Thursday 16 August 2018

Colin Young's club-by-club guide to the new season

Maurizio Sarri hopes to win a first trophy at Chelsea (Steve Paston/PA)
Maurizio Sarri hopes to win a first trophy at Chelsea (Steve Paston/PA)

Colin Young

Arsenal

Last season: 6th

Manager: Unai Emery (46)

Appointed: May 2018

Previous clubs: Lorca Deportiva, Almeria, Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain

Premier League seasons: None

Eddie Howe, pictured, in Bournemouth’s boot room as preparations intensify for the return to Premier League action (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Eddie Howe, pictured, in Bournemouth’s boot room as preparations intensify for the return to Premier League action (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The big question: New manager, new players, new era. Can Emery bring a return to Champions League football for Arsenal or were they over-achieving for all those years under Wenger?

Stat attack: Midfielder Granit Xhaka set a new Premier League record with 3,117 attempted passes last season, a record previously held by Cesc Fabregas.

In: Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria £26m), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen £19m), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Dortmund £16m), Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient £7m), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus free).

Out: Per Mertesacker (retired), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal free), Jack Wilshere (West Ham free), Hugo Keto (Bournemouth free).

Prediction: 5th

 

Bournemouth

Last season: 12th

Manager: Eddie Howe (40)

Jose Mourinho. (Adam Davy/PA)
Jose Mourinho. (Adam Davy/PA)

Appointed: October 2012

Previous clubs: Burnley

Premier League seasons: 3

Premier League record: Games 114, W 34, D 30, L 50, F 145, A 195, Wins 29.8%

Manager of month: 2 (Mar '17, Jan '18)

The big question: This is Bournemouth's fourth Premier League season. Can Eddie Howe improve on his side's best finish of ninth two seasons ago or will they be fighting at the wrong end of the table?

Stat attack: Asmir Begovic was among five goalkeepers who played all 3,420 minutes in the league last season, along with Jordan Pickford (Everton), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield).

In: David Brooks (Sheffield United £11.5m), Diego Rico (Leganes £10.7m).

Out: Benik Afobe (Wolves £12.5m), Lewis Grabban (Nottingham Forest £5m), Max Gradel (Toulouse undisclosed), Adam Federici (Stoke undisc).

Prediction: 17th

 

Brighton

Last season: 15th

Manager: Chris Hughton (59)

Appointed: December 2014

Previous clubs: Spurs (caretaker twice), Newcastle, Birmingham, Norwich

Premier League seasons: 6

Premier League record: Games 129, W 32, D 39, L 58, F 128, A 197, Wins 24.8%

Manager of the month: 1 (Feb '18)

The big question: Will this be second-season syndrome for Hughton or can he build on last season's solid 15th?

Stat attack: Defender Lewis Dunk scored four own goals, equalling Martin Skrtel's season record.

In: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar £17m), Yves Bissouma (Lille £15m), Bernardo Junior (RB Leipzig £8m), Florin Andone (Deportivo La Coruna £5.2m), David Button (Fulham £4m), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns £2.8m), Leon Balogun (Mainz free), Jason Steele (Sunderland free), Hugo Keto (Arsenal free), Joseph Tomlinson (Yeovil free).

Out: Tim Krul (Norwich free), Jamie Murphy, Connor Goldson (both Rangers undisc), Steve Sidwell (released), Liam Rosenior (retired), Des Hutchinson (Waterford free), Jiri Skalak (Millwall undisc), Sam Baldock (Reading undisc).

Prediction: 19th

 

Burnley

Last season: 7th

Manager: Sean Dyche (47)

Appointed: October 2012

Previous clubs: Watford

Premier League seasons: 3

Premier League record: Games 114, W 32, D 31, L 51, F 103, A 147, Wins 28.1%

Manager of the month: 1 (Mar '18)

The big question: Was last season a fluke? Sean Dyche and his tight squad will have the additional, and unusual, pressure of the Europa League, while hoping to maintain their place in the top seven.

Stat attack: Striker Chris Wood scored 10 Premier League goals and earned his side 12 points - only Mo Salah (16) and Harry Kane (22) added more from their winning goals and equalisers.

In: Vinnie Steels (York City free).

Out: Conor Mitchell (St Johnstone loan), Dean Marney (Fleetwood), Scott Arfield (Rangers free).

Prediction: 11th

 

Cardiff City

Last season: 2nd in Championship

Manager: Neil Warnock (69)

Previous clubs: Scarborough, Notts County, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Oldham, Bury, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace (2), QPR (2), Leeds, Rotherham

Appointed: October 2016

Premier League seasons: 3

Premier League record: Games 74, W 17, D 19, L 38, F 69, A 115, Wins 22.9%

Manager of the month: 0

The big question: Is this the year Neil Warnock keeps a side in the Premier League and keeps his job? The veteran boss has a tough task on his hands.

Stat attack: This will be the Welsh side's 17th season in the English top division and their second in the Premier League. They were relegated in bottom place in 2013/14, winning just one of their last nine games.

In: Josh Murphy (Norwich £12m), Bobby Reid (Bristol City £10m), Greg Cunningham (Preston £3.5m), Alex Smithies (QPR £3.5m).

Out: Matty Kennedy (St Johnstone free), Ben Wilson, Greg Halford (released).

Prediction: 20th

 

Chelsea

Last season: 5th

Manager: Maurizio Sarri (59)

Appointed: July 2018

Previous clubs: Pescara, Arezzo, Avellino, Hellas Verona, Perugia, Alessandria, Sorrento, Empoli, Napoli

Premier League seasons: 0

The big question: Will the real Chelsea stand up? New manager Sarri will be hoping to make the same impact as Antonio Conte two years ago, and win the Premier League in his first season. No pressure.

Stat attack: Chelsea became the first reigning champions to concede three goals in the opening league match when they lost 3-2 to Burnley at Stamford Bridge a year ago. It was also the first top flight champions' season opener defeat since Aston Villa's in 1981.

In: Jorginho (Napoli £57m), Rob Green (Huddersfield free).

Out: Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo £3.6m), Eduardo Carvalho (released), Isaac Christie-Davies (Liverpool free).

Prediction: 3rd

 

Crystal Palace

Last season: 11th

Manager: Roy Hodgson (70)

Appointed: September '17

Previous clubs/countries: Halmstad, Bristol City, Oddevold, Orebro, Malmo, Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland, Inter Milan, Blackburn, Grasshoppers, Copenhagen, Udinese, UAE, Viking, Finland, Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom, England

Premier League seasons: 8

Premier League record: Games 250, W 86, D 65, L 99, F 302, A 326, Wins 34.4%

Manager of the month: 4 (Aug '97, Dec '97, Oct '09, Feb '10)

The big question: Can Palace survive if Wilfried Zaha leaves Selhurst Park? The winger scored nine goals last season and they lost all 10 of their Premier League games without him starting.

Stat attack: Seven defeats without a goal at the start of the season set a new English record but they became the first top-flight team since Liverpool in 1900 to lose their first seven and avoid relegation.

In: Vicente Guaita (Getafe free), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham £9.5m), Max Meyer (Schalke free).

Out: Damien Delaney (Cork City free), Yohan Cabaye (Al Nasr free), Lee Chung-yong, Diego Cavalieri, Bakary Sako, Joel Ward (all released).

Prediction: 16th

 

Everton

Last season: 8th

Manager: Marco Silva (41)

Appointed: May 2018

Previous clubs: Estoril, Sporting Lisbon, Olympiakos, Hull City, Watford

Premier League seasons: 2

Premier League record: Games 42, W 13, D 8, L 21, F 53, A 80, Wins 31.9%

Manager of the month: 0

The big question: Have they finally found in Marco Silva a manager the fans can abide and who can justify the £250m spent in the last two years? And there must be more signings to come.

Stat attack: Wayne Rooney set a new record of the longest gap between goals for the same club (4,869 days) when he scored against Stoke on the opening day of last season.

In: Richarlison (Watford £44m), Lucas Digne (Barcelona £20m)

Out: Wayne Rooney (DC United undisc), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal £8m), Joel Robles (Real Betis free), Jose Baxter (Oldham free), Ashley Williams (Stoke loan), Kevin Mirallas (Fiorentina loan)

Prediction: 7th

 

Fulham

Last season: 3rd in the Championship

Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic (49)

Appointed: December 2015

Previous clubs: Partizan Belgrade, Muangthong United, Levski Sofia, Hercules, Watford, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Premier League seasons: 0

The big question: The best footballing side in the Championship for a couple of seasons but will Jokanovic and his impressive new signings be able to play and win games in the top flight?

Stat attack: Fulham are back in the Premier League following a four-year absence, having previously enjoyed 13 unbroken seasons. Last season was only the third time all three promoted sides stayed up. Fulham did it in 2002 with Bolton and Blackburn, then QPR, Norwich and Swansea 10 years later.

In: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle £22m), Jean Michael Seri (Nice £18m), Maxime Le Marchand (Nice £12m), Fabri (Besiktas £5m), Alfie Mawson (Swansea £15m).

Out: David Button (Brighton £4m), Ryan Fredericks (West Ham free), Tayo Edun (Ipswich loan).

Prediction: 9th

 

Huddersfield Town

Last season: 16th

Manager: David Wagner (45)

Appointed: November 2015

Previous clubs: Borussia Dortmund (second team)

Premier League seasons: 1

Premier League record: Games 38, W 9, D 10, L 19, F 28, A 58, Wins: 23.6%

Manager of the month: 1 (Aug '17)

The big question: Like Brighton, Yorkshire's leading team will be aiming to improve on mere survival but can they find the consistency and the players to reach mid-table?

Stat attack: Huddersfield became the first team since Norwich in 1992 to finish their first week back in the top flight at the top of the table. It means they have spent more weeks (1) than Spurs (0) at the top of the Premier League since September 2014.

In: Terence Kongolo (Monaco £17.5m), Adama Diakhaby (Monaco £7m), Florent Hadergjonaj (Ingolstadt 04 £4.5m), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund undisc), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke undisc), Juninho Bacuna (Groningen undisc), Jonas Lossl (Mainz undisc), Ben Hamer (Leicester free).

Out: Tom Ince (Stoke £12m), Sean Scannell (Bradford free), Dean Whitehead (retired), Rob Green (Chelsea free), Jordy Hiwula (Coventry undisc).

Prediction: 18th

 

Leicester City

Last season: 9th

Manager: Claude Puel (56)

Appointed: October 2017

Previous clubs: Monaco, Lille, Lyon, Nice, Southampton

Premier League seasons: 2

Premier League record: Games 67, W 22, D 18, L 27, F 85, A 94, Wins 32.8%

Manager of the month: 0

The big question: How will they cope without the creative brilliance of Riyad Mahrez? Puel needs a strong start if he is to survive the autumn.

Stat attack: Striker Jamie Vardy became the first player to score against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the same campaign. He was on the losing side in nine games in which he scored, also a new record.

In: James Maddison (Norwich £24m), Ricardo Pereira (Porto £19.8m), Danny Ward (Liverpool £12.5m), Jonny Evans (West Brom £3.5m).

Out: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City £60m), Robert Huth (released), Ben Hamer (Huddersfield free), Harvey Barnes (West Brom loan), Daniel Iversen (Oldham loan), Dylan Watts (Shamrock Rovers free).

Prediction: 10th

 

Liverpool

Last season: 4th

Manager: Jurgen Klopp (51)

Appointed: October 2015

Previous clubs: Mainz, Borussia Dortmund

Premier League seasons: 3

Premier League record: Games 106, W 56, D 31, L 19, F 217, A 120, Wins 52.8%

Manager of the month: 1 (Sept '16)

The big question: Is this finally Liverpool's year to end the long wait for the Premier League title? Klopp has spent big to challenge Manchester City and goalkeeper Alisson faces huge pressure to deliver.

Stat attack: Mo Salah's 32 goals is a new record for the 38-game Premier League season, beating the previous total of 31 held jointly by Alan Shearer (Blackburn 95/96), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United 07/08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool 13/14).

In: Alisson Becker (AS Roma £67m), Naby Keita (RB Leipzig £55m), Fabinho (Monaco £44m), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke £13.5m), Isaac Christie-Davies (Chelsea free).

Out: Danny Ward (Leicester £12.5m), Emre Can (Juventus free), Jon Flanagan (Rangers free), Paulo Alves (Wolves free).

Prediction: 2nd

 

Manchester City

Last season: 1st

Manager: Pep Guardiola (47)

Appointed: June 2016

Previous clubs: Barcelona, Bayern Munich

Premier League seasons: 2

Premier League record: Games 76, W 55, D 13, L 8, F 186, A 66, Wins 72.4%

Manager of the month: 5 (Feb '17, Sept '17, Oct '17, Nov '17, Dec '17)

The big question: How can Pep Guardiola improve on last season's record-breaking triumph? The Catalan won three successive titles at Barcelona and at Bayern Munich. He may have only just started at City . . .

Stat attack: Guardiola's champions broke seven Premier League records. The first team to reach 100 points, most wins (32), most goals (106), most away wins (16), biggest goal difference (+79), biggest title-winning margin (19 points), least time trailing (153 minutes).

In: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester £60m), Claudio Gomes (PSG free), Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle £2.5m).

Out: Yaya Toure (released), Angus Gunn (Southampton £13.5m), Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart £8m), Angelino (PSV Eindhoven £8m), Bersant Celina (Swansea £2m)

Prediction: 1st

 

Manchester United

Last season: 2nd

Manager: Jose Mourinho (55)

Appointed: May 2016

Previous clubs: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea

Premier League seasons: 9

Premier League record: Games 288, W 183, D 65, L 40, F 499, A 209, Wins 63.5%

Manager of the month: 3 (Nov '04, Jan '05, Mar '07)

Manager of the season: 3 (2004/05, 2005/06, 2014/15)

The big question: Will Jose smile? The lack of investment compared to some of his rivals is unlikely to improve the manager's mood, particularly as the neighbours grow from strength to strength.

Stat attack: Manchester United won every Premier League game in which they scored first last season (21 games).

In: Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk £61.2m), Diogo Dalot (Porto £19m), Lee Grant (Stoke £1.5m).

Out: Daley Blind (Ajax £18m), Sam Johnstone (West Brom £5m), Michael Carrick (retired).

Prediction: 4th

 

Newcastle United

Last season: 10th

Manager: Rafa Benitez (58)

Appointed: March 2016

Previous clubs: Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid

Premier League seasons: 9

Premier League record: Games 302, W 156, D 73, L 73, F 477, A 268, Wins 51.6%

Manager of the month: 6 (Nov '05, Dec '05, Jan '07, Oct '08, Mar '09, Apr '13)

The big question: Will the strained relationship between Benitez and Mike Ashley survive the summer, never mind the season? The Spaniard wants major investment in his team but the owner still appears to have different ideas.

Stat attack: Newcastle's tally of 44 points last season is the lowest for the team finishing 10th. The average is 49.

In: Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna £4m), Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague undisc), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea free), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz £12m)

Out: Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad £10m), Chancel Mbemba (FC Porto £7m), Matz Sels (Strasbourg £3.5m), Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest loan), Massadio Haidara (Lens free), Jesus Gamez (released).

Prediction: 14th

 

Southampton

Last season: 17th

Manager: Mark Hughes (54)

Appointed: April 2018

Previous clubs/countries: Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke

Premier League seasons: 14

Premier League record: Games 452, W 157, D 121, L 174, F 560, A 617, Wins 34.7%

Manager of the month: 1 (Oct '07)

The big question: Can they reclaim a place in the top ten or is another relegation battle ahead? Saints finished eighth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the four seasons prior to last year's 17th.

Stat attack: Mark Hughes was eliminated from the FA Cup with two clubs last season, Southampton and Stoke - only the second Premier League manager since Glenn Hoddle with Southampton and Tottenham in 2001.

In: Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Moenchengladbach £18m), Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel £16m), Angus Gunn (Manchester City £13.5m), Stuart Armstrong (Celtic £8m).

Out: Dusan Tadic (Ajax £15m), Guido Carrillo (Leganes loan), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord loan), Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo loan), Florin Gardos (Universitatea Craiova free), Stuart Taylor (released).

Prediction: 12th

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Last season: 3rd

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino (46)

Appointed: May 2014

Previous clubs: Espanyol, Southampton

Premier League seasons: 6

Premier League record: Games 206, W 106, D 54, L 46, F 360, A 216, Wins 51.4%

Manager of the month: 4 (Oct '13, Sept '15, Feb '16, Apr '17)

The big question: Will their first season at the new White Hart Lane be a blessing or a curse? Spurs fans will be more anxious to see new blood than their seats in the new stadium.

Stat attack: Harry Kane has still not scored in August. It is now 13 games, 898 minutes and 44 shots without a goal. And yet he has scored 13 goals for club and country in September. Spurs finished above Arsenal in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1983.

In: None

Out: Anton Walkes (Portsmouth £200,000), Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Moenchengladbach undisc).

Prediction: 6th

 

Watford

Last season: 14th.

Manager: Javi Gracia (48)

Appointed: January 2018

Previous clubs: Pontevedra, Cadiz, Olympiakos Volou, Kerkyra, Almeria, Osasuna, Malaga, Rubin Kazan

Premier League seasons: 1

Premier League record: Games 14, W 4, D 3, L 7, F 11, A 20, Wins 28.6%

Manager of the month: 0

The big question: Is this the year Watford's managerial conveyor belt fails them? Gracia made little impact last season and he has to find an inspirational replacement for Richarlison.

Stat attack: In October 2017, Watford became the first Premier League team to score a last-minute, result-altering goal in the third successive game.

In: Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona £15m), Adam Masina (Bologna £3.5m), Ben Foster (West Brom £3m), Ben Wilmot (Stevenage £1.5m), Ken Sema (Ostersunds £1m), Marc Navarro (Espanyol undisc).

Out: Richarlison (Everton £44m), Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nassr £4m), Costel Pantilimon (Nottingham Forest undisc), Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors undisc), Brandon Mason (Coventry free), Tommie Hoban (Aberdeen loan), Jerome Sinclair (Sunderland loan).

Prediction: 13th

 

West Ham United

Last season: 13th

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini (64)

Appointed: May 2018

Previous clubs: Universidad de Chile, Palestino, O'Higgins, Universidad Catolica, Palestino, LDU Quito, San Lorenzo, River Plate, Villarreal, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Hebei China Fortune

Premier League seasons: 3

Premier League record: Games 114, W 70, D 21, L 23, F 256, A 116, Wins 61.4%

Manager of the month: 4 (Dec '13, Jan '14, Dec '14, Aug '15)

The big question: Hammers fans cannot criticise a lack of investment or ambition. The board have spent nearly £100m and brought title-winner Pellegrini back to England. But will it be enough to cement a promised place in Europe?

Stat attack: With 73 yellows cards and two reds, West Ham had the worst disciplinary record, narrowly beating West Brom.

In: Felipe Anderson (Lazio £42m), Issa Diop (Toulouse £22m), Andriy Yarmolenko (Borussia Dortmund £17.5m), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea £7m), Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians £6.5m), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal free), Ryan Fredericks (Fulham free), Xande Silva (Vitoria de Guimaraes undisc)

Out: Reece Burke (Hull £1.5m), James Collins (released), Patrice Evra (released), Ben Wells (QPR free), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace £9.5m)

Prediction: 8th

 

Wolves

Last season: 1st in Championship

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo (44)

Appointed: May 2017

Previous clubs: Rio Ave, Valencia, Porto

Premier League seasons: 0

The big question: Can super-agent Jorge Mendes help fund Premier League success? Coach Nuno Espirito Santo and his well-connected pal have assembled an expensive, young and mainly Portuguese squad.

Stat attack: Wolves have spent four seasons in the Premier League. They were relegated in bottom place in their first in 2003/04 under Dave Jones and Mick McCarthy kept them up for two seasons from 2009 but he was sacked in the third and they were relegated.

In: Diogo Jota (Atletico Madrid £12.6m), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth £12.5m), Willy Boly (Porto £10m), Joao Moutinho (Monaco £5m), Leo Bonatini (Al-Hilal undisc), Ruben Vinagre (Monaco undisc), Paulo Alves (Liverpool free), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon free).

Out: Barry Douglas (Leeds £3m), Ben Marshall (Norwich £3m), Prince Oniangue (Caen undisc), Benik Afobe (Stoke loan).

Prediction: 15th

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