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2018-19 Premier League and Fantasy Predictions

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We’ve made our predictions for how the upcoming Premier League season will play out both on the field and in fantasy. Take a gander at our look into the future and feel free to share in the fun yourself!

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
Can Kevin De Bruyne dethrone Mohamed Salah as Player of the Year?
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

2017-18 was truly a season for the ages, with Manchester City running away with the title and Liverpool’s Mo Salah taking the world by storm. Which events from recent history do we peg to repeat themselves, and what in the way of changes do we see in store for 2018-19?

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Staff Predictions for 2018/19

Category Chris Darryl David Jeff Matzy Stall
Category Chris Darryl David Jeff Matzy Stall
Champion MCI MCI MCI LIV MCI MCI
Second Place LIV LIV LIV MCI LIV LIV
Third Place ARS MUN MUN MUN MUN MUN
Fourth Place TOT ARS TOT TOT CHE TOT
Golden Boot H. Kane H. Kane H. Kane H. Kane H. Kane H. Kane
Assist Leader L. Sane K. De Bruyne K. De Bruyne C. Eriksen M. Ozil K. De Bruyne
Most Clean Sheets Alisson D. De Gea D. De Gea Alisson Alisson Ederson
PFA Player of Season M. Salah K. De Bruyne K. De Bruyne J. Milner K. De Bruyne M. Salah
Most Points (Official) M. Salah M. Salah K. De Bruyne M. Salah M. Salah M. Salah
Most Points (Fantrax) M. Salah M. Salah K. De Bruyne E. Hazard M. Salah H. Kane
Surprise Player D. Jota R. Pereira R. Neves R. Sessegnon J. Maddison C. Benteke
Disappointing Player P. Pogba D. Alli A. Morata R. Lukaku R. Sterling M. Alonso
18th Place HUD WAT WAT CAR FUL CAR
19th Place WAT HUD HUD HUD SOU WAT
20th Place CAR CAR CAR SOU CAR SOU

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Chris Manfredi: There have been repeat champions six times in the Premier League era, but not since Manchester United’s three-peat from 2006-07 through 2008-09. Even so, there hasn’t ever been a champ as dominant as Manchester City were last season, so it’s impossible to pick against them. Likewise, it’s difficult to go against Mo Salah after his season for the ages; he may get nipped for the Golden Boot by a certain Tottenham talisman, but he should still rack up plenty of goals and assists in taking the P.O.Y. award again.

Manchester United seems primed to implode under Miserable Mou, while Tottenham did nothing to strengthen its side; on top of that, they both face the rigors of Champions League, while fresher Arsenal and Chelsea should be boosted by the incoming managers’ new approaches. However, given the possible exits of Eden Hazard and Willian on top of the confirmed departure by Thibaut Courtois, I’m wary of picking the Blues to get back into the top four. My reasoning for picking Leroy Sane over Kevin De Bruyne et al. for the assist crown is that Sane finished with only one fewer than KDB last season, and he should enjoy increased minutes this time around.

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Darryl_2cents:

This season I’m expecting that there will finally be a repeat winner of the league for the first time in a decade. Liverpool might close the gap, but I don’t see anyone but City lifting the trophy. And despite Mourinho’s third season reputation, I can’t see Utd imploding and falling out the top four. The final place was the hardest to pick, especially before the window closes, but I went with Arsenal who did better business than Spurs or Chelsea.

In the relegation places, I think Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City will have extremely difficult seasons, struggling to score the goals needed to stay afloat. 18th place was a toss up, but I went for Watford who fell apart last season.

As for the individual categories I think Harry Kane reclaims the golden boot — Klopp has signed players to help ease the burden on Salah but Spurs still need Kane to get the goals. KDB will have a 15-goal + 15-assist season. It won’t be the 20+20 that Thierry Henry once did, but it will be enough for the player of the year title. In the final two categories, I think Ricardo Pereira will be at Leceister for only one year; a top six club will swoop in to buy him after he impresses. Dele Alli will be the reason I did not include Tottenham in the top 4, as I don’t see him getting the goals required to support Kane this season. He does not look like the player he was; he is on a downward trajectory.

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David Brian: Jurgen Klopp is one of the most brilliant minds in world football, and he has used the substantial funds he was given exceptionally well. But City are just too deep and too good — they’ll repeat as league champs. The addition of Fred to United’s midfield will provide much-needed balance and stability, unlocking Paul Pogba to attack. That will help them see their way to third place. Tottenham have so far failed to bring in anyone over the summer. An injury to Kane or Eriksen would be enough of a downdraft to have them struggling for Champions League football. However, if they stay healthy, I think they’ll end in 4th.

Watford and Huddersfield narrowly escaped the drop last year. This year I don’t think they’ll be as lucky. And Cardiff simply have not strengthened their Championship side enough to secure survival in the Prem. It’ll be one-and-done for them.

My gut tells me that Salah won’t repeat as Golden Boot winner this year. I don’t exactly know why, but I just feel like it’s going to be Kane’s turn again. I think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be in the running too, but he’ll come up short. I expect KDB to take the honors for assists, most points in both fantasy leagues, and Player of the Year. He is a world-class talent who will get the most minutes of any of Pep’s midfield players, and he’s surrounded by all-stars to the front, rear, and both sides.

Fred will improve United’s midfield stability and the protection of its back line, and I think David De Gea’s form will recover. Even if Jose Mourinho doesn’t bring in a big-name central defender, I still think United and DDG finish with the most clean sheets again.

Ruben Neves is a singular talent who, at age 18, captained Porto in the Champions League before transferring to Wolves. I think he is now primed to break out on the EPL’s stage. Alvaro Morata was a disappointment last season, and his underperformance has continued into this year’s preseason. All signs point to further disappointment.

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Jeff Fisher: With so much cash being splashed in this year’s summer transfer window, I feel like I don’t even know half the league this year, so my player ”predictions” are little better than guesses. Even if new players don’t bench last year’s stalwarts, some roles are going to change.

On the team side, I’ve seen Liverpool improve upon a Champions League finalist, and I’ve seen Southampton lose Tadic (to Ajax) from a team that barely avoided relegation last season. If Man City follow recent titlist form and devote themselves to the Champions League, then this could be the year that ‘Pool make their breakthrough. At the other end, I think the Saints have given up the ghost.

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MatzyMatz: While I believe the top six clubs in the premier league have nearly the same level of talent, I think the greatest differentiation comes from the managers. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are the gold standard of coaching in the modern game. The four remaining teams chasing them have major flaws that I believe limits their teams’ potential. Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery are first year managers. The EPL humbled Pep in his first year, I expect the same for Chelsea and Arsenal’s new bosses. Jose Mourinho pulls the reigns too hard, the stifling of his own attack gives away too many points throughout the season to be top of the table. And Mauricio Pochettino tinkers too much for a squad without the necessary depth to do so. As for the bottom of the table, Cardiff City and Southampton lack the attacking talent to survive the premier league. Fulham, on the other hand, do not appear prepared to defend capably enough to prevent themselves from going back down to the championship.

I do not foresee anything too shocking in the personal season awards. Harry Kane will get his revenge on Mo Salah and take back what is rightfully his. I like the idea of Mesut Ozil returning to form, with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He has plenty of attacking mates to supply the ball to. Alisson may be the most shocking of my picks, but the Liverpool defense will be the best of any of the top six clubs. There is a lot to like about the back half of the Liverpool defense, on both the attack and in defense. With the production of Mo Salah being less by comparison to 2017/18, Kevin De Bruyne will be recognized for his contributions to another City title.

In the fantasy realm, Mo Salah outpaced the rest of the EPL by such a distance that a pullback in output should still see him lead the FPL in points. James Maddison is set to take over for Riyad Mahrez as the conductor at Liecester City. As for Raheem Sterling, I see the lackluster World Cup performance as a sign of things to come. And with the competition for spots at Man City, he could find himself on the short side of the Pep roulette wheel.

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Stall express: The EPL league title looks like a battle between City and ‘Pool. It should include Man Utd, but after yet another summer transfer window without a clear plan, the Red Devils look short. Jose Mourinho is on limited time like a cartoon character who ran off a cliff and is about to glance down. However, if I’m wrong and he wins the title from here, it would be his greatest achievement. So it’s between the league’s best attacks for the crown. ‘Pool have more pressure on them this season, but City are trying to do something no side has done in a while (retain the title). I will go City as I think they can lose pretty much any player during the season and still cope better without their squad losing any match rhythm.

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We’re putting ourselves on the line, with a hat tip to KM who suggested doing this ahead of 2017-18. Why don’t you take the polls below and then join us in putting your 2018-19 picks down for posterity in the comments?

Poll

What club will win the 2018-19 Premier League title?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Man City
    (71 votes)
  • 41%
    Liverpool
    (62 votes)
  • 11%
    Other (post a comment)
    (18 votes)
151 votes total Vote Now

Poll

What club is most likely to be relegated by the end of the 2018-19 Premier League season?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Cardiff
    (72 votes)
  • 0%
    Crystal Palace
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Everton
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Fulham
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Southampton
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Watford
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    West Ham
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Brighton
    (8 votes)
  • 23%
    Huddersfield
    (30 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (explain in comments)
    (2 votes)
128 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is your pick to win PFA Player of the Season?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    (79 votes)
  • 25%
    Kevin De Bruyne
    (78 votes)
  • 6%
    Harry Kane
    (21 votes)
  • 10%
    N’Golo Kante
    (31 votes)
  • 21%
    Mohamed Salah
    (66 votes)
  • 5%
    Alexis Sanchez
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (name in comments)
    (9 votes)
302 votes total Vote Now

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