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Let's Go Round Again! The Premier League 2023/24 season, as predicted by you...

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


The 2023/24 season is upon us, players have come and gone (mainly to the Saudi Pro League), and FPL tinkering is once more in full swing, with the app getting a much needed facelift to boot! Last year's predictions may have been a tad off the mark, but not many could've predicted Newcastle United quietly making it to the Champions League spots, let alone Leicester City and Leeds United imploding to make way for Luton Town. It's fair to say that our Luton-born Editor is chuffed (and still in a state of disbelief). We sat down with some old friends and new, to get their thoughts on what will certainly be a blockbuster of a season.

 

Arsenal, Niran Vinod


Who will finish in the Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Liverpool Who's ending up in the Bottom 3: West Ham United (mostly because I can't stand them), Luton Town, Sheffield United


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


Yes, we've built on the foundation that we have. Best part of the business besides Declan Rice was renewing the Saka, Martinelli, Ramsdale and Saliba contracts.

Where do you think you'll finish?


2nd. I just don’t think we have the financial power to challenge City. They can spend £70million on Paquetá after the Community Shield defeat to cover the gap Gündoğan left behind. If things aren’t going their way in January, they’ll splash again. Infinite bank balance and cooked books.


Would you be happy with that?


I’d be happy but bummed if we go close again and lose out. Last season wasn’t painful, we just didn’t have the depth. This season we have depth!


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


Martinelli. His G/A is going to be better, and I’d also say Leandro Trossard. He’s a G/A MONSTER with limited minutes.

 

Aston Villa, Sayali Marathe


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Aston Villa

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Sheffield United, Everton


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


Yes, I'm extremely satisfied with how our summer window has unfolded. Unai Emery has acted with precision. Among our three statement signings in Youri Tielemans, Pau Torres and Moussa Diaby, I would contend that Tielemans will be the standout. We've also bid farewell to several players including the long-suffering Wesley who has been plagued by a career-altering injury, Ashley Young and Marvelous Nakamba. The only disappointment is the departure of Young—he was immense last season, a true Villa icon, and failing to provide the farewell he merited feels unjust on many fronts.


The departure of some of these bigger players within the team has now made space for our academy stars, namely Cameron Archer, Jaden Philogene-Bidace, and Jacob Ramsey. As we continue to expand, I'd love for Emery to use the rest of this transfer window to focus on acquiring a backup keeper and ideally a striker. Personally, I'd love to see us try for Tammy Abraham in the January transfer window! Overall, I'm really excited by Unai's progress at Villa. He makes me optimistic for our future in the Premier League and European football. Up the Villa!

Where do you think you'll finish?


Top 5 or 6. Worst case scenario, 10th.


Would you be happy with that?


Would be stoked if we end up anywhere in the Top 10.

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


All of our newest recruits! They're fantastic additions to your FPL team and Diaby is more than likely to get you goals nearly every week. Would recommend Watkins for captain as I anticipate he'll be on a goalscoring frenzy this season. Lastly, you could never go wrong with picking Martínez as your main keeper - #1 best keeper in the world, a potential Ballon d'Or nominee, and a World Cup champion!

 

Bournemouth, Lauren Ives


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United

Bottom 3: Everton, Wolves, Luton Town


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


Justin Kluivert coming in with some decent pedigree and potentially a point to prove could be a great bit of business, although if he tears it up I've got no idea how long he will actually stay for. I think for most of us, we want to see how Iraola will get on as manager. He does need to find a new midfielder and with the market seemingly drying up from the relegated teams, I am not sure who we can get.

Where do you think you'll finish?


16th-ish. I see us staying up but only just.


Would you be happy with that?


Truth be told, no. But with most clubs like us, we need to be realistic.


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


After two seasons out, David Brooks’ March return after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma will hopefully provide a few fairytale storylines.

 

Brentford, Hailey Tan


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Wolves, Sheffield United


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


So far it's been quite tame, although I'd be very interested to see where the money would go if Raya actually does go. We trust the way that the club is run and believe in the system but what I wouldn't want us to do is wait until deadline day and panic. A loan deal for a No. 9 would be great, but I have absolutely no clue who we would get.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I'd be absolutely thrilled to finish in the Top 7, and with other clubs with smaller squads competing in Europe like Brighton and Newcastle United, it might be our time to get ourselves into the mix.


Would you be happy with that?


Any form of European football would be a dream. More realistically if we can do better than last season's 9th place finish I would be very happy.


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


Bryan Mbeumo has a massive chance to usurp Toney in the team with him being out. I think with the majority of our goalscoring having to go through him, that's where the points are.

 

Brighton & Hove Albion, Henry


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Sheffield United, Luton Town, Wolves


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


Great window from the Seagulls. Some class Free Agent signings—especially Dahoud who will be a solid potential Moisés Caicedo replacement. Verbruggen is an amazing young 'keeper who has great potential, and João Pedro has been amazing in pre-season with hopefully more to come. If we can ship Caicedo out and buy Kudus, this window is a 10/10.

Where do you think you'll finish?


7th.


Would you be happy with that?


Yep, as we will have European football to play which could distract us a bit in the league. I do think we could have a solid Europa League campaign and get to the latter stages of the competition.


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


Estupiñán, Mitoma, João Pedro.

 

Burnley, Kiera


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United

Bottom 3: Crystal Palace, Luton Town, Wolves


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


More in than out which is always a good sign. I think we have been quite shrewd and I am keen to see whether or not the board stick or twist with Kompany if results don't go our way. As we've seen with Tottenham and the Kane saga I never want to say it's been great until the window slams shut.

Where do you think you'll finish?


15th.


Would you be happy with that?


Absolutely! Staying up is the prize.


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


I reckon with James Trafford coming in, there's a lot of save points to be had.

 

Chelsea, Robert


Top 4: I think it'll be the same as last season (City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United). I don’t think that’s happened for a while but I think all four of those teams are on an upward trajectory whereas the other usual contenders aren’t looking too good. Maybe Brighton or someone will come in and steal Newcastle's spot if they struggle with the extra games in Europe—I’m not sure that squad is quite equipped for all the extra matches.


Bottom 3: Luton Town, Wolves, West Ham United


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

Not really. Our aim this season should be to get into the Top 4 but we’ve sold a key player to three of them. I’m surprised they didn’t try and push Conor Gallagher out to Newcastle just to make sure we strengthened all four. Our embarrassing obsession with overpaying for anyone from Brighton carries on. However, we’ve done well to shift a lot of deadwood and bring in some much needed transfer money as FFP is definitely going to come for us eventually, but some areas of the squad are looking quite thin. Fun fact: Gallagher is now the oldest centre mid at the club!

Where do you think you'll finish?


7th. I think there is some optimism after a positive pre-season but Nkunku missing the first four months through injury doesn’t bode well.


Would you be happy with that?


Depends on the performances. If we have a young, hungry team playing good football under Poch and maybe losing out against better sides then yes. If it’s more 0-0s and missing sitters constantly and being bullied by lesser teams, then no. We have had overpaid mercenaries in the team for a while so I’ll just be happy to see some pride in wearing the shirt from the new squad.


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


I’m going to back Noni Madueke to have a good season. He looked up for it when given a chance towards the end of the season but Chelsea players don’t really score or assist, so maybe no good for the fantasy teams. UTC.

 

Crystal Palace, Ben Davies


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester Utd

Bottom 3: Sheffield United, Luton Town, Wolves


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


Our business has been shrewd but there hasn’t been enough of it... thus far. Still in need of a RB and an attacker perhaps to boost numbers. A goalkeeper too after the likely departure of Guaita.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I can see us finishing comfortably mid-table. Hodgson will have been told to keep us in the league and we don’t have the squad to push into the top half yet.


Would you be happy with that?


I’d be happy, yes. This season should be building the foundations for whomever the next manager may be.


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


Eberechi Eze will score serious points this season—as he did in the last. Can easily see him getting into double figures again with the freedom Hodgson offers.


 

Everton, Ross Povey


Top 4: Arsenal, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester City

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Sheffield United, Bournemouth


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


Yes, we’ve made a couple of decent signing in Danjuma and Ashley Young. At the time of writing this, Chermiti could be good news for us if that comes off. Unlike last year, our pre-season friendly performance has been OK without any losses. Could this be our year?!

Where do you think you'll finish?


After two difficult years, I’d be delighted with 16th and above… all year!


Would you be happy with that?


Like I said last year, I’d be happier than I should be!


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


Tarkowski is a big presence at the back and seems to have a decent rapport with Jordan Pickford. In terms of attack… Houston, we have a problem!


 

Fulham, Tom Barnard


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Bournemouth, Sheffield United


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


Yes. As of yet (the summer window is far from over), the club has done well to hold onto Marco Silva and Mitro, despite lucrative offers from the Saudi Pro League. If we lose the latter, we have cover in the form of Raúl Jiménez who I think will be a good fit for our lone striker system. Palhinha has been courted by a number of clubs having had a fantastic debut Premier League season. Injuring his shoulder pre-season, we stand a chance of holding onto our talismanic midfielder for a little while longer.


I am very pleased that Willian will be back for another year. His work rate is remarkable, especially when you consider what he has achieved and his advancing years. Calvin Bassey looks to be a solid signing at the back, having raised his stock at Rangers and Ajax. Should the squad remain as is, FFC stands a fine chance of cementing its position as a Premier League side. Apart from a cup run, you can't ask for much more than that!

Where do you think you'll finish?


10th.


Would you be happy with that?


Indeed (with a cup run).


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


Bernd Leno.

 

Liverpool, Michael Ashton


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Bournemouth, Sheffield United


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


Yes and no. It was a really strong start getting Mac Allister and Szoboszlai through the door early. That being said, we’ve lost five players from an already-depleted midfield, including our captain and vice captain. It sounds like we will eventually get Lavia, but I think we need at least one other CM. It’s also worth mentioning we conceded ten goals in four games in pre-season, showing that we still have our defensive frailties.

Where do you think you'll finish?


It will swing so much based on what business we get done between now and September. I’ve gone with 4th but get the right profiles in and I’m hoping we can end up near the front of the pack!


Would you be happy with that?


I think we have to accept this is a team going through a transition and that 4th upwards plus maybe a good cup run would be a decent season. It is going to be exciting at the top with Newcastle doing some very good business, Poch at Chelsea and who knows what Tottenham team will show up this year. That being said, I feel we have enough to get in ahead of those teams.


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


Even at £8m, Trent seems like a strong choice considering the new role he moved into for the latter part of the season, not to mention he often takes set pieces. Despite this, I’m going to go with Mac Allister. At £6m and as a guaranteed starter, he seems like a much cheaper alternative than other similar picks. He scored ten goals for Brighton last season, so hopefully he can get similar numbers in a Liverpool shirt! It will be interesting to see where he is in pecking order for penalties with a number of misses by Salah last season, too…


 

Luton Town, Rikesh Chauhan


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle United

Bottom 3: Why is everyone saying Luton? Bournemouth, Everton, Sheffield United


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


Before we get down to it. Can I just state. Like, what is going on. How are we in the Premier League? You've seen the stadium. For years we were mainly talked about for having Steve McNulty in the team (say what you want, the lad could ping a ball with best of 'em), and prior to that, administration. Three times. Anyway, about the transfers. ROSS BARKLEY ARE YOU MAD? We are massive. Jacob Brown and Tahith Chong are sensible aditions for strength in depth, and retaining Nakamba is great as it gives us further Premier League experience.

Where do you think you'll finish?

Unfortunately we ended up losing out to Inter Miami in the race to sign Messi, so I'm not expecting any miracles. Being completely transparent, we're probably the most likely team to get relegated, but pride doesn't allow me to put Luton in my Bottom 3 prediction. Anywhere between 10th and 17th though? Come on.


Would you be happy with that?

Being relegated? No. Finishing above 17th? Bet. Hopefully we'll get some Premier League action in our new stadium, whenever that day comes.


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


In general, you're a brave person if you don't have Haaland as your captain. In order to fit him, Salah, KDB et al into the team, you're probably wise to pad out your squad with some low-cost, potentially useful Luton players — Morris (£5.5m), Bell (£4m), Adebayo (£5m) are all quite exciting, and hell, our new captain Lockyer (£4.5m) could be quite the dark horse. However, I'd make sure you have Barkley in your team, as one presumes the majority of Luton's attacks will go through him and he's still very clinical.

 

Manchester City, Siân Davies


Top 4: Manchester City, Newcastle United, Manchester United, Arsenal. I can't see there being much change at the top.

Bottom 3: Everton, Luton Town, Sheffield United


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


Gündoğan and Mahrez were two great players for the club, but Pep has a knack for knowing the right time to let players leave. On that note, if we can keep hold of Bernardo Silva I'll be delighted. Kovačić and Gvardiol have strengthened us in key areas, I think they'll prove to be great signings.

Where do you think you'll finish?


Coming off the back of the treble (I had to drop that in somewhere) it's hard to tell. I expect us to be in the mix but it's never easy in this league.


Would you be happy with that?

It'll take a lot to top last season, but being a City fan and remembering where we've come from, you never take any trophy for granted.


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


It's hard to look past Haaland. Guaranteed goals.

 

Manchester United, Jon Holt


Top 4: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Wolves, Sheffield United


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


Yes, I think it’s been a big change on how United have gone about their business this window. We usually end up fixating on one player. This time around we’ve had Onana, Mount and Højlund done all before the first game of the season—so a big improvement.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I’m going for second, although I usually go from that optimistic pre-first weekend feeling to being let down straight away. City have too much but think we might have more than Arsenal, so closing the gap a little.


Would you be happy with that?


Yes, I would be happy with this as long as we can go deep into the Champions League and win another cup.


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


Onana - the new 'keeper, very different style to De Gea so it should be interesting. Just hoping he’s not too much of a throwback to Barthez and his risk-taking.


 

Newcastle United, @Floodlightson


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United

Bottom 3: Wolves, Sheffield United, Luton Town


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


In Dan Ashworth we trust. The Mags are deep in battle with FFP, so patience is more key than ever this summer. Expectations are perhaps higher amongst the fanbase in terms of who we can bring in, especially with our Champions League status card to hand. I'm excited by Tonali—the new face of Birra Moretti. Looked like he’d been part of the team for some time the way he played at Rangers in July, and I'm expecting Harvey Barnes to bring a lot of end-product. We need to go after LB, RCB and RW next, then we’re talking lovely squad depth. Seeing homegrown players like Anderson and Miley flourish in pre-season feels like a couple of signings in itself. The latter, just 17 years of age, didn’t look at all out of place against Chelsea during the Premier League Summer Series. A serious talent and likely to play a role for this coming season.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I’m expecting stronger finishes from the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea. Playing in Europe for the first time in ten years could also take its toll (on my annual leave, at least). And, the fact we have only signed two players so far at the time of writing (excluding Minteh who we've loaned straight to Feyenoord) also makes this a tough question. I’ll say 6th. But ask me when the transfer window ends and it could be a different answer.


Would you be happy with that?


Absolutely. I’d be delighted with Top 6. It’s the Champions League nights I can’t stop thinking about, and hopefully another push for a domestic cup final.


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


Elliott Anderson. The 20-year-old is £4.5m in FPL, could be an absolute steal. I’m expecting him to start against Villa (H) based on his pre-season. The ‘Geordie Maradona’. He was knocking on the door with some impressive displays from the bench in our last campaign. Comfortable with both feet and a real attacking midfield engine. In pre-season he scored four goals and got two assists, and, according to Howe, came back from fitness testing as the fittest player in the entire first team “by some distance”.

 

Nottingham Forest, Jack Robson


Top 4: Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Luton Town


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


Considering we signed every out-of-contract player under the sun last year, I'm happy it's been slightly calmer which will hopefully mean the squad actually know each other this time around. Matt Turner will be an interesting one; Elanga is who I am most excited about.

Where do you think you'll finish?


Somewhere between 12th and 16th.


Would you be happy with that?


Another season to consolidate would be amazing, I wouldn't say I am delighted at the idea of being happy with mid-table, but that's better than dropping out the league entirely.


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


Morgan Gibbs-White—pretty much nailed-on starter and managed to get me a nice amount of points last year.

 

Sheffield United, David Lumsden


Top 4: Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Sheffield United, Wolves, Luton Town


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


Absolutely not, it's bleak. This season was always going to be an uphill struggle anyway and losing Iliman Ndiaye has started us off on the wrong foot. That as well as losing Sander Berge to Burnley, it seems as if we've accepted our fate already.

Where do you think you'll finish?


17th.


Would you be happy with that?


I'd be happy if we scraped 17th but as long as we don't finish rock bottom...


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


Daniel Jebbison could be a nifty little sub to have.

 

Tottenham Hotspur, Chris Cotonou


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth


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


I think Tottenham have acted a bit erratic! From early signings with James Maddison, to periods of waiting, waiting…desperately holding on for a proper defender, as that’s Spurs’ most pressing issue. But with van de Ven, there’s some consolation. The Harry Kane saga continues, and if he stays, and we can fit Tapsoba in, I’ll be more than pleased. Last season proved quantity doesn’t work over quality. This season, with Big Ange, I think good incoming players have the chance to even be improved.

Where do you think you'll finish?


I think we’ll finish 5th. From the style of play I’ve seen in pre-season, we’ll be the dark horse of the league.


Would you be happy with that?


I’d be fine with that, as long as there’s a chance of winning a trophy. That long elusive trophy. And I don’t mean the Audi Cup.


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


I would genuinely look at Destiny Udogie—he’s had an impressive pre-season. Bissouma has also been brilliant, showing signs of a Yaya Toure regen. And I’ll throw in Ivan Perišić for measure; since his style of play under Angeball seems to click.


 

West Ham United, Ryan Guinn


Top 4: Man City, Newcastle United, Manchester United, Arsenal

Bottom 3: Everton, Burnley, Sheffield United


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


Mixed opinions so far… very excited about Álvarez and Ward-Prowse. From what I’ve seen from Álvarez, he’s not afraid to get stuck in. If we manage to keep Paquetá, it could be the strongest midfield we’ve had in a while. Not so happy about Maguire… it’s possible he will perform better with our style of play, but it definitely makes me nervous.

Where do you think you'll finish?


We have the potential for a good season, so optimistically I’d say 8th. Realistically, I’m going for 15th.


Would you be happy with that?


As long as we stay up, I’m happy.


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


I would have said Paquetá, but very dependant on if he stays. I think he could have a great season as he’s really come into form with our style of play. If he goes to City though, I don’t think he will get much game time and it will take a lot more adjusting for him.


I’ve got Bowen and Aguerd in my fantasy team—I think they will have a good season. Bowen was in great form during pre-season; I can see him easily being our top goal scorer.

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wolves Fancast


Top 4: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea

Bottom 3: Luton Town, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace


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


An international right back with mountains of experience and an insatiable appetite for scoring goals has rejoined the ranks. The window still has plenty of legs in it, hopefully our owners find some money down the back of the sofa, as this squad needs some strengthening.


Where do you think you'll finish?


With the current and ongoing concerns that Wolves don’t score a lot of goals, on top of the high profile departures of Neves, Raúl, Moutinho and Adama, the objective surely has to be to stay up.


Would you be happy with that?


Happy about it? Definitely not. Seeing Newcastle have the momentum they have currently, it feels like that should be us, but since the pandemic our owners have moved their financial goalposts and it's going to be a hard fight.


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


A previous FPL bargain king, an international right back with mountains of experience and an insatiable appetite for scoring goals: Matt Doherty. As soon as he displaces Nelson Semedo, it’s on.


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