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Premier League season preview: ‘Big Six’ floors and ceilings

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I can’t speak for Joe Prince-Wright or Andy Edwards, but predicting the Premier League table for 2022-23 has been a headache and a half.

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While the identity of the top two and bottom two was relatively straightforward, if perhaps out of order, it was very difficult to choose who made it into the top four and who were legitimate candidates for last relegation.

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[ MORE: Premier League Week 1 predictions ]

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The top four are the subject of this post because let’s face it, the Big Six are getting more attention than most other clubs and there is a serious question as to whether their needs in the transfer window have been properly addressed so far (elections with an open window is also quite dangerous).

And while there are reasons to love West Ham and Aston Villa, as well as other clubs’ free match lists such as Newcastle United, there seems to be a gap in high-profile talent from this group to the Big Six. above them.

So what are the minimum and maximum values ​​for the Big Six this season, unless of course there has been a historic injury streak for either club?

Read more.


Ceiling: Premier League record holders For all the reasons you read: the deepest attack in Premier League history added a Bundesliga and Champions League proven elite finisher in Erling Haaland and their defense was as strong as most this century.

Floor: third place – If City are behind Liverpool or another rival at the end of the season and still in the Champions League, you can see how Pep Guardiola prioritizes the pursuit of European competition. And if the city is behind as well as from UCL, can year after year play Guardiola’s system when the team dries up? Probably not, and almost certainly not in such a way that the team falls out of the top four.


Ceiling: Premier League Champions – Darwin Nunez, a certified unit, joined a team that had all the key elements properly vetted with Premier League experience? It’s doable.

Floor: Fourth place – Even a faltering Liverpool side that focuses on European competition is too good and too deep to keep up with the other four combatants. However, the gap between Man City and Liverpool compared to the rest of the pitch in terms of xG and xA were huge last season. Good luck to all.

Tottenham Hotspur

Ceiling: Premier League Champions – Antonio Conte has burned out rather than faded at every stop, but he also leaves trophies behind when he leaves the training ground. The Spurs have half a year in his system and better depth than ever this century. Conte knows how to match wits with the big boys, and winning these matches within the Big Six is ​​essential to any stunning triumph.

Floor: Fifth place – It’s hard to imagine Spurs going downright bad, but a scenario in which four rivals go through career seasons and Spurs get bogged down in cup competition is at least imaginable.


Ceiling: Premier League Champions – Chelsea won the European Cup under Thomas Tuchel and the Blues could feel as if they were freed from a terrible year when their owner was forced to sell the club. A midfield as strong as any in the league will allow defenders to find chemistry and attackers to find plenty of golden moments.

Floor: Sixth place – There’s so much new at Stamford Bridge, from a change in ownership to the departure of Romelu Lukaku and major defensive changes. Cesar Azpilicueta staying nearby will dampen some shocks, but early-season hesitation could lead to managerial upheavals if Thomas Tuchel continues to demand that his square pegs punch round holes in the top three. But from the top six? Not a chance.


Ceiling: Third place – The Gunners are intimately familiar with Mikel Arteta’s system, and their new toys Oleks Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus know the coach all too well from their time together at Man City. Their young players are no longer super green, and the defense has the strength to stand firmly behind under pressure or when looking to equalize or win. It is probably too early to expect enough points from Arsenal in head-to-head matches against Liverpool. as well as Manchester City, but third place is possible from a ready and shooting Jesus.

Floor: Seventh place – If the red card troubles are a sign of something more serious, and Arteta is getting ahead of herself on her treatment of children and veterans, there’s ample reason to believe they could fall behind West Ham or Aston Villa in addition to their ” Big Six.” rivals.

Manchester United

Ceiling: Fourth place – Erik ten Hag will design a system that can win most games, but it will take heroic deeds to fit into his mold from nearly every position to keep the Red Devils ahead of City, Liverpool and others. Remember that Pep Guardiola also wanted Fred, and the world wanted Donnie van de Beek and Jadon Sancho. The resurgence of Marcus Rashford, combined with the instant chemistry between Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, could have the rest of the league trying to figure this new United out.

Floor: Eighth place – Our Andy Edwards loves to point out how far United still has to go, and Erik ten Hag is already struggling with the borderline psychopathy that is Cristiano Ronaldo, a megastar who can keep crowds from coming together, but who also knows what the fans want. hear – in hot mode. The club still needs to reach out to the center of the park, and what if Jadon Sancho is simply not the Premier League player he was in the Bundesliga and Champions League? It seems likely that United have already bottomed out, but perhaps his adaptation to the Ten Hag system could mean he hasn’t hit bottom of the table yet. With Aston Villa, West Ham and even Newcastle leading the way in building their coaching system, Old Trafford could still have eighth place.

Follow @NicholasMendola


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