The fanatix editorial team gets out the crystal balls and gazes into the future. You can come back and laugh at us in May 2014.
Who will win the title?
Adam Davies: Chelsea. Jose Mourinho will once again prove he is a brilliant short term manager but his histrionics will lose him a few friends along the way.
Dan Kilpatrick: It pains me to say it but I fancy Chelsea to win it. Even without Rooney, the array of attacking talent they have is frightening… City to run them close.
Tom Seymour: Manchester City – Strongest all round squad and Pellegrini is a great coach.
Chris Allen: Manchester United. Ferguson created a winning mentality at Old Trafford, and Moyes will build on that to help United retain their title.
Jordan Chamberlain: Chelsea. A cakewalk unfortunately. Manchester City will play pretty football, but come up short against Mourinho’s relentless winning style.
Fred Jacobsen: Manchester City. They’ve added some good signings and I don’t want to say Chelsea. I seem to be the only person who doesn’t find Mourinho’s arrogance interesting.
Callum Tennent: Chelsea. The Special One has returned to reclaim what is rightfully his, and Sir Alex Ferguson has retired.
Who will reach the top four?
AD: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal. Man City have done some impressive business and Pellegrini is a great coach who will help them play exciting football. Manchester United will drop to third as David Moyes attempts to wear in Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes. Arsenal just always seem to just about make it at the end despite their constant self-sabotage.
DK: Man City, Spurs and Man United in that order.
TS: Chelsea, Tottenham, Man United – Chelsea will be taking City to the wire, Spurs will be even stronger while Moyes will have a solid, but not outstanding, debut.
CA: Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Spurs
JC: City, United and Liverpool… Suarez staying and the imminent Willian signing means the Reds may finally make it this term.
FJ: Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.
CT: Manchester City because they’re the only other contender to the first question, Manchester United because they always do (Moyes would have to actively try to finish outside of the top four at this point) and Tottenham Hotspur, because Gareth Bale will stay and he and AVB will live a long and happy life together.
Who will be relegated?
AD: Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Hull City. Stoke City will struggle to adapt to new manager Mark Hughes implementing a playing style that doesn’t have the ball sailing over the midfield’s heads over and over again. Crystal Palace will realise that Ian Holloway’s wackiness doesn’t actually win games, whilst Hull just don’t have the requisite quality.
DK: Crystal Palace, Hull City and Cardiff City. Can’t see beyond the three promoted clubs, although Mark Hughes will probably frag again.
TS: Hull, Stoke, Crystal Palace – weak squads, average managers.
CA: Hull, Cardiff and Sunderland
JC: Stoke, Hull and Crystal Palace. Hull and Palace are not Premier League quality, while Stoke will regret getting bored of Tony Pulis’s direct style.
FJ: Crystal Palace, Hull and Stoke.
CT: Hull City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City, for reasons far too depressing to go in to in an article like this. Cardiff fans rejoice!
Who will be the first manager to be sacked?
AD: Alan Pardew. Expect some kind of ridiculous internal rift to develop after Joe Kinnear refers to him as Alan Pandemonium.
DK: Alan Pardew. He may have about 17 years left on his contract but the Kinnear appointment looks ominous. And I fully expect JFK to return to the dugout if Pards is sacked.
TS: Ian Holloway – Bad start and Palace will crumble before Xmas and bring in a foreign “ace.”
CA: Paulo Di Canio. The Italian has taken a big risk with lots of new signings unproven in English football. If Sunderland aren’t winning quickly, he’ll be gone.
JC: Paulo Di Canio. There’s no way the Italian can stop the Black Cats from imploding. His enormous personality will be too much for players on 60K.
FJ: Mark Hughes.
CT: Mark Hughes. The floodgates have well and truly opened at the Britannia now with the sacking of Pulis – once Stoke begin to attempt playing anything that could vaguely be described as attractive attacking football and start conceding goals in the process, that’ll be curtains.
Best signing of the summer
AD: Jesus Navas. Will add valuable width to the Manchester City side.
DK: Paulinho looks perfect for the Premier League and is a snip at £17m. Gerard Deulofeu is the best loan, by the way.
TS: Leroy Fer, Norwich – Looks like an awesome box-to-box midfielder that’s too good for Norwich… so long as his knee holds out.
CA: Nicolas Anelka. A striker of Anelka’s pedigree on a free transfer cannot be sniffed at. Even with his wage costs and reputation as ‘Le Sulk’, it’s a great signing for the Baggies.
FJ: Roberto Soldado. His goalscoring record is superb.
JC: Wilfried Bony. The Ivorian powerhouse bagged over 30 goals in Holland last term, and is all set to take the Premier League by storm.
CT: Yaya Sanogo. A serious answer would be Wilfried Bony.
Worst signing of the summer
AD: Andreas Cornelius. Expensive gamble from Cardiff on a player unproven on Europe’s biggest stages.
DK: Medel at Cardiff. £11m and he looks like a complete animal.
TS: Dwight Gayle – Too much money for an unproven forward that will buckle under the pressure.
CA: Stewart Downing. Having only showed glimpses of ability at Liverpool, even £5m is a gamble on a player who hasn’t had a good season since leaving Villa.
JC: Dwight Gayle. Crystal Palace should not be breaking the club’s transfer record on a Championship striker.
FJ: Gary Medel. He’ll get red cards and little else.
CT: If I can’t make another Sanogo joke then I suppose it’s Kolo Toure. Yes, he was a member of the Invincibles squad from nearly ten years ago, but so was Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, and at least with Quincy there’s the irrefutable statistic that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since his departure.
Player of the season
AD: Juan Mata. His goals and creativity will lead Chelsea to the title.
DK: Eden Hazard. With Bale off, Suarez a liability and everyone a bit bored of how good Van Persie is, I think it’ll be Hazard’s year.
TS: David Silva – Will pull the strings at City.
CA: This season could be the swansong of arguably the most talented goalscoring midfielder of our generation. I think Lampard will go out with a bang.
JC: Philippe Coutinho. Quite simply a brilliant footballer; Liverpool will do well to hold on the Brazilian magician if they miss out on the top four this season.
FJ: Van Persie. Again.
CT: Juan Mata. May Chelsea fans feel he was hard-done by last season, but they just secretly wish their team either had Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie or Luis Suarez. However, this season he will be the driving force behind a dominant title winning side, so he sort of has to win it.
Young player to watch
AD: Gedion Zelalem. Arsenal’s squad is getting laughably thin in an absolute tragicomedy of a transfer window thus far, meaning that this 16 year-old is likely to be on the cusp of the first team already. He may well be good enough.
DK: Adnan Januzaj. The most exciting player to emerge from Manchester United’s youth team in years.
TS: Luke Shaw. The latest in the Southampton conveyor belt of impressive youngsters.
CA: Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian had a fantastic end to last season, has bags of ability and trickery and this season he will shine.
JC: Gerard Deulofeu. 18 goals for Barcelona’s B side last year from the left wing, he is a serious talent.
FJ: Haris Vuckic. I keep trying to plug this chap. He’ll announce himself with a 30 yard screamer.
CT: Nathan Redmond. He’s got almost as much European club football experience as Stevan Jovetic and Philippe Coutinho (What? I know!). Plus he’s playing for a promising side and has an abundance of natural talent – on both a physical and technical level.
What will the media get pointlessly annoyed about this season?
AD: The lack of an orange card. Pundits will lament “honest challenges” (read: potential leg-breakers) resulting in sendings off, and regurgitate their totally original idea of a new card system with a card between yellow and red. Bonus points if they mention a sin bin. They’ll also simultaneously predict England to win and crash horribly at the World Cup ad nauseum.
DK: Ticket prices/referees/the FA – some things don’t change.
TS: The lack of “traditional” British centre forwards and Lambert and Carroll will be praised despite only scoring 15 between them all season.
CA: Diving. Time will tell whether the problem of phantom goals has been solved by HawkEye, but the issue of simulation still rages on. It’s a growing problem and given that it is now seeping into grassroots football, the controversy will continue.
JC: The lack of British strikers. A few years ago, Darren Bent scored 25 Premier League goals and wasn’t selected for the World Cup. That is just not feasible this season.
FJ: Suarez. He’ll get thoroughly up people’s noses as always.
CT: The lack of British managers in the Premier League. Even though they still technically make up the majority, pundits and journalists will conveniently gloss over the foreign bosses that have actually done any good, and instead focus on how Johnny Foreigner has come over here and taken all our jobs or something else slightly racist. At least Lawrenson won’t be around as much on MOTD to have his say.