Premier League Predictions

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Premier League Predictions
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Premier League Predictions Table

We asked 50 friends of the Set Pieces (we actually asked 100 but only 50 replied) to give us their Premier League predictions for the 2015/16 season. Here they are. They are bound by these judgements.  Locked down. Set in stone. Lets pledge to meet here at the end of May 2016 to see how it all looks then.


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Premier League Team Previews

Manchester City
Last season wasn’t good enough. Vincent Kompany knows it wasn’t good enough, Manuel Pellegrini knows it wasn’t good enough and Sheikh Mansour definitely knows it wasn’t good enough. Without a single piece of silverware to show for their sub-par efforts, something needs to change this time around, and thankfully City have the wealth of a country behind them to make sure that this is always possible. Read More >
Manchester United
So what kind of Manchester United will we see this season? The disjointed, occasionally excellent, occasionally miserable side of the past two years? Or something new? For the money that has been spent, it should certainly be the latter. But it’s not just the scale of the spending that indicates improvement, it’s the way the money has been spent. United have done well this summer. Read More >
Chelsea
Last season was boring and it was boring because of Chelsea. Not because Chelsea are boring, it must be said. There is nothing boring about excellence. It was boring because they were so, so, so much better than everybody else. It didn’t even matter that they jammed their gearbox at some point in February and clanked over the line in entirely unremarkable form. Even a tired, flat Chelsea could hold off the opposition last term. So has anything changed? Read More >
Everton
Well that wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Like their fellow Merseysiders, Everton were unable to build on what was a very impressive 2013/14 campaign. After just losing out on fourth place to Arsenal, hopes were high that Martinez’s men could regroup, add and go again next time round. The signing of Romelu Lukaku for £28m turned a lot of heads, and many were backing the Toffees to run the top four very closely again. Read More>
Tottenham
Can Tottenham’s 2014/15 season be considered a success? Many would argue that it couldn’t, but if you look a bit closer there are definitely positives to take into this campaign. New boss Mauricio Pochettino was highly thought of at Southampton, and was brought in to replace Tim Sherwood in the summer. Finishing fifth, guiding them to a Capital One Cup final, in addition to supplying a platform for Harry Kane to flourish cannot be seen as a failure in a year of transition. However, there are definitely improvements to be made as they hope to crack that elusive top four again. Read More >
Arsenal
After years of words like ‘close’, ‘nearly’, ‘fading away’ and ‘collapse’ dominating almost every Arsenal related headline, things are looking up at the Emirates. After their nine year trophy drought (Was it nine? Nobody ever mentioned it), back to back FA Cup triumphs have let some sunshine through the clouds. Read More >
West Ham
After appointing Sam Allardyce in 2011, West Ham have enjoyed a play-off final victory, as well as comfortable finishes in their last three Premier League campaigns. However, with the ever-expectant Hammers faithful becoming tired of their mid-table finishes and ‘direct’ football, it took only minutes after their last game of the season for the board to reveal that Allardyce’s contract was not to be renewed. After much speculation, in came ex-player and fan favourite Slaven Bilic, following his successful spell with Turkish side Besiktas. Read More >
Leicester
Oh dear. This does not bode well. Not only have Leicester lost Nigel Pearson, but they’ve lost Esteban Cambiasso too. Pearson was a terrifying man, Cambiasso was a god-like footballer. Between them, they leave a gap that is surely too vast to be filled. Leicester only just survived last season, courtesy of a force-of-nature kind of recovery. But who will spearhead that now? Read More >
Aston Villa
Aston Villa are one of the biggest clubs in England. With seven First Division titles, seven FA Cups and one European Cup to their name, they should be up at the top and competing for European football every year. But they aren’t. After shooting up to second early on last season, their fans began to dream that things could be different. But dreams rarely linger and a miserable run of six straight defeats saw Villa drop to 15th. Normal service was resumed. Read More >
Stoke City
We take Stoke City for granted these days. They’ve been welded to the middle of the Premier League table since 2008 and we’ve rather forgotten that up until their promotion, they had been in exile for 23 years. This is worth mentioning because even if they slip a little this season after back-to-back ninth place finishes, they will still be in excellent shape, all things considered. But there’s very little to suggest that they will. Not this season anyway. Read More >

 

Liverpool
“If you spend a hundred odd million, you’d expect to be challenging for the league.” That was Brendan Rodgers talking about Tottenham and their post-Bale spending, which amounted to £96m and resulted in them finishing sixth. Last summer, Liverpool spent just over £110m post-Suarez and also finished sixth. Whoops. Still with his future far from certain, there is no more room for error at Liverpool for Rodgers and he will know that. Read More >
West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion used to be the archetypal yo-yo club, but they’ve stabilised of late and this will be their sixth straight season in the Premier League. Granted, there have been a few scares along the way but they won’t have to worry about relegation now drop-proof manager Tony Pulis is calling the shots. Or will they? It’s clear that their squad needs strengthening, but nothing has been happening this summer because of talks over a possible takeover. Those talks have now broken down, so it’s time to start shopping. Read More >
Norwich
Norwich are a club yo-yoing backwards and forwards through England’s divisions without any real hint of stability. In the last 10 years alone, they have been down to the Championship, down again to League 1, then back up to the Championship, then up to the Premier League, back down to the Championship and now here we are again. The Premier League. The promised land. Read More >
Crystal Palace
Under Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace are a completely different proposition in the Premier League. They are not the Championship team of old, constantly flirting with the top flight and failing miserably to maintain their status in it. They are now a financially secure outfit with a crop of talented players, looking to break into those elusive Europa League places. Read More >
Southampton
They came with their millions and snatched them up, one by one. Luke Shaw? Sold. Adam Lallana? Sold. Rickie Lambert? Yep. Calum Chambers? Outta there. Dejan Lovren? Well, they probably owe Liverpool a thank you card for that one. After their excellent 2013/14 campaign, Southampton were picked apart like a corpse in vulture territory. In fact, many tipped them for relegation after this dramatic summer exodus. It’s fair to say that it didn’t quite work out like that. Quite the opposite, in fact. Read More >
Swansea
Where next for Swansea then? They have escaped financial oblivion, they have scrambled out of the basement, they have climbed up the divisions, they have established themselves in the Premier League, they have won silverware and they have played in Europe. Last season brought their best Premier League finish, but it also brought a maturity of style. The Swans might once have been tippy-tappy idealists, but they’re much more balanced now. They can keep it tight, they can attack in numbers. They did not finish in eighth by accident. Read More >
Newcastle
Steve McClaren hasn’t always made the best career decisions, but his move to Newcastle United is an inspired one. This team simply cannot be any worse than it was in the second half of last season. Whatever he does in the opening weeks of the campaign, it’s going to look like an improvement.

A haul of just a single point in ten games dragged the Magpies to the very brink of relegation before a last day victory over West Ham United saved their skin. The fans waited a matter of seconds after the final whistle to chant for the owner’s departure, the manager waited a matter of days to tell the goalscoring hero that his services were no longer required and then the owner delivered much the same message to the manager. This is one of the biggest clubs in English football and it’s an absolute bloody shambles. Read More >

Sunderland
There were times last year when you wondered if Sunderland and Newcastle were having their own private regional competition, a sort of Premier League Chicken where the loser was the first team to blink and pull out of a relegation nosedive. This is something that Sunderland’s supporters have had to put up with for some time. Last season was their eighth consecutive campaign in the Premier League and the fifth in which they have failed to break the 40 point barrier. But will they improve under Dick Advocaat? Read More >
Watford
A club who take the term ‘managerial merry-go-round’ to a whole new level. Even when they were promoted, they still changed their manager. On October 7, 2014, Slavisa Jokanovic would be their fourth appointment in five weeks after Giuseppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia Junyent and Billy McKay all headed for the exit door. And he’s already gone. But despite the club’s boardroom resembling an episode of The Apprentice, Watford and Jokanovic got the job done and gained promotion to the Premier League. Read More >
Bournemouth

Oh, Bournemouth. You saucy devils. Stylish and adventurous in their football, they completed a late charge against the odds to win the Championship title. Playing their football in England’s third tier just five years ago, their rise to the Premier League is a story for the football romantics.

The most important thing for any promoted team is to keep the nucleus of last season’s squad together, and so far there are no hints of anybody jumping ship. Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Harry Arter, Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson made 220 appearances between them last season in the league, and were all key figures in their success. The fact that they have held on to their manager, the highly rated Eddie Howe, is another huge bonus as they look to make their transition into the Premier League as smooth as possible. Read More >