We’re about to start 250-plus days of frenetic, teeth-grinding, pulsating days of Premier League football, so what do you say we have a little fun with what could happen over the next nine months.
[ MORE: Transfer records for all 20 PL clubs ]
1. Virgil Van Dijk will win the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
2. Arsenal will be better than most expect en route to winning a trophy this year.
3. Man City and Spurs will make the deepest runs in the UEFA Champions League (unless drawn against each other early in the knockouts).
4. Harry Kane will be near the top of the Premier League goal charts in August, bucking his early season trend.
5. He won’t win the Golden Boot, though, as Mohamed Salah earns that honor.
6. Christian Pulisic will register double-digit assists for Chelsea, but finish just shy of double-digit goals.
7. It will be the other way around for Newcastle record signing Joelinton.
8. Aston Villa’s Dean Smith will finish second in PL Manager of the Year voting, and only because not enough voters will select someone outside the Top Four.
9. Ederson will win the Premier League’s Golden Glove.
10. Norwich City will be the first team to sack its manager.
12. So will Nicolas Pepe.
13. But Aubameyang will finish tied with Harry Kane for second-most goals in the Premier League.
14. Raheem Sterling will win Premier League Players’ Player of the Year.
15. Dele Alli will start less than half of Spurs league matches.
16. A team will be relegated despite reaching the 40 point mark.
17. Watford will lead the league in yellow and red cards.
19. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will return from injury in the winter and become a key piece of some team’s season, whether at Chelsea or on a half-season loan.
20. Arsenal will lead the league in expected goals per game.
21. Everton will be in the Top Four come Nov. 2’s visit from Tottenham.
22. Liverpool will lose the UEFA Super Cup to Chelsea in penalty kicks, and penalty kicks v. Liverpool will become just about the most useless, annoying buzz topic in English football.
23. Man City won’t lose until Dec. 14 at Arsenal.
24. At least one $30 million-plus summer transfer will be sold or loaned in January.
25. Once healthy, Kieran Tierney will have a better first 22 games at Arsenal than fellow Scottish import fullback Andy Robertson had at Liverpool.
26. Sheffield United will be top half of the table at the first international break.
27. Marcus Rashford will score 10 goals and 10 assists for Manchester United, but it will be regarded as not enough due to unrealistic expectations.
28. Burnley will not sit above 10th at any point after Week 1.
29. Brighton’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh will rise from his terribly disappointing debut season in England to score at least one otherworldly goal.
30. Mike Ashley will start a new or renewed takeover rumor right before the January transfer window.
31. Marko Arnautovic‘s brother will link his brother with a return to the Premier League in January.
32. VAR will decide a critical, hairline goal in a Man City-Liverpool match.
33. Liverpool will go unbeaten at home.
34. Everton will win a Merseyside Derby.
36. Josh Sims‘ loan stint with the New York Red Bulls will make him an in-demand transfer target for a PL team in January.
37. Speaking of Southampton, Saints will be in the conversation for a Europa League place before the festive season (Ultimately, the season flames out).
38. At least one non-Top Six team will win a domestic cup.
39. Watford and Crystal Palace see the biggest drop in point total from last season to this.
40. Southampton and Everton make the biggest leap in point total from last season to this.
41. Alexis Sanchez will end up starting matches for Manchester United.
42. Olivier Giroud will match his Premier League best for goals in a season (16, twice).
43. Everton will qualify for Europe.
44. Andy Carroll will score against former clubs West Ham and Liverpool.
45. Ismaila Sarr will score 10 goals as Watford’s record transfer.
46. It will be a breakout season in England for Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, who will look more like the force he was in the Bundesliga.
47. Gabriel Jesus will return to double-digit goals for Man City.
48. West Ham’s Felipe Anderson will post the most assists of any player not on Liverpool or Man City.
49. Jonas Lossl will start 10 or more matches for Everton.
50. Man City will threepeat, and the title will be decided before the final week of the season.