Date published: Friday 11th August 2017 10:40
BT Sport pundit Michael Owen has had his say on the upcoming season, and has even offered some predictions. What a guy.
He selected his favourites for the title, Champions League spots, relegation and the team most likely to be a surprise package.
“Chelsea are the team to beat,” Owen said on BT Sports’ official site.
“They won it comfortably last season and everyone else has improved, but Antonio Conte has signed one or two new players, so I think they’re the team everyone’s gunning for.”
Who is the former Liverpool and Manchester United man picking for the top four? Well, he hasn’t disappointed either of his former clubs.
“Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United. It’s more competitive than ever nowadays.
“Two of the big boys, you could say three including Everton, are not going to make it – and it could be they’ve added these big players and still not made it.
“Spurs had an unbelievable season, and had a good home record, but they have to play at Wembley this year, which I think might be a problem.
“Plus they’ve lost a world-class right-back and haven’t really added to their squad yet. So I think there’s a couple of negatives from Spurs’ point of view, even though I really rate the players and the manager. We’re talking fine margins here.
“Arsenal are Arsenal: they always come around fourth or fifth every season, or they have for the last decade or so, and I think they’ll probably do the same again.
“My main concern about Arsenal is they’ll have one or two bad results and suddenly the “Wenger Out” brigade will come back and make a sluggish atmosphere around the club, which will rub off on the players.”
Who will suffer the heartache of relegation?
“I think Newcastle will probably have enough, but Huddersfield, Brighton and Watford might struggle.
“Watford dropped quite a lot at the back end of last season; I think if the season had gone on for another 10 games, they would have gone down.
“I’m just not sure about the whole dynamic of that club – the way they hire and fire managers – even though they have a really good manager in Marco Silva.”
Owen also picked his ‘surprise package’ for the upcoming season: “West Ham have signalled their intent. They’ve signed some good players, but, more importantly, they’ve had a season now to adapt to their new stadium, and I do think that makes a difference.
“So I think the Hammers, comfortable in their new surroundings and with a few new signings, will have a good season.”