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Looking Ahead: Staff Predictions for EPL 2023-24 Season

The Premier League kickoff is looming, and NMA’s staff is ready to go on record with new predictions! Join in the fun, and feel free to laugh us off in the comments.

Ederson and Ilkay Gundogan with the Champions League trophy - Manchester City Trophy Parade - Premier League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

As NMA staff work hard to cover the most notable EPL transfers of the summer transfer window, we find ourselves only two weeks away from the GW-1 kick off! As is our annual custom, we (some more seriously than others) go on record predicting outcomes of the upcoming season. After the season is over, one of our staffers will dig up these predictions to score for kudos and laughs.

This season, we are planning something special in addition to our staff predictions: NMA readers are invited to participate in this unorthodox game. Post a full slate of predictions in the comments, and they’ll be scored on a separate list. The post-season review will report the top fan scores.

The prize for the top-scoring fan will be an invite to write an article to be posted on NMA about any subject related to EPL or UCL over the 2024 summer break. The stakes are high, so make sure to take a swing at every prediction question.

Top 4 Clubs (in order 1-4)

NMA Staff EPL 2023-24 Ranking Predictions

 Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
 Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
Jeff Arsenal Man Utd Man City Newcastle
David Brian Man City Arsenal Man Utd Liverpool
PPQ Arsenal Man City Man Utd Liverpool
WKKhor Arsenal Man Utd Man City Tottenham
Chisom Liverpool Man City Newcastle Chelsea
Paul Man City Arsenal Man Utd Chelsea
Stall Arsenal Man City Man Utd Liverpool
Olakunle Arsenal Man City Liverpool Man Utd
Chris Arsenal Man City Liverpool Newcastle
MiQ Arsenal Man City Newcastle Liverpool

Jeff: Arsenal tasted 1st place for much of last season and then flagged. Hungry and with critical holes plugged, this could be the Gunners’ year if they do “well enough” in UCL and prioritize the EPL title. Man United continues to improve under (finally) apparently good management. Pep and Man City don’t rebuild — They reload. Newcastle is still spending smart.

Chris: I built in the possibility that Man City gets hit with a 15-point penalty or something like it.

MiQ: It may all go down to who wants it more, Man City may be a little too full after the treble feast of last season!

Arsenal FC v AS Monaco: Emirates Cup Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Bottom 3 Clubs (in order 18-20)

Down to the Championship

 18 19 20
 18 19 20
Jeff Luton Town Crystal Palace Everton
David Brian Bournemouth Sheffield United Luton Town
PPQ Bournemouth Nottingham Forrest Luton Town
WKKhor West Ham Sheffield United Luton Town
Chisom Wolves Sheffield United Luton Town
Paul Wolves Sheffield United Luton Town
Stall Wolves Luton Town Sheffield United
Olakunle Bournemouth Sheffield United Luton Town
Chris Sheffield United Bournemouth Luton Town
MiQ Nottingham Forrest Sheffield United Luton Town

Jeff: I know Everton finished strong, but the financials are worse than ever, so I put the Toffees 18th. Palace lost talisman Zaha, so there’s nothing to save the Eagles from 19th. And everything about Luton Town is out-to-sea, so rock-bottom 20th is the only result I can see.

MiQ: However, I have a gut feeling that LT may somehow make a mid table finish this season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Luton Town - Pre Season Friendly Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

EPL Team to go furthest in Champions League

Jeff: Man City, at the expense of a couple results domestically

David Brian: Man City

PPQ: Man City

WKKhor: Man Utd

Chisom (Fpl pyrate): To shock everyone I think Chelsea might just do that again.

Paul: Man City

Stall: Man City

Olakunle: Man City

Chris: Man City

MiQ: It should be Man City but I think Newcastle will somehow make the best run this season.

Atletico Madrid v Manchester City - Preseason Friendly Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

First EPL Manager Sacked

Jeff: Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace), because Zaha is no longer there to mask the Eagles’ many weaknesses.

David Brian: Adone Iraola (Bournemouth). A young manager with no experience in the Premier League will ask a mediocre squad to adopt his brand of high-risk, high-reward football. The suits at the Vitality may think Iraola’s expansive and exciting tactics are a good idea, but the reality could be ugly.

PPQ: Steve Cooper. Forest stayed up and has some moments last season. But they also had some stretches where they were not very good. I think a bad start would mean trouble.

WKKhor: David Moyes. Most probably David Moyes as West Ham might again be struggling in the bottom half of the table this season. It is not entirely Moyes’s fault though. Club captain Declan Rice has left for Arsenal and West Ham has not made any significant progress in the transfer window so far. West Ham were in the relegation battle last season, with the additional Europa League matches and the lack of depth within the squad, they will be facing huge challenges in the new season.

Chisom (Fpl pyrate) : Roy Hodgson. I don't think his the one to take the Eagles to the next level the club want to reach.

Paul: David Moyes

Stall: I’m with David on this one and can see the high risk happening much more than the high reward. The owners have also shown in the summer they will not hesitate in making changes.

Olakunle: I tip Robert Owen Edwards to be the first one at the door due to a poor start to the season from Luton.

Chris: Moyes. West Ham has a tough schedule to start facing Chelsea, Brighton, Man City and Liverpool in the first six GW, so that keeps me from going with a newly promoted manager.

MiQ: Erik Ten Hag, I fear of receiving severe hate on this one, but I think individual performances (Rashford, Bruno, Casemiro, and De Gea) were United’s saving grace last season. I do not see progress or a sensible train of thought into building a cohesive team that works on three different fronts. Then again, I was the one to predict Arteta to be first on the sack a couple of seasons ago....

Dagenham & Redbridge v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Golden Boot

Jeff: Haaland, if he can stay healthy

David Brian: Ilkay Gundogan is gone and Bernardo Silva wants away, but the loss of both of these creative players doesn’t seem like enough to keep Erling Haaland from doing what he does.

PPQ: Haaland. Even if he scores 10 FEWER goals than last year, he would score 26. That may enough to win the Boot.

WKKhor: Harry Kane, if he stays.

Paul: Haaland

Stall: Haaland. If he stays fit is the obvious choice. If he doesn’t then a well-motivated, well rested and currently ripped Mo Salah surely has a shot.

Chisom (Fpl pyrate): Haaland, he’s a goal machine any time, anywhere.

Olakunle: Erling Haaland again.

Chris: Haaland. I always said he’d be great in his second season at City, didn’t I?

MiQ: It is difficult to choose anyone other than Haaland but Man City wingers are set to take over goal-scoring this season. Also considering my choice of Arsenal winning this season is no help either since goals will be distributed among Saka, Martenelli and Havertz. So I will be going with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson or Alexander Isak with creative play-makers Tonali and Barnes behind him this season.

Atletico Madrid v Manchester City - Preseason Friendly Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Golden Gloves

Jeff: Ramsdale, because I don’t trust Pope to survive uninjured all season.

David Brian: Ramsdale. A healthy Saliba will be huge. According to, Arsenal conceded 0.9 goals per game when he played, and 1.6 goals per game when he didn’t. Now layer the addition of Declan Rice over that.

PPQ: I’m going with Ramsdale too. Declan Rice makes them better defensively, and they were already very good.

WKKhor: Nick Pope. Simply because Newcastle United does not take chances to press high compared to all other top teams.

Paul: Nick Pope

Chisom (fpl pyrate): Ederson

Stall: Ederson. I’m thinking Pep’s tactical change this season with be defensively focused. They suffered from Ruben Dias injury last season and look like they may add Gvardiol to the player choice this summer. A more ruthless backline can help Ederson avoid the one shot conceded, once goal conceded issues form 2022-23.

Olakunle: I’m tipping Ramsdale for this if he remains Arsenal’s first choice (There are reports linking David Raya with Arsenal).

Chris: Ederson. He may not have had the clean sheets last season, but City tied Newcastle for fewest goals conceded, 10+ fewer than any of the other 18 teams. Seems like a bizarro underperformance re: clean sheets that should remedy itself this season. Man City has added defensive talent with Gvardiol, while also adding Kovacic which should bolster defensive midfield.

MiQ: Declan rice and Timber joining Arsenal are the main reasons for me to choose Ramsdale or the Gunners keeper if he changes.

Arsenal FC v AS Monaco - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Most Assists

Jeff: Afraid KDB will lose time injured, so Saka.

David Brian: Mo Salah. Even as Liverpool struggled through the last campaign, Mo still ended up joint-second in the Prem for assists. With the additions of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai, and with Trent Alexander-Arnold now looking likely to take up a permanent position in midfield, Salah will have an even more talented cast of attackers around him.

PPQ: Saka had 12 assists last season. I think the Gunners will be better. He will benefit.

WKKhor: Bruno Fernandes. Bruno is always one of the top names in key passes. Possible signing of a new striker may finally convert all his key passes into goal and help him in number of assists.

Paul: De Bruyne

Chisom (fpl pyrate): Am going with Mo Salah he already has five assists in three pre season games. Mo Salah has unlocked a new part of himself that we haven't known yet.

Stall: Bruno: I am expecting more caution on KDB’s minutes this season and I’m yet to form an opinion whether TAA’s move in the midfield position means more assists or more assisting the assister. So, I will take a stab at a player who created more chances than any other player in Europe last season. New signing Rasmus Hojlund is very raw — so while he may have an impact, the goals will need sharing around with less reliance on Rashford to follow the run post World Cup. Guessing United develops an attacking identity that was missing last season. Bruno’s numbers suggest he will benefit.

Olakunle: I expected Saka to enjoy an even better season in terms of assist.

Chris: Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool has further bolstered attack, and TAA should be able to take advantage of his new MF role.

MiQ: I was going for an impossible choice in Spurs’ Rodrigo Bentanur, but he is yet to recover from his knee injury, so I will go with Saka.

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Most FPL Points

Jeff: Haaland, the goal-machine striker on a goal-machine side.

David Brian: Harry Kane. With no European tournament commitments, Kane will have a lower risk of injury plus a chance for a bit of extra rest. And he’ll have James Maddison creating for him, which should correct a lot of the service issues he’s had to endure. If Kane leaves, then I’ll say Salah. We’ll see a much more potent ‘Pool attack this season, I think, and they’ll have a laser-focus on a Champions League finish.

PPQ: Haaland. He just scores goals.

WKKhor: Harry Kane. Kane scores and assists season after season. With the addition of James Maddison in the midfield, Kane might be positioned higher up the pitch, which means he will have less work in the build up play but more chances to score/shoot/assist. His game time compared to Haaland is another reason I chose him.

Paul: Haaland

Chisom (fplpyrate): Mo Salah for obvious reasons.

Stall: Mo Salah.

Olakunle: Haaland

Chris: Haaland

MiQ: Wilson / Isak (whoever gets more minutes)

Liverpool v Manchester City - FA Community Shield - King Power Stadium Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Most Fantrax Points

Jeff: Kane, if not traded out. However, if Son’s recovery from hernia surgery is a joker in the deck — A healthy Son could help Kane or steal opportunities. Full disclosure: Son is much more affordable, so he’s the one I bought.

David Brian: Kane. Haaland scored 36 goals last season, yet Kane still finished as the top Fantrax points-earner. If Tottenham’s talisman could do it surrounded by last season’s squad, there’s no reason he can’t do it again with this season’s upgrades.

PPQ: Haaland. He just scores goals.

WKKhor: Harry Kane. Kane scores and assists season after season. With the addition of James Maddison in the midfield, Kane might be positioned higher up the pitch which means he will have lesser work in the build up play but more chance to score/shoot/assists. His game time compared to Haaland is another reason I chose him.

Paul: Haaland

Chisom (fpl pyrate): Halaand if his fit through out the season.

Stall: Mo Salah. If Haaland drops off his goal scoring a little and Mo steps his up then I fancy Mo to edge it with points earned by additional minutes played.

Olakunle: Mo Salah

Chris: TAA. He scored about 15 ppg over the last 10 games in his new role. Should be more reliable at staying healthy all season than Haaland, and there are way too many question marks surrounding Kane (largely if he leaves of course, but also how effective he would be in a new high-energy, pressing system if he stays).

MiQ: I am no Fantrax expert but I am going with Luis Diaz if he stays healthy throughout the season.

Tottenham Hotspur v Lion City Sailors - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Best EPL Summer Signing

Jeff: Maddison, especially if Tottenham can keep Kane.

David Brian: Declan Rice, hands down. He’ll literally be a game-changer for Arsenal. I also think we’ll see Kai Havertz blossom at the Emirates, and that Nkunku and Jackson will prove to be wise acquisitions for Chelsea. I’ll also be monitoring Nathan Collins at Brentford.

PPQ: Declan Rice is the most important signing, but from a fantasy standpoint, I think Christopher Nkunku will have a surprisingly good year for Chelsea. He’s the goalscorer they’ve been looking for.

WKKhor: Harvey Barnes. Harvey Barnes was always good for Leicester but the team can’t perform defensively well enough to survive in the Premier League. Joining Newcastle might be one of the biggest turning points in his career since he will have better teammates around him. His attitude, pace and finishing can finally be discovered.

Paul: Declan Rice

Chisom (fpl pyrate): João Pedro, due to his exceptional skills, versatility, and positive impact on the team’s performance.

Stall: What's his name? With a month left in the window it’s a tough call. In the real world Onana has the potential to completely change the way Man United plays football. If he works out, then I think that will earn him this award. Equally though Declan Rice’s mentality may help Arsenal’s jump from contenders to winners as it’s in that side of the games they seem weakest. Because I can’t pick two, I’ll go with my heart and hopes... and Onana.

Olakunle: Jao Pedro looks like a bundle of talent and he will be joining a Brighton side that plays free flowing football and under a manager that has the ability to get the best out of youngsters.

Chris: Rice in EPL, since defensive midfielder was a priority given Thomas Partey’s trouble staying healthy. Maddison in fantasy really seems like the perfect fit for Posteglou’s system, though admittedly I’m biased as a Spurs fan.

MiQ: Newcastle’s Tonali may not be a flashy player who will make 15+ assists or score goals, but his presence in midfield will be a huge change for any club. The player whom I think will make the most flashy impact is Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai.

Arsenal FC v AS Monaco: Emirates Cup Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Worst EPL Summer Signing

Jeff: Chris Wood, the injured object of a must-buy clause in last-season’s loan contract.

David Brian: I’m with Jeff here. Forest paid a €4.5M loan fee for Wood in January. Two months later he suffered a season-ending thigh injury, but not before playing the three-game minimum that triggered a clause requiring Forest to fork over another €17M at the end of the season to sign him permanently. Now, €21.5M later, the Tricky Trees are the proud owners of a mediocre 31-year-old striker who, according to, has missed 38 games through injury over the last six years. €21.5M might be peanuts to some of the league’s titans, but it’s a fortune for foot-of-the-table Forest,

PPQ: Mason Mount. I actually like Mount as a player, but he seems like he’s filling roles where United has no holes. Ten Hag needed a scorer. I’m not sure he plays each week, and I don’t see him being the main player on set-pieces or on the ball.

WKKhor: Sandro Tonali. Sandro Tonali did not want the transfer to happen in the first place, he was forced out of Milan due to the package offered to his former club. Although he is very talented in what he is doing, the Premier League is faster and requires more physicality to play in the midfield. He might take some time to adapt and adjust to the new environment.

Stall: Havertz. This category is a little harsh for me as many great players in history have had a disappointing opening season only to come om strong in year two. But okay, I will take Kai Havertz. The young German has struggled to meet expectations since moving to the UK. Arsenal will be hoping they have bought the player from Bayern Leverkusen, not the Chelsea version. The early intention seems to be to develop him into a #8, replacing Xhaka from last season’s side. Thanks to Pep, the #8’s are becoming the most dominant and key players in current modern day football. I wonder if he lacks the physicality, drive, aggression and game awareness the role requires. It may work out and there may be game sit looks great — Forest GW-1 perhaps. But in a very physical league and tactically aware management he may find himself eased into the role and we may see as many days as possible it’s not working out to those it does.

Chisom (fpl pyrate): Ionut Andrei Radu. According to, Radu has conceded twenty goals and kept five clean sheets in 17 matches in the Ligue 1 2022-23 season. That means when Radu is in goal, his team conceded a goal every 77 minutes. Radu’s per 90 minutes goals conceded stat is 1.18.

Olakunle: Havertz. I believe it will take some time before Havertz gets used to Mikel Arteta’s system at Arsenal. The former Chelsea midfielder might end up being dropped to the bench due to limitations in his ability to track back and defend like Xhaka did last season.

Chris: Rasmus Højlund. Did they mistake the name for Haaland? Near-namesake Højlund may end up being a great player eventually, but it’s difficult to imagine the youngster making much of an immediate impact. United seem desperate for a forward right now following last season when ten Hag actually turned to Wout Weghorst fairly regularly as a starter, which limited the attack extremely. Given the shocking outlay made on the fairly unknown newcomer, they could have spent not too much more money and probably gotten Harry Kane! Then again, maybe they’re playing the waiting game in hopes that they get Kane for free next summer, but they can’t count on it.

MiQ: I am looking really ahead now on the imminent transfer of Sofyan Amrabat to Man United. As a Fiorentina fan, the best World Cup 2022 Moroccan defensive midfielder is unfortunately being pushed to leave by his agent, and I am hoping the talks will break down at some point because his talents will be benched in the presence of Casemiro in Man Utd. If the transfer does not go through then my choice will be Nkunku, The French international has been playing for years in a counter attacking style at RB Leipzig, so I think Chelsea made the wrong choice. Nkunku is one of my favorite players, and I was hoping he would jump on the Brighton or Newcastle train which are more suitable options for him.

Arsenal FC v AS Monaco: Emirates Cup Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

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