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2023-24 Premier League Season: bold predictions

The more capsaicin, the better.

Daily Life In India Photo by Anuwar Hazarika/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The bold predictions post is one of my favorite posts of the preseason. When else do you have carte blanche to make crazy calls about the upcoming season without repercussions? Last year, I called for habanero-level or better takes on the Scoville scale. This year, we can do better. If it isn’t ghost pepper spicy, I don’t want it.

Before we get into the fire takes from this year, a look back at some of the good ones from last season.

  • Aaron: Chelsea will miss out on Europe. Thomas Tuchel will be sacked. Nailed that one.
  • Arsenal will have three players score 15+ goals this season. I was one Bukayo Saka goal away.
  • Aidan: Brendan Rodgers will be sacked in October, with Leicester in the bottom half of the Premier League. Got the timing wrong, but the sacking and the table position right!
  • Michael: Antonio Conte blames ownership for newcomers not performing. I’m sure he said something like that at some point. Antonio Conte was a hilarious dumpster fire.
  • Michael: Xhaka goes the league season without a red card. Oh Granit, how I miss thee.
  • Tony: The Gunners attack will finally click as they score more than 75 goals in the PL for the first time in over five seasons. Yessir. You love to be right about positive Arsenal predictions.

And with that, let’s get to the outlandish prognostications. As always, drop your spiciest predictions in the comments.


Aaron

  • Arsenal will have six (6) players with double-digit Premier League goals: Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz, and Leandro Trossard. The first four hit double digits last season. Havertz scored 7 and 8 the past two seasons on a dysfunctional Chelsea squad. Trossard scored 8 last season. Does that even qualify as a bold prediction?
  • The Gunners will concede the fewest goals in the Premier League. Last season, Mikel Arteta’s squad gave up 43 goals, 10 more than Manchester City and Newcastle. But the core three defenders — Ben White, William Saliba, and Gabriel Magalhaes — were on a slightly better pace. Add Declan Rice to the mix, both his personal defensive ability / field coverage and the load he’ll take off Thomas Partey which will help keep the Ghanaian healthier, and Arsenal could take a leap forward without the ball.
  • Marco Silva is the first manager sacked. I feel as if Fulham overperformed, which has raised expectations for this season. They spent all summer fending off Saudi approaches for their key players. I just don’t like the vibes coming out of Craven Cottage, and the club have been trigger happy on firing managers in the past. I wanted to say David Moyes, but I think his Conference League win last season buys him some time. But West Ham are not good. They’re going to struggle this season. We saw how European competition took a toll on their league results last year. They’re in the Europa League this season.
  • Eddie Howe does not survive the season at Newcastle. I am not a believer in that squad. They conceded nearly nine fewer goals than expected last season. The new emphasis on timewasting will hurt them. They’re much closer to being a 5th-8th side than a top two side, and I don’t think their ownership group will tolerate anything more than a few matches worth of wobbling.

Aidan

  • One of last season’s regulars is going to start fewer than 10 Premier League matches

Arsenal have bought a replacement for Thomas Partey in Declan Rice, but I think Partey will start a decent amount of games, especially at the beginning of the season. At the back, though, Jurrien Timber looks like a player who cannot be dropped, because his excellent technical ability, physicality, and defensive prowess. Timber also has played pretty exclusively as a right back and left back in pre-season. Notably, Alex Zinchenko hasn’t played any pre-season minutes. But as Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney found out last season, when William Saliba came into the side and Ben White moved to right back, and Zinchenko joined, if you’re out at the beginning of the season, it’s very hard to get back in.


Tony

  • Zinchenko will be overtaken by Timber at left back by mid-season. Between Zinchenko’s persistent injuries and Timber’s quality, it will only be a matter of time before his spot is usurped but the Dutchman.
  • Mikel Arteta will be the first manager suspended for yellow card accumulation (ok, so maybe that’s not all that bold). The new rule was on display on Sunday, and it seems as though Arteta is already a target for the PGMOL’s ref protection measures.
  • Arsenal win two pieces of silverware (not counting the Community Shield). I think this side is as complete a side as we have seen in an over a decade, and they will celebrate two trophies by season’s end.
  • Kai Havertz will start as striker more than Gabriel Jesus this season. A second surgery, even if minor, is a massive setback both physically and mentally for the Brazilian. He was just rediscovering the form he had early last season before needing to have his knee scoped. That has to be incredibly tough to overcome. I also think Havertz will learn to love soccer again at the Emirates after suffering through life in the blue side of London last season.
  • There will be at least one match that surpasses two hours with the new added time rule. It’s bound to happen, and it’s going to be a mess.

Michael

  • Kai Havertz leads Arsenal in Premier League goals + assists.
  • Oleksandr Zinchenko starts less than 15 games in the Premier League.
  • Ben White continues to be ignored (and unbothered by that fact) by England while being a stalwart for Arsenal.
  • Luton Town give Derby County a run for their money on the worst Premiership side ever with the lowest point total — 11 points.

What do you think of our spicy takes? Leave yours in the comments. The spicier, the better.