This is part three of a four-part series, previewing all 20 clubs competing in the English Premier League for the 2018/19 season.
Leicester City (Last Season: 9th)
The Foxes enter the campaign looking for a new identity after losing prized midfielder Riyad Mahrez. This summer, however, they had a great transfer window to replace him and can still look ahead to a successful season. Top championship man James Maddison came in from Norwich to replace Mahrez, and Jonny Evans was brought in at a bargain price of £3 million, a year after Manchester City had an £18 million bid rejected for the former West Brom man. Pairing Maddison with Wilfried Ndidi in the middle should pose a potent midfield for Leicester and compliment English international Jamie Vardy very well.
Major Ins: Jonny Evans, James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Danny Ward
Major Outs: Robert Huth, Riyad Marrez, Ahmed Musa
Predicted Finish: 9th
Liverpool (Last Season: 4th)
After losing to Real Madrid in the Campions League final at the end of last season, Liverpool bounced back and had a busy and productive summer. Several acquisitions were made trying to ensure that a Champions League final berth is in the cards for this year. Jurgen Klopp brought in Monaco duo Fabinho and Naby Keita to help mold their midfield, as well as making an expensive move for keeper Alisson. This clubs star will always be Mo Salah, but Klopp is prepared to make sure that his team around him will compliment Salah and take the workload off of him with another busy campaign ahead.Adding Xherdan Shaqiri will help as well.
Major Ins: Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alisson, Xherdan Shaqiri
Major Outs: Emre Can, Jordan Williams, Danny Ward
Predicted Finish: 3rd
Manchester City (Last Season: 1st)
Pep Guardiola’s side last year had one of the most memorable in Premier League history, and the expectations for this year is no different. The bookmakers have labeled City as the favorites coming into the season, and why wouldn’t they after not losing any key players this summer and adding Riyad Mahrez from Leicester. One thing Pep will have to do though is maintain the happiness with the squad. When there is a situation where the talent is so deep, playing time can become an issue, but with the guidance of Guardiola and the leadership of Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, Manchester City should find themselves champions again.
Major Ins: Riyad Mahrez
Major Outs: Yaya Toure
Predicted Finish: 1st
Manchester United (Last Season: 2nd)
Wherever there is Jose Mourinho, there is probably drama, and at Old Trafford this year expect no different. One press conference in the middle of their American preseason tour had Mourinho call things “really bad” so far leading up to the season opener. Diogo Dalot was brought in, as was Fred, but the tension around United this year could be staggering, with the questions surrounding the possible exit of captain Paul Pogba coming about. Mourinho constantly criticizes Anthony Martial, and when one of your best players doesn’t feel wanted, that doesn’t bode well for a lot of team success over the course of a 9 month period. Especially when your rivals are preparing for another worldly season across the city.
Major Ins: Fred, Diogo Dalot
Major Outs: Michael Carrick, Daley Blind
Predicted Finish: 4th
Newcastle United (Last Season: 10th)
Manager Rafa Benitez was able to finish in the top half of the table last year in the clubs first year back in the top flight, becoming the first promoted team to do so in five years. What has followed though, has been a very underwhelming summer at St. James’ Park. Bringing Kenedy back on loan from Chelsea will help, as will the signing of Ki-Sung-Yueng on a free transfer, but it still doesn’t seem like enough from a team who finished 10th last year. Jamaal Lascelles will head the back four for Newcastle, but he doesn’t have much help back there. And in an league where you have to spend money to keep supporters happy, relegation could be back in the cards again for Newcastle.
Major Ins: Martin Dubravka, Ki-Sung-Yueng, Kenedy, Yoshinori Muto
Major Outs: Mikel Merino, Chance Mbemba, Jack Colback, Jesus Gamez, Massadio Haidara
Predicted Finish: 17th
The Other Parts of this Preview Series
Part Four (Coming Soon)