Chelsea as champions, Watford to go down: FootballTransfers 2021/22 Premier League predictions
The Premier League season returns this weekend as early as Friday evening when Arsenal take on newly promoted Brentford.
This is one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons in quite some time - not necessarily for the action on the pitch, but rather in stands, as for the first time in 18 months, capacity crowds are welcomed back.
As ever in the Premier League, plenty of money has been spent so far, and with the transfer window running for another couple of weeks there will be plenty more deals to be concluded.
The experts at FootballTransfers have provided some predictions that will no doubt come back to haunt some come May...
This is our overall predictions:
FootballTransfers 2021/22 Premier League predictions
|Martin Macdonald||Paul Macdonald||Robin Bairner|
|Top Four||Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool||Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd||Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool|
|Relegation||Watford, Norwich, Newcastle||Watford, Palace, Burnley||Brentord, Watford, Burnley|
|FA Cup||Man City||Man Utd||Arsenal|
|League Cup||Man City||Leicester||Man City|
|Player of the Season||De Bruyne||Kante||De Bruyne|
|Stefan Bienkowski||Carlo Garganese|
|Top Four||Man City, Man Utd, Leicester||Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool|
|Relegation||Watford, Burnley, Brentford||Newcastle, Palace, Norwich|
|FA Cup||Leicester||Man City|
|League Cup||Arsenal||Man Utd|
|Player of the Season||Mount||Jorginho|
Four out of our five writers believe Chelsea will be crowned champions for the first time since 2016/17 under Antonio Conte.
This time last season Chelsea spent more money than anyone on new recruits, splurging £222 million on the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy.
They won the Champions League in 2020/21 and the only thing really missing from their squad under Thomas Tuchel was a potent goalscorer.
Now, they have one Romelu Lukaku back in their ranks following his £96m transfer from Inter.
Their attack is now complete, and they will be menacing to most teams in the league.
Robin, meanwhile, has tipped Man City to retain their crown.
The majority of our writers believe that Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool will finish in the Champions League qualifications spots this season in whatever positions they end up.
Leicester have had an excellent transfer market, too, and Stefan believes the Foxes will have enough to usurp Liverpool into the top four.
Brentford, Watford, Burnley, Norwich Crystal Palace and Newcastle are the teams who have been tipped by FootballTransfers writers to be in trouble this campaign.
Two of these clubs received the most votes for going down - Watford and Burnley.
Watford have tended to be a yo-yo club over the past decade in that they go straight back down to the Championship and pop back up either right away or the season after.
Burnley, meanwhile, have long relied on a steely defence to see them out of trouble, but how much longer can Sean Dyche's pragmatic football keep them safe?
FA Cup Winner
There are four teams spread across our five writers here and the only team with more than two votes is Man City, as chosen by Martin and Carlo.
Man City, along with Chelsea, have the most impressive squad in the league and their attacking midfield options are outstanding.
This means that, while other teams will be noticeably weaker in cup competitions, Pep Guardiola will still be able to field a formidable starting XI.
Not all of them can start every week in the Premier League...
League Cup Winner
Martin has tipped Man City for the FA Cup and League Cup double, while Robin has also tipped City for the League Cup.
As mentioned above, their squad depth is outstanding.
Elsewhere, Paul believes Leicester will pick up the trophy, Carlo has tipped Man Utd, while Stefan has backed Arsenal.
The only unanimous selection of our list sees Lukaku tipped to be top goalscorer.
The Belgian has already played in the league and scored goals in the league, while he has actually taken his potency in front of goal to another level in Italy.
In 65 Serie A starts for Inter over his two season at San Siro, he scored 47 goals to fire them to the Scudetto.
Lukaku will have plenty of service, too, from the likes of Werner, Havertz, Mount, Pulisic and Ziyech.
Player of the Season
The only player to receive more than one vote in this category is Kevin De Bruyne.
He earned the official award in 2019/20 and was still superb last campaign even though he was out injured for a period.
The Belgian is undisputedly one of the best players in the league and is capable of running matches on his known.
Both Martin and Robin have tipped him to light up the league in 2021/22.
The other nominees for this one were N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mason Mount.
Young Player of the Season
Three out of our five selected writers believe Phil Foden will be crowned Young Player of the Season.
Guardiola was initially criticised for not sending Foden out on loan to gain some first-team football, but his transition to regular action has been handled perfectly as he is now ready to make good on his promise.
He already showed last season that he has limitless potential, and with a run in the team starting every game he could become one of the best around.
The Premier League's top goalscorer is also set to be the best signing as 4/5 of our writers believe Lukaku will prove to be the best piece of business.
Only Stefan thinks otherwise and has tipped Jadon Sancho for this gong.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have predictions on what big transfer will prove to be a flop.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, the player with the most votes is Ibrahima Konate.
The Frenchman is a very raw piece of talent and is indeed injury prone, so the Reds might need to be patient with him, particularly in the first season.
With Gomez and Van Dijk back, too, will he even start much?
Elsewhere, Stefan believed £100m Grealish will flop at Man City, Paul has selected new Tottenham wingman Bryan Gil, while Martin expects Wolves' Barcelona loanee Francisco Trincao to fail at Molineux.
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