It is that time of the year once again…it’s time for my yearly EPL predictions. With the kickoff of the 2016-2017 season a mere five and a half hours away, I felt I would weigh in with some of my thoughts.
Last year was another exciting season in the most prestigious league in the world. Leicester City, who was once ranked at 5,000 to 1 odds to win the title, came from out of nowhere to stun the soccer world and capture their first EPL title. I had them finishing 19th…so yeah…I got that one wrong. However, I did say to those who follow the blog to watch out for big seasons from Harry Kane and Georginio Wijnaldum which I did get right.
Before I get to the power ranking and final table prediction I have a quick tangent I want to go off on. I was not happy with this years Euro Cup. Despite great coverage from ESPN and an expanded field, the product was simply not enjoyable. Teams, such as the eventual champion Portugal, played cagey, defensive soccer. There was no real ambition or desire to go forward and stretch the opponent. Teams simply played conservative and waited huge chunks of time for one opportunity to counter attack. Many countries flat out parked the bus in front of the goal and waited for a shootout. Quite simply it was not the type of soccer I enjoy watching. I had high hopes for Euro 2016, but I was ultimately let down.
However, I am ever the optimist and I firmly believe that those lame tactics will not tarnish and destroy the EPL product and that we will see consitent, exciting soccer this season. And now, without further delay, I unveil the final table for the 2016-2017 EPL season.
2016-2017 Final Table Predictions
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- West Ham
- AFC Bournemouth
- West Brom
- Crystal Palace
So for the record we have Manchester United winning the title. Arsenal, Man City, and Chelsea will qualify for Chapmions League. And, sadly, Sunderland, Swansea, and Hull will be relegated. It is especially painful for me to put Swansea in the relegation category because I have really enjoyed watching them play the past few years. However, I just do not see enough talent on Swansea’s roster to see them doing very much this season. I did pick Leciester to finish 19th last year so you just never know.
Players to Watch 2016-2017
- Paul Pogba
- Sergio Aguero
- Romelu Lukaku
- Mesut Ozil
- Saido Berahino