We looked back on TEAMtalk’s 2018-19 season’s predictions wanting a laugh, but we couldn’t, as were pretty damn good.
Expecting a shambolic set of predictions, we looked back with trepidation, but it turned out to be glorious.
Three out of four of our TEAMtalk writers went for Manchester City to win the Premier League, with Editor James Marshment not a million miles out going for Liverpool.
Here’s what we said in August.
Who will win the Premier League?
James: Liverpool. It’s their time! It’s a long-running joke that ‘next season will be their year’ but for once they have all the tools in place and zero weak links to sustain a title challenge this year. I reckon City may focus more on Europe, so I’ll opt for Jurgen Klopp to take his cult status into the legendary bracket….!
Oli: Manchester City. Nineteen points is a hell of a gap to make up, and although Guardiola’s priority may be a run in Europe, they have the squad depth to challenge on both fronts and defend their title. Liverpool will close the gap, but I feel like they won’t quite have enough to overturn such a gulf.
Rob: It has to be City again for me, although I do feel that Liverpool will run them closer than United did last season. Pep’s men hardly got out of 2nd gear to brush aside Arsenal at The Emirates and will take some stopping again.
Simon: Manchester City. Kept hold of their title winning squad and have added to their strength in depth up top with the signing of Mahrez. Could also be a big season for Bernardo Silva this year and the return of Benjamin Mendy adds even more solidity to their defence.
What’s more, our top-four predictions were also pretty accurate, with only Man Utd’s dismal efforts throwing our guys.
What we said.
And who else will finish in the top four?
Oli: Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea are my top four, in that order.
Rob: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man Utd
Simon: Man City, Liverpool, United, Tottenham
James: My top four in order: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham.
The surprise package of the season was also well within our sights with Oli Fisher nailing Wolves, who finished seventh, while Rob McCarthy name-checked Wolves and Crystal Palace before plumping for Bournemouth who finished 14th.
James went for Palace and he was only undone by their poor start having collected the sixth most points since the turn of the year.
What they said.
Prem’s ‘surprise’ package?
Oli: It’s quite hard to predict who could surprise this season, but I think that Wolves could definitely challenge for seventh place.
Rob: I was going to say Wolves or Palace, but will take a punt on Bournemouth instead. Eddie Howe has been continually evolving his side and if their top stars avoid injury they could push for a place in the top 8.
Simon: West Ham – despite a heavy loss to start the season against Liverpool they’ve got a good manager in Pellegrini and have invested well.
James: Palace. Their form under Hodgson since he took over has been excellent and they could challenge Wolves, Everton for 7th, I reckon….
Meanwhile, Oli nailed the three relegated sides – picking his beloved Huddersfield, along with Fulham and Cardiff.
What they said.
Your three relegation picks?
Rob: Southampton, Huddersfield, Cardiff
Simon: Cardiff, Bournemouth, Brighton
James: Huddersfield, Cardiff, Brighton
Oli: As much as it pains me to pick my beloved Terriers, I think this may be a season too far for us. Also think that Cardiff might go down, while Fulham could surprise a few by struggling because I don’t think they will develop a pragmatic style of play quick enough.
And could Rob get the Champions League winners right?
He picked Liverpool to beat Juventus in the final. Not quite right, but he could yet nail the winners.
What they said.
Champions League winners?
Oli: I think this is the year that PSG finally come of age, beating Juventus in the final.
James: Barcelona – and I think they’ll beat Man City in the final….
Rob: Liverpool will go one better than last season and will beat Juve in the final
Simon: Manchester City – The reason Pep was brought to City in the first place and I think their ready to go all the way.
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