EPL 2018-19 predictions by top sports journalists: How will it shape up?

The 2018/2019 English Premier League season starts today with eye-catching fixtures throughout the weekend and ahead of the kick-off, B&FT asked two of the country’s top football journalists to predict the title winners, top four, the three teams which will be relegated, as well as their expectations for the new season.

Nathan Quao

Which teams would make the top this season?

Last season’s top four will just about stay the same, but not in the same order. I don’t think a team like Manchester United has strengthened itself enough to remain second or to be able to put together a very strong challenge for the title. They will be in the top four but I don’t think they will be second this time around.

Manchester City look like a team that can defend the title, their manager, Pep Guardiola is obsessed with winning and he will demand 100 percent from his players. He has added Ryad Mahrez, another player who knows how to win the league.

Liverpool has strengthened as well and if there is any team which can challenge Manchester City, I think it will be Liverpool. They stopped City in both the league and UEFA Champions League last season, and has brought in brilliant players ahead of the new season. They have added a new goalkeeper, as well as players like Fabinho who can play in a number of positions. They have also added Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri to their squad.

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So, if you look at what they have done, they have added quality to the team and they really look like a team that compete for the title this season.

I also look to Chelsea to be in the top four. They have a new signing in Jorginho, they have got a new manager and a new goalkeeper, but if they lose Eden Hazard, it will be a completely different story and it changes the dynamics; it will take a lot away from the team.

Nathan’s order of top four

Manchester City or Liverpool first, Chelsea third and Manchester United fourth.  Both Arsenal and Tottenham Spurs remain outsiders for the top four.

Which teams are likely to go down?

Crystal Palace. Last season it took them a huge effort to stay up and if they start the league poorly this time round as they did last season, I don’t think they will survive. So, I tip Palace to go down and then, Cardiff City, one of the newly promoted sides.

The other team I would add to this list is Newcastle United. Why? Because they are already showing signs that they have problems within the team. Players are not showing up for their media obligations, the coach Rafa Benitez is not happy and I don’t think that situation may change any time soon and that will definitely affect them.

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So Cardiff, Newcastle and Crystal Palace are likely to be relegated at the end of the season. I think of these three as teams that could go down.

What are your expectations for the season?

I think it will be a great season. We have seen the seasons match each other, or sometimes surpass each other in terms of the competition, quality, class, goals and games. So, I foresee a great season.

Michael Oti Adjei

For Oti Adjei, Manchester City will win the league, with Chelsea, Tottenham Spurs, and Liverpool completing the top 4.

Why Manchester City­?

Because they were the best team by a mile last season and it doesn’t look like that would change this season. Liverpool might get close but overall, I think City is still the best team in the league.

Which teams are likely to go down?

If any team would go down I think some of the newly promoted sides but it will be difficult to put your finger on it. Newcastle United have not reinforced adequately for the new season and that could affect their season.

There are a number of teams that were around the relegation zone last season which could also struggle to stay up.

What are your expectations for the season?

I think it will be a typical English Premier League season; great football, great crowd, great TV coverage and I think on a social perspective something, great entertainment to keep us busy during weekends.

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