The 2022-23 Premier League season is almost here and it is time to preview the 20 teams battling it out this season.
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Focusing on the European hopefuls, which teams are most likely to push the ‘big six’ to qualify for European competition?
Below we look at all of the key factors, including their odds to clinch a European spot, key new signings, what these teams are all about and much more.
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2022-23 Premier League preview: Focusing on the European hopefuls
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Odds to finish in top 6: +250
Odd to finish in top 4: +800
Key new signings: Sven Botman, Nick Pope, Matt Targett
The gaffer: We know Eddie Howe is a fantastic manager and he proved it by turning around Newcastle’s fortunes very quickly last season. After arriving in November following the takeover of the club, Howe was given plenty of money to spend in January and they spent it wisely. Newcastle added possession and control to their power and Kieran Trippier, Matt Targett and Bruno Guimares were superb in not only pushing the Magpies away from the relegation scrap but also towards a top 10 finish. Howe’s side have momentum heading into this season as they won six of their final eight games. In fact, they won 12 of their final 18 games of the season after winning just one of their first 20. What a turnaround and with Howe having a full preseason to bed in his tactics, possession-based style and adding a few key defensive players, that will make Newcastle an even tougher proposition to beat.
Why you should watch them if your team isn’t playing: They have the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimares and Miguel Almiron who can do incredible things in attack to win a game on their own. It may be a little too early for them to challenge for European qualification (the bookies don’t think so, though…) but if they can start the season like they finished last season, the positive vibes will be flowing through their fanbase and Howe will get plenty of money to spend at the end of the summer window and then again in January.
Youngster to watch: Elliot Anderson, 19, has played plenty of minutes in preseason and the midfielder has really kicked on after his successful loan at Bristol Rovers last season. Anderson is a Scotland U21 international and Eddie Howe has big plans for him this season.
Odds to finish in top 6: +750
Odd to finish in top 4: +2500
Key new signings: Deniz Undav, Julio Enciso
The gaffer: Graham Potter is one of the best coaches in the Premier League and Brighton are a joy to watch with their fluid movement and lovely possession-based style. He has worked wonders on a shoestring budget and their ninth place finish last season was a huge achievement and their best-ever in the top flight. Potter has lost Dan Ashworth, Brighton’s technical director, to Newcastle and that is a huge blow but they are such a well-run club that things should go smoothly once again. They sold Yves Bissouma to Tottenham and look likely to lose Marc Cucurella, so replacing two of their star players will be key later in the transfer window this summer. The only criticism of Potter and Brighton? They have yet to find that clinical edge in the final third to finish a larger percentage of the wonderful chances they create week in, week out.
Why you should watch them if your team isn’t playing: If you love the beautiful game being played in a beautiful way, watch Brighton. It really is that simple. They caress the ball around the pitch with players moving all over the place and when they’re in full flow it’s a joy to watch. Brighton should be everyone’s favorite second team to watch.
Youngster to watch: Moises Caciedo had a really strong finish to last season and Brighton’s fans love the 20-year-old Ecuadorian. Caciedo will replace Bissouma. Also, Tariq Lamptey is back fit and that is a massive boost for Brighton after he missed a huge chunk of last season.
Odds to finish in top 6: +500
Odd to finish in top 4: +1600
Key new signings: None
The gaffer: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has a very impressive resume and what he’s achieved with the Foxes over the last three seasons has been nothing short of remarkable. Two fifth-place finishes, and FA Cup trophy, a run to the Europa Conference League semifinals and a Community Shield to go along with three-straight top eight finishes. Not bad? But this feels like a huge few months for Rodgers and Leicester, as his project is in real danger of running out of steam. With legendary goalkeeper and captain Kasper Schmeichel set to leave, plus Youri Tielemans, James Maddison and Wesley Fofana all linked with moves away, this squad is set for a huge overhaul. Given that Rodgers hasn’t signed a single new player this summer, some will worry about Leicester this season but they still have enough quality to easily finish in the top 10. Rodgers is trying to prepare for the time when Jamie Vardy finally hangs his boots up as Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho may well take over this season. The one thing Rodgers will be hoping for this season above all else? No injuries. That wrecked Leicester last season.
Why you should watch them if your team isn’t playing: Because they always seem to cause an upset when the odds are stacked against them. Look at the win against Liverpool last season. With injuries mounting up, they stunned Jurgen Klopp’s side and when Leicester are at their very best they combine their quality on the ball with incredible tenacity and will to win.
Youngster to watch: They don’t have too many youngsters in and around the first team squad but this feels like the season that Patson Daka will truly become a starter. He showed his brilliant pace and finishing ability in stages last season and now he’s settled in, the 23-year-old Zambian striker is set for a breakout campaign.
West Ham United
Odds to finish in top 6: +400
Odd to finish in top 4: +1400
Key new signings: Gianluca Scamacca, Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola
The gaffer: What a renaissance David Moyes is enjoying. The Scotsman is rolling back the years and has led West Ham to sixth and seventh place finishes in each of the last two seasons, with a small squad also impressing in Europe as they reached the Europa League semifinals last season as they lost narrowly to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt. Moyes is a pragmatic coach but that doesn’t mean his team aren’t exciting to watch. West Ham can switch between a back three and four whenever they want and they keep things simple: get the ball forward early and wide often and let their key players (Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and now Scamacca) do the damage.
Why you should watch them if your team isn’t playing: They are just fun to watch and always seem to be involved in a handful of crazy 3-2 games. Antonio and Bowen scare the life out of defenders and Declan Rice is the heartbeat of this side. West Ham aren’t the most attractive team to watch but they are one of the most effective and they rarely lose heavily.
Youngster to watch: Flynn Downes, 23, is one to watch as he joined from Swansea this summer and is a very talented ball-playing central midfielder. West Ham aren’t overflowing with young talent but Downes should work into the midfield rotation nicely. Plus, his a lifelong West Ham fan.
Premier League season preview: Focusing on the European hopefuls originally appeared on NBCSports.com