Top 4 Predictions for this Season’s Premier League Top 4
The 2017/18 Premier League season is underway and we’ve had our first glimpse of what each side has to offer. As it currently stands, Man City are the bookies favourites to lift the Premier League trophy, but the 5000-1 payout for Leicester City two seasons ago shows that that means very little at this stage.
Hopes are high among the usual suspects, and after some big money transfers over the summer, the pressure to deliver is on. Let’s take a look at the major movements.
Manchester United have been relatively busy in the summer transfer market, strengthening with the recruitment of Lukaku and Matic, as well as the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A perfect start saw Mourinho take an early lead in the title race, but whether it’s a bad omen or just a quirky stat, it should be noted that United have never won the Premier League after opening a campaign with three clean sheets.
Over in the blue half of Manchester, Pep Guardiola focused his attentions on Manchester City’s defensive resources during the summer, splashing over £120m on full-backs and a further £36m on Portuguese goalkeeper Ederson.
Meanwhile the Champions have brought in Alvaro Morata, Monaco’s Bakayoko, and Danny Drinkwater, who is reunited with former Leicester teammate N’Golo Kante. Conte’s title defence got off to a stinker as the blues fell three goals behind to Burnley on the opening day. They did pull it back to 3-2 and early talks of a crisis were quickly put to bed after a win at Spurs the following week.
In North London, Spurs inexplicably replaced Kyle Walker with Kyle Walker-Peters, and strengthened with Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente. Spurs have finished 2nd in back to back seasons, but the early signs are it may take some time to adjust to their new temporary home. They’ve won just two games at Wembley in 12 attempts.
Arsenal put all their eggs in one French basket this summer, with the signing of Alexandre Lacazette. He scored 100 goals for Lyon in 171 games, but back to back defeats against Stoke and Liverpool has caused unrest at the Emirates, putting Wenger immediately back where left off last season. Under pressure.
Liverpool were also relatively quiet in the summer, bar the signings of Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. But Liverpool’s 4-0 hounding of Arsenal serves as an early confidence booster for the Reds.
Our Top 4 Prediction
1. Man Utd
2. Man City
Man United have been missing something for several seasons now, but Mourinho may have found the final piece to his jigsaw in the form of Namanja Matic. The Serbian could make all the difference in midfield, and if Lukaku scores 25+ goals, we think the Premier League could be heading to Old Trafford once again.
Man City have also strengthened in all the right areas and if they can settle quickly and remain consistent they will be pushing for the title. Chelsea and Spurs have had mixed results so far and the Wembley factor could prove to be too much of an obstacle for Poch to lead another genuine title challenge.
Mark Lawrenson's Top 4
1. Man City
2. Man Utd
Lawro has gone for Manchester dominance, with City beating United to the title. Pep’s head to head record vs Mourinho is currently 8-5-7 (W-L-D) after some entertaining (and some dull) games in Spain, Germany, Italy and Manchester.
Despite unrest in the Gunners camp, Lawro think Arsenal will finish in the top 4 just behind Chelsea.
Frank Lampard's Top 4:
2. Man City
3. Man Utd
Not surprisingly, Super Frank has gone for Chelsea to top the pile come the end of the season. It would be the first successful title defence since Man Utd in 2009. He backs City and United to come in at 3rd and 4th with Spurs completing the top four.
Steven Gerard's Top 4:
1. Man City
3. Man Utd
Lampard’s incompatible England midfield partner has, of course, gone for a slightly different prediction. Stevie G has backed Liverpool to finish 2nd, just behind Man City, and ahead of Man Utd and Chelsea. If the Reds do finish 2nd it will be their highest Premier League placement since 2013/14, the year of Steve’s infamous slip against Chelsea.
How do you think the top four will look come the end of the season? If you fancy yourself as a bit of a football guru you can play for the weekly cash prizes at 7OTB by predicting 6 wins and 1 draw from this weekend's action.