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AND IT'S LIVE! The Premier League 2022/23 season, as predicted by you...

Photography by Rikesh Chauhan and Luke Alland, using Leica's Q2 Reporter.



“What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.

It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”

- Bobby Robson.

A great quote from an even greater man. Though, given the record attendance at Wembley for the Women's Euros (87,192, in case you wondered), it's just as much mother-daughter today as it is father-son. Anyway, the 2022/23 season is upon us, players have come and gone, and FPL tinkering is in full swing. We sat down with fans of all twenty clubs to go through how they think the season will go, and it's safe to say there's a lot to be excited about. Oh, and throw in a winter World Cup for good measure.


 

Arsenal, Niran Vinod


Who will finish in the Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal

Who's ending up in the Bottom 3: Everton, Southampton, Brentford


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


Very happy with Arsenal’s business, building on the foundation laid last summer with depth which we sorely lacked last year and it cost us Top 4. We just need to get Saka and Saliba to sign new contracts and it’s an A* window for Arsenal.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I’m hoping for 3rd, but realistically think we will be 4th. Injuries and the World Cup may mess things up—we have more depth in some areas, but still lacking in parts.


Would you be happy with that?


I’ll be happy with Top 4 and a trophy; incremental progress like Klopp did at Liverpool. Arteta has done a fantastic job of changing the culture at the club which was dire towards the end of Wenger’s era, coupled with the mismanaged contract/sales from the leadership team of the past.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Jesus. He is risen and will finally get a solid run of games. Lacazette was a good player for us but faded too quickly to be leading our line—not having a striker last season cost us. He’s hungry, experienced and brings the winner mindset over. We need experience for this young team!

 

Aston Villa, Sayali Marathe


Top 4: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Fulham, Bournemouth, Leeds United


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


I’m actually very stoked with the progress we’ve made. We’ve signed an incredible centre back, Diego Carlos, and exactly what we needed in the midfield with Boubacar Kamara. We’ve strengthened our keepers’ bench and brought in some real talent from the Youth Academy. I think we’ve been a bit measured with who we've said goodbye to; players like Bertrand Traoré and Anwar El Ghazi deserve a chance to go to clubs that will give them first team football. I think we could still do with a central defensive midfielder and another striker. Gerrard is pretty candid in most of his interviews and the club putting off publishing squad numbers (at the time of writing) leads me to believe we might still be in for some last-minute business—but only time will tell! Overall, I think the Gerrard Effect is very clear on our recruiting this transfer window.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I think best case scenario, we’ll finish 8th. Worst case, 13th.


Would you be happy with that?


I’ll be happy if we finish anywhere in the Top 10.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Keep an eye on Matty Cash and our homegrown talent, Cameron Archer. Coutinho’s first full season for us will be incredible. A low-key player for your FPL: Calum Chambers.


 

Bournemouth, Greg Masding


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Bournemouth, Fulham, Brentford


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


I'm not particularly happy so far. The players we've signed—Tavernier, Rothwell and Fredericks—are good, but we need more. We got rid of eight players and have signed three. The rumours are starting to hot up now, so it should be an exciting end to the window.

Where do you think you'll finish?


My gut feeling says we'll finish 18th. Maybe with some more bodies in before the end of the window, we can give ourselves a fighting chance.


Would you be happy with that?


Obviously I wouldn't be happy, but it's to be expected. So likely won't hurt as much as when we were relegated before.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Dom Solanke—not a bad price and will be our go-to for goals. And he's on penalties.



 

Brentford, Himesh Gadhvi


Top 4: Well, the top two speak for themselves. They’ll still be a country mile ahead of the rest, as they’ve spent big to strengthen their attack whilst still retaining the majority of their core squads. It’s a toss of a coin who wins the league. For the rest, I’ve got a sneaky feeling Spurs will finish 3rd. They finished last season strongly, and bringing in Richarlison will prove to be a shrewd signing. Chelsea, on the other hand, tailed off after a strong start, and despite bringing in proven performers like Sterling and Koulibaly, I think they’ll finish a place below last season. Although, Manchester United—potentially revitalised under Ten Hag—could prove to be a dark horse for that fourth Champions League spot.


Bottom 3: I can’t see Bournemouth surviving this season, based on their lack of transfer activity. Their problem lies in defence: unless they can make the Nat Phillips loan a permanent signing and replace Gary Cahill, then this could be a long, hard season for them. Fulham spent big the last time they were in the Premier League, and though they’ve been less extravagant in the transfer market, much will rely on Mitrović’s goals to keep them up, but I don’t think that’ll be enough. Lastly, I can seriously see Everton struggling again this season. McNeil and Tarkowski won't change up an already brittle squad, and without replacing Richarlison with an equally dynamic signing, it could be the end of the road for Everton’s long stay in the top flight.


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


The main question for this summer, was… would he stay or would he go? Even the most optimistic of Bees fans couldn’t hold a great deal of hope in Eriksen staying, so it was no surprise he left to seek pastures new. With rumours of his Danish heir apparent Mikkel Damsgaard replacing him at the Bees, however, the blow may not be so severe. Aaron Hickey from Bologna is an exciting signing and Thomas Strakosha from Lazio will prove stellar competition for Raya between the sticks. But Ben Mee’s signing could be the most significant of them all—a tried and tested performer with bags of Premier League experience could be invaluable during the inevitable difficult periods in the season. Solid signings, but as with any football fan, you hope for one or two more before the window shuts!

Where do you think you'll finish?


Last season was in three phases for us: an exciting start, a demoralising middle and a rejuvenated end. The signing of Eriksen proved a real turning point in January, inspiring the team to new heights, including that memorable win at the Bridge. I think any genuine Bees fan would’ve taken 13th before last season began, and I think 13th is something most fans would take now. A lot will depend on the potential Damsgaard signing going through, which may push us closer to the top 10, but a repeat of 13th is the more realistic prediction.


Would you be happy with that?


Ultimately, another season of survival in the Premier League for a team with our wage bill and structure would be huge. I’d love to have seen us continue where we left off at the end of last season, with Toney’s goals and Eriksen’s assists pushing us on. Without Eriksen pulling the strings, we’re entering this season with a sense of trepidation. However, retaining your place in the most competitive league in the world for a club of our size is the most important factor.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


I have reason to believe Sergi Canós is listed as a Defender on Fantasy at £5m!


You're correct, although he's suspended until 13th August...


In any case, he’s definitely one to keep your eyes on for the long game, as he plays on the wing for us, chipping in with goals and assists. Otherwise, I have high hopes for Aaron Hickey this season. If not for Andy Robertson, he’d be first choice left back for club and country. And at just 20 years old, his best years are still ahead of him. Pick him up while he’s cheap!


 

Brighton & Hove Albion, Connor of @bhafconly


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Bournemouth, Leeds United, Southampton


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


Fairly happy. Need to recruit more and scared about losing Cucurella with no cover—been a weird one really.

Where do you think you'll finish?


14th.


Would you be happy with that?


Yes but it would be a decline from last season. With the lack of recruitment and losing key players, I'd say fair.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Moisés Caicedo—very cheap, young player that will start most games and chip in with goal contributions.


 

Chelsea, Bola Odusina


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs

Bottom 3: Forest, Bournemouth, Leeds


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


Yes and no. Sterling is a great signing but Barcelona have been stealing our targets, Jules Koundé the latest acquisition. It’s a shame we were unable to sign him, even after our offer was accepted. I think it is key for Chelsea to secure defenders, and especially a centre back.

Where do you think you'll finish?


Realistically I think we will finish 3rd as City and Liverpool are a class above. It will be difficult to keep up with them.


Would you be happy with that?


I would be happy with 3rd if a trophy is also included.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


My brother, Bradford City defender, Timi Odusina (Had to be done!) I think Sterling is the player to keep an eye on for FPL. I’m optimistic he won’t have to adjust too much and will go out and perform at a high level from day one.


 

Crystal Palace, Michael Scriven


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Leeds United, Bournemouth, Fulham


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


It has been exceptional, once again backing Vieira with some great options. Still need one or two more through the door in midfield for it to be a very good window; centre mid is lacking for us.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I think we can break the Top 10 this season if we can get the right man firing up top, a combination of Édouard and Mateta to get 10+ each.


Would you be happy with that?


Would be over the moon with anywhere above 10th—it shows quick progression from the Roy era.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


There are two I'd recommend, one is super easy: Wilf, 15 goals last season all comps, gotta be going to for 20. Second choice is Eze: he's a steal at £5.5m, creator, goal scorer... off the back of his injury and has looked wonderful in pre-season.


 

Everton, Ross Povey


Top 4: Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs (because they have Richarlison, of course!)

Bottom 3: Fulham, Bournemouth, Leeds United


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


Not so far... A tough farewell to Richi has dominated the Toffee's Transfer Timetable. Tarkowski is a decent signing, hopefully. However, seeing our friendly performances so far (Minnesota United anyone? Anyone?) I am already getting the familiar 'Blues' that are par for the course for us Everton fans.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I'd be delighted with a top-half finish.


Would you be happy with that?


I'd be happier than I should be! But based on our performance last season, it would be a good progress measure in our return to form.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Anthony Gordon is one-to-watch, he carried us last season along with Richarlison and Jordan Pickford. Your Fantasy team would be woefully lacking without Jordan in goal. He's England's number one for a reason!


 

Fulham, Rob French


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs

Bottom 3: Bournemouth, Leeds United, Fulham (groan)


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


In a word, no. Too slow (again) to get players in, and this time around with no excuse of using the Championship Playoffs as ‘putting us behind other teams’ in time and efficiency. Let's use the Leno situation as an example. We could have signed him a month ago, but for reasons being known to the hierarchy, we simply couldn’t get it done. Let’s just pay the cash to get him in early doors, get him in and settled in the team… have a full pre-season, get integrated etc. Imagine he is the difference between staying up or not (wishful thinking)? A few million quid (or whatever the hold-up was) is not a lot of money in terms of the Premier League footballing machine.


Talking about the players, I love the signings of Leno and Duffy. Much needed experience, something we have made the mistake by not doing the last two times around. João Palhinha to try to solidify and make us hard to break down—he comes with a bit of quality on the ball which will obviously help tick things over as well. Mbabu, Soloman and Pereira are sort of dart throws… I’m optimistic and hope they get a good go in the team. The one that I really wanted to see get over the line was Diop from West Ham. I think it was close but an injury to their new summer signing has stopped that one. We still need more players as our first team squad is not only lacking of Premier League quality… but simple numbers as well.

Where do you think you'll finish?


Ugh. I really, really want to say we will stay in the league, but I just can’t see it. The first 8 to 10 games will be massive. Or maybe even until the ‘Winter break’! The World Cup could help us in many ways but, by then, the damage could be done, Silva could be sacked and we could be looking at the Championship at Christmas again… I think we finish 19th.


Would you be happy with that?


No!


Sorry.


Who would be? But I am a realist and understand what we are. I would love to be proved wrong.


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


The loss of Wilson for a few months is a really bad blow for us in real life and Fantasy Football purposes—Mitro’s main source of chances and one of our only real creative, pacy players. So for Fantasy purposes I’m intrigued by Soloman and Pereira to create for Mitro now. Pereira looks like he will be on some or most set pieces and Solomon by all accounts just wants to get at players directly and looks tricky. So maybe those two could be decent value, which is the name of the game.


 

Leeds United, Dom Gioia


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Brentford, Fulham, Bournemouth


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


It’s been decent. We have added some good signings and have slightly more depth going into this season, which is imperative with the five subs rule being implemented. However, losing Raphinha and Phillips—our two best players—is a huge blow and I don’t believe we are stronger. Leeds need a left back and a striker, then it will have been a solid window. Without these two additions, we’ll be in trouble again.

Where do you think you'll finish?

15th.


Would you be happy with that?


Currently yes as our squad is weaker than last season and it’s progress. Having another season established in the Premier League means we can invest and kick on the season after, and aim for Europe!


Which player should we keep an eye on / chuck in the fantasy team?


Jack Harrison (permitting he isn’t sold).


 

Leicester City, Conor Graves


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Forest, Bournemouth, Brentford


Are you happy with your club's business in the summer window?


What business? I'm not happy at all! We haven’t signed anyone to date (at the time of writing), which is worrying. But I suppose we have a lot of people back from injury and we aren’t playing European football this season, so it isn’t... too bad?