and won their sixth title in the Premier League, second in last three years. Right because of that many see Chelsea, together with duo from Manchester, in the race for the title this season. Two London based teams, Arsenal and Tottenham, and always unpredictable Liverpool will wait for their their chance to win the title in a shadow of three abovementioned clubs. We have listed Everton and West Ham in the group of teams that are most serious candidates for European competitions, besides being shadow candidates for the title, given that both teams brought several very good players this summer. If coaches Koeman and Bilic manage to put things in the right way we wouldn’t be surprise if one of the two teams be the most pleasant surprise of the coming season.

Regarding other teams, we have traditionally divided them into two groups; first six should be positioned around mid-table, while remaining six should in our opinion fight to survive. We have again prepared detailed analyses of all 20 teams with special stress on what each team did during the summer transfer window, but we will also offer forecast how they will perform next season that starts on Friday, 11 August, when Arsenal and Leicester meet at the Emirates stadium in the evening time slot.

Relegation

Huddersfield

Huddersfield is returnee to the Premier League but the break lasted even 46 years, which means this is their first appearance in this competition since it was named the Premier League. However, we should bear in mind that Huddersfield was three times English champion and it won the FA Cup once, but all that happened in the 20’s of previous century. After life in lower leagues Huddersfield returned to the Championship five years ago and it finally reach the elite football league in England thanks to persistency and hard work. Of course, the most deserving for the success is German coach Wagner, who is at the helm in last two years. Huddersfield managed to get promoted to the Premier League after its first play-off, but it was everything except an easy ride. Being the fifth after the regular season Huddersfield had firstly to play two matches against Sheffield Wednesday, which they eliminated only after penalty shootout. In the great final at Wembley stadium they had to go through the same path against Reading.

Regarding situation with the rooster, out of last year’s starters only goalkeeper Ward and forward Brown left the team, who were anyway loaned from Liverpool and Chelsea, respectively, while on the other hand they managed to buy contract for midfielder Mooy from Manchester City, and winger Kachunga from German Ingolstadt. In order to be as much as possible competitive in the Premier League they had to bring several reinforcements during the summer and for the time being those are goalkeeper Lossl from Mainz, stopper Zanka from Copenhagen, defender Malone from Fulham, midfielders Williams from Reading and T. Ince from Derby, and forwards Mouine from French Montpellier and Depoitre from Porto.

Probable starting lineups: Lossl – Smith, Schindler, Hefele, Lowe – Hogg, Mooy – T. Ince, Mounie, Kachunga – Wells

Forecast for the new season: Having in mind that this is the first season in the Premier League for Huddersfield in recent history and that they have by far the smallest budget out of all Premier League teams it is quite logical that Huddersfield is the most serious candidate for relegation to the Championship.

Relegation (bottom 3): 1.67 at bet365

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Brighton

Just like Huddersfield, Brighton has no experience in newly formed Premier League and it played the last time in the highest football league in England in 1983, when the league was still called the First Division. Regarding recent history, Brighton returned to the Championship six years ago and since then it unsuccessfully tried several times to reach the Premier League through the promotion play-off, which it finally managed last year when was directly promoted being second-placed team of the Championship. Right because of that it is quite realistic to continue cooperation with coach Hughton, especially as he has a fair deal of Premier League experience, given that in last 10 years he led Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich.

Of course, it is expected from him to keep Brighton in the Premier League as long as possible, although it will be very difficult to do with existing roster, which is consequence of fact they have second-lowest budget in the entire league. However, they have managed to bring even five new players this summer; goalkeeper Ryan from Spanish Valencia, defender Suttner and midfielder Gros from German Ingolstadt, young midfielder Normann from Norwegian Bodo/Glimt and forward Brown from Chelsea, who played as loaned player for their competitor from the Championship Huddersfield. On the other hand, after expiration of loans the team have left defenders Pocognoli, Tomori and Adekugbe, while goalkeeper Stockdale, stopper Forren, midfielder Norwood and forwards Manu and O’Grady become free agents.

Probable starting lineups: Ryan – Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner – Knockaert, Gros, Stephens, Murphy – Murray, Baldock

Forecast for the new season: Although they lost just two starters and brought even five new players in the course of this summer, we don’t expect much from Brighton this season, and in fact we see them as main candidates, alongside Huddersfield, for relegation to the Championship.

Relegation (bottom 3): 2.25 at William Hill

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Burnley

Although they ended previous season two placed above the drop zone in the Premier League we should bear in mind that Burnley spent a larger part of season around mid-table and it ended near the relegation zone only thanks to weaker results in the finish of season. Anyway, for them it was the most important to secure their survival as soon as possible as they were returnees to the Premier League, which they did, and no one can blame them for evident drop in performances in last couple of rounds. Now, they have to start the new season maximally seriously, just like previous one, especially as new coach Dyche hasn’t made too many changes in the team this summer.

True, two standard starters have departed, national team stopper Keane moved to Everton and experienced midfielder Boyd, who joined second-division Sheffield Wednesday. Besides them, no longer with the team are experienced goalkeeper Robinson, problematic midfielder Barton and young defender Flanagan, who was anyway just loaned from Liverpool. On the other hand, Burnley strengthened its flanks with Bardsley from Stoke and Talyor from Leeds. They also brought midfielder Cork from Swansea and experienced winger Walters from Stoke. All of them will probably wait their chance to play from the bench, at least at the beginning of new season. We need to add that stopper Trakowski and midfielder Brady have fully recovered in the meantime.

Probable starting lineups: Heaton – Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward – Arfield, Westwood, Hendrick, Brady – Gray, Vokes

Forecast for the new season: In the second season in the Premier League in a row Burnley strongest side will be fact that players know each other very well but having in mind that competition is very strong we still see them among teams that will fight to survive.

Relegation (bottom 3): 2.30 at Unibet

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West Bromwich

West Bromwich had a very successful season in the Premier League as it managed to end at 10th place despite having very modest team, having just one point fewer than eight-positioned Southampton. At one point West Brom was even in the race for European positions, but after it become definitely clear that cannot overtake seventh-placed Everton they played with far less enthusiasm in last couple of rounds which resulted with eight-game winless streak of even seven defeats and one draw. Such drop in performances shouldn’t happen to serious teams, especially when your coach is great fighter Tony Pulis, and it will be very interesting to see how the experienced coach has prepared his team for the new season.

True, he shouldn’t have too much problem to again impose discipline on the pitch, given that core players from previous season stayed. The only two who left the team are experienced midfielder Fletcher and stopper Wilson, who was anyway just loaned from Bournemouth. On the other hand, the only two new names in West Bromwich ranks are stopper Hagazy, who arrived from Egypt El Ahly and winger Rodriguez, who wore Southampton jersey in last couple of years and was experiencing troubles with injuries recently. Anyway, he is fully ready now and should replace injured Phillips at the start of new season, who was one of best West Bromwich players in previous season before he got injured.

Probable starting lineups: Foster – Nyom, Dawson, Evans, Brunt – Yacob, Livermore – Phillips (Rodriguez), Morrison, Chadli – Rondon

Forecast for the new season: Their not so good performances in the finish of previous season suggest that West Brom could have far more problems this season in regard to survival in the Premier League, especially as they were fairly inert in the summer transfer window.

Relegation (bottom 3): 7.00 at bet365

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Watford

All what we have said for Burnley can be repeated for Watford, given that these two teams ended previous season in the Premier League right above the drop zone, having the same number of points. The Hornets had also played much better in the first part of season and at one point they even occupied positions that led to Europe, while after very bad results at the end of second part of season they went down to even 17th place. When we add to this info six-game losing streak in the very finish of season, then the management move to sack Italian coach Mazzari right after the season seams fairly logical. His successor is 40-year old Portuguese Marco Silva, who did a fairly good job with Hull in the second part of previous season, but in the end he didn’t manage to keep them in the Premier League.

Watford management expect far better results from Silva, especially as the team hasn’t underwent significant changes this summer. Out of starters only forward Niang left, who was anyway loaned from Milan, just as midfielder Zunig who returned to his Napoli. On the other hand, the midfield was reinforced with young member of England national team Calobach from Chelsea and Hughes from Derby County, while after one-year loan they definitely bought contract for experienced Cleverley from Everton. Let’s add that competition for position of right back has definitely increased with arrival of Femenio from Alaves, who will be probably starter at the beginning of new season given that Janmaat hasn’t recovered yet in full. Besides him, due to injuries the initial part of season should skip experienced stopper Britos, midfielders Behrami and Watson, and forward Zarate.

Probable starting lineups: Gomes – Femenia, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas – Cleverley, Capoue, Hughes – Pereyra – Deeney, Okaka

Forecast for the new season: We have said that Watford management expects much better results from new coach Silva than it was last year’s 17th place, but we believe the progress cannot be dramatic, while in case of bigger problems with injuries they could even start worrying about their survival in the Premier League.

Relegation (bottom 3): 2.88 at William Hill

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Bournemouth

This is going to be third season in a row for Bournemouth since their debut in the Premier League. Given they played solidly in previous two seasons it is quite logical to expect a place around mid-table this season. On top of it, after ending up at the 16th place in the first season they finished in the upper part of table after the second one, or more precisely at the ninth place, although they oscillated a lot and at one point were very close to the relegation zone. However, they pulled themselves together in the finish of season, which they ended with a great five-game unbeaten streak of three wins and two draws. Of course, all this resulted with extension of contract with young coach Howe, who is sought by some of greatest English clubs for some time now, and it can easily happen that he soon changes the team.

For the time being it seems that he will lead Bournemouth next season, especially as the club management fulfilled his wishes in terms of reinforcements this summer. Even two players arrived from reigning champion Chelsea, goalkeeper Begovic and stopper Ake, while experienced forward Defoe arrived from Sunderland. It is expected that Begovic and Defoe immediately get place in the starting line-up, while Ake, who was loaned two seasons ago and had left a good impression this time might have more problem to impress coach Howee, given the defence worked very well last year. Regarding departures, for the time being only former member of English national team Wilshere left the team, who was anyway loaned from Arsenal and had a fair deal of problems with injuries last year.

Probable starting lineups: Begovic – A. Smith, Francis (Ake), S. Cook, Daniels – Fraser, Gosling, Arter, Stanislas – Afobe, Defoe

Forecast for the new season: Regardless of facts that Bournemouth ended at ninth place last season and has brought three very good players this summer we have decided to list this team as the last in the group of candidates for relegation, mostly due to fact that more famous English clubs put more and more pressure on coach Howe to finally change the side.

Relegation (bottom 3): 7.00 at William Hill

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Mid-table

Newcastle

Newcastle is another returnee to the Premier League. This team returned after just one year of absence, which means that former champions of England will surely do everything in their power to avoid always frustrating survival battle this season. Fact that they kept experienced coach Benitez points in the same direction. Benitez took over the team near the end of season 2015/2016 but he failed to keep the team in the Premier League given that backlog behind other teams was really too big. However, in cooperation with the club management he made a sound plan last summer for express return to the Premier League, which in the end worked flawlessly as Newcastle ended at the leading position in the Championship after 46 rounds and in that way earned direct promotion to the strongest football league in England.

In order to stay there in the coming season they of course need wider choice of good players and they brought four of them this summer, stopper Lejeune from Spanish Eibar, defender Manquill from Atletico Madrid, midfielder Merin from Borussia Dortmund and young winger Murphy from Norwich. Besides them, returnees from loans will certainly want their time on the pitch, goalkeeper Krul, midfielder de Jong and Saivet and forward Riviere. In the meantime they brought winger Atsu from Chelsea. On the other hand the team have departed goalkeeper Sels, midfielders Anita and Vuckic, and forwards Gouffran, Murphy and Amoebi, while team’s first striker Gayle will skip the first part of season due to injury, and his position will cover young Mitrovic.

Probable starting lineups: Darlow – Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummet – Shelvey, Hayden – Ritchie, Perez, Atsu – Gayle (Mitrovic)

Forecast for the next season: After express return to the Premier League it is expected that Newcastle plays much better than two seasons ago, especially as they kept experienced coach Benitez and almost all players who were starters last year in the Championship.

Relegation (bottom 3): 5.50 at Sportingbet

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Finish in the Top 6: 21.00 at Unibet

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Swansea

The only Welsh team in the Premier League plays fairly well in last couple of seasons but it ended last one three places above the drop zone. They played the first part of season a bit weaker and it was no wonder that they changed even two coaches in the period, Italian Guidolino and American Bardley. At the beginning of January they brought Englishman Clement who rejuvenated the team immediately upon his arrival and expressly pulled it out from the danger zone. However, he faced several problems later on mostly due to injuries of some of key players but in last five rounds Swansea again played well and after five-game unbeaten streak of even four wins and one draw they had seven points more than 18th-placed Hull.

Regarding Swansea’s team for the next season, this club traditionally firstly tries to keep its key players and out of starters only midfielder Cork has left the team, stopper Amat and forward Baston were loaned, while experienced goalkeeper Tremmel has ended his career. Cork was quickly replaced with much younger Spaniard Mesa, who arrived from Las Palmas, while they loaned talented forward Abraham from Chelsea on one year period, who will be probably starter at the beginning of season given that Llorente is injured. Besides two of them another new name on Swansea’s rosters is goalkeeper Mulder, who arrived from Dutch Neerenveen. We need to add that stopper Bartley and midfielders Grimes and Barrow have returned from loans.

Probable starting lineups: Fabianski – Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson – Carroll, Mesa, Fer – Sigurdsson, Llorente (Abraham), Ayew

Forecast for the new season: Given that coach Clement had found the right combination in the second part of previous season we expect that the Welsh will avoid the survival battle, especially if they manage to bring one or two additional good players before the end of transfer window.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.25 at betway

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Finish in the Top 6: 67.00 at William Hill

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Stoke

Just like Swansea, Stoke can boast that it become a stabile Premier League team in last couple of years. Stoke ended at 13th place in the table last season having just two points fewer than eight-placed Southampton. Right because of that it is no surprise that Welsh coach Hughes is at the helm for the fifth season in a row, who managed to turn this team into one of most inhospitable home teams in the league, mostly thanks to very tough and discipline defence. True, Stoke was occasionally very dangerous in attack, especially when excellent wingers Shaqiri and Arnautovic had their day, where the latter one left the team this summer and moved to London’s West Ham.

Besides Arnautovic Stoke’s jersey will not wear this season goalkeeper Given, defenders Martins, Indi and Bardsley, midfielder Whelan and forwards Walters and Bony, while injured forward Joselu will skip the first part of season, who returned in the meantime from loan to Deportivo. Regarding new players, the biggest reinforcement is French stopper Zouma, who is loaned from Chelsea, while another veteran, Fletcher, should replace experienced Whelan in the midfield, who played last season for West Bromwich. Let’s add that 18-year old defender Tymon arrived from Hull, while goalkeeper Haugaard, stopper Wollshcield and forward Bojan returned from loans besides abovementioned Joselu.

Probable starting lineups: Butland – Cameron, Shawcross, Zouma – Johnson, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters – Shaqiri, Sobhi – Diouf

Forecast for the new season: We are accustomed that Stoke plays standardly well in last couple of seasons and ends up around mid-table, which is exactly what we expect from this team in the next Premier League season.

Relegation (bottom 3): 8.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 6: 17.00 at betway

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace from London also belongs to group of teams which despite large oscillations in results had secured their survival a bit earlier, which was perhaps reason why it played so badly in the finish of season when it had lost four and won just one match. In any case that was enough to end up at the 14th place in the table. When anyone expected that the club management will extend contract with experienced coach Allardyce, who replaced Pardew last year as the team’s saviour, they did just the opposite and brought Dutch Frank de Boer, who earned his reputation in Ajax and led Inter Milan in the first part of previous season.

It is expected that he will make additional improvement of Palace performances, especially as he has a respectable team at his disposal, led by great forward Benteke and experienced midfielder Cabaye. True, there are more and more rumours that Benteke will leave soon but for the time being he stays where he is, unlike his brother Johathan, who left the team together with goalkeeper Mandando, defender Fryers, midfielders Ledley and Flamini, and forward Campbell, while loans for stopper Sakho and forward Remy have expired. On the other hand, they brought as reinforcements just two young players, stopper Riedewald from Ajax and midfielder Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea. Midfielder Mutch, Boateng and Williams, and forward Ladap have returned from loans. Let’s add that defender Souare and forward Wickham will skip the beginning of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Hennessey – Ward, Tomkins, Dann, van Aanholt – Milivojevic, Cabaye – Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha – Benteke

Forecast for the new season: It will be very interesting to see how Crystal Palace will perform under Dutch coach de Boer but in any case, we believe that they shouldn’t be afraid of relegation and that will end up around mid-table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 6.00 at William Hill

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Finish in the Top 6: 21.00 at William Hill

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Leicester

Just like many predicted, including us in forecast for previous season of the Premier League, sensational champion Leicester not only has failed to defend the title but it also ended at mere 12th place. In fact, that was a good position for them if we have in mind that Leicester spent a larger part of season near the drop zone, which is why they fired creator of all those previous successes Ranieri and promoted his aid Shakespeare to that position, which was then just a temporary solution. We need to add that Rainier led Leicester before to the knockout phase of Champions League but that didn’t help him much. In fact, Shakespeare took over in the moment when situation was very complicated, but he proved himself when Leicester eliminated Spanish Sevilla and reached the quarter-final when they put up very good resistance to Atletico Madrid.

After several good results in the league which pushed Leicester away from the danger zone it was decided that Shakespeare gets permanent contract and he will lead the Foxes in 2017/2018 season. There are many unknown about the roster as Mahrez, Drinkwater and Musa are at the exit door, while goalkeeper Zieler, stoppers Wague and Wasilewski, and young midfielder Kapustka have already left. True, none of the four was starter last season so the situation is still not alarming. In the course of this summer Leicester brought goalkeeper Jakupovic and stopper Maguire from Hull and midfielder Iborra from Sevilla. Let’s add that stopper Huth and midfielder Mendy will probably skip the first part of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Schmeichel – Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs – Mahrez (Gray), Ndidi, Drinkwater (Iborra), Albrighton – Slimani, Vardy

Forecast for the next season: Although Leicester will not play in Europe this season it is hard to expect that will be candidate for top of table, especially as in the meantime it lost its most expensive player Mahrez.

Relegation (bottom 3): 17.00 at William Hill

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Finish in the Top 6: 7.00 at William Hill

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Southampton

After they improved their position in the table for one place in three previous years the Saints had ended the tradition as they ended at eight place in the Premier League table and in that way again haven’t reach Europe. They had a great chance to do so a bit earlier through the League Cup where Southampton played in the final but lost to Manchester United 3-2 at Wembley stadium. In the remaining part of season they unsuccessfully tried to overtake seventh-placed Everton and before the season was over it was known that will not extend contract with French coach Puel. Argentinian Pellegriono replaced him at the beginning of June, who fairly successfully led Spanish Alaves last year.

Ahead of him is another great challenge, especially as the Saints didn’t experienced many coming and going this summer and for the time being only young Polish stopper Bednarek arrived, who previously played for Lech. Southampton is not in big need to bring new players as it kept all starters from previous season, and the only one who left are defenders Martina and Caceres, midfielder Reed and forward Rodriguez. It is more and more clear that reliable stopper van Dijk will leave the team before the summer transfer window closes and by that it is quite realistic to expect several new names in the Southampton roster. Regarding problem with absences, on the injured list are currently only reserve goalkeeper McCarthy and forward Long.

Probable starting lineups: Forster – Soares, van Dijk, Stephens, Bertrand – Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse – Redmond, Austin, Tadic

Forecast for the new season: Southampton is used on frequent replacements of coaches and working with Argentinian Pellegrino shouldn’t be a problem, especially as they kept almost all players from previous season. In accordance with that we expect to again end up somewhere between eight and 10th place.

Relegation (bottom 3): 26.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 6: 6.00 at Unibet

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Top 6 and Title

West Ham

The Hammers from London had ended previous season at mere 11th place of the Premier League unlike two seasons ago when they reached European scene, which was foundation for more and more rumours about departure of coach Bilic. However, he managed to stay with West Ham, mostly thanks to fact that team under his leadership showed some progress in the second part of season. On top of it he earned sympathy of West Ham fans when he persisted about Payet’s departure. Great French midfielder was finally sold to Marseille in the winter transfer window and Bilic got money to bring reinforcements for the new season. The club owners added more funds to the budget this summer, all with an objective to make West Ham again competitive in the race for the very top of Premier League table.

Right because of that no one is surprised with fact that Bilic brought even four very good players in last month, and all of them should get place in the starting line-up. Out of them we firstly need to mention English national team goalkeeper Hart, who was loaned for one-year period from Manchester City. From the same team came as free agent experienced defender Zabaleta, while two acquisitions that will play in attack are Arnautovic from Stoke and Mexican Chicharito from German Bayer Leverkusen. Besides them, one more new name is expected in the midfield before the transfer window closes, given that forwards Carroll and Sakho, midfielders Obiang and Noble, and stopper Ogbonna will skip the first part of season due to injuries. Let’s add that defender Arbelo, midfielders Nordtveit and Tore, and forwards Calleri and Fletcher departed.

Probable starting lineups: HartZabaleta, Reid, Fonte, Cresswell – Kouyate, Lanzini – Antonio, Ayew, ArnautovicChicharito

Forecast for the new season: Although West Ham lost its best player, Payet, in January the Hammers did a good job in the transfer window this summer and we definitely expect to do better than they did last season. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if this team be an equal competitor in the race toward positions that lead to Europe.

Finish in the Top 6: 13.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 51.00 at William Hill

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League Winner: 501.00 at BetVictor

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Everton

We are used to see Everton around mid-table, mostly in the upper part of it, but last year Everton managed to end up at the last place that leads to European competitions. It came handy that Manchester United directly qualified for the Champions League being the winner of Europa League and in the end even the seventh place in the English Premier League was good enough to send a team to Europe, although Everton will have to go through two qualifying rounds in order to reach the group phase. Right because of that it is no wonder why coach Koeman, for whom this is the second season with Everton, has decided to significantly reinforce the team, and for the time being even six new players arrived at Goodison Park.

We need to single out experienced forward Rooney who returned after 13 seasons with Manchester United to the team where he made first footballs steps. Besides him new names on Everton roster are goalkeeper Pickford from Sunderland, defenders Keane from Burnley and Martina from Southampton, midfielder Klaasen from Ajax, and forwards Ramirez from Malaga. All of them should be starters at the beginning of new season, given that defenders Colemand and Funes More, midfielder McCarthy and forward Bolasie are out of action due to injuries. Midfielder Barkley is at the exit door as he declined to extend contract with Everton. The biggest lost for this team is departure of their best scorer in previous season Lukaku, who moved to Manchester United and by the end of year we expect to see new forward at Goodison, especially as Everton cannot count any more on Kone and Valencia, who were loaned from West Ham.

Probable starting lineups: Pickford Martina, Keane, Williams, Baines – Schneiderlin, Gueye – Mirallas, Klaasen, Ramirez Rooney

Forecast for the new season: Regardless that Everton lost its best scorer Lukaku this summer the team brought large number of good players, and in the worst-case scenario they should have a rerun of previous season, which they ended at the seventh in the table, while this time they could easily go few places up.

Finish in the Top 6: 4.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 11.00 at bet365

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League Winner: 100.00 at Interwetten

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Liverpool

Everton’s great city rival Liverpool has also made progress last season as it ended up at the fourth place which leads to the play-off of Champions League and it was eliminated from the League Cup only in the semi-final. However, it was the most important for Liverpool to return to the strongest UEFA league, although they dropped out from the race for title of English champions around mid-season, despite having no obligations in Europe unlike their direct competitors. Charismatic coach Klopp had faced many injury related problems and some players were practically forced to play at positions that were not natural for them.

True, experienced midfielder Milner did a good job at left back position and he could stay there, although they brought Robertson from Hull in the meantime. Besides him, two new forwards arrived and those are Salah from Roma and 19-year old Solanke from Chelsea B team. We need to stress that goalkeeper Ward, defenders Sakho and Flanagan, and winger Mitrovic have returned from loan, but it can easily happen that they again change the team, just like great midfielder Coutinho, for whom Barcelona shows interest after Neymar’s departure. If that happens the Reds should bring more new players this summer and most frequently mentioned names are of stopper van Dijk from Southampton and midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal. Let’s add that due to injuries currently out of action are stopper Sakho, and forwards Origi and Ings.

Probable starting lineups: Mignolet – Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner (Robertson) – Henderson, Wijnaldum – Salah, Coutinho (Lallana), Mane – Firmino

Forecast for the new season: After Liverpool made progress last season when it qualified for the Champions League, coach Klopp announces much bigger advancements this year but we are not convinced that this team is capable to join the race for the title and we forecast that will again end up between fourth and sixth places in the table.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.22 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 2.00 at William Hill

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League Winner: 13.00 at William Hill

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Tottenham

For the second season in a row the Spurs were among main candidates to win the title but last year they again faltered in the very finish and ended at the second place, having seven points fewer than the champion, Chelsea. On the other hand, their advantage over third-positioned Manchester City was even eight points, and that indicates that their qualification for the Champions League was never in question, in which they left weak impression last season as were eliminated immediately after the group phase. After that Tottenham embarrassed itself in the round of 32 of Europa League as it was eliminated by Belgian Gent. Only in the FA Cup Tottenham reached the semi-final but was stopped there by Chelsea.

However, the Spurs can be satisfied with previous season, especially if we narrow our perspective on the Premier League only. It is then quite logical to continue contract with coach Pochettino who is in fact one of most deserving individuals for Tottenham return to the very top of English football. In two previous seasons he created two talented stars from the Spurs football school, midfielder Alli and forward Kane, while defensive midfielder Dier has made a great progress. Right because of that his main objective was to keep the three players in this season, while national team defender Walker got free hands and moved to Manchester City. Besides him the only one who left was experienced goalkeeper Lopez but that happened only because his loan from Espanyol expired. For the time being no new names appeared at the White Hart Lane but they definitely should bring new reinforcements before the transfer window closes as defender Rose and midfielder Lamela will skip the season’s start due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Lloris – Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies – Dier, Wanyama – Eriksen, Alli, Son – Kane

Forecast for the new season: After being for the second season in a row one of most serious candidates for the champion title, the Spurs hope that this time they can make the final and so much desired step. Given the strength of their competition we nevertheless believe that the Spurs should satisfy with another qualification for the Champions League.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.17 at William Hill

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.91 at betway

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League Winner: 11.00 at William Hill

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Arsenal

The Gunners from London were probably the biggest losers out of all English great teams last season as they are the only one who failed to reach the Champions League. They ended the season at the fifth place, having just one point fewer than fourth-placed Liverpool, while on the other hand sixth-positioned Manchester United directly qualified for the Champions League as it won the Europa League. Of course, after fiasco it was expected that coach Wenger will leave but he showed for umpteenth time that he is untouchable and he will again try this season to reach so much desired champion’s title. Fact that he won the FA Cup at the end of season has certainly helped, when the Spurs defeated new champion Chelsea in the great final, although they were stopped very early in the Champions League, or more precisely in the round of 16.

Regarding changes in the team, it is the most important to say that only forward Sanogo has left them for the time being. Those who joined the team are left back Kolasinac, who came from Schalke 04 and great French forward Lacazette, who arrived from Lyon. There are several very good players who returned from loans, like stopper Chambers, midfielder Wilshere and forwards Campbell and Akpom, but it can very easily happen that they again change the team before the end of transfer window, just like some players who hadn’t impressed coach Wenger. Those are defender Gibbs, midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain and forwards Giroud and Lucas Perez, while great Chilean Sanchez expressed at one point wish to leave. It would mean that Wenger should bring more players before the end of transfer window, especially as stopper Paulista, midfielders Wilshare and Cazorl, and forwards Campbell and Sturridge will skip the beginning of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Cech – Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac – Ozil, Sanchez – Lacazette

Forecast for the new season: Given that Arsenal will not play in the Champions League it can be expected that the Gunners will maximally focus on the championship and winning of so much desired title. However, we believe that they can win it only with extreme difficulties as they have to overpower reigning champion Chelsea and very strong duo from Manchester.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.22 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 2.00 at William Hill

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League Winner: 13.00 at William Hill

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Manchester United

Team that won the most titles in England had added two more trophies to its display cabinet last year. They firstly defeated Southampton in the final of League Cup and at the end of season they outplayed Dutch Ajax in the final of Europa League. Triumph in the Europa League bears an additional weight as it directly qualifies them for the Champions League, which they failed to reach through the championship in which they ended at the sixth place. True, we got impression that the United subordinated everything to winning of the Europa League, probably after assessment that it is an easier path toward the Champions League than through the English Premier League.

Coach Mourinho had the key role in execution of the plan. He took over the team before beginning of previous season and he announced then that his objective in the first year is to reach the Champions League, while English champion title is something that needs to be left for the future. Right because of that he spent a large sum this summer to bring three great players, stopper Lindelof from Benfica, midfielder Matic from Chelsea and forward Lukaku from Everton, who was the best scorer of the Premiere League last season. On the other hand the team have left only two veteran forwards, Rooney and Ibrahimovic, who skipped the finish of previous season due to injury. However, there is still chance to extend contract with Ibrahimovic, while before the end of transfer window it is expected that winger Perisic will come from Inter. Let’s add that injured stopper Rojo and midfielder Young will skip the beginning of season.

Probable starting lineups: de Gea – Valencia, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw – Matic, Herrera –Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Martial – Lukaku

Forecast for the new season: As we have already stressed in our analysis Mourinho has announced that he will attack the title in his second year with the United. After he brought three very good players this summer we should definitely list the Red Devils among one of most serious candidates for the first place.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.10 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.36 at betway

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League Winner: 5.00 at BetVictor

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Chelsea

After dreadful 10th place from two seasons ago the Blues from London have returned where they were in May 2015, which is the very top of English football. It turns out that brining Italian coach was the right move of the club management, as he made a fantastic job practically with the same team he found when he arrived, in a way that Chelsea spent practically the entire season at the leading position. It came handy that the Blues didn’t have European obligations and were fairly early eliminated from the League Cup. On the other hand they reached the final in the FA Cup but were defeated by city rival Arsenal and had to satisfy with “just” one title but probably the dearest of all.

In order to stay in the top of Premier League this season, the Blues have brought three high quality players this summer, stopper Rudiger from Roma, midfielder Bakayoko from Monaco and forward Morata from Real Madrid. On top of it they brought experienced goalkeeper Caballero from Manchester City, who is supposed to be reserve for untouchable Courtois. We need to add that by tradition many players return from loan but most of them will probably change the team before end of the transfer window, like goalkeeper Begovic, stoppers Terry, Zouma and Ake, and midfielders Matic, Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek who have done it already. Out of them only Matic was starter last year, and it is quite certain that forward Diego Costa will leave, which is the main reason why Morata was brought. By the end of August we expect to see several new names at Stamford Bridge, especially as injured midfielder Bakayoko and winger Hazard could skip several first rounds.

Probable starting lineups: Courtois – Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz – Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso – Willian, Morata, Pedro

Forecast for the new season: It is expected that reigning champions ferociously defend the title, especially as they lost just one starter till the moment when this text was written. On the other hand, they brought three very good players but we still expect to see several new names at Stamford Bridge before the end of transfer window.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.10 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.33 at William Hill

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League Winner: 4.50 at William Hill

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Manchester City

We have left for the end of this preview of teams that will compete next season in the strongest English football league probably the strongest candidate for the title, the Citizens from Manchester. True, they had the same role last year, especially after arrival of famous coach Guardiola, but the Spanish coach obviously needed some time to get used on the Premier League and his job was made more difficult with obligations in the Champions League. In that competition, the City reached only the quarter-finals, which is one step back comparted to season before, while on the other hand they improved for one place in the Premier League where they ended as third placed team, which means they have avoided the qualification for the group phase of the Champions League. Let’s add that Manchester City was eliminated early on from the League Cup, while in the FA Cup future winner Arsenal eliminated them in the semi-finals.

Regarding the team that will play this season we can freely say that it is the best and most versatile by far of all Premier League teams, especially after Guardiola spent this summer almost € 200 million to bring five new players. For the time being at the Etihad stadium have arrived goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica, midfielder Bernardo Silva from Monaco and even three defenders, Walker from Tottenham, Danilo from Real Madrid and Mendy from Monaco. Stoppers Mangala and Denayer, midfielders Nasri and Zinchenko and forwards Roberts and Bony have returned to Manchester after expiration of loans, but it is quite certain that some of them will change club again. Players who did that already are defender Kolarov, who had most minutes last season out of all who left, then goalkeeper Caballero, defenders Zabaleta, Clichy and Sagna, and wingers Navas and Nolito. Let’s add new defender Mendy might skip several first league rounds due to injuries, and that several other departures from the City are expected to happen before the end of transfer window.

Probable starting lineups: Ederson Walker, Stones, Kompany, Mendy (Danilo) – Gundogan – B. Silva, de Bruyne, D. Silva, Jesus – Aguero

Forecast for the new season: As we have said earlier Guardialo has at his disposal probably the best team of all in the Premier League, and by that it is clear why we believe that the City is the strongest candidate to win the title, especially if they get lucky with injuries.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.05 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.20 at bet365

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League Winner: 3.00 at Interwetten

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