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Premier League 2017-18 discussion


Jourdan

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The new top flight season is only two days away! I thought it'd be good to start a topic for all of us to share our thoughts and predictions.

Winners: Chelsea

Conte did an excellent job last year and they are still the team to beat. The only real concerns I have for them are the absence of Hazard and the lack of squad depth when they are competing in four competitions. But Conte will be smart enough to address this.

Top six: 1) Chelsea 2) Tottenham 3) Man City 4) Man Utd 5) Arsenal 6) Liverpool

Spurs have kept all of their key players and this is better than any new signing. Man City will be closer to the top two and will be entertaining but they are still missing a few key ingredients to elevate them to league winners. Man Utd will improve enough to edge out Arsenal for a top four spot. After an otherwise productive summer, Liverpool look likely to lose Phillippe Coutinho and it'll be a season of damage limitation in that case.

Bottom three: 18) Leicester 19) Watford 20) Burnley

Leicester recovered well under Shakespeare last season but I think he will find the full-time job much more difficult, especially if they lose Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray. Watford have got progressively worse since they sacked Quique Flores and I look at their squad and it's an odd blend that I don't expect to click. Burnley have lost two key players in Michael Keane and Andre Gray and they have not replaced them and unless they do, I really expect them to suffer from 'second season syndrome'. 

Top goalscorer: Alexandre Lacazette

He will be the highlight of Arsenal’s season. He is a natural goalscorer in an attacking team that will create chances. But his goals alone won’t be enough to mask Arsenal’s deficiencies.

Player of the year: Christian Eriksen

The best midfielder in the Premier League in my opinion and I think he'll be instrumental in cementing Spurs as a top side.

Player to watch: Davy Klaassen

I’m surprised that one of the top six sides didn’t go for him. A genuinely top player with all the qualities needed to succeed in the Premier League. Technique, dynamism, desire, bravery, leadership, composure on the ball and in front of goal. A real coup for Everton.

Surprise package: Brighton

I really rate Hughton as a manager and I think he has done an excellent job at Brighton. They play a positive brand of football, they have some quality players in Propper and Knockaert, and I could see them sneaking into the top half if they sign a top striker. In any case, I think they will survive comfortably and given there are such fine margins in the bottom half, 11-13th is very achievable.

Underachievers: Southampton

No danger of relegation but I think the turnover of managers and the continued loss of key players is concerning. How can a manager push them on when they lose at least one key player every season and they only have one season to show what they can do? I expect them to slip into the bottom half.

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Top 6 

Spurs**

City

Chelsea

Everton 

Man Utd

Liverpool/Arsenal***

 

Bottom 3

Swansea

Brighton

Burnley

 

**Spurs to shock everyone by winning the PL. 

***Liverpool or Arsenal for 6th is tough One though. 

Surprise package Huddersfield Town and Watford. 

IMO. 

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19 minutes ago, DEL said:

Top 6 

Spurs**

City

Chelsea

Everton 

Man Utd

Liverpool/Arsenal***

 

Bottom 3

Swansea

Brighton

Burnley

 

**Spurs to shock everyone by winning the PL. 

***Liverpool or Arsenal for 6th is tough One though. 

Surprise package Huddersfield Town and Watford

IMO. 

Why do you think Everton will finish 4th?

Why do you think Watford will be a surprise package?

 

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I think Chelsea are worse off now than at the end of last season. IMO they need two more big signings. Van Dijk and another central midfielder.

City looked fabulous in pre-season. Pep has opted for a back 3 with bombing fullbacks and they destroyed both Real Madrid and Spurs. IMO they need another CB if they want to go to a back 3 permanently. Jesus, Aguero, Sane, Sterling, De Bruyne, the two Silvas... City have the goals to blast everyone away.

Spurs, without signing anyone and losing Walker, have gone backwards.

Liverpool have strengthened but losing Courinho would be a big blow.

Man Utd will underachieve. I just dont rate Mourinho. His negativity will restrict the likes of Lukaku, Rashford and Pogba.

Arsenal have brought in Lacazette but is he really that much different to Giroud in playing style? Kolasinac IMO could become a more influential player for them.

City

Chelsea

Liverpool

Arsenal

Spurs

United

Bottom 3: Huddersfield, Burnley, Brighton

 

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18 minutes ago, Bris Vegas said:

I think Chelsea are worse off now than at the end of last season. IMO they need two more big signings. Van Dijk and another central midfielder.

City looked fabulous in pre-season. Pep has opted for a back 3 with bombing fullbacks and they destroyed both Real Madrid and Spurs. IMO they need another CB if they want to go to a back 3 permanently. Jesus, Aguero, Sane, Sterling, De Bruyne, the two Silvas... City have the goals to blast everyone away.

Spurs, without signing anyone and losing Walker, have gone backwards.

Liverpool have strengthened but losing Courinho would be a big blow.

Man Utd will underachieve. I just dont rate Mourinho. His negativity will restrict the likes of Lukaku, Rashford and Pogba.

Arsenal have brought in Lacazette but is he really that much different to Giroud in playing style? Kolasinac IMO could become a more influential player for them.

City

Chelsea

Liverpool

Arsenal

Spurs

United

Bottom 3: Huddersfield, Burnley, Brighton

 

I would definitely agree that Chelsea haven't had a positive summer so far. Hazard's long-term injury and Costa's likely departure would be damaging for any top club. But I think Conte will rise to the challenge, bolster the squad in the next three weeks, and extract quality performances out of Luiz, Fabregas, Willian and Morata. They will be just fine.

Where City are concerned, you have to look beyond pre-season. It's four games, four inconsequential games. City might look brilliant for a 10-game spell, much like they did last season. But do they have the ability to sustain that level of performance for a full season? City were everyone's tip last season, they were quick out of the blocks last season too, they looked fabulous this time last season too, but then they ran out of steam. I think it'll happen again. Probably the moment Kompany breaks down.

Spurs have gone backwards? They've sold Kyle Walker for £50 million. He is the one of the very few players they could afford to sell without going backwards. If anything, you could argue they are standing still. Last season Spurs showed they mean business and showed they were not a flash in the pan. Pochettino is an excellent manager and he has cultivated a skilled, well-drilled, united team. How will Liverpool and Arsenal in their respective states finish above them? I just don't see it.

I think you are being harsh on Mourinho. But when you think Guardiola walks on water, it's not a surprise.

Lacazette is very different to Giroud. Giroud is tall, strong and a aerial presence up front. Lacazette is a poacher, whose game relies on explosiveness. He is quick, mobile, deceptively strong, with great movement, running, and excellent instincts in and around the box. Kolasinac looks a presence at the back, but he alone won't solve their defensive problems.

 

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51 minutes ago, Jourdan said:

I would definitely agree that Chelsea haven't had a positive summer so far. Hazard's long-term injury and Costa's likely departure would be damaging for any top club. But I think Conte will rise to the challenge, bolster the squad in the next three weeks, and extract quality performances out of Luiz, Fabregas, Willian and Morata. They will be just fine.

Where City are concerned, you have to look beyond pre-season. It's four games, four inconsequential games. City might look brilliant for a 10-game spell, much like they did last season. But do they have the ability to sustain that level of performance for a full season? City were everyone's tip last season, they were quick out of the blocks last season too, they looked fabulous this time last season too, but then they ran out of steam. I think it'll happen again. Probably the moment Kompany breaks down.

Spurs have gone backwards? They've sold Kyle Walker for £50 million. He is the one of the very few players they could afford to sell without going backwards. If anything, you could argue they are standing still. Last season Spurs showed they mean business and showed they were not a flash in the pan. Pochettino is an excellent manager and he has cultivated a skilled, well-drilled, united team. How will Liverpool and Arsenal in their respective states finish above them? I just don't see it.

I think you are being harsh on Mourinho. But when you think Guardiola walks on water, it's not a surprise.

Lacazette is very different to Giroud. Giroud is tall, strong and a aerial presence up front. Lacazette is a poacher, whose game relies on explosiveness. He is quick, mobile, deceptively strong, with great movement, running, and excellent instincts in and around the box. Kolasinac looks a presence at the back, but he alone won't solve their defensive problems.

 

I think Spurs' Wembley move puts them at a disadvantage. It's a neutral ground, not a home ground for them. That will have an affect.

City are miles better already this season than last year. Gabriel Jesus will be a hit, while their fullbacks are so much better than last year, so much more pace and energy.

Chelsea will be fine in terms of top 4 I think. But with the CL, their first-team squad seems very small.

Arsenal without CL may have a better run at the league providing they play the fringe players in Europa, while Liverpool appear to have strengthened though CL could be a burden for them if they get past Hoffenheim.

I just see Spurs as going backwards due to their stadium move more than anything.

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5 minutes ago, Bris Vegas said:

I think Spurs' Wembley move puts them at a disadvantage. It's a neutral ground, not a home ground for them. That will have an affect.

City are miles better already this season than last year. Gabriel Jesus will be a hit, while their fullbacks are so much better than last year, so much more pace and energy.

Chelsea will be fine in terms of top 4 I think. But with the CL, their first-team squad seems very small.

Arsenal without CL may have a better run at the league providing they play the fringe players in Europa, while Liverpool appear to have strengthened though CL could be a burden for them if they get past Hoffenheim.

I just see Spurs as going backwards due to their stadium move more than anything.

Spurs' home record last season was almost perfect - 17 wins and 2 draws out of 19 - which I agree will be impossible to replicate but I don't think a stadium move will be detrimental to the point where they finish three positions lower than last season. It's not like they are playing in the Sahara Desert or on the Moon. It's Wembley. For 4-5 games, it will be an adjustment but I really think they will be fine.

Miles better? How do you quantify that? They have signed a lot of young players full of potential and shipped out many players that have been there and done it. It's about getting the balance right between youth and experience. Only time will tell if Pep has achieved that. They may have put teams to the sword in pre-season but let's see how this new-look City actually fare in competitive action. For me, I don't think they are the total package. They will be exceptional going forward but not to the extent that teams won't be able to neutralise them. Too many attack-minded players, too many mercurial players, and not enough players who can dig in and take the rough with the smooth. They will be a 'flat-track bully' - ruthless against the smaller teams, but the better teams will be able to stop them.

Chelsea do have a thin squad, but this hasn't escaped Conte's attention and he still has time to address it. Given that there were doubts about whether he would stay there and Chelsea made an effort to keep him, I think if Conte asks for money to bolster the squad, he will get it.

Yes, Arsenal have no Champions League commitments but the Europa League is just as taxing on a squad of players and I don't think Arsenal are arrogant enough to disregard it and play an eleven of youngsters every Thursday. It's a route back into the Champions League and a good chance of major silverware.

I like the signings Liverpool have made. Salah looks an excellent fit for their team and Robertson is a much better fit at left back than Milner or Moreno. But the loss of Coutinho will be a major setback. He is at the heart of everything they do well and a big spark for them. How well they do this season hinges on his future. If he stays, they will be top 4 again. If he goes, I think it'll take the wind right out of their sails.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jourdan said:

Spurs' home record last season was almost perfect - 17 wins and 2 draws out of 19 - which I agree will be impossible to replicate but I don't think a stadium move will be detrimental to the point where they finish three positions lower than last season. It's not like they are playing in the Sahara Desert or on the Moon. It's Wembley. For 4-5 games, it will be an adjustment but I really think they will be fine.

Miles better? How do you quantify that? They have signed a lot of young players full of potential and shipped out many players that have been there and done it. It's about getting the balance right between youth and experience. Only time will tell if Pep has achieved that. They may have put teams to the sword in pre-season but let's see how this new-look City actually fare in competitive action. For me, I don't think they are the total package. They will be exceptional going forward but not to the extent that teams won't be able to neutralise them. Too many attack-minded players, too many mercurial players, and not enough players who can dig in and take the rough with the smooth. They will be a 'flat-track bully' - ruthless against the smaller teams, but the better teams will be able to stop them.

Chelsea do have a thin squad, but this hasn't escaped Conte's attention and he still has time to address it. Given that there were doubts about whether he would stay there and Chelsea made an effort to keep him, I think if Conte asks for money to bolster the squad, he will get it.

Yes, Arsenal have no Champions League commitments but the Europa League is just as taxing on a squad of players and I don't think Arsenal are arrogant enough to disregard it and play an eleven of youngsters every Thursday. It's a route back into the Champions League and a good chance of major silverware.

I like the signings Liverpool have made. Salah looks an excellent fit for their team and Robertson is a much better fit at left back than Milner or Moreno. But the loss of Coutinho will be a major setback. He is at the heart of everything they do well and a big spark for them. How well they do this season hinges on his future. If he stays, they will be top 4 again. If he goes, I think it'll take the wind right out of their sails.

 

 

It's psychological. Spurs won't have a home ground next season. They may have more fans at Wembley, but they're hardly a rowdy or intimidating bunch. Spurs won't finish above 74 points next season. Four others will IMO.

City have replaced ageing, past their prime players with energetic ones who no doubt fit Pep's style a lot more. They're not the finished package, they will need more time to adhere to Pep's ideas, but they look alot better. They improved a lot at the back end of last season, and they look like a team now with plenty of momentum.

We will see how they do. I think City and Chelsea are the two most would pick for a top four spot. For me it's then two from the next four, and I see Spurs as one missing out.

 

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1 man city will ship a few goals but have the fire power to still win

2 losing costa and failing to get lukaku will cost chelsea

3  man utd will be much improved. Eventually all the spending must yield results

4 liverpool will be strong with or without coutinho and naby keita.

5 arsenal will fail to achieve champions league. Wenger will go.

6 spurs - overly reliant on harry kane - will fail to sustain last seasons success

7 Everton won't make much progress. Running to stand still.

8 Leicester will still think that they are champions 

9 West ham will be as boring as usual

10 southampton - midtable - gabbiadini will do well

11 watford will surprise a few people

12 Brighton will be ok

13 bournemouth will be top of the bottom 8

14 stoke will survive by 3 points

15 newcastle will survive by 1 point

16 crystal palace will survive by goal difference

17 West brom will struggle 

18 burnley will go down

19 Swansea will get relegated

20 huddersfield will get hammered

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13 hours ago, Jourdan said:

Why do you think Everton will finish 4th?

Why do you think Watford will be a surprise package?

 

1) Because they have a decent summer transfer business (I'd say best business in the Premier League if they manage to get Gylfi Sigurðsson) they're in for very good season IMO.

2) If Silva manage to get results against big teams like he did at Hull then I can see them doing them well. 

Oh and forgot to put top scorer in PL Harry Kane.

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2 hours ago, DEL said:

1) Because they have a decent summer transfer business (I'd say best business in the Premier League if they manage to get Gylfi Sigurðsson) they're in for very good season IMO.

2) If Silva manage to get results against big teams like he did at Hull then I can see them doing them well. 

Oh and forgot to put top scorer in PL Harry Kane.

If they hadn't lost Lukaku, I would completely agree with you about Everton. But I think he'll be a massive loss for them. I just don't see anyone who can do what he did for them. I just don't think Rooney and Sandro will give defences quite as much of a headache.

As well as that, I don't really see the need for them to sign Sigurdsson. Where does he fit in? They already have Klaassen to play that central role. If you add Sigurdsson and play a more narrow three, you sacrifice a lot of width and pace. Of course, Sigurdsson is a top player, one of the best midfielders in the division, but you want him playing in a central position and picking up the ball in the centre circle or picking up the ball outside the 18-yard-box, not out wide. For me, they would be better off signing a player in the mould of Demarai Gray or Anthony Knockaert to play on the opposite flank to Bolasie.

As for Watford, don't you look at their squad and think it seems a bit muddled and unbalanced? A lot of flair players, a lot of attacking talent, a lot of technically proficient midfielders, but no real backbone and a poor defence? While I agree with you that Marco Silva is a good manager and enhanced his reputation at Hull, I do think there was significantly less pressure in that position as Hull looked dead and buried and there wasn't a huge budget to play with in the January window. With Watford, it's different. They have spent £50 million in one transfer window to barely stand still, in my opinion.

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Top 6:

1. Man City

2. Man Utd 

3. Spurs

4.Arsenal

5. Chelsea

6. Liverpool 

Relegated 3:

18. Burnley

19: Brighton

20. Huddersfield 

Top scorer: Lukaku

Player of the season: De Bruyne

Player to watch: Bernardo Silva/Sane

Surprise package: Leicester 

Underachievers: Chelsea

 

 

 

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Not convinced at all by Chelsea, their club's in turmoil as Conte was clearly against Matic's sale and isn't happy with their lack of transfer business. I can see him walking out before the season ends. The Costa situation is ridiculous too. Whilst Morata is a talented player, I don't think he will suit Conte's style. Morata works best with a strike partner rather than a lone striker. 

Conte will have to adapt Chelsea's style again for me because teams at the end of the season began to work the 3-4-3 out.

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Top 6 - Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool.

Unfortunately I think Spurs have peaked.  In this league you need to constantly improve just to stand still and they are (we're before Walker was sold) in a position where it was very difficult to improve their first XI as they had no weakness.  To not sign anyone is odd and add the move to Wembley and I see them dropping out of the top 4 followed by the likes of Dier, Wanyama, Lloris, Kane, Alderwerild, Vertonghen, Alli, Erikkson and Kane leaving to get their market value in wages over the next few years.  Such a shame as I think they should have gambled by trying to sign Bale and paying their players what they'd get at other clubs.  Chelsea I don't think have improved enough or got enough numbers but think they will hold onto a top 4 spot.  The two Manchester clubs have added wisely and I think City will win out because they started from a stronger position.  Arsenal could finish between 2nd and 7th IMO depending on how they approach the Europa Cup.  Liverpool need to play a CF IMO to win enough games, unfortunately I think they will stick to using Firmano in a false 9.

 

Relegated - Brighton, Burnley Huddersfield

Depsite both Brighton and Huddersfield recruiting heavily I think they will find the step up to big to survive.  Burnley didn't have a lot of quality but have sold some of it.  Hope Jeff does well enough to move to another Premier League club though.  I think Newcastle, Stoke and Swansea will struggle too.

Top Scorer - Lukaku

POTY - Jesus 

YPOY - Alli

Surprise Package - I think Watford, Crystal Palace and Leicester will all do better than last season with the likes of Southampton and Bournemouth doing less well without ever looking in danger.

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2 hours ago, McLovin said:

Not convinced at all by Chelsea, their club's in turmoil as Conte was clearly against Matic's sale and isn't happy with their lack of transfer business. I can see him walking out before the season ends. The Costa situation is ridiculous too. Whilst Morata is a talented player, I don't think he will suit Conte's style. Morata works best with a strike partner rather than a lone striker. 

Conte will have to adapt Chelsea's style again for me because teams at the end of the season began to work the 3-4-3 out.

Turmoil seems a bit of an exaggeration. If he was that unhappy, Conte would have walked away already with his reputation untouched, surely? The deeper into the season we go the more culpability he will have, especially if Chelsea nosedive. Wouldn't you agree?

I can see the frustration as you don't want to sell a key player to a rival. But Matic's departure gives Fabregas or Bakayoko the opportunity to step in and show their qualities and £40 million (and £19 million profit) for a 29-year-old defensive midfielder is difficult to turn down.

It's strange for you to say that Chelsea were figured out at the end of the season. They breezed to the title. It was so comfortable. Arsenal and apparently Man City have adopted similar systems in recent months. That speaks volumes for its effectiveness.

Why do you think Leicester will be a surprise package?

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Being a good footballing side always used to be an instant advantage upon promotion. 

But with Bournemouth, Watford, Southampton and Swansea up there I do wonder whether it will remain advantageous or whether it'll begin to favour pragmatists.

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5 hours ago, Jourdan said:

As for Watford, don't you look at their squad and think it seems a bit muddled and unbalanced? A lot of flair players, a lot of attacking talent, a lot of technically proficient midfielders, but no real backbone and a poor defence?

No wonder Will went there - a real home from home for him :lol:

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On 10/08/2017 at 20:33, Jourdan said:

Turmoil seems a bit of an exaggeration. If he was that unhappy, Conte would have walked away already with his reputation untouched, surely? The deeper into the season we go the more culpability he will have, especially if Chelsea nosedive. Wouldn't you agree?

I can see the frustration as you don't want to sell a key player to a rival. But Matic's departure gives Fabregas or Bakayoko the opportunity to step in and show their qualities and £40 million (and £19 million profit) for a 29-year-old defensive midfielder is difficult to turn down.

It's strange for you to say that Chelsea were figured out at the end of the season. They breezed to the title. It was so comfortable. Arsenal and apparently Man City have adopted similar systems in recent months. That speaks volumes for its effectiveness.

Why do you think Leicester will be a surprise package?

Conte will be gone by Christmas, today's result proved their club is in turmoil. Bakayoko has injury problems and Conte admitted he's not ready for the premier league just yet.

On Leicester, I think last night's performance showed they will compete again in the premier league again. Harry Maguire is a great signing. 

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3 minutes ago, McLovin said:

Conte will be gone by Christmas, today's result proved their club is in turmoil. Bakayoko has injury problems and Conte admitted he's not ready for the premier league just yet.

On Leicester, I think last night's performance showed they will compete again in the premier league again. Harry Maguire is a great signing. 

Gone by Christmas? If Conte is unhappy and has his eyes on the exit door, why wait? Abramovich might sack him but only if they are consistently poor. I just don't see that happening.

How does one result prove a club is in turmoil? Let's revisit this after ten games. Chelsea could win the next 9 and suddenly the outlook is very different.

You score 3 goals away from home and you expect to win the game. I would agree with you had Leicester closed out the game. But to me you can't draw any conclusions from that game other than that we learned nothing new.

 

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