clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looking Ahead: Staff Predictions for 2021-22

See what “grims” our intrepid staff see in their tea leaves, and then offer your own prognostications in the comments. Bonus points for wildest yet plausible!

Jerry Lewis as “Swami” staring into a crystal ball
What’s in your crystal ball?
Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

It’s that time of the year again! We continue our build up to the season with our Staff Predictions. We recently got to review our Staff Predictions from last season, which never fails to delivers a few laughs!

Taking guesses about how the season will play out before it even starts is always tough. But it’s also fun, and it can give good insight into which players our staff members will be backing in their respective fantasy squads.

No doubt there will be more shocks when we look back at these a year from now — it’s a funny old game!


Top 4 Clubs

 Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
 Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
First MCI MCI MUN MCI MCI MCI CHE MCI LIV MCI MCI
Second LIV MUN CHE MUN MUN MUN MCI MUN MCI LIV CHE
Third MUN LIV MCI CHE LIV LIV MUN LIV CHE MUN MUN
Fourth CHE CHE LIV LIV ARS CHE LIV CHE MUN CHE ARS

Paul: Man City, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea

I’m backing last season’s Champions to win the League, this will be even further bolstered should Harry Kane move to the Etihad. The other positions are amazingly hard to predict (in terms of order, not clubs). I’m backing Liverpool to bounce back from a disappointing last campaign, but they’ll be pushed all the way by the other two.

~

David: Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea

This time Thomas Tuchel will have the benefit of a preseason to get his formula just right, and although I don’t think his defense will be as stingy, I expect his offense will be better. Except for Mo Salah, Liverpool seemed stale in the latter part of the season, and goals were often hard to come by. The return of Virgil van Dijk will help, tightening up the back line and allowing Pool’s wingers to push further forward. New-boys Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane should help United see their way clear of just about everybody, but I think they’ll fall short of Man City once again. Pep could probably win the league with the team he already has, but with the addition of Jack Grealish and possibly Harry Kane to the mix, I don’t see anyone stopping him from claiming his fourth title in five years.

~

Jeff: Man United, Chelsea, City, Liverpool

OGS has been given funding for a shopping spree. Varane and Sancho could make the difference. Regular service should return to Old Trafford while Sir Alex Ferguson is alive to see it. Again, I’m picking Man City to prioritize the CL, so could let the EPL title slip. Liverpool finished strong and can only improve with VvD’s return. Tuchel will have Chelsea in the mix too, but the exact order of the top four is a crap-shoot. I don’t think Arsenal can crack in as long as Arteta is at the helm (and indeed I picked him as first gaffer for the sack). The wheels are coming off (Harry Kane is AWoL) at Tottenham this summer... but the transfer window remains open through the end of the month, so everything could change (and now Grealish is moving — Ugh!).

~

Stall: Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool

Even with Jack Grealish signing and Harry Kane a possibility, I think the gap between City and the chasing pack will narrow. Liverpool surely cannot be as unlucky as last season’s injuries, but questions about the fitness of Jordan Henderson and VVD linger. Will they be able to return to their previous performance levels? I think people also underestimate the loss of Georginio Wijnaldum. I see an inconsistent season leaving ‘Pool fourth.

The battle for second may come down to which side addresses its most glaring weakness in the summer transfer window. Chelsea needs a center-forward, and at the time of writing that looks most likely to become Romelu Lukaku. The Blues have a fantastic squad, with many options available to approach games in different ways, and as champions of Europe they are coming into the season very confident. Manchester United has had its best window in years, signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, but OGS still lacks a defensive midfielder who can not only protect the back line but also be press-resistant. The fan in me says the Red Devils take second this time and then try their best to add a certain Mr Haaland next summer to complete the puzzle.

~

Guy: Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal

City has been so consistent for several years now, I can’t see them outside the top two. While United should be improved, it may take a while for things to gel, by which time City could be out of sight. Liverpool should bounce back, and I (probably rashly) predict Arsenal to be much improved this year.

~

Chris: Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea

Chelsea could challenge for the title if they can get some offensive help in the transfer window, but since that hasn’t happened as of now, I’m going with a repeat of last year’s order. Boring!

~

Dhivakhar: Chelsea, Man City, Man United, Liverpool

As things stand, I believe it’s Chelsea’s title to lose. Having an excellent attack wins you games but a solid defense wins you trophies and the blues are loaded on both fronts. Although Jack Grealish’s imminent arrival at the blue half of Manchester improves the Citizens’ chances of a title swoop, Chelsea is yet to roll its dice on a striker and the Blues are well-placed to sign Romelu Lukaku. If the deal goes through, the Londoners are the title favorites in my eyes

~

PPQ: Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea

City just has so many weapons, and it appears Pep is about to add more (Grealish, Kane). The Citizens have depth across the field plus a manager who can get the wins when he needs them. A mix of youth and experience makes them the favorites again. United (additions!) and Liverpool (defenders back from injury!) both are better than last season, so they’ll give City a run. My heart tells me the Gunners actually get the 4th spot, but logic says Chelsea builds on last season’s successes.

~

MiQ: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd

I am thinking the return of Van Dijk and the major breakthrough of Diogo Jota along with the return of chemistry between all lines will end in hard fought victory for Liverpool. It is impossible to see the league ending early this year. It looks like the difference between First and Fourth maybe less than 6 or 7 points. To achieve this, Liverpool’s bench needs to rise up to the occasion as soon as called for in a midweek game. Man City is no doubt the obvious choice but their main focus will be the Champions League. This year will not be easy and I still do not approve of the heavy rotation method which its long terms effects are already showing on both Sterling and slightly on KDB

~

Ali: Man City, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea

Nobody can touch Man City, especially if Pep signs Grealish and Kane this summer (the Aston Villa captain is now a done deal). I believe Varane was the final piece to Man United’s defense, and Sancho’s creativity should help them stay closer to Pep’s City till the end of the season. I just have a feeling Liverpool may not be able to stay composed in the middle of the park, and one can’t be too sure what kind of VVD or Gomez we’re going to see after injury. Chelsea needs a striker to finish, and if Tuchel does end up signing Lukaku, the Blues have enough potential to challenge City too.

~

Olakunle: Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal

I believe Manchester city will have too much for everyone. The expected arrival of Jack Grealish and Harry Kane will make them almost almost untouchable. I predict an easy win. Chelsea and Manchester United make appearances in the second and third position respectively due to their activity in the transfer market which only complements already strong squads. Arsenal surprisingly sneak into the top four as a result of the club’s lack of involvement in European competitions. Lack of European distraction will give the Gunners ample time to focus and prepare for games


Bottom Three

 Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
 Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
18th CPL CPL NEW CPL NOR NOR CPL CPL NOR NOR BRE
19th NOR NOR CPL NOR CPL CPL NOR SOU BRE CPL NOR
20th BRE BRE BRE NEW BRE BRE BRE BRE CPL BRE SOU

Paul:

Boring to include two promoted sides, but I just feel they do not have enough quality to stay in the league. I feel Watford will fair better and have some fight in them. Crystal Palace will struggle without Roy Hodgson’s stability.

~

David:

Brentford look the most likely to be one-and-done. Norwich has been here before, but the loan signing of Billy Gilmour probably won’t be enough to make up for the loss of Emi Buendia, especially if Todd Cantwell follows his former teammate to Aston Villa. And Crystal Palace will find it hard to survive as their inexperienced manager struggles through the club’s multiple problems and challenges. If Wilfried Zaha leaves, they’re surely cooked, but they’re probably doomed either way.

~

Jeff:

Brentford is lucky just to get a jolly-up, Palace is in disarray, and as long as Ashley is in charge, Newcastle remains a perennial candidate for the drop.

~

Stall:

I find this one really hard to call; there isn't a single team I am sure of going down. Norwich is setup better to compete than last time, making some clever signings. Palace has so many problems to solve, but the Eagles have a match winner in Wilfred Zaha and a few bright young players. Newcastle’s data from the second half of last season says the Magpies shouldn't be in trouble, but they need Callum Wilson and Allan Saint Maximin to stay fit. Watford has kept Sarr and has a strong defensive plan. Brighton also has the underlying data but lacks goals. The Saints have lost Danny Ings and could lose James Ward-Prowse, so they could get dragged into the relegation battle, which could well go to the final day.

~

Guy:

Brentford may well win some admirers, but it would be an amazing achievement for the Bees to stay up. Palace may have more issues than others, and with a relatively inexperienced manager could struggle. There are lots of other candidates though, so about half the table looks unsafe really. Could Leeds even be in trouble this year? But my vote goes to Wolves who may really miss their old manager.

~

Chris:

There are so many relegation contenders, it’s really tough to pick, but these three seem the likeliest. Any among Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton and Watford wouldn’t surprise me either, though.

~

Dhivakhar:

The lack of Premier League experience and quality signings (so far) could lead to the downfall of Brentford. Emiliano Buendía’s transfer to Aston Villa will take the sting out of Norwich’s attack; the Argentine was one of the most creative players in the squad, so a lack of goals could see the Canaries go down. Crystal Palace’s managerial change, aging squad and injury concerns of key players could see them punch a ticket to the Championship.

~

PPQ:

The common thread here is that these teams won’t be able to defend at the level needed. Brentford gave up goals in the Championship, so against EPL teams will be out matched. Plus, the Bees won’t be able to score. Of all returning EPL teams, Palace had the worst goal differential last season, and 3rd most goals-against a year ago. Southampton gave up even more goals than Palace. Both Palace and the Saints are older, injury prone, lack any real upgrades, and don’t seem to have what they need.

~

Ali:

I don’t see Brentford having enough quality to compete in the Premier League; the Bees badly need that cutting edge to stay out of the relegation zone. Under an inexperienced manager (Patrick Vieria), Palace should struggle this term despite signing a couple of youngsters. It will take the coach and the team time to manage the intensity of the league, so it might well be too little too late for them. Norwich may have returned for a spell, but the Canaries just aren’t clinical; it just looks difficult to see Pukki scoring consistently, especially after the departure of Emiliano Buendia.

~

Olakunle:

The sale of talisman Danny Ings will negatively impact the Saints’ season. Southampton will find it extremely hard to replace the goalscorer, which might lead to them failing to escape the drop. Brentford's lack of quality should see them occupy the 20th position by the of the season. The sale of Buendia saw me lose any hope I had of Norwich surviving. Selling your best player on your return to the Premier League is never a good idea.


Which EPL Club Will Go Furthest in the Champions League?

Last year’s CL final was between two EPL clubs! The upcoming CL season has four EPL clubs contending, all of whom are serious contenders. Chelsea is current champion, Man City’s Pep Guardiola desperately wants it, Man United has stocked up in the summer transfer window, and a now fit-again Liverpool won it just two years ago.

Below each staffer picks the EPL team he thinks will go farthest in the UCL this season.

Most Successful in Champions League

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
MCI MCI MCI LIV MCI MUN MUN MCI MCI MUN MCI

Paul: Man City

Surely this is the year Pep will lift it with the Citizens.

~

David: Man City

Pep will desperately want to win the only major trophy that has eluded him with City, and his team has all the talent and depth necessary to do it. He will probably deny that he’s prioritizing the UCL over the EPL, but if necessary that’s exactly what he’ll do.

~

Jeff: Man City

Pep will finally get his CL trophy, but it will cost him domestically.

~

Stall: Liverpool

As I think Klopp’s men may be coming to the end of a cycle and may not be able to field their strongest 11 week in and week out; I think it will cost them domestically. However, in the Champions League, I can see them focusing on the competition come the spring and all that experience alongside the extra man the Anfield crowd brings sees them go deep.

~

Guy: Man City

Pep is so driven to win this, he has to manage it eventually.

~

Chris: Man United

As we know, much depends on the draws, first avoiding any “Group of Death” and then avoiding the tougher half of the knockout rounds. Tottenham, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea have all reached the Champions League final recently (with the latter two winning), so it’s a tough call. I guess that means it’s United turn to stake a claim.

~

Dhivakhar: Man United

With last season’s shock Champions League exit and Europa league heartbreak, Man United will be desperate for European redemption. The signings of Jadon Sancho and four-time Champions League winner Raphaël Varane fit the bill perfectly.

~

PPQ: Man City

Pep wants this title so bad. City’s depth makes them my odds-on favorites, but they will need the new signings to come through and stay away from key injuries if they are going to challenge for a double.

~

MiQ: Man City

The Citizens reached last season’s final from a difficult bracket, going through PSG and Dortmund. It could easily be another all-English final next season with Man City against any of the other three English clubs.

~

Ali: Man United

After their brutal exit from the Champions League last year, United should be looking for redemption for sure. Solskjaer has been handed Sancho and Varane, instantly improving the Red Devils; they are good enough to help the team to the later stages of the UCL.

~

Olakunle : Manchester City

I believe Manchester City will go far again, but Pep Guardiola's unnecessary tinkering will also once again see them fail to secure the elusive Champions League trophy.


First Manager Sacked

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Patrick Vieira Xisco Mikel Arteta Xisco Steve Bruce Patrick Vieira Nuno Ralph Hasenhüttl Mikel Arteta Nuno Xisco

Paul: Patrick Vieira

It just seems like a short-term appointment, I hope he proves me wrong.

~

David: Xisco

The Hornets are going to struggle, and no club churns managers like Watford.

~

Jeff: Mikel Arteta

Arteta should have been sacked last season. He’s out of his depth, belonging in a role where he can raise up young players (a U-something squad or maybe a Championship club). As a result, the Gunners are sinking to his level. The ownership should already be on a short fuse, so any more disappointment at the Emirates should mean a quick exit. I just pray it happens before Roma makes Mourinho available.

~

Stall: Xisco

I hope not, but we know how Watford does business.

~

Guy: Steve Bruce

I still don’t trust Newcastle’s hierarchy, and although Bruce did really well last year, I don’t get the impression he’s really liked there. So it may not take many bad results. Wouldn’t it be great though if no manager was sacked all season — why do clubs automatically decide to change managers all the time, especially when there’s so much compensation involved?

~

Chris: Patrick Vieira

I really hope I’m wrong, but if Vieira plays with a fun, fan-friendly approach for Palace as expected, there seems a decent probability that the points won’t be there and management will quickly look to someone else to implement a more plodding style to fit the team. Of course, that probably won’t work too well either.

~

Dhivakhar: Nuno Espírito Santo

The saga of Nuno Espírito Santo’s appointment as the Spurs’ manager was not ideal for both parties (nor for fans). Unfortunately, the moment results start going south, Daniel Levy won’t think twice before pulling the plug, especially as it’s only a two-year deal, so the decision to fire the Portuguese manager won’t hurt his pocketbook much.

~

PPQ: Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton ended the season so poorly. I wonder if Hasenhuttl and the Saints will be able to recover. An overreliance on Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse (who has played every minute of the season for the last two seasons!) means that any injury to JWP makes the Saints, and therefore Hasenhuttl, vulnerable now that Ings has left for Villa.

~

MiQ: Mikel Arteta

Keeping him until now means that there is some sort of agreement or plan for this season. A couple of poor results this August should however result in an immediate sacking.

~

Ali: Nuno Espírito Santo

I just can’t see the Portuguese given enough time to implement his ideas to the new squad, and even if Kane is forced to stay at Spurs, the former Wolves manager doesn’t seem to have the aura to bring out the best in a player. It will take time to adjust, but Daniel Levy will be right there on his head when results don’t go his way.

~

Olakunle: Xisco Munoz

The last time Watford played in the Premier league, the Hornets employed no less than four managers in one season. I expect Watford's trigger-happy management to sack Munoz at the first sign of trouble.


Golden Boot

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Kane Kane Salah Kane Kane Kane Cavani Salah Jota Kane Kane

Paul: Harry Kane

There is currently no better striker in the league; Spurs or Man City — Kane should pick up the prize once more.

~

David: Harry Kane

Doesn’t matter if he stays at Tottenham or moves to City, if he stays healthy he wins the Golden Boot.

~

Jeff: Mo Salah

With injured players coming back online, Liverpool will have a resurgence, and Salah will be the primary beneficiary. Kane’s transfer saga will distract, and if he moves to City, then his focus could shift to the CL (and his EPL minutes could be reduced).

~

Stall: Harry Kane

Assuming he joins City I suppose it’s the most obvious pick. If he doesn’t, then he will still be in the running.

~

Guy: Harry Kane

Hard to look beyond Kane and Salah here — was tempted by DCL, but others reasoning on Everton and Rafa’s effect on attacks at other clubs has put me off.

~

Chris: Harry Kane

The usual caveat: As long as he stays healthy.

~

Dhivakhar: Edinson Cavani

Harry Kane is the obvious pick here; his record speaks for itself. But, if Cavani manages to stay fit for the entire season, going by his performances last year, the Uruguayan has an outside chance of challenging Harry Kane for the Golden Boot.

~

PPQ: Mo Salah

Salah scored 22 goals last year. But there were times when he just didn’t seem like himself. He missed 19 big chances (according to Fantrax). Confidence is huge for a goal scorer. Liverpool starts off the season with some good matchups. Some early goals could get him moving in the right direction. (Kane with City changes this)

~

MiQ: Diogo Jota

I am hoping secretly that it will be Harry Kane again!

~

Ali: Harry Kane

Man City or Spurs, injury-free Harry Kane will be on top of the list!

~

Olakunle: Harry Kane

Barring any long term injury, either as a City or Spurs player, I expect Harry Kane to once again scoop the golden boot award.


Golden Gloves

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Ederson Ederson Henderson Ederson Ederson Mendy Mendy Ederson Alisson Ederson Mendy

Paul: Ederson

The best team’s keeper. Ederson should repeat his strong season.

~

David: Ederson

I don’t see any reason why Ederson won’t three-peat.

~

Jeff: Dean Henderson

When mocked for a pick ahead of its time, it’s time to double-down! At least this year he should have Man United’s #1 spot from the get-go, and Varane solidifies the defense ahead of him. Fantasy bonus: He’s cheap (at least in Fantrax). What’s not to like? Ken, back me up here!

~

Stall: Ederson

I would go Henderson if I knew he was going to play 38 times, but I don’t so its Ederson for me.

~

Guy: Ederson

City’s defense looks settled now, so the main danger to this pick is injuries.

~

Chris: Mendy

Like Jeff, I’m going to go a bit out on a limb picking against Ederson. But if Tuchel keeps playing for 1-0 score lines while City romps in 3-1 type games, I think Mendy is a pretty decent bet to win the Golden Gloves. It’s not like I’m picking Kepa!

~

Dhivakhar: Édouard Mendy

Thomas Tuchel’s arrival has bolstered the Chelsea back line, and the Blues have maintained their defensive robustness ever since. Mendy is a solid candidate for the Golden Gloves.

~

PPQ: Ederson

Again. And I think maybe an assist or two ;)

~

MiQ: Alisson

If the second half of last season is any indication, Mendy is a clear winner. The gut feeling is tingling again, leaning towards Alisson.

~

Ali: Ederson

Another season, another pair of golden gloves for Ederson who will surely score one from the penalty spot this season. Hopefully!

~

Olakunle: Édouard Mendy

Chelsea had one of the most disciplined defenses last season after Thomas Tuchel’s arrival. Despite playing fewer matches, Mendy was in the running until the last few matches in the season. I expect Mendy and the Chelsea back line to come out stronger this season.


Most Assists

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
KDB KDB Jadon Sancho Jadon Sancho KDB Jack Grealish Bruno Fernandes Harry Kane Son Heung-Min Bruno Fernandes Kane

Paul: De Bruyne

Should be free flowing now he’s back from injury.

~

David: Kevin De Bruyne

It’s simple: No player in the Prem is better at this. He can win it without Kane (and has before), but can you imagine what that pairing could produce?

~

Jeff: Jadon Sancho

Regular service shall be restored.

~

Stall: Jadon Sancho

Maybe I’m a season early with this one but the kid is going to be a star.

~

Guy: Kevin De Bruyne

Amazing he wasn’t last year’s winner, but if he ends up feeding Kane, then he’ll get even more assists and Kane will get fewer (but more goals). Even if Kane doesn’t end up at the Etihad, KDB still has a great chance.

~

Chris: Jack Grealish

If Grealish goes to City and stays healthy while KDB again struggles to keep fit (KDB has cracked 2,000+ minutes only once in the past three seasons), Grealish could easily rack up 15+ assists and take the crown. But even if Grealish doesn’t go to City, he tied for 4th in the league with 10 assists in only 2,183’ last season, so he could still turn the trick even if he stays at Villa.

~

Dhivakhar: Bruno Fernandes

The assist output of the Portuguese star should increase if Edinson Cavani gets more game time; there seems to be a growing Messi- Suarez-like chemistry between the pair.

~

PPQ: Harry Kane

He has become so much more than a goal scorer. Why wouldn’t he be top again? And if he’s with City!?

~

MiQ: Hueng-Min Son

This is a rather hopeful prediction than a real one so there is no explanation there!

~

Ali: Bruno Fernandes

The likes of even Sancho, who prefers to provide than score, would enjoy the fact that the Portuguese international is in his side, and Cavani, Rashfrod and Greenwood have enough to be clinical from Bruno’s insane passing vision and movement.

~

Olakunle: Harry Kane

Kane's ability as a playmaker was visible to everyone last season. He displayed his ability to drop into midfield and supply the key passes needed to split open defenses. Wherever Kane ends up playing, I expect him to pick up from where he stopped last season.


Not to be confused with the EA Sports “player of the season”, the PFA PotY award is voted by the players.

PFA Player of the Year

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
KDB KDB Harry Maguire KDB KDB Harry Kane KDB Mo Salah Diogo Jota Harry Kane Harry Kane

Paul: Kevin De Bruyne

For the hat-trick.

~

David: Kevin De Bruyne

He’s the best player in the Prem, and his peers clearly know it (they’ve voted him the winner for two seasons in a row). As long as the 30 year-old can stay off the injured reserves list, he should have this one sewn up.

~

Jeff: Harry Maguire

KDB is becoming fragile in his old age, and players tend to vote for unsung heroes in defensive midfield or central defense who win trophies without making many headlines. So in keeping with my theme of regular service being restored at Old Trafford, I pick Maguire.

~

Stall: KDB

He has won it the last two seasons and has looked a level above the rest.

~

Guy: Kevin De Bruyne

Obviously a popular pick with the players year on year, and there seems to be very little imagination with these votes.

~

Chris: Harry Kane

I’ll say it a thousand times more: Kane should have won the award last season when he LED THE LEAGUE IN BOTH GOALS AND ASSISTS ALL BY HIMSELF. I don’t think he’ll lead the way in assists, but if he takes the Golden Boot and wins the league title with City, he should finally get his just desserts.

~

Dhivakhar: Kevin De Bruyne

May as well rename it the “ Kevin De Bruyne” award. The players respect the Belgian and recognize his contributions to the game. The Man City midfielder is admired by his peers and regularly gets the majority of the player votes despite other players arguably having better individual seasons (as we saw in the case of Harry Kane last year).

~

PPQ: Mo Salah

I think Mo has a great season this year, and while I believe KDB is the best player, I think that he sees more rotation as City pushes for CL too. If Kane is at City, he’s my choice.

~

MiQ: Jota

It is difficult to overlook KDB and Bruno as the two top contenders, but this year is Jota’s chance to build on his work last season.

~

Ali: Harry Kane

If Kane ends up at City, he has to be the favorite. Otherwise, bring on Kevin de Bruyne!

~

Olakunle: Harry Kane

I'm selecting Harry Kane with belief that his rumored move to Man City will go through.


Most FPL Points

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Bruno Kane Kane Bruno Kane Salah Salah Kane Salah Salah Bruno

Paul: Bruno Fernandes

Should pick up plenty of points in penalties and bonuses.

~

David: Harry Kane

Assuming his transfer to City goes through, one of the world’s best strikers will finally receive some of the world’s best service. Do the math.

~

Jeff: Harry Kane

Caveat: If he is sold out of the league, then my fallback is Jack Grealish.

~

Stall: Bruno

Will play most or all the 38 games, is obsessive about goals and assists, and now has Sancho picking out his runs.

~

Guy: Harry Kane

If Kane does join City, then he could win by a mile. If not, he nearly won it last year, but now Bruno has Sancho to share points with. Kane just has to stay healthy long enough...

~

Chris: Mo Salah

Kane’s assists will be expected to fall back to a more normal level for him, as he’d never had more than seven fantasy assists until last season’s anomalous 14. Salah has contributed 10+ fantasy assists in three of the past four seasons (hitting 12 twice), so I think he can make up the difference in FPL scoring even if he doesn’t grab as many goals as Kane.

~

Dhivakhar: Mo Salah

Salah has proven to be an essential FPL asset for the past three seasons, and it won’t be any different this year. The Egyptian will be a frontrunner to clinch the top spot after finishing 3rd last season behind Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane.

~

PPQ: Harry Kane

At City, this is a no brainer. He’ll have even more goals than last year because he’ll have better service, and he’ll provide similar assists because he’ll have more options. Even at Spurs, his combination of goals plus assists make him the most likely to keep the points coming.

~

MiQ: Mo Salah

With Jota orchestrating Liverpool to win the EPL and winning the golden boot and most assists, Salah will be beneficiary No.1 to score many goals, create chances and take penalties.

~

Ali: Mo Salah

Salah has been fantastic, and I can certainly see the Egyptian international stay consistent when it comes to providing points for fun!

~

Olakunle: Bruno Fernandes

Bruno's knack for scoring goals coupled with his penalty taking ability should see him dominate the FPL Points market.


Most Fantrax Points

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris PPQ MiQ
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris PPQ MiQ
Bruno Kane Bruno Bruno Kane Kane Kane Jota

Paul: Bruno Fernandes

Penalties = Points.

~

David: Harry Kane

He won the Golden Boot and got the most assists last season while playing for a mediocre Spurs side. Now picture him playing for City. And remember that Fantrax rewards not just goals and assists, but also shots on target, corners won, etc. Enough said.

~

Jeff: Bruno Fernandes

Talk about service...

~

Stall: Bruno

Same as above, will play most or all the 38 games, is obsessive about goals and assists, and now has Sancho picking out his runs.

~

Guy: Harry Kane

Same reasoning as for FPL points and he could be even further ahead here.

~

Chris: Harry Kane

Kane is simply a beast in the Fantrax scoring system. As long as he can stay healthy, he should pace the league.

~

PPQ: Harry Kane

What Chris said. (Also, Mo right behind him.)

~

MiQ: Jota

This is my first season playing Fantrax, so please take my prediction with a grain of salt!


Most Surprising Player

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Emile Smith-Rowe Billy Gilmour Billy Gilmour Milot Rashica Ben White Emiliano Buendia Timo Werner PEA Jose Sa Leon Bailey Sambi Lokonga

Paul: Emile Smith-Rowe

A budget option in FPL and given the famous #10 shift by Mikel Arteta; I think he’ll repay the gamble.

~

David: Billy Gilmour

He’s class, and with Buendia (and possibly Cantwell) gone, he’ll be thrust center-stage. I don’t think he’ll choke.

~

Jeff: Billy Gilmour

Shine on you crazy diamond!

~

Stall: Milot Rashica

Picked purely with Fantrax’s scoring system in mind. The signing has gone completely under the radar. Rashica was a target for Leipzig, Villa and Liverpool a summer ago and is one of those players who plays as if he is a kid on a school playground.

~

Guy: Ben White

Could really shine in a better team (and I think Arsenal will be a better team this year).

~

Chris: Emiliano Buendia

Buendia scored only 94 points in his previous EPL campaign with Norwich two seasons ago. Look for him to double that production, or at least close to it, with Villa.

~

Dhivakhar: Timo Werner

Despite Werner's poor showing in front of goal last season, the German’s time at RB Leipzig fills me with enough confidence to believe that he’ll rediscover his form and be instrumental to Chelsea’s title campaign.

~

PPQ: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

PEA was a mess last year. I think he will bounce back this year. In case you forgot (I certainly did last season), he scored 22 goals the previous two seasons.

~

MiQ: Jose Sa

I think Wolves’ new addition between the posts will have an impact on their results. His reflexes may end up bringing Wolves closer to the quarter top of the table.

~

Ali: Leon Bailey

With Grealish probably on his way to Manchester, Villa has done a great job securing a deal for Bailey beforehand. The Jamaican has 39 goals and 22 assists to his name in over three seasons for Leverkusen. His pace, taking on defenders 1v1, and his unpredictability will certainly help Villa to stay in the top ten of the table.

~

Olakunle: Sambi Lokonga

Partey's early season injury and expected participation in the African Cup of Nations should see Sambi given a plethora of opportunities to prove himself worthy of a place in the team. I expect him to seize this chances and announce his arrival to the Premier League with highly impressive performances.


Most Disappointing Player

Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Paul David Jeff Stall Guy Chris Dhivakhar PPQ MiQ Ali Olakunle
Vardy Toney Vardy Digne Bamford Sterling Sancho DCL PEA Thiago Sancho

Paul: Jamie Vardy

Dropped off at the end of last season and new blood seems to have taken up center stage; overpriced in FPL too.

~

David: Ivan Toney

We’ve heard this song before: Stud striker from the Championship struggles to duplicate that success in the Prem. Toney will score some goals, but I think many folks have set their hopes too high.

~

Jeff: Jamie Vardy

I love the guy, but since Christmas last year the finisher looks finished. I’ll be happy to be wrong on this one.

~

Stall: Digne

On paper: With Rafa in charge, and a classic #9 DLC to cross to, and a price drop, Digne is rightfully in many players’ preseason drafts. Everton doesn’t look healthy to me. The Toffees have blown millions on players who have underperformed, and they’ve upset some of their fan base with Rafa’s appointment. I can see plenty of toxic days at Goodison, with Digne like his team underperforming.

~

Guy: Patrick Bamford

He misses a lot of chances and perhaps Leeds generally will be somewhere below last season’s performance level.

~

Chris: Raheem Sterling

The former regular starter at wing lost Pep’s trust toward the end of last season, and his own confidence disappeared along with it. This season, minutes may be hard to come by, especially if Grealish joins. As such, the £11.0m for Sterling price tag looks way too high. It’s not just that he could be outscored by all or most of the other premium midfielders, but he could also easily be outdelivered by three or four players starting in the £5.5-6.5m price range.

~

Dhivakhar: Jadon Sancho

Playing his first competitive Premier League season could be a daunting task for anyone. Despite Jaden Sancho’s strong English background, the Premier League is a different ballgame altogether and could take time to get used to. Although I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, I believe Sancho’s growth at Old Trafford will be gradual, and his debut season won’t be as influential as Man United fans hope it will be.

~

PPQ: Dominic Calvert-Lewin

He really had a breakout year last year with 16 goals and 6 assists. Everton may be better this year overall (maybe!), but that improvement would come at the defensive end. With Rafa at the helm and not a lot of creativity around him, I just can’t see DCL repeating his goal output from last year.

~

MiQ: PEA

I cannot see Arsenal doing anything different this season unless their manager is sacked early. If that happens then maybe PEA will not be part of the new manager’s plan despite being the team’s captain.

~

Ali: Thiago

I haven’t been impressed by Thiago since his arrival. Understandably, many of Liverpol’s regulars were injured, but the Reds’ style of play just doesn’t seem to suit him. Having Henderson and Fabinho stay fit is the only way the former Bayern star can play his visionary, dangerous passes instead of those horizontal, safe ones. I would be happy to be proven wrong, because I believe Thiago is a classy player, but there just seem too many complications around him.

~

Olakunle: Sancho

I believe Sancho's price tag coupled with the need to adapt to Premier League will see him endure a disappointment season.


What do you think of our prophetic power? Are we crazy or are we geniuses? Dare you post your own answers to these questions? We’ve shown you ours, so please show us yours. We look forward to frothy ferment in the comments!

~