How we think the Premier League will finish

As the season hits the January Transfer Window and just over the halfway mark, we have challenged ourselves with the task of predicting the final Premier League table. It didn’t take long to lick our wounds after some of our laughable predictions last summer to come up with these. So here are our predictions and reasons behind it:

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Adam Tomlinson:

  1. Chelsea Their ability to grind out results and Mourinho’s experience will be the difference in the title challenge.
  2. Manchester City I can see Man City dropping points against low league tables towards the end of the season, which will cause them problems in the title race.
  3. Manchester United They will only keep improving but it’s too late for them to challenge for the title.
  4. Arsenal They will sneak into their usual spot ahead of Liverpool if they can keep Sanchez fit.
  5. Liverpool The lack of quality and defensive mistakes will cost them Champions League football.
  6. Tottenham Hotspur Their inconsistency has always been a problem and it will let them down once again.
  7. Southampton A very good season for Southampton but they could just miss out to Tottenham towards the business end of the season.
  8. West Ham United A very good season for Big Sam, going forwards the Hammers are very good but their performances against big teams would need to improve.
  9. Everton A poor season by Everton’s standards and defensive mistakes have cost them.
  10. Stoke City Always a tough opposition for any side who will sit comfortably mid-table.
  11. Swansea City Gary Monk has done a good job at Swansea, but the position will depend on keeping Wilfried Bony.
  12. West Bromwich Albion The Tony Pulis affect will fire the Baggies up the table and keep them well away from safety if they can keep Berahino.
  13. Newcastle United After losing Pardew, Newcastle could start to struggle. They will need to keep hold of Sissoko and Cisse if they are to prosper.
  14. Sunderland The quality in the squad will collect points slowly but surely and keep them away from the drop.
  15. Aston Villa There’s unrest at Villa Park as Lambert’s side struggles on but that Premier League experience will keep them safe.
  16. Crystal Palace The quality in the squad may not be there but the passion from Pardew could provide a spark in the squad to grind out results.
  17. Leicester City If new additions are added to the team and they keep the same desire to stay up Pearson’s side will be ok – but it will go down to the wire.
  18. Burnley Ultimately the lack of Premier League quality could be their downfall. However, they will fight it every way.
  19. Queen’s Park Rangers Even with the firepower of Charlie Austin, QPR will struggle to stay up. Their away form will really cost this season.
  20. Hull City Unfortunately the signings made by Bruce haven’t performed and the squad depth is lacking. I can’t see them surviving.

 

Luke Vials:

  1. Chelsea They have by far the best squad in the Premier League and with Man City’s inconsistency’s should have it wrapped up by April.
  2. Manchester City On their day they can beat any side in the world, and they have the best strike-force in the league with Aguero, Dzeko, Jovetic and soon to be Bony, however, they always seem to have the ability to drop points as has been seen away at QPR and at home to Burnley this campaign.
  3. Manchester United Their defensive frailties will ultimately cost them the big titles but Van Gaal will be content with a Champions League spot for now.
  4. Liverpool With their big money signings finally settling in (minus Balotelli) and Sturridge soon to be back, things are looking brighter for Liverpool after a dismal first half of the season.
  5. Arsenal They are an Alexis Sanchez injury away from implosion and even with him fit they still struggle at times against weaker opposition. Investment needed in January to balance the squad.
  6. Tottenham Hotspur Too inconsistent especially at home to achieve anything more than a Europa League spot this time around, but Pochettinio’s men could be ones to watch next season.
  7. Southampton Koeman’s debut season has been fantastic but once we get down to the business end of the season their smaller squad will begin to show. Next season could really ruffle some more feathers with investment in the squad.
  8. West Ham United Similar to Southampton in terms of the brilliant job Allardyce has done in East London but just like the Saints just don’t quite enough to sustain it this time.
  9. Everton It’s not unusual for Everton to have a poor first half of the season and with Martinez at the helm I’m convinced they will come good and achieve a top half finish.
  10. Stoke City Another top half finish for Mark Hughes and Stoke. Traditionally difficult opposition and fastly becoming the most stable team in the division in terms of league finishes.
  11. Swansea City Need to replace Bony’s goals if he does indeed depart to Man City but they are far too good to be dragged into a relegation fight and Monk deserves all his plaudits.
  12. Newcastle United Need to get their next appointment spot on so not to get drawn in with the dogfight at the bottom of the league but even if they struggle they should have too much to go down.
  13. Sunderland Again too good for relegation but need investment to get to the next level. Poyet is a good manager and chairman Ellis Short needs to trust him with transfers. Classic mid-table mediocrity.
  14. Aston Villa Too big a club to be struggling like they are and a front three of Agbonlahor-Benteke-Weimann should be at least in the top half. I fear for Paul Lambert’s job but not for Villa’s top flight status.
  15. West Bromwich Albion Will stay up comfortably purely because of the shrewd appointment of Pulis. Whether Berahino stays or not will depend how high they will finish.
  16. Crystal Palace Another good managerial appointment this time in the form of Alan Pardew. The Palace legend is more than capable of keeping that group of players in the league and I think he will.
  17. Queen’s Park Rangers Must improve their horrendous away form but goals are what matter down at the bottom and luckily they have them in abundance in Charlie Austin. Must keep him fit to survive.
  18. Leicester City It was a straight shootout between QPR and Leicester for the last relegation spot but when it comes down to it QPR have a better team and of course Austin. Leicester will fight admirably but ultimately wont have enough.
  19. Hull City Second season syndrome will haunt last seasons FA Cup finalists and unfortunately for Steve Bruce some of his signings which looked good on paper haven’t delivered when it matters.
  20. Burnley Everyone loves a plucky underdog and Burnley have had a good season so far but sadly for them they will get caught out eventually due to their Championship squad.

Ryan Hall:

  1. Chelsea The spine of this side is simply too strong for everyone else. They might not run away with it like many people thought earlier in the season but I would be amazed if Mourinho threw away his first title win in his second spell as Chelsea manager now.
  2. Manchester City Bitter rivals United will run them close, but I still think City have the edge and will finish in the automatic Champions League position. To do this however, Manuel Pellegrini must find a consistent partner for Vincent Kompany and achieve the enviable task of keeping Sergio Aguero fit.
  3. Manchester United £156m spent with more likely to follow, 3rd place is an under-achievement in my eyes but the fans will be happy to be back in the Champions League.
  4. Arsenal Frustratingly, I find myself almost obliged to make Arsenal fourth. Somehow they always do it. The difference between Arsene Wenger’s side and Liverpool or Tottenham is one player. Alexis Sanchez.
  5. Liverpool Daniel Sturridge returning will make a huge difference and provide a much-needed boost in what has been a very underwhelming season so far for Liverpool. Their struggle with the Gunners for fourth spot will depend on how well the England centre-forward can hit the ground running after his long spell on the sidelines.
  6. Tottenham Hotspur I am running out of superlatives for young Harry Kane at the minute and long may it continue. Christian Eriksen is another big fish in what I deem to be a pretty mediocre pond and will be key to any success Spurs have this season. Mauricio Pocchetino is an excellent manager and I think he will guide his team into the Europa League.
  7. West Ham  United Sam Allardyce has answered many critics this season. His signings have been superb and his side are starting to shake off that unwarranted tag of 19th century long ball mentality football. The future is bright for the Hammers.
  8. Southampton After a wonderful start to his career as Saints boss, I predict Southampton may slip away eventually but 8th is still a great finish, especially considering the mass exodus of players during the summer.
  9. Everton Many Everton fans would have expected more at the start of the season and the problems for me lie in defence.
  10. Stoke City Stoke City are a team very much in the ascendancy. Bojan appears to finally finding his feet at the Brittania and his ‘little and large’ partnership with Peter Crouch so far has worked well. Mark Hughes’ men are hard to beat and another mid-table finish will provide something to build on for next season.
  11. Swansea City Garry Monk would be a fool not to cash in on £30m rated Wilfried Bony but the Swans will undeniably miss his clinical eye for goal and it will cost them a top half finish. I have the utmost faith in the job Monk is doing however and believe he can continue the Swansealona philosophy laid down by the likes of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers.
  12. West Bromwich Albion The appointment of Tony Pulis as their new Head Coach has instantly given the Baggies’ a massive lift and there are now much fewer questions over fears of relegation. Pulis’ has openly stated that he would like to keep hold of top scorer Saido Berahino and he will need to if he is to take the Midlands club forwards.
  13. Newcastle United A mid season managerial change isn’t ideal and a new man is yet to be appointed, but Newcastle have the calibre of player to finish safely under any manager.
  14. Aston Villa Often don’t turn up to games register no shots on target, Villa have lingered by the drop zone for a few seasons and the top half finishes of the Martin O’Neill era seem donkeys years ago. They remain one of the few teams to never be relegated from the Premier League and although I fully expect it (and want it) to happen, it won’t be this season.
  15. Crystal Palace I think Alan Pardew is a good appointment for Palace and will have no problems steering his new side clear of relegation. A signing or two in January is essential however to avoid jitters and the squeaking of bums towards the nitty gritty end of the season.
  16. Sunderland I look at Sunderland’s squad and seriously wonder whether they have the players at their disposal to stay up. New signings need to made but I am confident Gus Poyet can avoid relegation, as he did last season.
  17. Burnley I’m a big fan of Sean Dyche and I honestly believe in the ginger Mourinho’s abilities to keep Burnley up. They have the weakest squad on paper in the league but are currently on a fantastic run and are playing with confidence.
  18. Leicester City Despite new signing Kramaric’s record in native Croatia, it is not certain that he will be able to replicate those goals in England. Maintaining Premier League survival will prove too big a task for Nigel Pearson and his side.
  19. Hull City Their run-in is tricky and I’m not sure the Tigers’ lightweight squad has what it takes to get out of this season’s relegation dogfight.
  20. Queen’s Park Rangers QPR’s appalling away record will eventually cost them their Premier League status. It’ll take one injury to top scorer Charlie Austin to send their season spiralling out of control.

Nathan Hill:

  1. Chelsea A few weeks before Christmas we declared the title race to already be over during a podcast and even though Man City have since closed the gap, Chelsea are still the team to beat. Jose Mourinho, as promised, has assembled a squad which is the complete package for what is required to win the title.
  2. Man City They will keep the title race interesting and I expect them to push Chelsea all the way to the final day but they still look more susceptible to dropping points unexpectedly than Chelsea.
  3. Man Utd United will be back in the Champions League, which would have been their minimum aim for this season and they look well placed for a title challenge next season.
  4. Arsenal They are heavily reliant on Alexis Sanchez to reach their usual position of fourth this season but Sanchez alone gives them an edge, despite their ongoing defensive vulnerability, as their main rivals for the top four can’t call upon a player of his quality.
  5. Liverpool Defensively, they’re just as bad as Arsenal but they don’t have an Alexis Sanchez to make up for it in the attacking third. They have shown signs of recovery recently though and the highly anticipated return of Daniel Sturridge from injury should see them climb up the table, but not as far as the top four.
  6. Southampton Huge credit must be given to The Saints, they have continued to prove their doubters wrong. Given that we’re over half way into the season now, they have to be considered as genuine contenders for the Champions League spots – especially after taking seven points off Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United recently. I’ve put them sixth because that’s where I believe they deserve to finish and who’s to say they can’t prove everyone wrong yet again in the second half of this season and at least stay in the top six?
  7. Tottenham Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane have provided the only positives for Spurs in what has been a poor season so far.
  8. West Ham The likes of Alex Song, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Aaron Cresswell have breathed new life into a previously one dimensional team and the reliance on Andy Carroll avoiding injury (and his goals) has lessened. They definitely have enough to stay in the top half.
  9. Everton Pressure is mounting on Roberto Martinez after Everton have had to endure yet another slow start. However, unlike in previous seasons, there hasn’t been too many signs of recovery and squeezing into the top ten is about as much as they can hope for.
  10. Swansea With an excellent first half to what is their fourth season in the top flight, Swansea seem to have firmly established themselves in the Premier League and look as if they’re here to stay for many years to come. However, the second half of this season could be a bit of a struggle with the potential departure of Wilfried Bony.
  11. Stoke Once again, if I had to describe Stoke’s season so far it would be “solid”. They’re exactly where they’d expect to be and that is comfortably in mid table. They’ve also added a bit of flair with bargain buy Bojan. Perhaps the one disappointment for them so far is that the Britannia hasn’t quite been the fortress that it has become known as with Aston Villa, Leicester and Burnley amongst the sides to have won there so far.
  12. Newcastle It’s been a typically chaotic season so far on Tyneside as Newcastle have gone from not being able to win an argument to suddenly being unstoppable and now they’re looking for Alan Pardew’s replacement – ironically at a time when far fewer fans would’ve been calling for his head. Who knows what direction they’ll head in next but this season the team have proved they are good enough to finish where I’ve put them in 12th.
  13. Aston Villa They’ve been going nowhere for a few years now and the season already looks as if it’ll be one to forget for Villa. They’re struggling to score goals, even with Christian Benteke fit and back in the team and once again, the only thing that will save them from the drop is that there a few teams that are worse than them.
  14. West Brom Pulis’ arrival will be enough to keep them up but even he might struggle to work his magic if he loses Saido Berahino this month. They’re not great but they have enough about them to finish ahead of at least three teams once again.
  15. Sunderland They’re in trouble again, no doubt about it. They’ve not lost too many but they’ve only won three times and their confidence appears to be low once again. Crucially though, they do always seem able to perform when they really need to and if they turn some of their dull draws into wins from now until the end, they should just about have enough to survive again.
  16. Crystal Palace Alan Pardew’s arrival has given the club a much needed lift but their battle against the drop looks like it’s going to go the distance. They look up for the battle though and they should finish the right side of the line.
  17. QPR Their home and away form is like chalk and cheese. They’ll need to pick up a few points away from home in the second half of the season as their home form alone won’t be enough to save them when their rivals are gaining points home and away. In Charlie Austin they have a reliable source for goals but if he were to suddenly hit a dry spell, it would also prove fatal for them.
  18. Burnley They have a very good chance of survival. Without being patronising to Burnley, just being able to say that at the half way point of the season is testament to how well they’ve played and what a fantastic job Sean Dyche has done. If Burnley can continue to battle away like they have done in the last month or so, they have a real chance of survival.
  19. Hull They’ve become the latest team to suffer from the dreaded “second season syndrome” even though they had a promising start to the season. They’re struggling to score goals and they aren’t managing to keep them out at the other end which is a recipe for disaster.
  20. Leicester They’ve managed to string together a couple of decent results recently but they’ve been rooted to the bottom of the league for a reason. They’re not good enough and they are severely lacking in Premier League quality, experience and nous.
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