Written by Kevin Coleman
After just a few short months, the Premier League returns on Friday night with a game between Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Before that though, make sure you’ve got your Fantasy Football team in order, and make sure you’re up to speed on the state of the league.
Check out our in-depth guide here that tells you absolutely everything you need to know about all 20 teams.
2022/2023 Premier League guide
If there’s a team bouncing into the new season, it’s Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus has hit the ground running and Fabio Vieira and Oleksander Zinchenko are two shrewd additions. And looking ahead, Arsenal are bound to be looking at their opening fixtures and thinking they can be at the top of the mix by the end of it.
Kicking off at Selhurst Park on Friday night against Crystal Palace is no easy start, but a win over their old friend Patrick Vieira will tee them up nicely for the follow-ups against Leicester, Bournemouth, Fulham and Aston Villa. Arsenal had the youngest squad in the league last season – it’s only the beginning for this team, but a hot start is necessary to build on their impressive pre-season form.
Steven Gerrard’s men teetered out towards the end of last season, winning just two of their final 11 league games to finish a respectable, but equally disappointing 14th in his debut season at Villa Park. An improvement on that is imperative though, and they’ve made moves to platform from that with the arrivals of Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho on a permanent switch and the very interesting addition of Boubacar Kamara, who should add a whole pile of quality to their holding midfield role.
As well as that, the captaincy has pivoted from Tyrone Mings to John McGinn. The big question mark heading into the new season rests with Gerrard though and if he can elevate Villa even further. They’ve invested heavily in the squad, but still need to see improvement from some performers, especially in attack.
Rebounding back into the Premier League, Scott Parker’s side have gone under the radar compared to their promotion colleagues Nottingham Forest and Fulham, opening the cheque book for the first time this week with the arrival of Marcus Tavernier from Middlesbrough.
It’s a bold strategy to rest on loyalty to his promotion squad, but spending heavily hasn’t been an overly successful plan either. Brentford showed last season that a Championship squad with little turnover can hold its own, while the likes of Sheffield United are another good example before they became undone. They’re favourites to go straight back down and it’s not difficult to see why. At least Mark Travers could have a very busy season – if he can build on last season’s Championship heroics then he might be given a lifeline to stay in the top tier.
It’s hard to believe it’s a year on since that night against Arsenal to open up the 2021/22 season. A 13th placed finish was incredible for a side punching massively above their weight, but expectations have been levelled out now heading into this season.
They overcame a dreadful turn of the year to finish really strongly, winning seven of their last 11, and that’s the sort of form they need to kickstart a season that begins at the King Power Stadium on Sunday and then a visit from Manchester Utd a week later. The loss of Christian Eriksen is a huge blow and they’ve not been overly active in the window, adding young talent rather than trying to replace the quality and experience he added. But keeping Ivan Toney is huge – he scored 12 times last season, matching or bettering that will go a long way to keeping The Bees in the Premier League for another season.
Graham Potter’s men finished a very respectable 9th last season, establishing themselves as a Premier League mainstay and putting Potter amongst the names who will be perennially linked with bigger jobs. Brighton’s season in 2020/21 became a bit of a meme as they consistently underperformed xG, but last year was much improved on that front as they looked one of the better units in the league, performing better than the sum of their parts.
That might be a little bit more difficult this season, with midfielder Yves Bissouma departed to Spurs and Marc Cucurella likely to leave too, possibly to Manchester City if they can agree on a fee. 9th felt like Brighton’s ceiling, so matching that with two of their best players leaving would be a good return.
The Blues have had one of the more bizarre off-seasons, with the remnants of Roman Abramovich’s era replaced by the eager Todd Boehly and his efforts to strengthen Thomas Tuchel’s squad. They’ve added Raheem Sterling who will add a lot of quality to an attack line that has flattered to deceive, while Kalidou Koulibaly is a fine replacement for Antonio Rudiger.
But it still feels lacking and Chelsea, along with being linked with most players on the transfer gossip columns, are going into this season on the back foot. Last season’s 3rd place was a story of them being better than the pack, but not good enough to close any sort of gap on City and Liverpool, and you’d wonder have the chasing pack done more than Chelsea have to latch onto the top two.
Patrick Vieira’s men for models on consistency last season, losing only 12 times over the course of the campaign. To put that into context – Arsenal lost 13 times and Manchester Utd lost 12 games. Palace’s problem however was drawing games, with a league-equal high of 15.
They’ve done a fine job of holding onto last year’s best performers and their cohort of young talent, supplementing that with Cheick Doucoure from Lens and American centre half Chris Richards. With Eberechi Eze back from injury and another season under the belts of the likes of Michael Olise, Marc Guehi and Odsonne Edouard, Palace should well be aiming to improve on last season’s 12th and take the leap into the top ten.
The mood music around Everton isn’t very sweet heading into this season, despite their relegation rescue in the last campaign. The departure of Richarlison was a blow to the squad and they as of yet haven’t replaced him, with just one outlay going on Burnley’s Dwight McNeil, following his old Claret clubmate James Tarkowski to Goodison Park.
Frank Lampard is the favourite amongst bookmakers to be the first sacked this season and that poses an ominous sign at a club that has invested poorly in recent seasons, and now not at all. They’re sixth favourites to go down however, which is a bit more bullish.
The Cottagers stormed back into the Premier League and blew the Championship competition away. Last time they got promoted, they invested heavily and the strategy failed considerably. This time around they have been more reserved, but have added some quality in the likes of Manor Solomon and Joao Palhinha.
But the great white hope is Aleksander Mitrovic. 43 goals in 44 appearances last year was phenomenal. The season before that… three in 27. That was in the Premier League. Can they find a tune out of him this time?
Another side who escaped but the skin of their teeth after Marcelo Bielsa was replaced by Jesse Marsch. The Leeds hierarchy have doubled down on the American’s arrival but backing him in the transfer window with players he’s familiar with or has worked with before, which can be a dangerous strategy.
They’ve spent nearly £100million on tremendous young talent, but the departures of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips will be difficult holes to fill. Leeds have a favourable start, if the new boys can hit the ground running then they will have a good platform to see through the season.
The Foxes have one of the strongest squads outside of the top four on paper, but not adding to that so far this summer could be a dangerous game as Brendan Rodgers hopes injury returnees will be enough to spark some life into a side that underperformed in the league last season.
Youri Tielemans and James Maddison are being linked away and you surely have to replace both before the month is out, should transfers realise. Despite being a top ten ever-present, Rodgers is fourth-likeliest to be sacked according to the bookies going into this season, which shows how low his stock is at the moment. If Leicester don’t hit the ground running then they won’t be slow to make a move in the dugout.
Can Liverpool bridge the gap once again to Manchester City? The league has been very much a two-horse race for the past few years as the two clubs go hammer and thongs for the league title. It does feel slightly different this season however, as Liverpool go into a season for the first time in five years without one of the attacking three that has fared them so well.
Darwin Nunez is a huge statement signing, but it’ll be interesting to see if and how that changes Liverpool’s system with a trademark No.9 striker. Their major signings have generally worked under Jurgen Klopp, but this one has a slightly riskier feel about it. In terms of tackling the season ahead, Liverpool have arguably the strongest squad in the league now – if it can stay injury free and Mo Salah can put those rested legs to use, they should be right at the very top again come May.
City are all about Erling Haaland this season and the biggest adjustment in a Pep Guardiola side since he arrived in the Manchester dugout. Nobody is doubting the Norwegian’s incredible goalscoring instincts, but how exactly that fits into a side that essentially retired the striker position for a couple of seasons will be interesting.
Kalvin Phillips shores up the midfield, but it does feel like City are lacking another defender or two heading into this season. They once again have the target on their backs for the league title – is there enough frailty there for the gap to shorten?
Erik ten Hag has taken the poisoned chalice that is Manchester Utd boss and taken on the task of steering the ship around. He’s said and shown all the right things so far, but in a mess that has festered for so long it may take a while for him to polish it up.
The squad is perhaps stronger heading into the season, but missing out on their one marquee target in Frenkie de Jong is a blow and one they have yet to rectify in finding an upgrade in midfield. And how many clubs are so keen to part ways with their reigning top scorer as United are with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is hanging around like a bad smell. It’s a Mexican stand-off at the moment, but with no suitors for Ronaldo in his effort to retain Champions League football, it’ll be very interesting to see how such a huge figure can co-exist with a new manager trying to completely change the culture of a club bowing to huge figures.
Eddie Howe’s first full season at the world’s richest club and his first summer transfer window has been strangely sensible. No major flashing of cash, with the permanent arrival of Matt Targett along with Sven Botman from Lille shoring up the defence and Nick Pope adding much needed quality to the goalkeeper position.
In a summer without marquee signings, Newcastle’s approach has been almost refreshing for a club in it’s early days of riches. Howe will back his coaching and there was a notable improvement when he arrived on Tyneside. A repeat of that, with careful and methodical development of the squad over the next few windows, will be a strong platform for his coaching aspirations and Newcastle’s adjustment to superclub status.
Forest are back in the top division for the first time since 1998/99 and aren’t going about things quietly. In fact, they’ve spent the most out of all promoted sides and have very much taken the lump-everything-at-the-transfer-market approach to a new club finding it’s Premier League feat, a strategy that has had mixed results.
But they do have one of the most promising young managers in British football in Steve Cooper and their signings have been interesting, with former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi highest amongst them as a bulldozing striker who looks tailor made for the Premier League. If Cooper can manage to blend all that together, along with the nous that got them through the play-offs, then they could be the surprise package of the season.
The Saints ended last season like an anchor, losing five of their last six games and that does feel like a worrying trend at the club, where disaster could be around every corner and things could quickly go south for Ralph Hasenhuttl just as quickly as things are going well.
The addition of Gavin Bazunu is amazing from an Irish perspective and its hard to imagine him not impressing, while Joe Aribo is one of the bargains of the summer from Rangers. But otherwise, they have pinned their hopes on young talent and that their experienced side can keep things ticking for another season. Armando Broja is a big loss however and it’s hard to see where exactly the goals necessary to avoid relegation dog-fights are going to come from.
Are Spurs and Antonio Conte the most settled of any of the top four clubs heading into this season? That seems a bizarre thing to say about this particular combo, but they’ve added a lot of quality to an already very strong squad, and a pre-season under the belt of Conte where he seemed keen to run his squad into the ground to the point of illness.
Spurs finished last season in fine form, losing just one of their final 11 games. With Harry Kane fresh from a summer off and the overall structure now a lot more familiar with the demands of the Italian manager, Spurs could easily be neck-and-neck with the top two in the early innings of the season.
What a season West Ham had last year, backing up the previous campaign with another impressive turn under David Moyes who has a late-career managerial Rennaisance.
And they go into this season with last season’s squad more or less intact, with the exciting addition of Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca added to the already enticing mix of Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio. But keeping Declan Rice at the club for one more season is huge – he came of age last year and is certainly ready to lead West Ham to another big campaign again.
And finally, a side that is often being overlooked and is coming off of a very decent first season under Bruno Lage. Wolves have been quiet in the transfer market aside from the addition of Nathan Collins, which may turn out be extremely shrewd business.
But otherwise, it’s a very settled side and one that has plenty of experience and craft to aim for another top half of the table finish. If Raul Jimenez can find pre-injury form and the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho continue to dictate games, Wolves will be just fine.
Read More About: Premier League