It’s that time of year when everyone is predicting how the season will unfold but, rather than make ourselves look silly, we’ve decided to sit on the fence.
Instead, we’ve collated the predictions of a host of sources including pundits, journalists and newspapers to come up with an overall gauge of opinion on who will win the title, who will finish in the top four and who is destined for the drop.
Considering the Premier League is now considered to have a top six who are all competing for the four Champions League places, only three of those six teams have been backed to win the title by the 14 sources we used.
Manchester City, in their second season under Pep Guardiola and having spent over £200million on new recruits, are favourites with the majority of experts and the bookies, with BetStars offering odds of 13/8 on the Citizens.
Despite question marks over Chelsea’s squad depth, the Blues are still being backed in some quarters – including their former midfielder Frank Lampard – to retain their title.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, meanwhile, have been tipped by two former players in Robbie Savage and Phil Neville.
Not even Steven Gerrard can foresee a Liverpool title win, while Tottenham and Arsenal are also unfancied.
Man City: Steven Gerrard, Paul Merson, BBC (Phil McNulty), The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph (Sam Wallace), The Daily Mirror, Goal, The Set Pieces (Matt Stanger), Football365 (Daniel Storey)
Chelsea: Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, Stan Collymore
Man Utd: Robbie Savage, Phil Neville
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The choice of who will finish between second and fourth to secure Champions League football produces a much bigger difference in opinion, although only two sources expect Arsenal to return to the top four.
Manchester United are largely tipped to bounce back from their sixth-place finish last term, while there is faith that Chelsea will still finish in the top four even if they don’t win the title.
With City big title favourites, the biggest battle appears to be for that fourth spot, with Liverpool and Tottenham receiving an equal share of support.
Man City: Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, Phil Neville, Robbie Savage, Stan Collymore
Man Utd: Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Paul Merson, Stan Collymore, BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Goal, The Set Pieces, Football365
Chelsea: Steven Gerrard, Phil Neville, Paul Merson, Robbie Savage, BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Goal, The Set Pieces, Football365
Tottenham: Frank Lampard, Paul Merson, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Goal, Football365
Liverpool: Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Robbie Savage, Stan Collymore, BBC, The Daily Mirror
Arsenal: Phil Neville, The Set Pieces
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The general expectation is that it will be a season of struggle for newly-promoted duo Brighton and Huddersfield, although Championship winners Newcastle United have been tipped by only one source to go down.
Watford and Swansea City could be in danger – with the expectation that the latter will lose one of their best players in Gylfi Sigurdsson – but Burnley are the third favourites to be relegated having sold Michael Keane and Andre Gray without obvious replacements.
Watford: Paul Merson, Robbie Savage, BBC
Brighton: Paul Merson, Robbie Savage, BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, The Set Pieces, Football365
Huddersfield: Paul Merson, Robbie Savage, BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Goal, Football365
Burnley: The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, Goal, Football365
Swansea: The Daily Telegraph, The Set Pieces, Goal
Newcastle: The Set Pieces
Featuring Blackburn, Charlton and Portsmouth men.
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