Originally published on Sixth Feb
Football is back! It's finally back! As such, its time to dive into some predictions that will be completely forgotten after the first set of results prove them to be completely meaningless. Unless they are somehow accurate at the end of the season, in which case I will be retiring from football journalism to become a full time Paul the Octopus impersonator. I'm pretty sure there's more money in that anyway.
1. Manchester United/ Leicester City
Haven't you heard? Mourinho has bought built the perfect squad! Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic, and, umm, Bailly! To us common folk, money can't buy happiness. However, in a world where €100 million-plus transfers are announced by rappers, happiness [i.e. hollow pieces of metal known as trophies] are easily purchased. Well, if you're in the top three richest clubs in the world, at least.
2. Manchester City/ Leicester City
While we've all been distracted by the shameless spending across town, the more conservative Guardiola has only gone and bought about 15 different small, nimble playmakers. As far as I can tell, he seems to have gone the misogynist-in-a-bar route of hitting on everything until someone responds. On the off chance that [Gabriel] Jesus turns out to be the second coming of Messi, City could finish pretty high up the table.
3. Chelsea/ Leicester City
Another club whose business has gone under the radar thanks to the shenanigans up at Old Trafford, Chelsea have brought in Conte and Kante to help make them as loveable as they used to be in 2005. While they don't seem like they could win the title just yet, make sure to look out for Terry stripping down to his kit to celebrate winning the FA Cup despite playing 5 matches all season.
4. Arsenal/ Leicester City
Was there really going to be anyone else in fourth? Yes, Tottenham look a better side. Yes, Liverpool have Klopp. Yes, it's weird that Wenger thinks the market is too expensive, despite spending €47 million on Ozil three years ago. Nevertheless, Arsenal are going to threaten to challenge for the title, have a horrible November, come back strong over Christmas, get knocked out of every tournament in February, and book a Champions League spot when the pressure is off. It just wouldn't be Premier League football without Wenger's annual ritual.
5. Tottenham/ Leicester City
I've been impressed with Tottenham's business. They've quietly and efficiently brought in a fantastic striker in Vincent Janssen, and good midfield competition in Victor Wanyama. Additionally, Mauricio Pochettino seems to have struck a great balance between success and blooding youth. If this was any club but Tottenham, I would've predicted a tilt at the title. But, since it is Tottenham, they're bound to do something 'spursy' and screw it up. Just ask Arsenal, who somehow managed to finish ahead of them for the 128th year in a row last season.
6. Liverpool/ Leicester City
This was supposed to be the summer of Klopp. When the German first landed at Anfield last season, he was supposed to bring about a revolution. When he contrived to finish eighth, lower than Rodgers ever managed, supporters said it wasn't his team. After he had raided Germany for their finest unknown talents, Liverpool would be great again. 2016/17 was going to be their year. Instead, he's brought in Sadio Mane. Wouldn't Brendan Rodgers be proud.
7. West Ham United/ Leicester City
The Hammers are moving to the Olympic Stadium! In my head, this could go in two different directions. Either the stadium fills up, or it's half empty and kills the club's famous atmosphere. It's in these times, I like to think of myself as an optimist. I believe the stadium is going to be full, its going to rocket the team up the table to help them challenge for the top four, the fans are going to become full of themselves, they're going to hound Bilic out when West Ham inevitably lose to Chelsea, and they're going dramatically drop down the table. Ok, so I lied. I'm not an optimist.
To read parts 2 and 3, click here