How our Bold Premier League predictions are stacking up
Before the start of the 2022-23 season, we made five bold predictions for how the Premier League season would go.
Since then, the top flight of English football has experienced unprecedented spending in the January transfer window, multiple sackings and the scintillatingly surprising results we know and love from the Premier League.
With the Premier League being so unpredictable, let’s see how our predictions are stacking up six months on!
#1 – Chelsea to miss out on the top four
We’re off to a good start here, unlike Graham Potter at Chelsea. The Blues have endured a torrid campaign so far and shockingly find themselves behind two other West London clubs (Fulham and Brentford) in the Premier League table.
Despite Chelsea’s spending being through the roof thanks to new owner Todd Boehly, positive results haven’t been forthcoming.
Thomas Tuchel was sacked after losing to Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Champions League and new manager Graham Potter has overseen what has been, if anything, a further decline in form.
Chelsea spent more money on January transfers than the other top four European Leagues combined. No improvement in form has occurred yet though, as The Blues are ninth in the Premier League, out of the FA Cup and only have the Champions League left for even a small chance of silverware this campaign.
Admittedly, they have been unlucky when it comes to injuries, but that doesn’t excuse being the highest-spending club in the world and firmly mid-table in the Premier League.
So, as it stands, our call for Chelsea to miss out on the top four is looking very good. In fact, it’s hard to see them qualifying for Europe at all.
#2 – Arsenal to return to the Champions League
This is the most cast iron prediction we have and if anything, we have hugely underestimated Arsenal this season.
This was a bold prediction though, as many Arsenal fans pre-season believed a top four finish was too much to ask and that they’d have to win the UEFA Europa League to qualify for the Champions League.
The Gunners have been the target of many jokes over the past twenty years (since they last won the League title) but Mikel Arteta has assembled a formidable squad. At the time of writing, Arsenal are five points ahead of Manchester City, with the North London side having a game in hand.
There’s still a long way to go, but Arteta’s men show little sign of slowing down, with only two losses and two draws from their opening twenty matches. With only the Europa League left to compete in aside from the Premier League, the Gunners look certain for a top four finish and a probable title come May.
#3 – Newcastle to qualify for Europe
Admittedly, this wasn’t as bold a prediction as the others, but this looks good right now. Newcastle United have been revolutionised under Eddie Howe and the Magpies currently sit in a Champions League spot. The Toon have become the best defensive side in the league, with only 12 goals conceded all season.
Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson and of course, Joelinton have all made a positive impact on the team.
It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago, Newcastle were in the relegation zone. Yes, they have spent a lot of money, but they’ve done so intelligently, making the most of their new Saudi ownership.
Even if Newcastle drop out of the top five, they’re in the final of the EFL Cup and could qualify for Europe if they beat Manchester United in the final. Newcastle look set for a first European campaign in almost a decade this Summer.
#4 – Nottingham Forest to survive comfortably
At the start of the season, this prediction was looking dead in the water, as Nottignham Forest struggled to bed in their bus-load of new signings. However, the Tricky Trees have become a real force of late and have picked up the most Premier League points so far in 2023.
Steve Cooper’s Reds have risen from the relegation zone to thirteenth at the time of writing. While they aren’t safe yet, a six point cushion is a very good one and should see them survive.
#5 – Brentford and Leeds to go down
The streak had to end somewhere, but in fairness, we’re only half wrong. Brentford haven’t suffered second season syndrome, and have kicked on to progress to comfortable mid-table. The Bees are buzzing and will stay up, with a seventh place standing at the time of writing.
Come season’s end, that could see Brentford qualify for either the Europa League or Conference League. Even the most optimistic Brentford fans won’t have seen this coming.
Leeds meanwhile, currently sit sixteenth, but that is a very precarious position. Two of the sides underneath them (Everton and West Ham) are likely to climb the table sooner or later and the Whites are still without a new manager after sacking Jesse Marsch.
That dismissal was warranted, as the Peacocks haven’t won a league game since November. That is relegation form and they’ll need a big improvement very soon or they could be playing second tier football again next season.
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