“Sounds like a great way to embarrass myself. I’m in.” - David
We’re embarking upon a fun exercise (hat tip to K.M.), making our sagest predictions for the Premier League season, naturally including fantasy components. Of course, thanks to the ludicrous vagaries of European soccer, we begin with a built-in excuse: the season starts about three weeks before the end of the summer transfer window. How much craziness will happen between now and then? Surely no small amount. So do not, I repeat do not blame us for any monetary losses you may foolishly incur with your local bookmaker for following our selections. (If you win, though, we want our cut!)
NMA preseason picks 2017-18.csv
|Golden Boot||H. Kane||H. Kane||H. Kane||H. Kane||H. Kane|
|Assist Leader||C. Eriksen||K. De Bruyne||K. De Bruyne||K. De Bruyne||K. De Bruyne|
|Most Clean Sheets||MUN||MUN||MUN||MUN||MUN|
|PFA Player of Season||H. Kane||K. De Bruyne||H. Kane||K. De Bruyne||H. Kane|
|Most Points (Official)||H. Kane||K. De Bruyne||H. Kane||H. Kane||K. De Bruyne|
|Most Points (Fantrax)||H. Kane||H. Kane||K. De Bruyne||K. De Bruyne||H. Kane|
|Surprise Player||S. Vokes||A. Ayew||P. Gross||A. Knockaert||J. Ward-Prowse|
|Disappointing Player||S. Aguero||A. Morata||A. Lacazette||R. Lukaku||A. Morata|
Chris_Manfredi: When 2016/17 ended, for the first time ever I was bold enough to feel that my Spurs should legitimately be favored to take the upcoming season. After all, they’d just finished tops in goal differential for the second straight time, closing out like absolute world beaters. Now, my head has noticed that they’ve fallen off over the summer while their competitors have improved. Even so, I’d feel like a turncoat if I weaseled out, so I’m sticking with my stupid heart. If Deli Alli and/or Eric Dier join Kyle Walker in transferring away, please print out my predictions and light them on fire. As for Kun, I’m picking him to disappoint because he ties for the third dearest price in Official and I’d be surprised to see him finish among the top 20 scorers.
Darryl_2cents: Following Chelsea and Leicester City, I believe we will be crowning another team wearing Blue as champions come May 2018. Pep Guardiola will lead the Blue half of Manchester to glory in his second season because he got his summer transfers correct and done in timely fashion. Huge upgrades in the fullback area in addition to the impressive Bernardo Silva mean that the squad has quality everywhere. I think we're looking at 12 goals and 15 assists from Kevin De Bruyne, with the possibility of more. He will be the heartbeat of a team that's going to score lots of goals. As for the other Manchester side, Jose Mourinho added Nemanja Matic to patrol the space in front of the defense, and this will make United the toughest team to score on.
David Brian: Money can’t buy happiness, but Manchester City can probably buy the title. Matic and Romelu Lukaku should be able to push the other Manchester side to a top four finish, while Alexandre Lacazette won’t be enough to elevate Arsenal back into the Champions League. On the other end of things, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s exit should doom the Swans, and you’ll need to get to know the name of Pascal Gross, midfield maestro of Brighton.
jeffryfisher (our editor): Though I’ve enjoyed playing various fantasy EPL games since the ‘90s, I’ve never been a contender. What’s more, when I tout a player it’s often the kiss of death! My pre-season (and mid-season) favorites usually get injured, are sent out on loan, or get lost in the Bermuda Triangle. You’ve been warned!
Stall express: No Champions League football should make Arsenal move back up, but keeping Alexis Sanchez is crucial. Liverpool looks too light to handle both Europe and the Premier League, especially with Philippe Coutinho seemingly on the way out. I expect a fast start from Manchester City, but I wonder if they are still in a transitional phase. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side will be built to challenge, but Paul Pogba and Lukaku have plenty to prove. Spurs have a great side but have failed to strengthen in a bid to finally get over the line. Chelsea are a different side without Diego Costa and Matic, plus will have Champions League to deal with, but they can go close. In the end, I give the edge to City and their multiple match winners.
We’re putting ourselves out on multiple limbs here (and KM is handing out saws). Why don’t you join us and see which bough breaks, and which holds? At the end of the season, we can all look back and confer bragging rights on whomever made the most prescient forecasts. So be bold, go ahead and put your picks down in the comments for posterity!
Who is your pick to win PFA Player of the Season?
This poll is closed
Kevin De Bruyne
Other (name in comments)