New season predictions as 28 experts decide champions, top four and relegation

by 24britishtvAug. 5, 2022, 3 p.m. 20

We might have got going across the divisions last weekend, but it will be Crystal Palace and Arsenal who kick off the new top-flight season at Selhurst Park on Friday evening.

With a World Cup slap bang in the middle of the season, 2022-23 promises to be a campaign quite unlike any other, but what will happen?

We've canvassed our wide array of writers, journalists, reporters and editors across the Mirror for their take on what to expect, from Premier League champions and top four contenders to clubs seeking to avoid relegation and those looking to win the Champions League.

Feel free to come back in May and see just how right, or maybe wrong, we were.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

Pep Guardiola's team will again have a slight edge in the title race to make it five in six years but at what point does a two-horse race become boring? The fact Manchester City and Liverpool are so evenly matched has ensured the rivalry remains entertaining but spare a thought for the rest of the big six who will once again focus on fighting for a Champions League place.

Tottenham Hotspur look best of the rest because of the Antonio Conte factor and a couple of decent additions in the transfer market, most notably Richarlison arriving to ease the burden on Harry Kane. Then it is three vying for the final spot with Chelsea pipping Manchester United and Arsenal.

At the bottom it seems obvious that the promoted sides are going to struggle but Leeds United survived by the skin of their teeth last season and have sold their best two players. The jury remains out on Jesse Marsch and Nottingham Forest's heavy investment could see them over the line.

Rest of top four (in order): Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal

Pep Guardiola has sought to evolve his Manchester City attack with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez - who is absolutely brilliant by the way - and they'll be champions again. As the best squad, they'll be able to ride the terrain of this split season better than any other... and I'd expect their winning margin to be much more considerable than last term.

Spurs under Antonio Conte are entering 'win now' territory as they look to make the most (at last) of Harry Kane's prime years. They may not actually win any silverware, but I'm tipping them to edge Liverpool and finish second.

That's because the Reds will be focusing on Europe in the latter half of the season, another Champions League final in store for Jurgen Klopp. This time my money is on the final we should have seen last season, had Man City not collapsed - like everyone, against Real Madrid.

Fourth looks set to be a straight shootout between Arsenal and Chelsea, and the upheaval at Stamford Bridge looks set to cost them.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea

"Are you an idiot?" "No sir I'm a dreamer."

Tottenham may seem a rogue shout for the Premier League title, but in what is likely to be the most chaotic season in decades given the four-week jaunt to Qatar in the middle of the campaign, normal rules don't apply. And I have a reputation to keep up.

Man City won't go another season without their beloved Carabao and I can't see Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool going as big on the FA Cup this time out with bigger fish to fry and a thousand games to contend, but I do think they'll go one better than last season in Europe. Bar the superspreading defeat by Atletico Madrid at Anfield back in March 2020, the Reds have been there or thereabouts in the Champions League in recent years, and I fancy them for number seven in Istanbul in May.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal

I think it's incredibly difficult to look past Pep Guardiola's side for the major honours next term. Any outfit that adds Erling Haaland, Julian Alvaraz and Kalvin Phillips to a side that are already reigning champions are going to be incredibly difficult to beat.

Many appear to be underestimating a Liverpool side that played every game possible last time around - Jurgen Klopp knows how to get the best out of his players and the Reds will not be falling out of the top two anytime soon.

Spurs are looking the strongest version of themselves we've seen for a while under Antonio Conte and I expect them to comfortably secure Champions League football, with a League Cup thrown in to end their 14-year trophy drought.

Arsenal will at long last return to the Champions League, with the addition of Gabriel Jesus proving pivotal as the Brazilian will fire the Gunners into fourth.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

Hard to look past Manchester City retaining their title after signing Erling Haaland, who surely cannot and will not fail in taking the Premier League by storm.

I'd still expect Liverpool to be their closest challengers but Tottenham have recruited brilliantly and I wouldn't rule out a more open title race than in previous years. Chelsea to complete the top four.

Down the other end, Leeds escaped by the skin of their teeth last year and I'm far from convinced by their new(ish) manager. Brentford could suffer the same bout of second season syndrome their Yorkshire counterparts did last term. I think Nottingham Forest and Fulham might have enough to stay up, but Bournemouth look like they're in for a struggle.

As far as the cups go, Arsenal are surely due an FA Cup after missing out for two whole seasons. Spurs to break their trophy drought with the League Cup, and Man City to finally get the monkey off their back and win the Champions League.

Norwich to bounce straight back as they always do, Darren Moore and Mark Hughes to lead Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City to promotion from Leagues One and Two.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal

Manchester City have won four of the last five Premier League trophies and their dominance is showing no signs of waning. With Erling Haaland on board it’s hard to see anyone else, bar Liverpool, getting close. The gap between those two and the rest is only going to get wider.

Tottenham have backed Antonio Conte this summer and they’ll be the best of the rest, while the second successive £100million plus summer window – plus Chelsea’s wobbly start to the Todd Boehly era – means Arsenal should finally qualify for the Champions League.

The promoted teams are going to be cannon fodder once more while Watford’s strike force should give them another go in 2023/24. Darren Moore and Nigel Clough are wise heads who have squads good enough to seal the titles.

City have made the League Cup their own and have the squad to rotate, but their Champions League hoodoo will continue. Liverpool have the pedigree and manager to bounce back in the competition though.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea

Manchester City and Liverpool have both lost important players over the summer window despite investing to bolster their starting line-ups.

Liverpool enjoyed a much stronger second half of last season than City, and the losses of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko may lead to a lack of depth should prolonged injuries hit Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The Reds could well pip City to the title this year, but fans of both should be patient with new signings Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland – who may take longer to adapt than anticipated.

Manchester United may be the best of the rest; they have appointed a brilliant coach, cast off multiple players who appeared to be actively damaging dressing room unity and made savvy investments. More signings – particularly in central midfield and attack – are needed, but they could take advantage of a lack of excellence outside the top two.

Thomas Tuchel has a talented squad at Chelsea and should they bolster their defence further, they should pip Arsenal and Tottenham to a top four spot. Both North London sides have added European responsibilities this campaign, with the jury still out on Mikel Arteta’s credentials among his contemporaries and Antonio Conte a more combustible figure than other top six rivals.

In Europe, Bayern Munich have enjoyed the strongest transfer window with multiple signings to strengthen their squad – don’t be surprised if they carry their domestic dominance into the Champions League this term.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham

I've backed Manchester City to win another domestic treble. They've improved this summer with the additions of Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips - the latter of which is a smart bit of business after Fernandinho's exit - and are used to going to the distance in all competitions.

It's easy to say Manchester United or Chelsea might sneak a cup, but City remain the most reliable of all the so-called "Big Six" clubs.

Regarding the Champions League, I believe Liverpool will avenge their defeat to Real Madrid. Jurgen Klopp confidently told fans to make plans for this season's final after their agonising defeat in May and they've bounced back before, winning the competition in 2019 after losing the previous final. I wouldn't be surprised to see City go the distance, either, after last season's semi-final loss to Real.

In terms of the top four, I think Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham will join City in the Champions League. There was an 18-point gap between Liverpool in second and Chelsea in third last season... and that will only be bridged if either City or the Reds have an injury crisis (Liverpool did so in 2020-21).

That leaves us with a battle for third and fourth. I'm confident Arsenal and Tottenham will get over the line thanks to their respective business this summer. Chelsea and Man Utd just haven't done enough in the transfer market, so far at least.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

If the fence is there to be sat on then perhaps it's best I do, through nothing else than to stop my rose-tinted glasses predicting the quadruple be heading to Anfield. But it’s hard to look past Manchester City for the title after making three new additions that immediately make them stronger, while Sadio Mane’s departure has undoubtedly weakened Liverpool.

The World Cup mid-season could throw a spanner in the works, and the fact Liverpool have fewer players competing than City could help, though I anticipate other top six rivals will nick points off the pair this season.

Tottenham look a solid bet to challenge under Antonio Conte - and could finally end their desperate wait for a trophy, while barring a full-scale meltdown (possible) I'd expect Chelsea to hold off Arsenal for fourth.

As for the Champions League, the final is in Istanbul and, well, you know...

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal

It's going to be another cracker, in my opinion, and this time it will be Jurgen Klopp with a beaming smile at the end of the season.

Liverpool and Manchester City have both massively strengthened this summer but Pep Guardiola's charge for the Champions League crown, which I believe they will finally lift this season, will give Klopp the advantage in the title race.

Below them, Erik ten Hag will bring joy back to Old Trafford - once they finally sort out their Cristiano Ronaldo mess out. The Dutchman has shown signs of progress in pre-season and Manchester United will finally taste some glory in the form of the FA Cup.

Similar to last year, it'll be a close fight for fourth between Arsenal and Tottenham but this time it will be the Gunners who claim bragging rights in north London. Chelsea, meanwhile, are braced for a tough season under new ownership.

Elsewhere, Patrick Vieira will bounce back from last season's FA Cup heartbreak by guiding Crystal Palace to the League Cup; a trophy he never won during his glory days at Arsenal.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

Liverpool may have got the better of Man City in this season's curtain raiser but as these two battle it out - Pep Guardiola's side will be lifting the trophy that matters in May. It will go down to the wire again but the difference will be the 'tremendous Nordic meat shield' that is Erling Haaland.

Antonio Conte will have driven a winning mentality into the Tottenham players over the summer by any means necessary while simultaneously being backed in the transfer market by Daniel Levy. A dark day for Arsenal fans - but it should see Spurs back in the Champions League places pushing the top two all the way.

Fourth place could see another dramatic shootout between a number of clubs including Arsenal after some savvy signings and Man United as 'Ten Hag ball' is finally deployed at Old Trafford. Chelsea look to be written off after another year of upheaval on and off the pitch - but as a club that seems to thrive in chaos and the additions of Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling, Thomas Tuchel's side should have enough to keep their top four standing.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal

Manchester City were nigh on unstoppable last season and now they've added the hottest striker on the planet to their ranks. While 99 goals last season was ridiculous, Haaland will lift Pep Guardiola's side to a new level and that's why they'll win the Premier League and Champions League.

Liverpool, I don't think, will be as consistent this season as Nunez settles in but should still be a cut above the rest. Tottenham have developed brilliantly under Conte and smart transfer business this summer will only see them improve. Third for me.

Arsenal's pain of missing out on fourth last season will only serve as good experience to the youngsters who will cope better this time round. That partnered with the arrival of a proper goalscorer in Jesus will see them return to the Champions League.

I fear Southampton have been holding on for a tad too long now and can see them finally falling away. Nottingham Forest have signed an entirely new squad, it seems, and I think this will come back to haunt them. Meanwhile Bournemouth will head straight back down.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United

Manchester City look formidable - the only question mark is how their squad copes after returning from the World Cup. But with the depth they have available, it’s hard to see it being a major issue. The big question is - can they win the Champions League? That’s what they want, and surely if they’re ever going to do it under Pep Guardiola, then it needs to be soon.

Tottenham look strong under Antonio Conte but I struggle to see them keeping pace with City and Liverpool for a whole season. However, the FA Cup is a great opportunity and this could well be the year they finally win a major trophy, albeit not the Premier League.

Chelsea are in transition under a new owner and with a much-changed defence. The top four race looks tight with Arsenal much-improved and Manchester United entering a new era. Many have written off United, but Ten Hag’s appointment is one I think will be a success and I think they’ll come on strong in the second half of the season.

The relegation race? Everton and Leeds could again find themselves in trouble, the newly promoted teams will all be in a dogfight and several more teams could get dragged in. As always, any three could go.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United

Manchester City already had the best squad in the league, so it feels like a no-brainer to tip them for another Premier League crown now that they've bagged Europe's most prolific striker in Erling Haaland. Liverpool will run them close though - and they have seemed to have the edge on their last couple of head-to-head meetings.

It's hard to imagine Antonio Conte being satisfied with just a top-four finish, and I reckon the Italian will get Tottenham back in the title picture - just not this year. I do fancy them to win a trophy though and they should retain their Champions League berth.

Erik ten Hag has already been badly let down by the Manchester United hierarchy. The Dutchman needed the chance to completely remould a squad that slumped to United's worst-ever finish in the Premier League era last year; the three new recruits United have currently sourced will not cut it. Despite that, it's clear that he's had a significant impact on the squad already, and I believe he has enough about him to pip Arsenal and Mikel Arteta to a top-four finish.

At the bottom of the table, Leicester City could be in freefall if they lose Kasper Schmeichel, Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans in one go, while Bournemouth and Fulham will probably pay the ultimate price for being far too sluggish in the transfer market.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal

Manchester City will need their new signings to hit the ground running, but Erling Haaland has the qualities to keep Pep Guardiola’s side out in front - provided he can stay fit for long enough. With Julian Alvarez also available, there’s more than enough to keep the champions clear of the pack despite them losing Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool should still be their closest challengers, even without Sadio Mane, but Spurs ought to be much closer to the top two with a full pre-season under Antonio Conte and the addition of several new signings. Richarlison’s arrival can help keep Harry Kane and Son Heung-min a little fresher, while Conte now has the personnel for his wing-back system.

Chelsea’s underwhelming finish last season doesn’t bode well, and Arsenal’s new signings should make for a close battle between the pair for that fourth spot. The English clubs could well impress in Europe again as well, and this may be the season where Manchester City finally end their drought.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

New season, same old story. Manchester City and Liverpool will fight it out to be champions of England with Pep Guardiola's side again just having the edge.

There's been plenty of squad upheaval with Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all gone but the arrivals of Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips gives City a fresh feel.

Liverpool might have lost Sadio Mane but they've got ample firepower with Darwin Nunez a more-than-adequate replacement. Nevertheless, I still feel City will have too much and will clinch a fifth title in six seasons.

As for the best of the rest, Tottenham finished last term superbly and have only strengthened their squad. They and Chelsea look best bets for the top four, although a revitalised Arsenal should run them close.

I reckon Forest will catch a few teams out and ultimately survive their first top flight tilt in more than 20 years, but I fear for Leeds, especially after losing their best two players over the summer.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal

Manchester City won the Premier League title last season, but to finish with just one trophy the campaign was seen as somewhat of a disappointment. The arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez make them look truly formidable, whilst I'm backing Jack Grealish to truly find his feet under Pep Guardiola, leading them to three pieces of silverware - including the one they crave most.

Liverpool should be the best of the rest domestically, although I'm expecting them to be further in the distance as they adapt to what promises to be a new-look team playing in a new style.

Tottenham look well set for a place in the top four and a cup run after a gruelling Antonio Conte pre-season and the stability of Mikel Arteta and Arsenal should win out vs the turbulence at Chelsea.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea

I have a feeling that this will be the year that two long waits are finally ended, with Manchester City getting their hands on the Champions League and Tottenham ending their trophy drought.

Antonio Conte's side can take the FA Cup while holders Liverpool, who quietly look to have a stronger squad than City in several areas these days, go one better in the Premier League thanks largely to the fact that they should have a fresher group with several big names - among them Mo Salah, who not enough people are talking about - not going to the World Cup.

As well as a cup run Spurs look good for a strong third for me, and while Arsenal and probably Manchester United will improve, it will be the best four managers in the division who take up the top four places.

At the other end Bournemouth look doomed, Everton are in serious danger of sleepwalking into the catastrophe they only narrowly avoided last season, and Nottingham Forest might well have brought in a few too many new faces. They could be a side that starts well, but suddenly drops.

Rest of top four (in order): Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea

Manchester City are already a brilliant side - and they’ve strengthened again.

They will take some stopping especially with Erling Harland up front as the No9 and I feel they can do a dream double of the Premier League title and the Holy Grail of the Champions League.

Tottenham with Antonio Conte plus some great additions might just be their closest challengers this year.

But City are the pick of the bunch - especially after a big summer.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United

Unimaginative? Absolutely. But what manager can happily wave goodbye to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus and not feel his squad has been weakened?

Jack Grealish will come into his own in his second season and Erling Haaland will gorge himself on a feast of chances. It will be City in a canter and I suspect they might break that Champions League jinx for good measure.

Liverpool will pip Chelsea in a tight race for second with United a distant fourth.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea

City look in terrific form once again and will be formidable in their defence of the title.

Liverpool, however, have the depth to give them yet another epic fight.

Both clubs will be involved in the latter stages of the Champions League and I expect Antonio Conte’s new and improved Spurs to be a lot closer in the Premier League.

But I think Liverpool will emerge on top with Chelsea’s lack of firepower up front undoing their quality (Koulibaly is a fantastic signing) at the back.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea

It is difficult to see Manchester City getting worse with the signing of Erling Haaland but this season - the first split by a World Cup - has the potential for more unpredictability.

Antonio Conte will get even more out of Tottenham in the short-term while Arsenal have to compete for silverware. Jesse Marsch will quickly be under pressure and Leeds will struggle without Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha.

In Europe, Xavi’s Barcelona - with Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski up front - will return as a European force.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal

Once again, the Premier League title race will be between Manchester City and Liverpool, both of whom have strengthened significantly, to keep themselves ahead of the chasing pack.

Tottenham and Arsenal have also bought shrewdly in the window and both now have the squads to edge out Chelsea in the race for a top-four place.

Manchester United, under new boss Erik ten Hag, are unlikely to have enough to get back into the top-four straight away.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea

If anyone is going to break Manchester City and Liverpool’s monopoly of the top two, it’s Antonio Conte.

Don’t give me any spiel about Erik ten Hag and Manchester United, don’t give me any bloated optimism about Chelsea and don’t give me any bubble-blowing flatulence about West Ham. As for Arsenal... it’s there in the title of their All Or Nothing documentary, and it’s likely to be nothing.

Do you want decent value for money at 14-1 for the title? As a famous manager once said: Lads, it’s Tottenham.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham

It seems odd that both Manchester City and Liverpool have ripped up the central focus of the game-plan which made both the best two teams in Europe over the course of last season.

To sell world class forwards as Sadio Mane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling seems to go against the old adage of ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’, and looks a gamble.

But in different ways, if both had a weakness last season - and this is very much relative - it appeared in some of the biggest games, when they seemed to lack a clinical edge. Losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi and final respectively hurt both clubs, and the reaction is interesting.

Liverpool now have a clinical goalscorer in Darwin Nunez, and surely he would have made a difference in the final, when they spurned 24 chances. Likewise, City have the goalscoring recognised centre forward they needed in those two semis where they dominated, in Erling Haaland.

It probably won’t bring more points or even goals - they both had plenty last season - but it may provide the edge in the tightest games at the highest level, which is the margins both are looking for. Look out for a tight title contest, with maybe Liverpool getting the luck this time around.

Rest of top four (in order): Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal

The Premier League is getting ever more predictable, while serving up increasingly spectacular standards of football. Will we see new winners, a new top four, or cup shocks? I hope so, but I doubt it.

I’m willing clubs like Newcastle, West Ham, a resurgent Arsenal, Spurs and Aston Villa to shake things up and close the gaps with the elite, who even dominate the cups.

Liverpool will pip Man City, who will be distracted by their Champions League quest. It’s time for a wildcard to win a cup, and Everton or Leeds will be the shock relegation.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham

MANCHESTER City will be the team to beat again and they will be even more formidable with new signings Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips.

Liverpool will hope Darwin Nunez can hit the ground running to help them battle City again while Chelsea have bought wisely and will also challenge.

Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United will all be stronger, but still short of winning the title. City look so strong in every department and this could finally be the season they win the Champions League.

Rest of top four (in order): Liverpool, Tottenham. Manchester United

Manchester City have won back-to-back titles and they look good for a hat-trick after the signing of Erling Haaland.

New boy Darwin Nunez at Liverpool will take time to adjust judging by pre-season and Jurgen Klopp’s challengers will do very well to run City as close this time around.

But perhaps City will get slightly distracted by their Champions League itch as they search for a maiden crown after suffering last-gasp semi-final heartache last term. That agony could spur them on to a historic double.


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