2018-19 English Premier League Season Preview

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The following is a team-by-team preview for the 2018-19 English Premier League season. Each preview covers the side’s prior form and stats, key squad changes, pre-season results, a survey of pundit predictions, futures odds and a summary of positives and negatives heading into this campaign. This article will be updated to incorporate the latest news as we approach the start of the season on August 11 AEST.

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Arsenal

Arsenal

  • Last six season finishes: 4, 4, 3, 2, 5, 6
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 6th with 63 points and a 19-6-13 record (15-2-2 at home and 4-4-11 away)
    • Offence:: 74 goals scored (54 at home and 20 away) – league rank: 3
    • Defence:: 51 goals conceded (20 at home and 31 away) – league rank: 8
  • Stadium: Emirates Stadium (59,867 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Unai Emery. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 2004.
    • Captain: Laurent Koscielny
    • Key arrivals: Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria, £26m), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen, £19m), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund, £16m), Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus)
    • Key departures: Takuma Asano (Hannover, loan), Santi Cazorla (released), Per Mertesacker (retired), Jack Wilshere (West Ham), Matt Macey (Plymouth Argyle, loan), Chuba Akpom (PAOK), Calum Chambers (Fulham, loan), Lucas Perez (West Ham)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Arsenal 8-0 Boreham Wood
    • Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
    • Arsenal 5-1 PSG
    • Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
    • Arsenal 2-0 Lazio
  • Positives:
    • New manager Unai Emery is highly experienced, having managed the likes of Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain. He won the Europa League three consecutive times at the helm of Sevilla. Emery favours the 4-2-3-1 formation, as did Arsène Wenger.
    • Took care of their summer transfers early on and arguably have better squad depth now, particularly defensively.
    • Had the second best home record in the league last season.
    • Were the 3rd highest scorers in the league last campaign.
    • After signing on January 31st, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 10 goals in 13 league appearances.
    • Mesut Ozil has retired from the German national team, so he can focus on club football.
  • Negatives:
    • New managers always come with uncertainty over how their tenure will pan out, particularly when they’ve never previously managed in England.
    • The World Cup arguably impacts clubs with new managers the most due to the lack of time they can prepare with certain squad members.
    • Had a poor 4-4-11 away record last season and only won one away fixture in 2018, which was on the final day.
    • Arsenal’s 5th placed finish in 2016/17 and 6th placed finish in 2017/18 were their worst results in the Premier League since 1995/96.
    • With Laurent Koscielny out until November at least, Arsenal look light in the centre-back position.
    • Start the season with tough fixtures against Man City and Chelsea, which may set their campaign off on the wrong foot.
    • Have struggled against the top clubs in recent years. Arsenal failed to win a single game as the underdog last season.
  • Pundit table predictions: 6th1, 6th2, 5th3, 6th4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 6 pundits predict 4th and the remaining 18 predict 5th or lower
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 21.00
    • Top four finish: 3.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.40
    • Top six finish: 1.22
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 17.00
    • Relegated: 501.00
    • Rock bottom: 1001.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Bournemouth

Bournemouth

  • Last six season finishes: 2 (L1), 10 (C), 1 (C), 16, 9, 12
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 12th with 44 points and a 11-11-16 record (7-5-7 at home and 4-6-9 away)
    • Offence:: 45 goals scored (26 at home and 19 away) – league rank: 9
    • Defence:: 61 goals conceded (30 at home and 31 away) – league rank: 17
  • Stadium: Vitality Stadium (11,360 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Eddie Howe. At the helm since 2012 and began his managerial career in 2008.
    • Captain: Simon Francis
    • Key arrivals: Jefferson Lerma (Levante, £25m), David Brooks (Sheffield United), Diego Rico (Leganes)
    • Key departures: Ryan Allsop (released), Baily Cargill (released), Ollie Harfield (released), Sam Matthews (released), Patrick O’Flaherty (released), Joe Quigley (released), Rhoys Wiggins (retired), Benik Afobe (Wolves), Max Gradel (Toulouse), Adam Federici (Stoke), Mikael Ndjoli (Kilmarnock), Lewis Grabban (Nott’m Forest), Harry Arter (Cardiff, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Bournemouth 1-1 Sevilla
    • Bournemouth 4-3 Levante
    • Bristol City 1-1 Bournemouth
    • Nottingham Forest 2-0 Bournemouth
    • Bournemouth 3-1 Amiens
    • Bournemouth 0-2 Real Betis
    • Bournemouth 5-2 Marseille
  • Positives:
    • Have enjoyed good stability in the managerial position, with Eddie Howe being at the helm since 2012.
    • Had the 8th best away record in the league last season.
    • Have made positive, measured signings in the transfer window that address their defensive short-comings.
    • Bournemouth didn’t give up when falling behind last season. They recovered 21 points from losing positions, more than any other team in the league.
    • Have good team spirit with a nucleus of players who have been with the club for a while.
  • Negatives:
    • Conceded 61 goals last campaign, which was the 4th most in the league. They only kept six clean sheets, which was the joint lowest in the league.
    • Vitality Stadium has a capacity of just 11,360, which means Bournemouth can’t compete with other clubs for ticket revenues.
    • Lost 10 of their 12 fixtures against the top six sides last campaign.
  • Pundit table predictions: 14th1, 17th2, 17th3, 14th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1001.00
    • Top four finish: 101.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.001
    • Top six finish: 34.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.30
    • Relegated: 5.50
    • Rock bottom: 21.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • Last six season finishes: 4 (C), 6 (C), 20 (C), 3 (C), 2 (C), 15
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 15th with 40 points and a 9-13-16 record (7-8-4 at home and 2-5-12 away)
    • Offence:: 34 goals scored (24 at home and 10 away) – league rank: 17
    • Defence:: 54 goals conceded (25 at home and 29 away) – league rank: 9
  • Stadium: Amex Stadium (30,750 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Chris Hughton. At the helm since 2014 and began his managerial career in 2008.
    • Captain: Bruno
    • Key arrivals: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar, £17m), Florin Andone (Deportivo La Coruna), Leon Balogun (Mainz), Joseph Tomlinson (Yeovil Town), Jason Steele (Sunderland), Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior (RB Leipzig), Hugo Keto (Arsenal), David Button (Fulham), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Yves Bissouma (Lille), Anders Dreyer (Esbjerg), Billy Arce (CSD Independiente Del Valle), Martin Montoya (Valencia), Peter Gwargis (Jonkopings Sodra), Dan Burn (Wigan, loaned back to Wigan until January)
    • Key departures: Uwe Hunemeier (Paderborn), Jamie Murphy (Rangers), Liam Rosenior (released), Steve Sidwell (released), Bailey Vose (Colchester), Connor Goldson (Rangers), Robert Sanchez (Forest Green), Ben Hall (Notts County – loan), Henrik Bjordal (Zulte Waregem), Christian Walton (Wigan), Steven Alzate (Swindon), Ales Mateju (Brescia), Tyler Horby-Forbes (Newport County), Rohan Ince (released), Niki Maenpaa (released), Tim Krul (released), Billy Arce (Extremadura UD, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • St Gallen 1-1 Brighton
    • Brighton 3-0 Crawley
    • AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Brighton
    • Brighton 1-1 Portsmouth
    • Charlton 1-1 Brighton
    • Birmingham 1-1 Brighton
    • Nice 0-1 Brighton
    • Brighton 2-1 FC Nantes
  • Positives:
    • Have been active and acted early in the transfer market, bringing in eight new major signings. They have on paper a stronger and deeper squad this campaign.
    • Their marquee signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored 21 league goals in the Eredivisie last season.
    • Have kept hold of their best performers from 2017/18.
    • Were in the relegation zone only once last season, following defeats to Manchester City and Leicester City in the first two matchdays.
    • Were defensively sound last campaign, boasting the 9th best defensive record in the league.
    • Were strong at Amex Stadium, with their 7-8-4 home record the 8th best in the league.
  • Negatives:
    • With a 2-5-12 away record, Brighton picked up fewer points away from home than any other side last season.
    • Only scored 34 goals last season, which was the 4th fewest in the league. Striker Glenn Murray is 34 years old, so it remains to be seen whether he has another 10+ goal season in him.
    • Faded towards the end of the season, winning just one of their final nine games.
    • Had very few injuries last season, so the club’s depth was never tested.
    • It may take time for the numerous new signings to settle in.
  • Pundit table predictions: 15th1, 16th2, 14th3, 17th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1001.00
    • Top four finish: 151.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: N/A
    • Top six finish: 51.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.10
    • Relegated: 3.00
    • Rock bottom: 9.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Burnley

Burnley

  • Last six season finishes: 11 (C), 2 (C), 19, 1 (C), 16, 7
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 7th with 54 points and a 14-12-12 record (7-5-7 at home and 7-7-5 away)
    • Offence:: 36 goals scored (16 at home and 20 away) – league rank: 15
    • Defence:: 39 goals conceded (17 at home and 22 away) – league rank: 6
  • Stadium: Turf Moor (22,546 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Sean Dyche. At the helm since 2012 and began his managerial career in 2011.
    • Captain: Tom Heaton
    • Key arrivals: Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough, £15m), Vinnie Steels (York City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Matej Vydra (Derby)
    • Key departures: Tom Anderson (Doncaster), Scott Arfield (Rangers), Josh Ginnelly (released), Chris Long (Fleetwood Town), Dean Marney (released)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Cork City 0-1 Burnley
    • Burnley 0-1 Shrewsbury Town
    • Burnley 0-2 Blackpool
    • Macclesfield Town 0-2 Burnley
    • Curzon Ashton 2-5 Burnley
    • Preston North End 2-3 Burnley
    • Aberdeen 1-1 Burnley (Europa League qualifiication)
    • Burnley 0-0 Montpellier
    • Burnley 1-1 (3-1 AET) Aberdeen (Europa League qualifiication)
    • Burnley 0-2 Espanyol
  • Positives:
    • Have enjoyed good stability in the managerial position, with Sean Dyche being at the helm since 2012.
    • With their 7th placed finish last season, Burnley enjoyed their best finish in English football since 1975/76.
    • Had the 6th best away record in the league last season.
    • Had the 6th best defensive record in the league last season.
    • Haven’t lost any key players during the off-season.
  • Negatives:
    • Have the distraction of Europa League football this campaign, which will test their squad depth.
    • Had only the 13th best home record last season.
    • Scored only 36 goals last campaign, making their offense ranked 15th in the league.
    • Didn’t sign a player in the transfer window until August 5.
    • Lack depth at the centre-back position.
    • There is a chance that last season’s success was a one-off. Burnley could regress much like Leicester City did when they finished 12th the year after winning the Premier League. Many pundits feel that Burnley have defied the odds to achieve what they have done.
    • There’s a risk that manager Sean Dyche will be lured away to a bigger club.
    • Forced to make an unplanned signing of goalkeeper Joe Hart following injuries to Nick Pope and Tom Heaton.
    • Finished last season on a 0-2-3 run.
  • Pundit table predictions: 8th1, 15th2, 11th3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 751.00
    • Top four finish: 151.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.001
    • Top six finish: 26.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.36
    • Relegated: 5.00
    • Rock bottom: 13.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Cardiff City

Cardiff City

  • Last six season finishes: 1(C), 20, 11 (C), 8 (C), 12 (C), 2 (C)
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 2nd in the Championship with 90 points and a 27-9-10 record (16-4-3 at home and 11-5-7 away)
    • Offence:: 69 goals scored (40 at home and 29 away) – league rank: 6
    • Defence:: 39 goals conceded (16 at home and 23 away) – league rank: 1
  • Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium (33,280 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Neil Warnock. At the helm since 2016 and began his managerial career in 1980.
    • Captain: Sean Morrison
    • Key arrivals: Josh Murphy (Norwich), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Alex Smithies (QPR), Bobby Reid (Bristol City), Victor Camarasa (Real Betis, loan)
    • Key departures: Matty Kennedy (St Johnstone), Greg Halford (released), Ben Wilson (released)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Tavistock AFC 0-6 Cardiff
    • Bodmin Town 1-11 Cardiff
    • Torquay 1-1 Cardiff
    • Rotherham 2-1 Cardiff
    • Burton 1-5 Cardiff
    • Cardiff 1-2 Real Betis
  • Positives:
    • The owner will have learned valuable lessons from their unsuccessful 2013/14 stint in the Premier League. The relationship between the owner and the fans is far better this time round.
    • Have acted early in the transfer window, without spending more than they can afford.
    • Had the joint best defensive record in the Championship last season.
    • Have a soft run of fixtures to start the campaign, which will help them to find their feet.
  • Negatives:
    • Manager Neil Warnock was unsuccessful in his previous EPL management stints with QPR and Crystal Palace. He has stated that just getting Cardiff City promoted was his biggest ever achievement, which highlights the task he faces this campaign.
    • Finished dead last in the 2013/14 EPL season and were relegated after just one season in the top flight.
    • Their signings to date have all been from the Championship.
  • Pundit table predictions: 20th1, 19th2, 20th3, 20th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 2001.00
    • Top four finish: 301.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: N/A
    • Top six finish: 101.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.03
    • Relegated: 1.72
    • Rock bottom: 3.50
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Chelsea

Chelsea

  • Last six season finishes: 3, 3, 1, 10, 1, 5
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 5th with 70 points and a 21-7-10 record (11-4-4 at home and 10-3-6 away)
    • Offence:: 62 goals scored (30 at home and 32 away) – league rank: 6
    • Defence:: 38 goals conceded (16 at home and 22 away) – league rank: 4
  • Stadium: Stamford Bridge (41,631 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Maurizio Sarri. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 1990.
    • Captain: Gary Cahill
    • Key arrivals: Jorginho (Napoli, £50m), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao, £71m), Robert Green (Huddersfield), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid, loan), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid, loan)
    • Key departures: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Jonathan Panzo (Monaco), Matej Delac (AC Horsens), Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo), Trevor Chalobah (Ipswich, loan), Reece James (Wigan, loan), Dujon Sterling (Coventry, loan), Nathan Baxter (Yeovil, loan), Lewis Baker (Leeds, loan), Jake Clarke-Salter (Vitesse, loan), Danilo Pantic (Partizan, loan), Eduardo (Vitesse, loan), Kenedy (Newcastle, loan), Jhoao Rodriguez (Tenerife, loan), Jamal Blackman (Leeds, loan), Todd Kane (Hull, loan), Mason Mount (Derby, loan), Jamal Blackman (Leeds, loan), Fikayo Tomori (Derby, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Perth Glory 0-1 Chelsea
    • Inter Milan 1-1 Chelsea
    • Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
    • Chelsea 0-2 Man City (FA Community Shield)
    • Chelsea 0-0 Lyon
  • Positives:
    • Signed Jorginho, who many had predicted would go to Manchester city.
    • New manager Maurizio Sarri has a lot of credibility following his tenure at Napoli. Across Europe’s top five leagues last season Napoli was ranked 4th in shots per game, 4th in total possession, 2nd in total passes and 4th in fewest saves made by their goalkeeper.
    • Boast a good crop of developing players, having won the FA Youth Cup for the last five straight years.
  • Negatives:
    • Failed to secure a Champions League spot after finishing 5th last season, just one year after winning the title.
    • New managers always come with uncertainty over how their tenure will pan out, especially when they have never previously managed in England. The World Cup arguably impacts clubs with new managers the most due to the lack of time they can prepare with certain squad members. The World Cup disruption will have hampered their efforts to adapt to the new manager’s “Sarriball”, which involves a change of style and formation from last season. Maurizio Sarri was only appointed in mid-July and has said it will be two to three months before Chelsea reach their potential.
    • Only scored 62 goals last season, compared to 68 by Man Utd, 74 by Arsenal, 74 by Tottenham, 84 by Liverpool and 106 by Man City.
    • Have had the distraction of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Willian linked with moves away during the summer.
    • Have the potential to go deep into the Europa League tournament, which could be a detriment to their league form.
    • Comfortably beaten 2-0 by Man City in the Community Shield, with the side looking desperately short of pace up front.
    • Key player Eden Hazard didn’t return to pre-season training until Monday.
    • Alvaro Morata struggled to fill the void left by Diego Costa last season and his woes continued into the pre-season.
  • Pundit table predictions: 2nd1, 5th2, 6th3, TBA4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 6 pundits predict 3rd, 3 pundits predict 4th and the remaining 15 predict 5th or lower
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 13.00
    • Top four finish: 1.66
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 2.20
    • Top six finish: 1.12
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: N/A
    • Relegated: 501.00
    • Rock bottom: 1001.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

  • Last six season finishes: 5 (C), 11, 10, 15, 14, 11
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 11th with 44 points and a 11-11-16 record (7-5-7 at home and 4-6-9 away)
    • Offence:: 45 goals scored (29 at home and 16 away) – league rank: 9
    • Defence:: 55 goals conceded (27 at home and 28 away) – league rank: 10
  • Stadium: Selhurst Park (25,456 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Roy Hodgson. At the helm since 2017 and began his managerial career in 1976.
    • Captain: Jason Puncheon
    • Key arrivals: Vincente Guaita (Getafe, free), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham, £9.5m), Max Meyer (Schalke, free), Jordan Ayew (Swansea, loan)
    • Key departures: Yohan Cabaye (free, Al Nasr), Bakary Sako (released after refusing to sign a new contract), Diego Cavalieri (released), Damien Delaney (released, Cork City), Lee Chung-yong (released)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Helsingor 2-2 Crystal Palace
    • Halmstads 1-6 Crystal Palace
    • Oxford United 1-3 Crystal Palace
    • Stevenage 1-2 Crystal Palace
    • Reading 0-4 Crystal Palace
    • Boreham Wood 0-1 Crystal Palace
    • Crystal Palace 4-1 Toulouse
    • Crystal Palace 0-0 Kingstonian
  • Positives:
    • Finished 11th last season, despite enduring the worst ever start in Premier League history (0-0-7 with zero goals scored).
    • Managed to survive relegation last season despite a terrible run with injuries.
    • Finished last season strongly, going 4-2-0 in their final six games.
    • Highly experienced manager Roy Hodgson returns for another season. He is from Croydon and started his youth career at Crystal Palace, so he is loyal to the club.
    • Had the 8th best away record last season.
    • Have Wilfried Zaha in the squad. They will be strongly boosted if he stays and would receive a huge cash injection if he departs. It looks more than likely he will stay (at least until January) and he has performed well in pre-season.
    • Managed to sign Max Meyer on a free transfer after he had a falling out with Schalke 04 management. Meyer had previously been linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and AC Milan.
    • Had the 9th best offensive record last season despite Christian Benteke having an awful campaign, scoring just 3 league goals compared to 15 the year before. If he can rediscover his prior goal scoring form Palace will be in business.
    • Fellow striker Connor Wickham is back to full fitness after making just 8 league appearances last season.
  • Negatives:
    • Manager Roy Hodgson has said “we haven’t been able to strengthen as much as we would have liked and the finances are such that we haven’t really got a lot of money to spend on players. The chairman has made it clear to me that certainly this next season it is all about survival again.”
    • In 2016/17 (the latest available accounts) Palace had the highest wage-to-turnover ratio in the Premier League at 78.3%. The three nearest clubs to them in that statistic (Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea) have all since been relegated.
    • Successful loan player Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned to Chelsea while it appears that Man Utd loan player Timothy Fosu-Mensah prefers to be loaned out elsewhere rather than return to Palace.
    • Star player Wilfried Zaha has refused to agree to new terms, which has created speculation that he wants to leave the club. Palace went 0-0-9 in his absence last campaign.
    • Bakary Sako has departed after refusing to sign a new contract.
    • They seem to be involved in the relegation scrap each season, with a late-season surge making their campaign look more easy than it was.
    • Have struggled to keep hold of managers, with Hodgeson their 7th manager since being promoted for the 2013/14 season.
    • Injuries hurt the club’s form last season and the squad is no deeper this season.
    • New star signing Max Meyer isn’t up to full fitness and will miss the start of the campaign.
  • Pundit table predictions: 13th1, 13th2, 16th3, 11th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 751.00
    • Top four finish: 67.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.001
    • Top six finish: 26.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.40
    • Relegated: 6.50
    • Rock bottom: 21.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Everton

Everton

  • Last six season finishes: 6, 5, 11, 11, 7, 8
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 8th with 49 points and a 13-10-15 record (10-4-5 at home and 3-6-10 away)
    • Offence:: 44 goals scored (28 at home and 16 away) – league rank: 11
    • Defence:: 58 goals conceded (22 at home and 36 away) – league rank: 14
  • Stadium: Goodison Park (39,572 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Marco Silva. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 2011.
    • Captain: Phil Jagielka
    • Key arrivals: Richarlison (Watford, £40m), Yerry Mina (Barcelona, £27.19m), Lucas Digne (Barcelona, £18), Joao Virginia (Arsenal), Andre Gomes (Barcelona, loan)
    • Key departures: Callum Dyson (Plymouth), Conor Grant (Plymouth), Jose Baxter (Oldham), Wayne Rooney (D.C. United), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Luke Garbutt (Oxford United, loan), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray, loan), Joel Robles (Real Betis), Shani Tarashaj (Grasshoppers, loan), David Henen (released), Davy Klaassen (Werder Bremen), Ashley Williams (Stoke City, loan ), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic, loan), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk)
  • Pre-season results:
    • ATV Irdning 0-22 Everton
    • Bury 1-1 Everton
    • Lille 0-0 Everton
    • Porto 1-0 Everton
    • Blackburn 3-0 Everton
    • Stade Rennais 4-1 Everton
    • Everton 2-3 Valencia
  • Positives:
    • Don’t have the distraction of Europa League football this season.
    • New big signing Richarlison has settled in well and is reunited with reunited with his manager from Watford, Marco Silva.
  • Negatives:
    • Had only the 13th best away record last season, going 3-6-10 away from Goodison Park.
    • Conceded 58 goals last campaign, which was only the 14th best defensive record in the league.
    • Regressed last season despite heavy spending in the off-season.
    • Have had a high turnover of managers recently. Marco Silva and director of football Marcel Brands are burdened with cleaning up a squad that features some players on inflated wages and other recruitment failures from previous years.
    • Arguably paid too much for Richarlison.
    • Lost 3-0 to Blackburn Rovers and 4-1 to Rennes in pre-season.
    • New manager Marco Silva has not spent more than a year at any of his four previous clubs.
    • Parted ways with leading goal scorer Wayne Rooney (10 goals) without replacing him, a year after they did the same with Romelu Lukaku (25 goals).
    • This looks to be a year of transition for Everton rather than a year of progression.
  • Pundit table predictions: 9th1, 7th2, 7th3, 10th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 251.00
    • Top four finish: 21.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.015
    • Top six finish: 4.50
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 3.40
    • Relegated: 34.00
    • Rock bottom: 81.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Fulham

Fulham

  • Last six season finishes: 12, 19, 17 (C), 20 (C), 6 (C), 3 (C)
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 3rd in the Championship with 88 points and a 25-13-8 record (13-8-2 at home and 12-5-6 away)
    • Offence:: 79 goals scored (40 at home and 39 away) – league rank: 2
    • Defence:: 46 goals conceded (17 at home and 29 away) – league rank: 6
  • Stadium: Craven Cottage (25,700 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Slaviša Jokanović. At the helm since 2015 and began his managerial career in 2007.
    • Captain: Tom Cairney
    • Key arrivals: Alfie Mawson (Swansea, £20m), Jean Michael Seri (Nice, £30m), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Marseille, £22m), Joe Bryan (Bristol City, £6m), Andre Schurrle (Borussia Dortmund), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle), Fabri (Besiktas), Maxime Le March (Nice), Calum Chambers (Arsenal, loan), Sergio Rico (Sevilla, loan), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Man Utd, loan), Luciano Vietto (Atletico Madrid, loan)
    • Key departures: David Button (Brighton), George Williams (Forest Green), Ryan Fredericks (West Ham), Stephen Humphrys (Scunthorpe, loan), Elijah Adebayo (Swindon, loan), Tayo Edun (Ipswich, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Fulham 4-2 Crawley Town
    • Fulham 0-0 Reading
    • Fenerbahce 3-0 Fulham
    • Lyon 4-0 Fulham
    • Athletic Club Bilbao 1-3 Fulham
    • Fulham 0-0 Fiorentina
    • Fulham 0-1 Sampdoria
    • Fulham 2-2 Celta Vigo
  • Positives:
    • Finished their 2017/18 Championship campaign strongly, going undefeated in 23 of their last 24 games. They only just missed out on automatic qualification.
    • Have retained up and coming England U21 prospect Ryan Sessegnon who is just 18 years old and scored 15 league goals last season.
    • Signed Aleksandar Mitrovic on a permanent deal after he scored 12 goals in 17 appearances on loan from Newcastle.
    • Have been heavily active in the transfer window, with over £100m in new signings. The singings include the very capable centre-back Alfie Mawson and Jean Michael Seri, who topped the Ligue 1 stats for passes played and completed for the past two seasons.
    • The club is owned by billionaire Shahid Khan, so the club certainly has deep enough pockets to compete in the Premier League.
  • Negatives:
    • Had only the 6th best defensive record in the Championship last season.
    • Had less time to prepare for this EPL campaign than Cardiff City and Wolverhampton, who were directly promoted and avoided the playoffs. Three of the last four teams promoted via the playoffs were relegated after one season.
    • Full-back Ryan Fredericks passed up on renewing his contract and has moved to West Ham on a free transfer.
    • Fulham has tended to start slowly under coach Slaviša Jokanović each season as the new players learn how he wants them to play, which could put them under pressure early.
    • New singing Alfie Mawson underwent knee surgery in May and will miss up to four matches of the new season.
  • Pundit table predictions: 16th1, 12th2, 15th3, 12th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1001.00
    • Top four finish: 151.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: N/A
    • Top six finish: 51.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.12
    • Relegated: 2.87
    • Rock bottom: 8.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town

  • Last six season finishes: 19 (C), 17 (C), 16 (C), 19 (C), 5 (C), 16
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 16th with 37 points and a 9-10-19 record (6-5-8 at home and 3-5-11 away)
    • Offence:: 28 goals scored (16 at home and 12 away) – league rank: 19
    • Defence:: 58 goals conceded (25 at home and 33 away) – league rank: 14
  • Stadium: John Smith’s Stadium (24,500 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: David Wagner. At the helm since 2015 and began his managerial career in 2011.
    • Captain: Tommy Smith
    • Key arrivals: Terence Kongolo (Monaco, £17.5m), Adama Diakhaby (Monaco), Ben Hamer (Leicester), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke), Juninho Bacuna (Groningen), Jonas Lossl (Mainz), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Florent Hadergjonaj (FC Ingolstadt), Isaac Mbenza (Montpellier)
    • Key departures: Tom Ince (Stoke), Jack Boyle (released), Denilson Carvalho (released), Dylan Cogill (released), Luca Colville (released), Robert Green (released), Cameron Taylor (released), Dean Whitehead (retired), Jack Payne (Bradford, loan), Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Bristol Rovers), Sean Scannell (Bradford), Joel Coleman (Shrewsbury Town, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Bury 0-4 Huddersfield
    • Accrington 2-0 Huddersfield
    • Dynamo Dresden 0-0 Huddersfield
    • Real Betis 2-0 Huddersfield
    • Werder Bremen 1-0 Huddersfield
    • SV Darmstadt 98 1-1 Huddersfield
    • Huddersfield 3-1 Lyon
    • Bologna 1-2 Huddersfield
    • RB Leipzig 0-3 Huddersfield
  • Positives:
    • Manager David Wagner has been a shrewd operator in the transfer market since his appointment in 2015.
    • David Wagner has a great relationship with the chairman.
    • Have completed a lot of transfer business early, which included the signing of Terence Kongolo on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell from Monaco last season.
    • Have retained all of their key players.
    • Only 7 teams kept more clean sheets than they did last season.
    • Terence Kongolo has completed a permanent transfer after a successful loan spell.
  • Negatives:
    • Worst goal difference (-30) of any team to survive relegation last season and a worse goal difference than two of the three relegated teams.
    • Scored the fewest goals of any team to survive the drop last season. Two of the three relegated teams scored more than their 28 goals. Huddersfield were kept scoreless in 21 matches.
    • Finished the 2017/18 campaign with only 1 win in their last 10 games. They scored just 3 goals during that stretch. Six of their nine wins last campaign came in the first half of the season.
    • Don’t have much depth to the squad so would be exposed if injuries accrue.
    • Finished just 4 points above the drop last season and the newly promoted Fulham and Wolves both have stronger financial resources than Huddersfield.
  • Pundit table predictions: 19th1, 20th2, 19th3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1501.00
    • Top four finish: 201.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: N/A
    • Top six finish: 67.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.083
    • Relegated: 2.20
    • Rock bottom: 6.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Leicester City

Leicester City

  • Last six season finishes: 6 (C), 1 (C), 14, 1, 12, 9
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 9th with 47 points and a 12-11-15 record (7-6-6 at home and 5-5-9 away)
    • Offence:: 56 goals scored (25 at home and 31 away) – league rank: 7
    • Defence:: 60 goals conceded (22 at home and 38 away) – league rank: 16
  • Stadium: King Power Stadium (32,312 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Claude Puel. At the helm since 2017 and began his managerial career in 1999.
    • Captain: Wes Morgan
    • Key arrivals: James Maddison (Norwich, reportedly £20m), Ricardo Pereira (Porto, £20m), Caglar Soyuncu (Freiburg, £19m), Jonny Evans (West Brom, £3m), Danny Ward (Liverpool), Rachid Ghezzal (Monaco), Filip Benkovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
    • Key departures: Robert Huth (released), Elliott Moore (OH Leuven, loan), Connor Wood (Bradford), Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Harvey Barnes (West Brom, loan), Ben Hamer (Huddersfield), Ahmed Musa (Al-Nassr), George Thomas (Scunthorpe, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Notts County 1-4 Leicester
    • Akhisarspor 0-0 Leicester
    • Leicester 1-2 Udinese
    • Leicester 1-1 Valencia
    • Lille 1-2 Leicester
  • Positives:
    • Ended the Riyad Mahrez transfer saga by selling him to Manchester City for £60m. Leicester City had signed Mahrez from Le Havre for just £400,000 in 2014.
    • Fought off interest by other clubs to sign promising attacking midfielder James Maddison, who scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists for Norwich last season.
    • Have strengthened at the back with some shrewd defensive signings, including Jonny Evans for just £3 million.
    • Centre-back Harry Maguire will be full of confidence following a successful performance at the World Cup.
    • Scored 56 goals last campaign, which was the 7th most in the league.
  • Negatives:
    • Finished last season on a 1-1-5 run that caused a lot of murmurings if discontent about the direction of the club under Claude Puel. If the side starts slowly then Puel’s job could be in jeopardy.
    • Conceded 60 goals last season, which was the 5th worst record in the league.
    • Always a possibility that the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Wilfred NDidi and Jamie Vardy will be poached.
    • Some previous big-money signings like Ahmed Musa for £16.6 million and Islam Slimani for £28 million haven’t worked out.
    • Riyad Mahrez is a hard man to replace.
    • A number of pundits have noted that the squad looks bloated as a whole yet too thin in certain positions.
  • Pundit table predictions: 11th1, 10th2, 9th3, 9th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 301.00
    • Top four finish: 34.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.005
    • Top six finish: 9.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 2.05
    • Relegated: 15.00
    • Rock bottom: 41.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Liverpool

Liverpool

  • Last six season finishes: 7, 2, 6, 8, 4, 4
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 4th with 75 points and a 21-12-5 record (12-7-0 at home and 9-5-5 away)
    • Offence:: 84 goals scored (45 at home and 39 away) – league rank: 2
    • Defence:: 38 goals conceded (10 at home and 28 away) – league rank: 4
  • Stadium: Anfield (54,074 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Jürgen Klopp. At the helm since 2015 and began his managerial career in 2001.
    • Captain: Jordan Henderson
    • Key arrivals: Fabinho (Monaco, £39m), Naby Keita (RB Leipzig, £52.75m), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City, £13m), Alisson (Roma, £66.8m)
    • Key departures: Yan Dhanda (Swansea City), Ovie Ejaria (Rangers, loan), Emre Can (Juventus), Jon Flanagan (Rangers), Danny Ward (Leicester), Jordan Williams (Rochdale), Harry Wilson (Derby, loan), Ryan Kent (Rangers, loan), Adam Bogdan (Hibernian, loan), Allan Rodrigues de Souza (Frankfurt, loan), Ben Woodburn (Sheffield United, loan), Danny Ings (Southampton, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Chester 0-7 Liverpool
    • Tranmere Rovers 2-3 Liverpool
    • Bury 0-0 Liverpool
    • Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Liverpool
    • Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Liverpool
    • Man City 1-2 Liverpool
    • Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
    • Liverpool 5-0 Napoli
    • Liverpool 3-1 Torino
  • Positives:
    • Have been the league’s most aggressive spenders in the transfer market, as highlighted by the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson for £66.8m to address a key area of need. Naby Keita also looks to be a really exciting addition.
    • Many of Liverpool’s transfer business was done early, so the new arrivals have had time to get up to speed.
    • Secured Champions League football for the second consecutive year after failing to achieve this in 3 of the prior 4 seasons.
    • Have retained the services of Mohamed Salah, who scored a record-breaking 32 league goals in 36 appearances last season.
    • While Mohamed Salah has received a lot of attention, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino also both scored 20+ goals (in all competitions) last season. The club scored 84 goals last campaign, which was the second most in the league.
    • Beat Man City 2-1 and Man Utd 4-1 in the pre-season International Champions Cup.
    • The only team to go undefeated at home last season.
    • Salah and Firmino have both committed to new five-year contracts.
  • Negatives:
    • Were inconsistent at times last season and threw away points against the likes of Swansea and West Brom.
    • There may be repercussions for Mohamed Salah playing in the World Cup despite not being fully fit. It will be hard for him to replicate the stellar season he had last year.
  • Pundit table predictions: 5th1, 2nd2, 2nd3, 1st4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 3 pundits predict 1st, 20 pundits predict 2nd and 1 pundit predicts 3rd
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 5.00
    • Top four finish: 1.25
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 4.00
    • Top six finish: 1.05
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: N/A
    • Relegated: 2001.00
    • Rock bottom: 1501.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Manchester City

Manchester City

  • Last six season finishes: 2, 1, 2, 4, 3, 1
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 1st with 100 points and a 32-4-2 record (16-2-1 at home and 16-2-1 away)
    • Offence:: 106 goals scored (61 at home and 45 away) – league rank: 1
    • Defence:: 27 goals conceded (14 at home and 13 away) – league rank: 1
  • Stadium: Etihad Stadium (55,097 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Pep Guardiola. At the helm since 2016 and began his managerial career in 2007.
    • Captain: Vincent Kompany
    • Key arrivals: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester, £60m), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle), Claudio Gomes (PSG), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City, expected to be loaned to Celtic)
    • Key departures: Angus Gunn (Southampton, £13.5m), Joe Hart (Burnley), Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart), Yaya Toure (released), Will Patching (Notts County, end of contract), Angelino (PSV), Ashley Smith-Brown (Plymouth), Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (Peterborough), Olarenwaju (Shakhtar Donetsk), Erik Palmer-Brown (NAC Breda, loan), Pablo Mari (Deportivo de La Coruna, loan), Max Diskerud (Ulsan Hyundai, loan), Anthony Caceres (Melbourne City, loan), Tosin Adarabioyo (West Brom, loan), Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Man City
    • Man City 1-2 Liverpool
    • Bayern Munich 2-3 Man City
    • Man City 2-0 Chelsea (Community Shield)
  • Positives:
    • Broke the EPL points record last season with a haul of 100. This eclipsed the previous record of 95 achieved by Chelsea in 2004/05.
    • Having won the league by 19 points, City can afford to regress and still win the title.
    • Pep Guardiola has a good record at the helm of a reigning champion, having won three consecutive league titles with Barcelona (2008-11) and Bayern Munich (2013-16).
    • The only team that has finished no worse than 4th in each of the last eight seasons.
    • Led the league in home points, away points, most goals scored (106) and fewest goals conceded (27) last season.
    • Their 106 goals scored last campaign bettered Liverpool, the second most prolific team, by 22 goals.
    • Have added strength and depth with the acquisition of Riyad Mahrez.
    • No key players have departed. Have four returning players who scored 10+ league goals last season (Gabriel Jesus: 13, Sergio Aguero: 21, Raheem Sterling: 18, Leroy Sane: 10).
    • Were incredibly strong away from home last season by picking up 50 points, with the same 16-2-1 record that they achieved at home.
    • In Pep Guardiola they have arguably the best manager in the league.
    • Comfortably beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Community Shield.
    • Left back Benjamin Mendy is back to full fitness after playing only 7 league games last season due to an ACL injury.
  • Negatives:
    • The previous nine EPL title winners failed to retain their title the following season and the last three winners failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season.
    • Missed out to Chelsea in their pursuit of Jorginho.
    • Captain Vincent Kompany has been injury prone in recent seasons so it remains to be seen how many games he can play this season.
    • Lost to Liverpool pre-season, which was their 4th consecutive defeat to the club that many predict will be their biggest rival.
    • Man City have a firm eye on winning the Champions League this season, which could detract from league form.
  • Pundit table predictions: 1st1, 1st2, 1st3, 2nd4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 21 pundits predict 1st and the remaining 3 predict 2nd
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1.66
    • Top four finish: 1.062
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 10.00
    • Top six finish: 1.01
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: N/A
    • Relegated: 4001.00
    • Rock bottom: 2501.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Manchester United

Manchester United

  • Last six season finishes: 1, 7, 4, 5, 6, 2
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 2nd with 81 points and a 25-6-7 record (15-2-2 at home and 10-4-5 away)
    • Offence:: 68 goals scored (38 at home and 30 away) – league rank: 5
    • Defence:: 28 goals conceded (9 at home and 19 away) – league rank: 2
  • Stadium: Old Trafford (74,994 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: José Mourinho. At the helm since 2016 and began his managerial career in 2000.
    • Captain: Antonio Valencia
    • Key arrivals: Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk, £47m), Diogo Dalot (Porto, £19m), Lee Grant (Stoke, £1.5m)
    • Key departures: Daley Blind (Ajax, £14m), Sam Johnstone (West Brom, £6.5m), Michael Carrick (retired), Joe Riley (Bradford City), Dean Henderson (Shrewsbury Town, loan), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Scunthorpe United, loan), Joel Pereira (Vitoria Setubal, loan), Axel Tuanzebe (Aston Villa, loan), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Fulham, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Man Utd 1-1 Club America
    • San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 Man Utd
    • AC Milan 1-1 Man Utd
    • Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
    • Man Utd 2-1 Real Madrid
    • Man Utd 0-1 Bayern Munich
  • Positives:
    • Their 2nd place finish last season was United’s best finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2014. They had finished 7th, 4th, 5th and 6th leading up to last year.
    • Only conceded 28 goals last campaign, just one more than City, who had the league’s best defence.
    • Boast plenty of individual talent within the squad.
    • Paul Pogba rediscovered some of his best form during the World Cup.
    • Have a world-class goalkeeper in David De Gea, who based on Opta’s Expected Goals metric, prevented more goals than any other keeper last season.
  • Negatives:
    • Manager Jose Mourinho has appeared unhappy this summer due to the lack of signings. There are rumoured tensions between him and the club’s executive management. It appears he is on schedule for his customary 3rd-season implosion.
    • It is rumoured that Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic turned down a big money move to United because he doesn’t want to work with Mourinho.
    • There isn’t a positive air about the club in the build up to this season and the fans weren’t happy with the dull brand of football they played last campaign.
    • Look in need of strengthening in the centre-back position and they have two ageing full-backs. Goalkeeper David de Gea’s sensational form last season glossed over their defensive problems.
    • Striker Anthony Martial’s relationship with Mourinho is at a low ebb.
  • Pundit table predictions: 3rd1, 3rd2, 3rd3, 4th4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 1 pundit predicts 2nd, 12 pundits predict 3rd, 7 pundits predict 4th and the remaining 4 predict 5th or lower
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 8.00
    • Top four finish: 1.28
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 3.75
    • Top six finish: 1.083
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: N/A
    • Relegated: 1501.00
    • Rock bottom: 1501.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Newcastle United

Newcastle United

  • Last six season finishes: 16, 10, 15, 18, 1 (C), 10
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 10th with 44 points and a 12-8-18 record (8-4-7 at home and 4-4-11 away)
    • Offence:: 39 goals scored (21 at home and 18 away) – league rank: 13
    • Defence:: 47 goals conceded (17 at home and 30 away) – league rank: 7
  • Stadium: St James’ Park (52,405 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Rafael Benítez. At the helm since 2016 and began his managerial career in 1993.
    • Captain: Jamaal Lascelles
    • Key arrivals: Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague), Kenedy (Chelsea, loan), Federico Fernandez (Swansea, £6m), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Salomon Rondon (West Brom, loan)
    • Key departures: Curtis Good (released), Massadio Haidara (released), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Chancel Mbemba (Porto), Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock FC), Massadio Haidara (RC Lens), Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest, loan), Jesus Gamez (released), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Dwight Gayle (West Brom, loan), Adam Armstrong (Blackburn)
  • Pre-season results:
    • St. Patrick’s Athletic 0-2 Newcastle
    • Hull City 2-2 Newcastle
    • Porto 0-0 Newcastle
    • SC Braga 4-0 Newcastle
    • Newcastle 0-1 Augsburg
  • Positives:
    • Strengthened during the January transfer window with Martin Dubravka and Kenedy arriving on loan. Newcastle then improved in the second half of the season. Dubravka was signed permanently in May and Kenedy is back again on loan, with the deal including an option to buy.
    • Have a strong manager in Rafa Benitez who manages to make the squad more than the sum of its parts. Despite his frustrations this summer, most expect Benitez to stay rather than quit, because his contract stipulates that he must pay owner Mike Ashley £6m if he were to leave.
    • Had the 7th best defensive record last season.
  • Negatives:
    • Owner Mike Ashley has a reputation for being tight with funds. Despite ever-escalating transfer fees, Newcastle have not broken their transfer record in 13 years. Manager Rafa Benitez has been frustrated this off-season by the club’s inability to bring in more signings. After losing 4-0 to Braga, Benitez said “Things are not going well off the pitch.” When asked what, he replied: “Everything. I’m worried. Fans are concerned – that have to be. We are concerned.” Benitez has remarked that they need three or four more signings.
    • The squad looks thin, so injuries will hurt them more than most clubs.
    • Faded towards the very end of last season, losing four of their final five games.
    • Look short in the centre-back position, with Florian Lejeune out for most of the season with an ACL injury.
    • Have a number of niggly distractions: an unresolved dispute over bonus payments means the squad are currently refusing media commitments, while the Under-23 coach has been suspended since January while the club conducts an investigation into bullying and racism claims.
    • Have tough schedule to start the campaign, which includes fixtures against Tottenham, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal in the opening five rounds. This will put a huge amount of pressure on their away fixture against Cardiff in Round 2.
  • Pundit table predictions: 18th1, 14th2, 13th3, 14th4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 751.00
    • Top four finish: 67.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.001
    • Top six finish: 21.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.40
    • Relegated: 7.00
    • Rock bottom: 21.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Southampton

Southampton

  • Last six season finishes: 14, 8, 7, 6, 8, 17
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 17th with 36 points and a 7-15-16 record (4-7-8 at home and 3-8-8 away)
    • Offence:: 37 goals scored (20 at home and 17 away) – league rank: 14
    • Defence:: 56 goals conceded (26 at home and 30 away) – league rank: 11
  • Stadium: St Mary’s Stadium (32,505 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Mark Hughes. At the helm since March 2018 and began his managerial career in 1999.
    • Captain: Steven Davis
    • Key arrivals: Stuart Armstong (Celtic), Mohamed Elyounoussi (FC Basel), Angus Gunn (Man City), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Danny Ings (Liverpool, loan)
    • Key departures: Olufela Olomola (Scunthorpe United), Jeremy Pied (released), Will Wood (released), Richard Bakary (released), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Guido Carrillo (Leganes, loan), Ryan Seager (Telstar, loan), Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo, loan ), Stuart Taylor (released), Florin Gardos (CS Universitatea Craiova), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord, loan)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Schalke 3-3 Southampton
    • Jiangsu Suning 2-3 Southampton
    • Derby County 3-0 Southampton
    • Dijon 0-2 Southampton
    • Southampton 3-2 Celta Vigo
    • Southampton 0-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Positives:
    • The pragmatic Mark Hughes remains at the helm after he steered the side towards safety after being appointed in March.
    • Have strengthened and refreshed the squad in the transfer window.
  • Negatives:
    • Only just avoided relegation last season.
    • Went 4-7-8 at St Mary’s Stadium last campaign, which was the second worst home record in the league. Huddersfield won six home games and no other team that survived relegation won fewer than seven home games.
    • Leading goal scorer and assist provider Dušan Tadić has left the side.
    • Lost 3-0 to Championship side Derby in pre-season.
  • Pundit table predictions: 12th1, 9th2, 12th3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 501.00
    • Top four finish: 51.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.002
    • Top six finish: 17.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.40
    • Relegated: 8.00
    • Rock bottom: 26.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Last six season finishes: 5, 6, 5, 3, 2, 3
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 3rd with 77 points and a 23-8-7 record (13-4-2 at home and 10-4-5 away)
    • Offence:: 74 goals scored (40 at home and 34 away) – league rank: 3
    • Defence:: 36 goals conceded (16 at home and 20 away) – league rank: 3
  • Stadium: Wembley Stadium (90,000 capacity) and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (62,062 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Mauricio Pochettino. At the helm since 2014 and began his managerial career in 2009.
    • Captain: Hugo Lloris
    • Key arrivals:
    • Key departures: Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Monchengladbach), Anton Walkes (Portsmouth)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Spurs 6-0 Southend
    • Spurs 2-1 Brentford
    • Roma 1-4 Spurs
    • Barcelona 2-2 Spurs
    • AC Milan 0-1 Spurs
    • Girona 4-1 Spurs
  • Positives:
    • Have been consistent, finishing no worse than 6th in each of the last nine seasons.
    • The only team to have finished in the top 3 in each of the last three seasons.
    • Striker Harry Kane has been consistently prolific, scoring 21, 25, 29 and 30 league goals over the last four seasons.
    • Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and manager Mauricio Pochettino committed to new contracts during the off-season.
    • With the same squad as last season, Tottenham should hit the ground running while the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea adjust to life under new management.
    • Went 10-4-5 away from home last season, which was the joint second best record in the league.
    • Manager Mauricio Pochettino is popular with the players.
    • January signing Lucas Moura was excellent in pre-season.
  • Negatives:
    • No incoming transfers completed.
    • Will be switching home stadiums during the season.
    • The new stadium costs have ballooned well beyond initial estimates, which has impacted Tottenham’s spending power.
    • Harry Kane looked short of fitness in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the World Cup. Kane is one of nine Tottenham players who featured in the World Cup semi-finals and have missed much of pre-season as a result. Most of them didn’t return to training until Monday, so their match fitness for the start of the season is a big query.
    • Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Dembele have been linked with transfers away from the club.
    • Heung Min Son will miss the start of the season to play in the Asian Games for South Korea.
  • Pundit table predictions: 4th1, 4th2, TBA3, 5th4
  • BBC pundit predictions5: 5 pundits predict 3rd, 8 pundits predict 4th and the remaining 11 predict 5th or lower
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 17.00
    • Top four finish: 1.80
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 2.00
    • Top six finish: 1.14
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: N/A
    • Relegated: 1001.00
    • Rock bottom: 1001.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Watford

Watford

  • Last six season finishes: 3 (C), 13 (C), 2 (C), 13, 17, 14
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 14th with 41 points and a 11-8-19 record (7-6-6 at home and 4-2-13 away)
    • Offence:: 44 goals scored (27 at home and 17 away) – league rank: 11
    • Defence:: 64 goals conceded (31 at home and 33 away) – league rank: 18
  • Stadium: Vicarage Road (21,577 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Javi Gracia. At the helm since January 2018 and began his managerial career in 2004.
    • Captain: Troy Deeney
    • Key arrivals: Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona), Marc Navarro (Espanyol), Ben Wilmot (Stevenage), Adam Masina (Bologna), Ken Sema (Ostersunds), Ben Foster (West Brom), Domingos Quina (West Ham)
    • Key departures: Richarlison (Everton, £40m), Brandon Mason (released), Costel Pantilimon (Nott’m Forest), Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors), Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nassr), Dodi Lukebakio (Dusseldorf, loan), Tommie Hoban (Aberdeen, loan), Harvey Bradbury (Oxford United)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Koln 1-1 Watford
    • Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-3 Watford
    • Stevenage 0-1 Watford
    • Brentford 1-2 Watford
    • Watford 1-1 Sampdoria
  • Positives:
    • Boosted their bank balance with the £40m sale of Richarlison to Everton after paying £11.5m for him in 2017.
    • Have been active in the transfer market without spending silly amounts of money.
    • Abdoulaye Doucoure signed a new five-year contract
  • Negatives:
    • Javi Garcia is Watford’s 4th manager in three seasons.
    • Conceded 64 goals last season, which was the 3rd most in the league.
    • Haven’t made the acquisitions in the transfer market to effectively counter the departure of Richarlison.
    • Started the season strongly but struggled late on, winning just one of their final nine games. Their best run of form was under their previous manager, not their current one.
    • Have struggled with injuries to their centre-backs, with three aged in their 30’s.
  • Pundit table predictions: 17th1, 18th2, TBA3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 1001.00
    • Top four finish: 151.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: N/A
    • Top six finish: 51.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.10
    • Relegated: 3.00
    • Rock bottom: 8.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

West Ham United

West Ham United

  • Last six season finishes: 10, 13, 12, 7, 11, 13
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 13th with 42 points and a 10-12-16 record (7-6-6 at home and 3-6-10 away)
    • Offence:: 48 goals scored (24 at home and 24 away) – league rank: 8
    • Defence:: 68 goals conceded (26 at home and 42 away) – league rank: 19
  • Stadium: London Stadium (60,000 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Manuel Pellegrini. At the helm since 2018 and began his managerial career in 1988.
    • Captain: Mark Noble
    • Key arrivals: Ryan Fredericks (Fulham), Issa Diop (Toulouse), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Andriy Yarmolenko (Dortmund), Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians), Felipe Anderson (Lazio), Xande Silva (Vitoria de Guimaraes), Carlos Sanchez (Fiorentina), Lucas Perez (Arsenal)
    • Key departures: Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, £9.5m), James Collins (released), Patrice Evra (released), Ben Wells (QPR), Reece Burke (Hull), Domingos Quina (Watford)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Winterthur 3-2 West Ham
    • Wycombe 0-1 West Ham
    • Preston 2-2 West Ham
    • Aston Villa 1-3 West Ham
    • Ipswich 1-2 West Ham
    • West Ham 1-1 Mainz
    • West Ham 1-0 Angers
  • Positives:
    • Appointed Manuel Pellegrini as manager in May. Pellegrini is vastly experienced and previously won the Premier League at the helm of Manchester City.
    • Have been productive in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko.
    • Scored 48 goals last season, which was the 8th most in the league.
  • Negatives:
    • West Ham fans have high expectations and will let the management and players know if they’re unsatisfied with the club’s performances.
    • Visiting West Ham isn’t nearly as intimidating for opposition teams since they moved from Upton Park to London Stadium. Visiting players enjoy the fact that the fans are now so far away from them.
    • Conceded 68 goals last season, which was the 2nd worst record in the league and the worst record of any team to survive relegation.
  • Pundit table predictions: 7th1, 11th2, TBA3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: 301.00
    • Top four finish: 41.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.001
    • Top six finish: 13.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.57
    • Relegated: 8.00
    • Rock bottom: 26.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Last six season finishes: 23 (C), 1 (L1), 7 (C), 14 (C), 15 (C), 1 (C)
  • Last season:
    • Placing:: 1st in the Championship with 99 points and a 30-9-7 record (16-5-2 at home and 14-4-5 away)
    • Offence:: 82 goals scored (47 at home and 35 away) – league rank: 1
    • Defence:: 39 goals conceded (18 at home and 21 away) – league rank: 1
  • Stadium: Molineux (31,700 capacity)
  • Squad:
    • Manager: Nuno Espírito Santo. At the helm since 2017 and began his managerial career in 2012.
    • Captain: Danny Batth
    • Key arrivals: Adama Traore (Middlesbrough, £18m), Joao Moutinho (Monaco, £5.0m), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth), Willy Boly (Porto), Raul Jimenez (Benfica, loan), Rui Patricio (Sporting), Leo Bonatini (Al-Hilal), Ruben Vinagre (AS Monaco), Diogo Jota (Atletico Madrid), Jonny (Atletico Madrid, loan), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht, loan)
    • Key departures: Jordan Allan (released), Dan Armstrong (released), Anthony Breslin (released), Nicu Carnat (released), Ross Finnie (released), Jon Flatt (released), Christian Herc (Dunajska Streda, loan), Conor Levingston (released), Tomas Nogueira (released), Hakeem Odoffin (released), Adam Osbourne (released), Ryan Rainey (released), Jose Xavier (released), Harry Burgoyne (Plymouth, loan), Ben Marshall (Norwich), Jon Flatt (Scunthorpe United), Aaron Collins (Colchester, loan), Roderick Miranda (Olympiacos, loan), Duckens Nazon(Sint-Trudense), Rada Mir (Palmas, loan), Benik Afobe (Stoke, loan), Prince Oniangue (SM Caen), Leo Bonatini (Al-Jilal), Barry Douglas (Leeds United)
  • Pre-season results:
    • Wolves 2-1 Basel
    • Young Boys 0-4 Wolves
    • Wolves 1-1 Ajax
    • VfL Bochum 0-0 Wolves
    • Real Betis 0-0 Wolves
    • Stoke 0-0 Wolves
    • Derby 2-1 Wolves
    • Wolves 2-1 Villarreal
  • Positives:
    • Dominated the Championship last season with a 99-point haul. Wolverhampton had the best home record and the best away record. They scored the most goals and conceded the fewest goals.
    • Given the financial resources available to the club and their connections with super-agent Jorge Mendes, Wolves are heavily predicted to avoid the relegation scrap and finish the highest of the newly promoted teams. Many pundits are predicting a top half finish.
    • Have been proactive in this summer’s transfer market, which is in addition to their busy activities last season.
    • Since 2002, 69% of the teams that were promoted as the Championship winners survived relegation in their first EPL season.
    • Led the Championship for goals scored on the counter-attack last season, which is a good trait to have when playing bigger clubs.
    • Manager Nuno Espírito Santo won’t be overawed by the occasion, having previously managed Valencia in La Liga.
  • Negatives:
    • The high expectations on the club may prove to be a hindrance.
    • The rapid change of player personnel might create growing pains.
  • Pundit table predictions: 10th1, 8th2, TBA3, TBA4
  • bet365 futures odds:
    • Title winner: ‘251.00
    • Top four finish: 41.00
    • Fail to finish in the top four: 1.004
    • Top six finish: 11.00
    • Finish in the bottom half of the table: 1.66
    • Relegated: 8.00
    • Rock bottom: 26.00
    • Click here to compare the latest futures odds


 

Notes

Table prediction sources:

Pre-season results:
https://www.premierleague.com/summer-friendly-fixtures-2018

Transfers:
http://www.goal.com/en-au/news/completed-premier-league-2018-19-transfers-arrivals/15kblwwiy84gn1xk5nbsee1rf4

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