TEAMtalk’s 2018/19 Predictions: Champions Liverpool; Man Utd woe

Date published: Tuesday 14th August 2018 11:31

Join with us and laugh aloud at our ineptitude as we run you through our predictions for the 2018/19 season.

We sat down over a few beers (some of us, clearly having too many) to get our crystal balls out over what to expect this coming campaign….

Once the season is through, we’ll run back over these and review who was most accurate and who just looked damn-right ridiculous.

Feel free to use the comments box at the bottom of the page to add your own selections, too…

 

Who will win the Premier League?

James: Liverpool. It’s their time! It’s a long-running joke that ‘next season will be their year’ but for once they have all the tools in place and zero weak links to sustain a title challenge this year. I reckon City may focus more on Europe, so I’ll opt for Jurgen Klopp to take his cult status into the legendary bracket….!

Oli: Manchester City. Nineteen points is a hell of a gap to make up, and although Guardiola’s priority may be a run in Europe, they have the squad depth to challenge on both fronts and defend their title. Liverpool will close the gap, but I feel like they won’t quite have enough to overturn such a gulf.

Rob: It has to be City again for me, although I do feel that Liverpool will run them closer than United did last season. Pep’s men hardly got out of 2nd gear to brush aside Arsenal at The Emirates and will take some stopping again.

Simon: Manchester City. Kept hold of their title winning squad and have added to their strength in depth up top with the signing of Mahrez. Could also be a big season for Bernardo Silva this year and the return of Benjamin Mendy adds even more solidity to their defence.

 

And who else will finish in the top four?

Oli: Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea are my top four, in that order.

Rob: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man Utd

Simon: Man City, Liverpool, United, Tottenham

James: My top four in order: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham.

 

Prem’s ‘surprise’ package?

Oli: It’s quite hard to predict who could surprise this season, but I think that Wolves could definitely challenge for seventh place.

Rob: I was going to say Wolves or Palace, but will take a punt on Bournemouth instead. Eddie Howe has been continually evolving his side and if their top stars avoid injury they could push for a place in the top 8.

Simon:  West Ham – despite a heavy loss to start the season against Liverpool they’ve got a good manager in Pellegrini and have invested well.

James: Palace. Their form under Hodgson since he took over has been excellent and they could challenge Wolves, Everton for 7th, I reckon….

Your three relegation picks?

Rob: Southampton, Huddersfield, Cardiff

Simon: Cardiff, Bournemouth, Brighton

James: Huddersfield, Cardiff, Brighton

Oli: As much as it pains me to pick my beloved Terriers, I think this may be a season too far for us. Also think that Cardiff might go down, while Fulham could surprise a few by struggling because I don’t think they will develop a pragmatic style of play quick enough.

 

Premier League’s top goalscorer?

Simon: Kane. Wants his golden boot back.

James: Salah. He’s a machine!

Oli: Sergio Aguero. City will score a shed load again and Kun will net 30+.

Rob: Harry Kane wants his crown back and I think he will get it

 

First Prem manager to lose their job?

Oli: It appears to be an obvious choice, but Claude Puel. It appears the Leicester board want to go in a different direction to the Frenchman.

James: Jose Mourinho could be an early casualty, though perhaps not the first. The rumblings of discontent are already apparent and I think Man Utd will finish as low as sixth this season….

Rob: I think Rafa Benitez could walk for a job back in his native Spain. Not sacked though as Ashley won’t want to pay the compensation and it will be announced as ‘mutual consent’.

Simon: Mark Hughes –  Kept them up last season but doesn’t seem to be the right fit with Southampton.

FA Cup winners?

Simon: Tottenham – Desperate for some silverware this season other than the International Champions Cup

James: Chelsea. They always seem strong in cup competitions

Oli: Liverpool, beating Man City in the final.

Rob: I go for Tottenham every season, so guess what!

 

Newcastle Tottenham

 

EFL Cup winners?

Rob: Chelsea for me, especially with no Champions League to worry about. Sarri’s first trophy.

Simon: Man United – Their token piece of silverware for the season

James: Tottenham, though I reckon I pick them to win this every year….!

Oli: I’ll agree with Marshy and say Spurs.

Champions League winners?

Oli: I think this is the year that PSG finally come of age, beating Juventus in the final.

James: Barcelona – and I think they’ll beat Man City in the final….

Rob: Liverpool will go one better than last season and will beat Juve in the final

Simon: Manchester City – The reason Pep was brought to City in the first place and I think their ready to go all the way.

 

 

Europa League winners?

 

James: Always hard to call, with Champions League sides dropping in, but I’ll go for those old pros, Sevilla

Oli: The mighty AC Milan of course!

Rob: Valencia to drop out of the Champions League and win the Europa 

Simon: AC Milan “Just pick Milan” Oli says but I think it’ll be a team who will drop out from the CL.

 

 

Championship top two?

Rob: Middlesbrough and Leeds. Boro have a strong squad with a top manager at this level and I really like what I’ve seen from Leeds so far.

Simon: Leeds United recruited well over the summer and got off to a flyer and Swansea as Graham Potter’s magic.

James: Middlesbrough, West Brom

Oli: I still think Stoke will win the league despite a slow start, with West Brom second.

 

 

What can we expect from the team you support…..?

Simon: A lot of misery I suppose, first time in a new league for me as an Oldham Athletic fan and I think we will be lucky to stay in League 2 and not go down. Too many off the field problems at the club to even get a competitive team going. The team’s lacking in actual quality other than Jose Baxter when he gets fit again and potentially Jack Byrne if he ever comes back. A strike force of Chris O’Grady and Ishmael Miller who’s just come back from a footballing gap year is all that needs to be said for our hopes this season.

James: We’re hopefully in for an exciting season at Leeds and, if Bielsa can work his magic, then the top six has to be realistic. He’s the most ambitious appointment we’ve possibly ever seen in the Championship! Keeping him satisfied could be key, and for that reason, the January transfer window – for our promotion push and for Biela’s sanity (once that honeymoon period has worn off) – will be paramount.

Oli: As a Huddersfield fan who tends to be a little more realistic than optimistic, I fear that we are facing another long old slog to achieve survival. The recruitment has been smart, but when teams like Wolves and Fulham come up and spend such vast sums, the playing field is instantly levelled. I think we will fight all the way but ultimately get relegated.

Rob: As a Spurs fan this is a very tricky one. New stadium would suggest a bit of a struggle, but playing at Wembley turned out alright in the end. Making no signings this summer means we are gambling with our squad strength a little and the lack of true leader at the heart of the midfield still worries me. Still, we have the country’s top striker, two outstanding playmakers in Dele and Eriksen and are solid enough defensively to grab 3rd or 4th spot.

 

 

 

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