The Premier League season begins on August 5, meaning teams have wrapped up preseason tours and are looking towards the start of the new campaign.
Everyone starts from scratch, but certain teams are no doubt ahead of the pack with regards to their title chances.
Manchester City secured last season’s title by a single point, beating out Liverpool as the Reds came up just short down the stretch. Pep Guardiola’s side are clearly the favourites to win the league again this season, but will have stiff competition yet again as teams battle to take down the reigning champions.
The Sporting News brings you a closer look at which teams could be in line to claim the top spot, and which teams are not considered a threat.
Who will win the Premier League 2022/23?
Man City are unsurprisingly given the edge to win the league again this season, after topping the table in four of the last five campaigns. Liverpool, who finished one point back of City last season, are second favourites. Tottenham have third best odds in Antonio Conte’s first full season, while Chelsea are deemed fourth most likely to win it all after the Blues struggled through preseason.
Unsurprisingly, the three Premier League new boys — Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Fulham — are considered the least likely to win the title with the bookies.
Odds as of July 24, 2022.
Expert predictions for 2022/23 Premier League title
Pick: Man City (4/7)
Boring as can be, I know. There’s just no other club with the justification to challenge Man City at this point. Adding Erling Haaland is a significant upgrade for an already deadly attack, even without Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, who both underperformed their expected goals in the last campaign.
Kalvin Phillips is maybe the most unheralded transfer addition of the summer, as Man City made a midfield improvement whereas Liverpool — despite a more worrying midfield situation — did not. Kevin de Bruyne’s preseason performances suggest another top campaign despite reaching 31 years old, and there are no real holes to this squad.
Long shot: Tottenham (14/1)
Anyone not named Man City or Liverpool is considered a long shot at this point, and Tottenham look more suited than any other to make a case.
Spurs looked spectacular through the second half of last season as Dejan Kulusevski proved a top signing, energizing the attack. Now add Richarlison, and manager Antonio Conte has one of the top attacking groups in the league. The additions of Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, and Djed Spence fit Conte’s system to perfection. This team is primed for a charge, and while they might not reach the heights of a Premier League title, they’re certainly worth a flier at these odds.
Stay away from: Chelsea (16/1)
Chelsea have looked poor in preseason, falling 4-0 to Arsenal, after which Thomas Tuchel ranted, saying he’s “worried” about the upcoming season. We are too, Thomas.
The Blues have looked disjointed up front in preseason, but the biggest worries are at the back. Kalidou Koulibaly is an excellent addition, but the transfer balance this summer still leaves the defensive unit shorthanded. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both left, and the Spanish duo of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are both rumored to be departing as well. More additions are needed, after which time will be required to mesh the new components.
The Premier League waits for no one, and while Chelsea will probably get back on track eventually, early struggles could rule the Blues out of title contention early.
Who will finish Top 4 in Premier League?
While only one club can claim the Premier League title, other clubs will be looking to secure the next best prize: a spot in the UEFA Champions League that goes to the top four teams.
Last season, Man City and Liverpool battled for the title while Chelsea and Tottenham claimed the other two Champions League places. The Blues looked entrenched in their third position but had to hang on for dear life down the stretch, while Tottenham pipped Arsenal for the fourth and final spot at the finish line.
It’s sure to be another tight battle this season, as Arsenal, Tottenham, and Manchester United are all improved and Chelsea have made key additions as well.
Premier League odds to finish Top 4
Expert predictions for 2022/23 Premier League Top 4 finish
Pick: Man City (1/50), Liverpool (1/16), Tottenham (8/15), Arsenal (7/4)
While the first two are no surprise, and not even worth a bet given the outlandish odds, there are two London rivals both in the projected top four.
As noted above, Tottenham are likely the third title challenger among this season’s group and should be entrenched in a Top 4 spot. The fourth position, as has been the case most recent years, will be up for grabs, but Arsenal have done great business this summer.
Gabriel Jesus fits Mikel Arteta’s Gunners team perfectly, while William Saliba looked excellent in preseason and is like a new signing. Oleksandr Zinchenko is a versatile addition and could see time in midfield to fit him and Kieran Tierney into the lineup. Tottenham and Arsenal battled it out for the final spot last season, but both could knock Chelsea out if things go as planned.
Long shot: Aston Villa (18/1)
Back a team outside the Big Six to reach a Champions League place at your own risk — it hasn’t happened since Leicester City’s shocking title in 2015/16. Still, if there’s a long shot this season, Aston Villa are your pick.
Philippe Coutinho projects to be a double-digit goalscorer and potentially double-digit assist provider as well, and the addition of Diego Carlos at the back is a positive one. Aston Villa out-performed their expected goals by a solid margin, suggesting regression, but no one player shouldered the load there, meaning it’s hard to pinpoint where the regression comes from.
If Steven Gerrard (below) can figure out how to get Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia cooking at the same time, this team could surprise many. It’s still, as noted, a long shot, and the Big Six are likely to dominate the league again.
Stay away from: Chelsea (4/6), Leicester City (20/1)
Chelsea’s early preseason struggles have already been detailed above, and at negative odds, there’s no reason to back the Blues for a Top 4 finish either. Despite the preseason struggles, Chelsea still have a strong squad overall and could very well end up in a Champions League place come the end of the season, but there’s little value to their odds to warrant a bet on the Blues when coupled with the significant risk.
A team with long-shot odds that looks enticing at first glance is Leicester City. The Foxes on paper have the look of a team that could surprise, with Youri Tielemans returning and Jamie Vardy healthy for another run at the Golden Boot. At 20/1 odds there appears to be some value in backing Leicester City to surprise again.
Don’t fall into this trap.
Leicester has done zero summer business, a worrying sign for a club that finished eighth last season with this exact same roster. Resisting outside interest in both Tielemans and James Maddison (below) should pay dividends, but with no defensive improvements, this team will be banking on center-back Caglar Soyuncu to take that next step in his development which, at 26 years old, still hasn’t happened for the Turkish international.
Last year, Leicester City outperformed their expected goals total by a massive 12.5 xG, meaning there’s regression waiting to happen. Jamie Vardy’s another year older (turns 36 in January), and Kelechi Iheanacho hasn’t been able to take the goalscoring weight in his absence. Stay away.
Who will be relegated in 2022/23 Premier League season?
Premier League odds to be relegated
Expert predictions for Premier League relegation 2022/23
Lock: Bournemouth (-200)
Bournemouth are a great story, and a club with neutrals behind them thanks to an exciting brand of attacking football that also kept out the goals last season in the Championship. Unfortunately, the club has made few transfer moves this summer, and it’s hard to back Scott Parker in the Premier League after what happened last time out with Fulham.
The former Spurs midfielder has an uncompromising managerial style, and he doesn’t like to make changes even when things go poorly. If the results don’t come in the opening two months, it could spiral out of control quickly.
Likely: Nottingham Forest (+120)
Nottingham Forest are in the opposite boat as Bournemouth, having been forced to make big transfer decisions this summer. A host of loan players critical to last season’s success have returned to their clubs, meaning players were brought in en masse. Jesse Lingard joined on a free transfer, while Taiwo Awoniyi and Neco Williams joined for big fees. Moussa Niakhate and Giulian Biancone both join from overseas as defensive reinforcements.
It will take a lot of convincing to see these new players come together to stave off relegation, and just spending money doesn’t always mean results will come. It will take time for these players to work together, and time is the enemy of relegation-threatened sides.
Look out: Fulham (+110), Everton (+300)
Tony Khan will hope that the third time’s the charm for his Fulham side, having failed to keep the Whites in the Premier League on two previous occasions. The team is an attacking force, but there are concerns at the back after conceding a host of goals down the stretch of the Championship season. Aleksandar Mitrovic may have set the Championship goalscoring record last season, but he will need to prove he can do it against Premier League defenders after falling short of expectations earlier in his career.
Everton fans have only just finished wiping the sweat off their forehead from last season’s escape, but this campaign could be another tough one. Adding James Tarkowski is a shrewd signing, but the former Burnley man looked far from his best in his final campaign with the Clarets, and he joins a backline that saw Michael Keane look far off the pace as well. After losing last season’s hero Richarlison to Tottenham this summer, the team has not replaced the Brazilian. Disastrous preseason performances have done little to quell the noise.
Not happening: Leeds (+225), Brentford (+250)
Leeds United’s summer transfer market strategy was a targeted approach to acquire players who have a similar playing style, which should help them come together quicker. While spending money blindly can hinder a team, Leeds have done well to target holes in the squad, reinvesting the Raphinha transfer fee and then some. Even if the first few months see the team struggle to gel, there are far worse sides in the Premier League who will remain below Jesse Marsch’s group.
Brentford are one of the most well-coached teams in the Premier League, and even after Christian Eriksen left for Manchester United, Thomas Frank should still be able to trouble teams up and down the Premier League table and snatch points in unexpected places. Don’t bet on this team being threatened with the drop.
Final prediction: Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Everton
Top goalscorer prediction for 2022/23 Premier League season
Premier League Golden Boot favorite
Based on all the projections outlined for clubs above, we can eliminate some choices from the list.
Erling Haaland: Manchester City has so many attacking options, but Erling Haaland is the only viable option to win the Golden Boot, as his teammates will share too many goalscoring chances to have a shot at the award. Haaland out-performed his expected goals totals in Bundesliga play by a combined +12.48 across his three top-flight seasons, and he was a perfect six-for-six from the penalty spot last year. The Norwegian has to be considered a contender, but his use in Pep Guardiola’s tactical shape is to this point an unknown.
Gabriel Jesus: The Brazilian is off to a flying start in Arsenal’s preseason, and he looks to be a great option, especially given how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang performed in this side not too long ago. Still, Jesus is a serial expected goals underperformer, falling well short of his mark in every single season at Man City.
Over six campaigns, Jesus racked up a 76.05 xG tally, yet scored just 58 goals, a massive 18-goal differential in the negative. Until he can finish at a high rate and not simply rely on a high volume of service, he cannot be the selection here.
Pick: Darwin Nunez
It’s a risk selecting a new player to the league, but Darwin Nunez (+1400) is too good to pass up. He’s a spectacular finisher on a team that creates chances en masse and penalties as well, although whether it’s him or Salah taking them at Liverpool remains to be seen.
Best long shot for Premier League Golden Boot
Breaking down the long shots is a difficult task given they’re long shots for a reason and none truly have a chance at topping the charts unless all the stars align.
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be a popular choice after his incredible Championship season, but his Premier League track record is poor and his target-man skills haven’t translated to the English top flight.
Man United playmaker Bruno Fernandes is a streaky goalscorer and has other playmaking duties to focus on.
Chelsea attacker Timo Werner racked up a higher expected goals in his final year at RB Leipzig (23.45) than he has accumulated in his first two years at Chelsea combined (19.60), with a 6.17 mark last year producing a meager four-goal return.
While Darwin Nunez could take Liverpool to new heights, it also could be a season for Luis Diaz to explode in place of the departing Sadio Mane. While Diaz didn’t display great finishing in his half-season with Liverpool — he also wasn’t a player who got great opportunities — he’s instead a volume shooter, taking an insane 3.55 shots per 90 minutes in Premier League play. If Diaz can pair that with the finishing he showed with former club Porto, scoring 13 goals on 8.7 xG last season before the transfer, he could be a surprise atop the table.
Pick: Luis Diaz
The presence of Nunez hurts his chances at topping the goalscoring list, but Diaz’s volume and odds (+3500) are much to ignore. If the Colombian can return to his Porto goalscoring form, he will be a major presence in that Liverpool attack.
Premier League season surprises and disappointments in 2022/23?
Surprise pick: Leeds United over 39 points (-120)
As detailed above, Leeds United have had a fantastic summer. Yes, the club lost Raphinha, who was a match-winner at times for the club last season. Yes, they lost Kalvin Phillips who was the lynchpin of the squad. Yet the acquisitions this summer set them up well for the coming season.
Jesse Marsch had the team defensively improved as the season concluded, and the arrivals should hit the ground running thanks to a targeted transfer approach for players that know Marsch’s Red Bull system. The 39-point total is a low bar to clear, which they should accomplish.
Disappointment pick: Chelsea under 72 points (+110)
Chelsea are a team in flux, as manager Thomas Tuchel hopes to pull the Blues up from a “worrying” preseason (his words, not mine). Raheem Sterling should carry the attack, but the other pieces don’t seem to mesh well.
Kai Havertz is a great player and great finisher, but oddly doesn’t get the minutes he should. Christian Pulisic can be a spark plug, but he is moved around constantly. The defensive unit is in shambles, with Jules Kounde lost to Barcelona and a number of players leaning toward the exit.
Chelsea only hit the 72-point total twice since their 2016/17 title — reaching 72 points exactly in 2018/19 and last season reaching 74 points. The 2022/23 team is certainly at least one win below last year’s squad, at least as things stand today. The Blues should fall short of this mark.