CHRIS SUTTON's in-depth guide to all 20 Premier League clubs

How will YOUR club fare this season and who will be their key man? CHRIS SUTTON’s in-depth guide to all 20 clubs as the 2022-23 Premier League campaign kicks off this weekend

  • The Premier League returns with a bang with the opening fixtures of new season 
  • Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace on Friday night is first game of new campaign 
  • Sportsmail‘s CHRIS SUTTON provides an in-depth guide to all 20 clubs

The Premier League returns with a bang on Friday night as Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace in the opening game of the season.

The London derby kicks off 760 top-flight matches this season, with all of the 20 sides having plenty at stake in 2022-23.

Here, Sportsmail‘s CHRIS SUTTON delivers his club-by-club guide on every team, including his verdict and the respective key players. 

The Premier League returns with a bang on Friday night as Man City try to defend their title

Arsenal can’t wait for ever for it to come together under Mikel Arteta. They improved last season but, given they held a four-point lead over Tottenham with three games to go, finishing behind their north London rivals in fifth was a kick in the teeth.

Arsenal turned ‘Spursy’, leaving them with the Europa League. They have made smart signings — Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are top drawer — so the pressure is on Arteta to ensure it all clicks this season. 

We can see what Arteta is trying to do with the team but, when it comes down to it, top four is a must for him.

MAJOR INS

G Jesus (Man City, £45million)

F Vieira (Porto, £31.5m)

O Zinchenko (Man City, £31.5m)

M Turner (New England, £5.7m)

Marquinhos (Sao Paulo, £3.2m)

Gabriel Jesus should provide the goals Arsenal lacked from their senior strikers last season

MAJOR OUTS

M Guendouzi (Marseille, £9.9m)

B Leno (Fulham, £3.2m)

K Mavropanos (Stuttgart, £2.9m)

A Lacazette (Lyon, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE? 

MIKEL ARTETA PL RECORD: PLAYED 96; WON 49; DRAWN 16; LOST 31; WIN% 51; POINTS PER GAME 1.7

Arsenal have finished 8th, 8th and 5th under Arteta. Having spent big again this summer, he must secure a top-four place or the club’s patience may expire.

KEY PLAYER – GABRIEL JESUS

Arrives with great pedigree, at a good age (25) and reliable fitness-wise. Should provide the goals Arsenal lacked from their senior strikers last season.

ASTON VILLA

This is a big season for Steven Gerrard, his first full one as a Premier League boss. He had that initial bounce after taking over from Dean Smith but Villa soon turned back into their inconsistent selves: a win here, a draw there, followed by a defeat or two.

Gerrard’s profile means Villa are able to attract a new kind of player, like Philippe Coutinho, who did enough in his loan spell to earn a permanent move. 

Diego Carlos is a smart signing from Sevilla as the defence needed bolstering. With Villa’s squad, the ambitious Gerrard would be disappointed to finish outside of the Premier League’s top eight.

MAJOR INS

P Coutinho (Barcelona, £18m)

D Carlos (Sevilla, £26m)

R Olsen (Roma, £3.2m)

L Augustinsson (Sevilla, loan)

B Kamara (Marseille, free)

Philippe Coutinho can make an even greater impact at Villa than Jack Grealish at his best

MAJOR OUTS

C Chukwuemeka (Chelsea, £16.1m)

M Targett (Newcastle, £15.8m)

Trezeguet (Trabzonspor, £3.6m)

C Hourihane (Derby, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE? 

STEVEN GERRARD PL RECORD: P27; W10; D5; L12; WIN% 37; PPG 1.3

Time to see how Stevie G fares in his first full season in management in the Premier League. He has the players for a top-half finish and will be expecting improvement after underwhelming end to season.

KEY PLAYER – PHILIPPE COUTINHO

If he can recapture the form that made him a £145m player, Coutinho can make an even greater impact at Villa than Jack Grealish at his best.

BOURNEMOUTH

It is all about survival for Bournemouth, but the worry is the Vitality Stadium is too nice a place to play. Like how Norwich’s Carrow Road was not exactly the most intimidating stadium to visit last season.

Bournemouth need to make it so that bigger clubs don’t turn up thinking they have got the points in the bag before a ball is kicked. 

Fulham dropped down under Scott Parker but he will be confident he can avoid making the same mistakes. Bournemouth haven’t made waves in the transfer window, so they will largely be relying on the team that took them up. 

Dominic Solanke scored a bundle of Championship goals last campaign but can he do it in the Premier League? He’s tried before and not turned it on. Time to rectify that.

MAJOR INS

M Tavernier (Middlesbrough £10.7m)

R Fredericks (West Ham, free)

J Rothwell (Blackburn, free)

Dominic Solanke’s best Premier League total is three in 2019-20, so he needs to step up

MAJOR OUTS

R Brady (Preston, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

SCOTT PARKER PL RECORD: P48; W8; D13; L27; WIN% 16.7; PPG 0.77

Parker led Fulham to Premier League promotion but they dropped straight back down. He will have learnt from that, but knows this will be a challenge.

KEY PLAYER – DOMINIC SOLANKE

As ever with a newly promoted club, goals will be key for the Cherries to survive. Solanke scored 29 in the Championship last campaign. His best Premier League total is three in 2019-20, so he needs to step up.

BRENTFORD

Brentford left so much egg on everyone’s faces last season that we were walking omelettes by the end of it. But can this ‘bus stop in Hounslow’ supersede expectations again? 

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United impressed us all when they came up but then were relegated in their second season. That’s what Brentford must be wary of.

They have lost their element of surprise now that their opponents know what they’re all about. I expect it will be a challenging campaign, especially without the creativity of Christian Eriksen, but Thomas Frank has his side superbly organised.

Only Manchester City and Liverpool scored more goals from set-pieces than them last season, so that could be key. I imagine if you offered 17th to a few Brentford fans right now, they’d take it.

MAJOR INS

K Lewis-Potter (Hull, £17m)

A Hickey (Bologna, £14.9m)

T Strakosha (Lazio, free)

B Mee (Burnley, free)

Ivan Toney’s finishing will be crucial if Brentford are to build on a fantastic first Premier League season

MAJOR OUTS

M Forss (Middlesbrough, £3.2m)

WHO’S IN CHARGE? 

THOMAS FRANK PL RECORD: P38; W13; D7; L18; WIN % 34.2; PPG 1.21

My Premier League boss of the year last season. Brentford made mugs of those who predicted they’d finish rock bottom.

KEY PLAYER – IVAN TONEY

Eriksen’s departure will dent Brentford’s creativity, so Toney’s finishing will be crucial if the west Londoners are to build on a fantastic first Premier League season.

BRIGHTON

I love watching Brighton. They keep the ball, pass it nicely, players interchange positions, make nifty movements and create chances.

They act like a big team in terms of style of play but their downfall has been in one department — and I think you know where I’m going with this.

Graham Potter is probably sick of hearing the words ‘expected goals’. He knows the ‘xG’ says they should be scoring more than they are. If they can solve that problem, they’ll soon climb that Premier League table.

Neal Maupay is a handful but not lethal in front of goal, so let’s see what Deniz Undav can do. Potter is confident in his own coaching ability and I’m sure Brighton will continue to impress us over the coming season.

MAJOR INS

J Enciso (Libertad, £9.5m)

S Adingra (Nordsjaelland, £7.2m)

It will be intriguing to see how temperamental forward Neal Maupay handles competition

MAJOR OUTS

Y Bissouma (Tottenham, £26.3m)

L Ostigard (Napoli, £4.5m)

WHO’S IN CHARGE? 

GRAHAM POTTER PL RECORD: P113; W30; D42; L41; WIN % 26.3; PPG 1.17

Talented coach with a wonderful temperament. He’s very matter of fact and doesn’t get too high when he wins or too low in defeat.

KEY PLAYER – NEAL MAUPAY

Their top scorer for the last three seasons, albeit without ever recording dizzying numbers. The arrival of Undav means Maupay has competition, so it will be intriguing to see how the temperamental forward handles that.

CHELSEA

It’s hard to predict what sort of season lies ahead for Chelsea. The way Thomas Tuchel has been talking in pre-season — saying that they aren’t good enough, not ready for the new season, need more signings — he sounds like a manager getting his excuses in early.

It’s Tuchel’s job to ensure his team are prepared for that first Premier League trip to Everton on Saturday, after all. Raheem Sterling is a smart signing. For £47.5m, they’ll get goals and assists and it will be fun watching him back in London where it all began.

Kalidou Koulibaly rocks up with a big reputation, too, and they need that after losing Antonio Rudiger. Let’s see if all that negative talk from Tuchel was simply an attempt at reverse psychology.

MAJOR INS

R Sterling (Man City, £47.5m)

K Koulibaly (Napoli, £34.2m)

C Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa, £16.1m)

G Slonina (Chicago Fire, £8.2m)

Raheem Sterling (centre) is an elite attacker craving the platform Chelsea can offer him

MAJOR OUTS

A Rudiger (Real Madrid, free)

A Christensen (Barcelona, free)

R Lukaku (Inter Milan, loan)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

THOMAS TUCHEL PL RECORD: P57; W32; D16; L9; WIN% 56.1; PPG 1.96

Hard not to admire Tuchel. He handled last season’s adversity well and, in terms of coaching talent, he can compete with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp — although pre-season has not been plain sailing and they produced a series of underwhelming results in the USA.

KEY PLAYER – RAHEEM STERLING 

What a signing. Sterling is an elite attacker in his prime years who has been craving the platform Chelsea can offer him. Potentially a perfect match.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Losing Conor Gallagher is a blow and a half. He gave his team-mates great confidence and set the tone in the team’s pressing, so Vieira needs to find someone to fill his shoes now he’s back at Chelsea. 

Palace played on the front foot last season and creativity-wise, Michael Olise and Wilfried Zaha are capable of giving enough teams a bloody nose. I expect Olise in particular to kick on. 

For a long time, Palace have looked like a club in need of a consistent goalscorer. They’ve had numerous centre forwards but not stumbled across one who’s made that No9 position his own.

Vieira will be confident of progression this season, I’m sure, even if he’s lost the influential Gallagher.

MAJOR INS

C Doucoure (Lens, £22m)

C Richards (Bayern Munich, £10.8m)

S Johnstone (West Brom, free)

M Ebiowei (Derby, free)

Crystal Palace have added quality but Wilfried Zaha (left) remains their best player

MAJOR OUTS

J Jach (Z Lubin, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

PATRICK VIEIRA PL RECORD: P38; W11; D15; L12; WIN% 28.9; PPG 1.26

Vieira’s personality was all over Palace last season and they never looked to be in trouble. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his second season.

KEY PLAYER – WILFRIED ZAHA

Palace have increased the quality around their talisman again this summer but Zaha remains Palace’s best player and, in all likelihood, still their biggest goal threat too.

EVERTON

I’ve forever been sceptical when folks say a fanbase can save a club circling the relegation drain. But Everton’s supporters certainly gave it their best shot at the end of last season.

Goodison Park was wild — in a good way. Frank Lampard’s side survived — just — but this summer hasn’t filled me with confidence. So far they’ve only signed James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil from Burnley. 

The bigger news is they have lost Richarlison to  Tottenham. That’s arguably their best player gone, now in the arms of another. That puts pressure on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who had a stop-start season last time out. 

If he isn’t prolific, Everton could be in big trouble. They will probably survive in the Premier League this season but that’s hardly glory for such an illustrious club.

MAJOR INS

D McNeil (Burnley, £20m)

J Tarkowski (Burnley, free)

R Vinagre (Sporting Lisbon, loan)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin must get back to the form that saw him win England caps

MAJOR OUTS

Richarlison (Tottenham, £52.2m)

C Tosun (Besiktas, free)

J Kenny (Hertha Berlin, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

FRANK LAMPARD PL RECORD: P75; W34; D13; L28; WIN % 45.3; PPG 1.53

That 4-0 defeat by Minnesota was embarrassing for Lampard, even if it was only in pre-season. He’s got his work cut out for him, especially after losing talisman Richarlison.

KEY PLAYER – DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

Last campaign decimated by injury but he scored the goal that effectively kept his team up and he must get back to the form that saw him win England caps.

FULHAM

Are you Norwich in disguise? Fulham come up to the Premier League, then drop down to the Championship. Then up, then down. That’s the vicious cycle which Marco Silva must escape.

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s numbers are interesting — this snarling striker can score for fun at one level but turn shy once he’s among the big boys. Getting a goal or two in Fulham’s first few games would be huge for him.

He’ll know the club’s Premier League status rests on his shoulders. Fulham’s opener against Liverpool at Craven Cottage will be a fascinating watch.

Scramble a result and they’ll gain so much confidence. Lose 4-0 and the reality of the challenge will wash over them like a bucket of ice water.

MAJOR INS

J Palhinha (Sporting Libson, £20m)

A Pereira (Man United, £8.6m)

K Mbabu (Wolfsburg, £4.9m)

B Leno (Arsenal, £3.2m)

M Solomon (Shakhtar, loan)

The loss of Fabio Carvalho only heightens Aleksandar Mitrovic’s responsibility to drive Fulham’s survival bid

MAJOR OUTS

AZ Anguissa (Napoli, £13.5m)

F Carvalho (Liverpool, £5.3m)

JM Seri (Hull, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

MARCO SILVA PL RECORD: P95; W32; D19; L44; WIN% 33.7; PPG 1.21

It didn’t work out for Silva at Watford or Everton, so what about Fulham now they’re back in the top flight? He knows the task: survive or else.

KEY PLAYER – ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC

The Serbian scored 43 goals last season. Fulham’s next best tally? 11. The loss of Fabio Carvalho only heightens Mitrovic’s responsibility to drive Fulham’s survival bid.

LEEDS UNITED

Leeds worry the life out of me. The neutrals love having them back in the Premier League but they’ve lost Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips and that can only take them closer to the relegation zone. 

Given they survived by the skin of their teeth last season, that’s no good. We’ve seen flashes from other forwards, and Joe Gelhardt looks a fine prospect, but you worry whether Jesse Marsch has enough to steer them to safety. 

He didn’t have it easy last season, taking over a team that had Marcelo Bielsa’s DNA all over it, and now he has to implement his ideas after losing his two best players. At least he’s got Patrick Bamford back, fit and hopefully firing. He was missed up front.

MAJOR INS

B Aaronson (RB Salzburg, £25m)

L Sinisterra (Feyenoord (£22.5m)

T Adams (RB Leipzig, £18m)

R Kristensen (RB Salzburg, £11.7m)

M Roca (B Munich, £10.8m)

D Gyabi (Man City, £5.2m)

S Perkins (West Ham, free)

USA forward Brenden Aaronson has the skill and flair to be a game-changer for Leeds

MAJOR OUTS

Raphinha (Barcelona, £52.2m)

K Phillips (Man City, £43.9m) 

L de Bock (Z Waregem, free)

L Davis (Ipswich, £1m)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

JESSE MARSCH PL RECORD: P12; W4; D3; L5; WIN% 33.3; PPG 1.25

Not ideal losing star players Phillips and Raphinha, two men who helped Leeds survive by the skin of their teeth. Marsch may find this season to be a long old slog — if he even survives that long.

KEY PLAYER – BRENDEN AARONSON

With the loss of Phillips and Raphinha, Leeds need someone to take on the billing of star man and USA forward Aaronson — £25m from Salzburg — has the skill and flair to be a game-changer.

LEICESTER CITY

At the time of writing, Leicester have not signed a single player. Not one, and that’s worrying. What concerned me most last season was how they were conceding the most basic goals.

A corner would come in and, on 16 occasions, the ball went into the back of the net. That’s something Brendan Rodgers simply has to address this summer, whether in the transfer window or on the training ground. 

Of all the Premier League’s players, I’m keen to see James Maddison step up. The clever and creative Maddison has the talent, but whether the attitude is there is another matter. He needs to show some consistency, while it will be interesting to see if Jamie Vardy is finally nearing the end at 35.

MAJOR INS

None

Leicester midfielder James Maddison remains one of the best playmakers in the country

MAJOR OUTS

K Schmeichel (Nice, £0.9m)

WHO’S IN CHARGE? 

BRENDAN RODGERS PL RECORD: P284; W132; D67; L85; WIN% 46.5; PPG 1.63

Excellent coach who will want Leicester competing for the top four again after a disappointing season. No European football, no distractions.

KEY PLAYER – JAMES MADDISON

Ignored by Gareth Southgate, the 25-year-old remains one of the best playmakers in the country and produced 12 goals and eight assists in the league last season.

LIVERPOOL

Darwin Nunez’s four goals against RB Leipzig has got a few fans giddy about his arrival. I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will help him progress in the Premier League but I can’t shake the feeling that Sadio Mane will be missed.

He scored so many influential goals in a Liverpool shirt but now he’ll be doing that for Bayern. For Klopp and his players, it’s about dusting themselves down after the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League and Champions League and going again.

They’re a team of winners, from Virgil van Dijk at the back to Mohamed Salah up front. Can they show the consistency needed to beat City to the title?

MAJOR INS

D Nunez (Benfica, £64m)

F Carvalho (Fulham, £5.3m)

C Ramsay (Aberdeen, £4.4m)

There will be even more of an onus on Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) to provide a supply line to the forwards

MAJOR OUTS

S Mane (B Munich, £28.8m); 

N Williams (N Forest, £18m)

T Minamino (Monaco, £13.5m)

M Grujic (Porto, £8.1m)

B Davies (Rangers, £4.2m)

D Origi (AC Milan, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

JURGEN KLOPP PL RECORD: P258; W166; D58; L34; WIN% 64.3; PPG 2.16

A winner who will still be smarting from that Champions League final defeat so soon after losing the Premier League. He’ll fancy another Quadruple charge.

KEY PLAYER – TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

Things will change over the next 12 months in terms of how Liverpool play and there will be even more of an onus on this world-class right back to provide a supply line to the forwards.

MAN CITY

Manchester City won the title without a striker. Now they’ve got the best one in the world. Erling Haaland is such a composed finisher, he’ll be like a kid in a sweet shop with the chances coming his way. 

The talent that Pep Guardiola has at his disposal is downright ludicrous. Haaland’s having an off day? No problem, because there’s Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan all lining up to get themselves a goal. 

That’s why they could afford to sell Raheem Sterling to Chelsea. It’s a team of superstars led by the supreme De Bruyne. The ambitious Guardiola will want to win the Premier League, the Champions League, the lot.

MAJOR INS

E Haaland (B Dortmund, £51m)

K Phillips (Leeds, £43.9m)

S Ortega (A Bielefeld, free)

Kevin De Bruyne is the heartbeat of the champions and the Belgian is already scoring goals

MAJOR OUTS

R Sterling (Chelsea, £47.5m);

G Jesus (Arsenal, £45m)

O Zinchenko (Arsenal, £31.5m)

G Bazunu (Soton, £12.6m)

R Lavia (Soton, £11.1m)

P Porro (Sporting, £7.6m)

K Itakura (B M’gladbach, £4.5m)

Fernandinho (A Paranaense, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

PEP GUARDIOLA PL RECORD: P228; W169; D29; L30; WIN% 74.1; PPG 2.35

Will this be Guardiola’s last dance with City? His contract expires at the end of the season, so it could be a case of now or never for his Champions League dream.

KEY PLAYER – KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Even with Erling Haaland coming in, De Bruyne is the heartbeat of the champions. And he is already scoring goals, with two on their tour of America.

MAN UNITED

Cristiano Ronaldo claims he loves the club, but I think he loves himself more. He’s a great goalscorer, a legend of the game, a man of magnificent numbers, but he’s done United and their new manager Erik Ten Hag no favours in pre-season. 

As if the job wasn’t difficult enough, Ten Hag’s had this distracting sideshow to deal with. United have chewed up and spat out talented coaches, and the new chap in charge has already found himself in the midst of a mini-crisis. 

There’s been such a elephant in the dressing room that players are practically stepping over the trunk as they walk in. 

What can United take from this campaign? Their immediate target needs to be a top four finish.

MAJOR INS

L Martinez (Ajax, £55m)

T Malacia (Feyenoord, £13.5m)

C Eriksen (Brentford, free)

Uncertainty around Cristiano Ronaldo means Bruno Fernandes (above) is the only guaranteed match-winner in United’s squad

MAJOR OUTS

A Pereira (Fulham, £8.6m)

P Pogba (Juventus, free)

N Matic (Roma, free)

J Lingard (N Forest, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

ERIK TEN HAG PL RECORD: N/A

Needs to find a way of using Ronaldo — assuming he does actually return to Old Trafford — without upsetting his team’s balance. Big decisions for the new boss while trying to reignite United after yet another poor season.

KEY PLAYER – BRUNO FERNANDES

Uncertainty continues to swirl around Cristiano Ronaldo so Bruno is the only guaranteed match-winner in United’s squad.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

With their owners’ wealth, I’m sure a few Newcastle fans thought they’d spend big this summer. But the names swirling around after the initial takeover, like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, were outlandish. 

Newcastle need to think realistically and that’s by targeting steady progression in the Premier League. They shouldn’t be expected to make a Leicestersized leap towards greatness. 

Eddie Howe came in last season and got the supporters onside after the sorry Steve Bruce era. He steadied the ship and can now look to build a team capable of challenging for the top eight. 

European football of any kind would be a sure sign of progress for a club where expectations are rising.

MAJOR INS

S Botman (Lille, £35m)

M Targett (Aston Villa, £15.8m)

N Pope (Burnley, £10.4m)

Bruno Guimaraes makes Newcastle tick and has proven capable of scoring goals too

MAJOR OUTS

D Gayle (Stoke, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

EDDIE HOWE PL RECORD: P217; W69; D48; L100; WIN% 31.8; PPG 1.18

Howe did well to lead them to a comfortable 11th last season after their struggles. But he knows the club’s ambitions are higher than that.

KEY PLAYER – BRUNO GUIMARAES

Brazilian playmaker who makes the team tick and has proven capable of scoring goals, too, since his £35m January arrival. A class act deserving of a Champions League setting.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST

All the talk of Jesse Lingard’s wages upsetting the dressing room made me chuckle. When I was playing, I didn’t care what my mates were on. If I wasn’t happy with my own pay, I only had myself to blame for signing the contract in the first place. 

If Lingard can do what he did for West Ham then Forest have signed a direct forward who will enjoy playing on the counter-attack. 

For Steve Cooper to guide Forest to Premier League promotion last season, arriving after they’d lost six of their opening seven games, was remarkable. He may need to be a miracle worker all over again to survive, mind.

MAJOR INS

T Awoniyi (U Berlin, £17.5m)

N Williams (Liverpool, £17m)

O Mangala (Stuttgart, £11.7m)

G Biancone (Troyes, £9m)

M Niakhate (Mainz, £9m)

O Richards (B Munich, £7.7m)

H Toffolo (Huddersfield, 5.3m)

L O’Brien (Huddersfield, £5.3m)

J Lingard (Man Utd, free)

W Hennessey (Burnley, free)

D Henderson (Man Utd, loan)

Forest need regular goals and Brennan Johnson — a very exciting prospect — can make them and score them

MAJOR OUTS

B Samba (Lens, £4.5m)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

STEVE COOPER PL RECORD: N/A

Cooper has worked wonders with Forest, lifting them off the bottom of the table and back to the top flight. He will need to be at his best to avoid relegation.

KEY PLAYER – BRENNAN JOHNSON

To have a chance of staying up, Forest need regular goals and 21-year-old Johnson — a very exciting prospect — can make them and score them.

SOUTHAMPTON

Strange team, Southampton. They can be humiliated one week then look like a swashbuckling side the next. 

They’ve made signings — and I’m sure a few fans had to Google their names to see who they are — but, then, I think we can give Ralph Hasenhuttl the benefit of the doubt. 

Armando Broja made a name for himself there last season with the help of his head coach, so let’s see what talent they’ve brought in this time. 

I’m sure they’ll be on the end of a few bashings this season — that seems to come with the season ticket at Southampton — but they should have enough to survive. 

It helps that they kept hold of James Ward-Prowse, their set-piece specialist who was linked with City and United.

MAJOR INS

G Bazunu (Man City, £12m)

S Mara (Bordeaux, £11.7m)

R Lavia (Man City, £11.1m)

A Bella-Kotchap (£9m, Bochum)

J Aribo (Rangers, £6.4m)

M Lis (Altay, free)

Southampton have held on to James Ward-Prowse, who guarantees goals from set-pieces

MAJOR OUTS

F Forster (Tottenham, free)

S Long (Reading, free)

H Lewis (Bradford, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

RALPH HASENHUTTL PL RECORD: P137; W44; D33; L60; WIN% 32.1; PPG 1.2

Southampton have finished 16th, 11th, 15th and 15th under Hasenhuttl, who’s a good coach and will be desperate to secure his first top-half finish.

KEY PLAYER – JAMES WARD- PROWSE

Southampton were nervous about summer interest in their captain but they’ve held on to their most influential player. Guarantees goals from set-pieces.

TOTTENHAM

The Tottenham supporters I’ve met are excited and that’s largely because of Antonio Conte. He’s a winner who’s got his house in order. Harry Kane has not had a disruptive summer like the last.

Son Heung-min seems like he is at the top of his game. Richarlison has signed up to the project. Ivan Perisic walks in with a big reputation. Yves Bissouma is a good buy. There’s optimism surrounding this side. 

I’m a little concerned defensively but Conte will coach the living daylights out of the group. Kane and Son still trail me and Alan Shearer as a partnership, I’m afraid, because they haven’t won the Premier League! 

For now, a top-four finish and a cup seems a suitable target for Spurs.

MAJOR INS

Richarlison (Everton, £60m)

Y Bissouma (Brighton, £26.3m)

D Spence (M’boro, £13.2m)

F Forster (Soton, free)

I Perisic (Inter Milan, free)

C Lenglet (Barcelona, loan)

Son Heung-min’s partnership with Harry Kane remains Tottenham’s greatest asset

MAJOR OUTS

S Bergwijn (Ajax, £28.1m)

C Carter-Vickers (Celtic, £6.3m)

J Clarke (Sunderland, undisclosed)

J Rodon (Rennes, loan)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

ANTONIO CONTE PL RECORD: P104; W68; D15; L21; WIN% 65.4; PPG 2.11

Hard coach whose pre-season sessions have left players throwing up on the side of the pitch. Conte, who managed to get Tottenham to get their business done early, wants them fit and firing from the off.

KEY PLAYER – SON HEUNG-MIN

No one scored more Premier League goals last season and his partnership with Harry Kane remains the club’s greatest asset. More squad depth should keep him fresher.

WEST HAM

Stop the presses — West Ham have signed a striker! After what feels like an age, David Moyes has got himself a goalscorer in the mould of Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo. 

It’s a shame for Moyes that £30m centre back Nayef Aguerd picked up an injury in pre-season which means he will miss the start of the season. That’s a blow, especially as they face the formidable Manchester City first up at home. 

West Ham have exceeded expectations in the last two seasons and I’m sure a few supporters are eyeing a top-four push.

I think that’s out of reach but Declan Rice staying is a big deal for the club — he’s now wearing the captain’s armband full-time and will set the standard.

MAJOR INS

G Scamacca (Sassuolo, £30.5m)

N Aguerd (Rennes, £30m)

F Downes (Swansea, £9.6m)

A Areola (PSG, £8.4m)

This could prove his last season at the London Stadium but Declan Rice remains the foundation of David Moyes’ side

MAJOR OUTS

A Yarmolenko (Al-Ain, free)

R Fredericks (Bournemouth, free)

S Perkins (Leeds, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

DAVID MOYES PL RECORD: P621; W244; D165; L212; WIN% 39.3; PPG 1.44

Moyes has taken West Ham to new heights in the last two seasons and will be desperate to maintain momentum. Scot will relish another crack at Europe in the Conference League.

KEY PLAYER – DECLAN RICE

This could prove his last season at the London Stadium but the new club captain remains the foundation of David Moyes’ side. A fine all-round midfielder.

WOLVES

For a while last season, Wolves were on course for European football. Then, they fell away, losing six of their last nine games and winning just one.

Wolves frustrate me. They’ve got some super players, from Raul Jimenez to Ruben Neves to Joao Moutinho to Pedro Neto, but don’t always turn it on.

I watch them and think they could do more. Only the three relegated teams scored fewer goals than them last season. Bruno Lage is a good coach though. Can they finish in the top eight? Maybe, if they can start scoring.

Jimenez looked like he was still suffering to find his confidence after that horrific head injury, and that’s completely understandable. Hopefully he will be back in full flow this season.

MAJOR INS

N Collins (Burnley, £20.5m)

H-C Hwang (RB Leipzig, £15m)

Pedro Neto is available again and brings something extra to this Wolves side when he is fully fit

MAJOR OUTS

R Vinagre (Sporting, £9m)

R Saiss (Besiktas, free)

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

BRUNO LAGE PL RECORD: P38; W15; D6; L17; WIN% 39.5; PPG 1.34

The Portuguese boss surprised many by enjoying such a fine start to his first season in England but a drop-off in form saw Wolves fall to 10th.

KEY PLAYER – PEDRO NETO

Regarded as a £50m player before suffering a freakish knee injury in April 2021, the winger is available again and brings something extra to this Wolves side when he is fully fit.




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