Premier League 23/24 predictions : Who are the contenders for the title, Europe and relegation
and live on Freeview channel 276
The 2023/24 Premier League season is fast approaching and fans are once again preparing themselves for the drama, intrigue and excitement of the most-watched football league on the planet.
Manchester City enter the season as defending champions and they kick off the campaign with a trip to Burnley as they look to become the first team in history to win four consecutive Premier League titles.
Burnley are hoping to survive in the top-flight under the stewardship of former Citizens captain Vincent Kompany and they are joined in the top-flight by Sheffield United and Luton who are also hoping to impress in the Premier League after their promotion.
The Premier League is notoriously difficult to predict and a number of teams have staged upsets in recent seasons such as Brighton and Newcastle who both qualified for Europe last term.
But who are we predicting to push for the Premier League title this season and who do we expect to struggle at the bottom of the league?
Here are our predictions from the title race to the relegation battle in this year’s Premier League.
Predicted Premier League table
1st: Manchester City
Manchester City are the dominant force in English football after a third consecutive title triumph and they are the hot favourites to win a fourth title in a row.
The Citizens are blessed with the strongest team in the Premier League, filled with stars such as last season's Golden Boot winner Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Rodri and Ederson.
Pep Guardiola’s side have also added to their defence with the marquee signing of defender Josko Gvardiol, but they will enter the season without two key players in Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez who both left during the summer window.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal staged a surprise title push last season, but very few will be surprised if they finish near the top of the table this term.
At the time of writing The Gunners are the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window and have added Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber to their squad.
Arsenal already have a strong core with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all entering the peak years of their careers and they should have enough squad depth to mount a title push, while performing well on the European stage.
Liverpool missed out on the Champions League last season in a disappointing campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side, but they will be hoping to mount a serious title push this season after their near miss in the 2021/22 campaign.
The Reds have freshened up their squad with the signings of World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.
Klopp’s team also has plenty of goalscoring outlets in the form of the ever reliable Mohamed Salah, aswell as Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota.
But they may struggle in the defensive midfield area and they have lost a lot of key leaders in the dressing room with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner all leaving in the summer.
4th: Newcastle United
Newcastle United are back in the Champions League for the first time in two decades and Eddie Howe arguably faces the biggest task of his managerial career as he tries to balance the demands of Premier League and European football.
However, the Magpies are a club with momentum after their improvements in the last 18 months and they have added further strength to their squad in the form of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento.
Newcastle are blessed with a number of exciting young prospects, but they remain short for depth in the defensive areas and the Toon will need further reinforcements at centre back to remain in Europe’s elite competition.
5th: Manchester United
Manchester United will be hoping for success in their second season under Erik Ten Hag and they have welcomed a number of new recruits to their team this summer including Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund.
The Red Devils will be aiming to reach Europe’s elite competition again this season, but they still lack a proven goalscorer in attack and were the lowest scorers in the top six with just 58 goals.
Man Utd will be heavily reliant on the goals of Marcus Rashford and youngster Hojlund if they are to sustain their place in the Champions League and the club is still surrounded by uncertainty with takeover rumours.
Chelsea endured one of their worst ever Premier League seasons last term in a tumultuous campaign which saw the club appoint three different managers.
The Blues fell to 12th in the Premier League despite having the biggest net spend of any club in world football last year.
New manager Mauricio Pochettino has embarked on yet another rebuild at the London club and he has thinned the squad with a number of high-profile sales in midfield such as Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Kai Havertz.
Pochettino is a proven manager in the Premier League who is good at developing youngsters, as he has shown at Tottenham, but this is likely to be a rebuilding season with so many outgoing players and a lack of depth in midfield.
Nicolas Jackson is one to watch and Christopher Nkunku could also be an exciting signing once he returns from injury.
7th: Aston Villa
Aston Villa are a club with momentum after the appointment of Unai Emery and they will compete in the Europa Conference League next term after a strong end to the season.
The Villains are a team on the up and the likes of Ollie Watkins, Jacob Ramsey and Emiliano Martinez will all be key players for the club.
Emery has also added to his team with the additions of Moussa Diaby and Pau Torres, while the returning Diego Carlos could also be an asset at centre back.
The Spanish coach has a reputation for performing well in European competitions and Villa are likely to go deep into the Europa Conference League this season.
8th: Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur suffered from a collapse in form at the end of last season after the exit of head coach Antonio Conte and they started the new campaign with a new manager in Ange Postecoglou.
Postecoglou has worked wonders with Celtic in recent seasons and he plays an eye-catching brand of football which could prove an instant hit if he is given time to implement his methods.
Tottenham have added to their team with the marquee signing of James Maddison but the future of talisman Harry Kane has dominated the summer and his potential departure could be a huge blow to the club’s chance of a European finish.
9th: Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion were one of the surprise packages last season and Roberto De Zerbi made an impressive impact on the team after the departure of popular head coach Graham Potter.
De Zerbi has added to the team with the signings of James Milner, Joao Pedro and Mahmoud Dahoud, and he has so far kept hold of a key player in Moises Caicedo.
The likes of Enisco and Evan Ferguson are expected to make further strides this season, but the impact of European football means Brighton are likely to drop down a few positions.
10th: West Ham United
West Ham United lifted the Europa Conference League title last season, which earns them a place back in the Europa League this year.
However, the mood around The London Stadium has not been optimistic this summer and many fans are divided over the future of David Moyes after a disappointing top-flight campaign.
The Hammers lost star man Declan Rice for an astronomical fee this summer, but they have largely been inactive in the transfer window with the funds they have attained.
Ultimately West Ham’s squad looks thin and the prospect of European football could once again be a hindrance but they have enough talent in the form of Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta to get them out of trouble as things stand.
It is also likely that they will spend more money in the final month of the transfer window.
11th: Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace ended the season on a high under the guidance of Roy Hodgson who made a surprise return to Selhurst Park.
Hodgson remains in the dugout this season and he will be hoping to maintain the impressive form of youngsters Eberechi Eze and Michel Olise.
Jefferson Lerm and Brazilian youngster Matheus Franc both look to be shrewd acquisitions but the Eagles will have to contend with the loss of Wilfried Zaha.
Brentford enjoyed their best ever Premier League finish last season and they defied expectations to mount an unlikely push for the Europa Conference League.
The Bees have performed very well in recent years but they have been handed a huge blow with the long term suspension of top scorer Ivan Toney who is out until January 2024.
Such a loss could lead to a relegation battle for most teams, but Brentford have a good manager in Thomas Frank who knows how to navigate the transfer market and they have enough in their ranks to avoid a relegation battle.
In a typical Premier League season there is usually one newly promoted side who thrives in the top-flight and Burnley are the most likely to be that team under the guidance of Vincent Kompany.
The Clarets steamrolled the Championship title with 101 points last season, whilst losing just three games. They also play an exciting brand of football which saw them score an impressive 87 goals.
Kompany has added to his team with the signings of Jordan Beyer, James Trafford and Zeki Amdouni. The club are also backed by new owners and it is likely they will bring in a few more names before the end of the window.
Fulham were the best newly promoted side in the Premier League last season but it is likely that they will suffer from a slight drop off this season.
The Cottagers have added to their team with the high-profile signing of Calvin Massey and they will be hoping to revive the form of Mexican international Raul Jimenez who arrives from Wolves.
Marco Silva’s side are yet to lose any of their key players in the transfer window but the summer has been dominated by the potential departure of Alexander Mitrovic who has been heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.
Mitrovic’s future is crucial to Fulham’s chance of progression but they should have enough quality to survive either way with Silva at the helm.
Everton have had two of their worst Premier League seasons in recent years and they only narrowly beat the drop with a victory over Bournemouth in the final game of last season.
The Toffees have had little to get excited about over the summer and a loan move for Arnaut Danjama and a free signing of Ashley Young are their only arrivals.
Despite this Everton should have just enough to survive in the Premier League and they are likely to be a more defensively solid outfit with Sean Dyche having more time to work with the players.
Everton’s biggest issue could be scoring goals and the likes of Dwight McNeil, Alex Iwobi and Dominic Calvert Lewin will all have an important role to play.
Many eyebrows were raised at the start of the summer when Bournemouth made the shock decision to sack manager Gary O’Neil.
The Cherries have since acted quickly to replace him and they have welcomed a new manager in Andoni Iraola.
The Spainard impressed during his time at Rayo Vallecano and he is known for playing an exciting brand of football but the team is likely to face yet another relegation battle.
17th: Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest were amongst the biggest spenders last summer but they have had a much quieter transfer window so far with the arrivals of Anthony Elanga, Matt Turner and last year’s loan signing Chris Wood.
The Reds are without their two goalkeepers Keylor Navas and Dean Henderson who both impressed during loan spells at the club and Turner will be handed the huge task of thriving as number one.
Steve Cooper’s side struggled for large periods last season and they were heavily reliant on their home form. But they should have enough quality to survive with Morgan Gibbs-White, Brennan Johnson and Taiwo Awonyi all playing key roles.
18th: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers have been a steady and mid-table Premier League team for all of the last three seasons, but they kick off this season in chaotic fashion before a ball has even been kicked with the departure of head coach Julen Lopetegui.
The West Midlands outfit have lost a number of key players in the transfer market such as Ruben Neves, Adam Traore and Nathan Collins, and they haven’t been very active in the transfer window which prompted Lopetegui’s exit.
Wolves enter the season without a recognised goalscorer and they scored 31 goals in the Premier League last season which is the lowest in the division.
Gary O'Neil worked wonders to keep Bournemouth in the top-flight last season and he faces an equally difficult task this time around.
19th: Luton Town
Luton Town pulled off a fairytale promotion to reach the top-flight after their victory over Coventry in last season's play-off final.
The Hatters are a team on the rise and they have been promoted four times in the last nine years to climb from the National League to the Premier League.
Luton will be hoping to make a mark this season in their first top-flight campaign since 1991 and they are more than capable of stringing together a few shocks along the way.
Luton were tough to beat in the Championship last year and they were beaten just eight times in 46 games which is the second best in the division behind Burnley.
However, the Bedfordshire side lack the finances to attract enough quality players and they were the lowest scorers of any team in the top six last season with just 57 goals.
Overall Luton are likely to struggle in the Premier League but their momentum should allow them to cause a few upsets, particularly at Kenilworth Road.
20th: Sheffield United
Sheffield United have returned to the Premier League after a two-year absence from the top flight and they enjoyed an impressive campaign last season under the guidance of Paul Heckingbottom.
However, the Blades have failed to strengthen in the transfer market and they enter the season with a weaker team than last year on paper after the departure of top goalscorer Iliman Ndiaye.
The South Yorkshire club need further reinforcements in the coming weeks if they are to push for survival.