Home Football English Football Premier League Preview Part Two: Can The Champions Retain Their Title?

Premier League Preview Part Two: Can The Champions Retain Their Title?

In part two of our Premier League preview, we assess the fortunes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton and Huddersfield Town.

Can the champions make it two in a row? Can Huddersfield survive in the top flight? Will Europa League duties hinder Everton’s chances of breaking into the ‘Top Six’?

Here we look at the next four teams in our preview.

You can read part one here:

Chelsea

The champions did well last season and kept on winning week in, week out, the star names performed as Antonio Conte drove Chelsea to success.

Positives

An experienced squad and Chelsea have managed to recruit well in the transfer market with the captures of Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Timemoue Bakayoko.

Negatives

Some unrest is certainly in the squad as has been shown by the impending public departure of star forward, Diego Costa. The London club have also lost out on top targets to other clubs such as Romelu Lukaku joining Manchester United.

Star Man

No question, N’Golo Kante. He’s not as flashy as Hazard or Pedro but he runs the midfield with a good passing game and a huge engine.

Star Signing

The circus surrounding Morata and Lukaku dragged on, the Spanish forward is the more complete striker, he could be not only replace Costa but be the upgrade that Conte desires.

Prediction

With all the other big sides improving their squads, it will be tough for Chelsea to reach the heady heights of last season. They are still a class act though and will not be far away from the title.

Last Season: Champions

Prediction: Second

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Crystal Palace

The south London club are strong but safety seems to be a the priority under Frank de Boer.

Positives

A settled feel to the current squad with key names staying put and in key positions, the squad has a good spirit within it now.

Negatives

A relative lack of inactivity could leave them behind their closest rivals and could well see them edge towards a relegation battle this season.

Star Man

There are a few big names and one name that caused a stir for part of the season last term was Belgian forward Christian Benteke, the powerful forward made short work of some shoddy defending.

Star Signing

Loaned out Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek arrives with bags of potential, hopefully Crystal Palace will be able to bring out the undoubted talent Chelsea never did.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Palace

Prediction

Inactivity in the transfer market and still not enough quality in the squad to be climbing very high, should be safe though.

Last Season: 14th

Prediction: 16th

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Everton

A very good season from the Merseyside club last year securing seventh place behind the so-called ‘Big Six’ expect bigger and better things from them this season.

Positives

Ironically one of the biggest positives for Everton is that Tottenham will be playing at Wembley next season. Add to that some serious statements of intent from Ronald Koeman in the transfer market.

Negatives

Losing a player like Romelu Lukaku will be a blow, they have to find his goals somewhere.

Star Man

A man likely to be on the move, the unsettled Ross Barkley. Gifted, undoubtedly, talented, hugely. He is possibly the most technically gifted English midfielder currently playing he makes Everton tick.

Star Signing

As much as the homecoming of Wayne Rooney is huge, Michael Keane is set to be a star. He is England’s next big centre back expect him to be key to Everton’s defensive systems this season.

Prediction

They are getting stronger but still not good enough to be challenging for the Champions League – should be in for a good season though.

Last Season: 7th

Prediction: 6th

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Huddersfield Town

A relative unknown quantity but did very well to achieve play-off success and reach the Premier League on such a low budget.

Positives

The Terriers are hungry for success and fans can definitely be excited about what their team could achieve in the future, they are building a very stable club that could before long be a competitive Premier League club.

Negatives

A lack of star quality looks like it could be their undoing this season, like fellow new boys Brighton & Hove Albion there is very few known faces in the squad.

Star Man

Midfielder, Jonathan Hogg, a really important player for Huddersfield, not a flashy midfielder but a great servant to the club and important he stays fit to provide leadership and that calming presence in the midfield.

Star Signing

Derby midfielder Tom Ince has been snapped up for just over £8 million and is a very good buy. The 25-year-old is exuberant and quick he could cause some problems for defenders if he is given the time and space.

Prediction

They will fight with determination but they have not got enough high quality players to survive.

Last Season: Play-off winners (Championship)

Prediction: 20th

Fred Blagden, Pundit Arena

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