Journalists’ Premier League predictions

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GambleGeek asked 23 leading football writers for their Premier League 2016/17 predictions.

In fact, we asked more than that, but 23 replied – so thanks very much to them.

Related: GambleGeek’s Premier League 2016/17 betting preview

Because we know football writers are very busy, particularly at this time of year, we posed four quick questions:

  • Who will win the title?
  • Who will be the surprise package?
  • Who will struggle?
  • Who will be the top scorer in the Premier League?

Here’s the responses, in no particular order other than how quickly they replied. The profile pics are taken from their Twitter biogs, so they only have themselves to blame for that.


Football writers’ Premier League predictions 2016/17

Mark Ogden IndependentMark Ogden, The Independent

Title winner: Man Utd

Surprise package: Middlesbrough

Most likely to struggle: Hull

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Paul Hirst of The TimesPaul Hirst, The Times

Title winner: Manchester United

Surprise package: West Ham United

Most likely to struggle: Hull City

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Jamie Jackson GuardianJamie Jackson, The Guardian

Title winner: Man Utd

Surprise package: Leicester City (challenging again)

Most likely to struggle: Burnley

Top scorer: Aguero

Rory Smith, The TImesRory Smith, The Times

Title winner After Leicester’s insurrection last season, expect the empires to strike back. Chelsea will be helped by an easier schedule, free of the Champions League, but remain a short way behind both Manchester clubs. As things stand, City seem slightly better place than United
Surprise package There will be no successor to Leicester in a campaign dominated by the traditional elite. The biggest surprise within that, then, may well be Tottenham proving that last season was the start, not the end, of something
Most likely to struggle The relegation battle should be particularly hard-fought – fans of Burnley, Hull, Watford, Swansea, Bournemouth and Sunderland (obviously) will all be nervous – but it’s a side I don’t think will go down who I suspect might have the most disappointing campaign: this may be the year Southampton’s remarkable progress starts to slow and they sink back into mid-table
Top scorer Harry Kane isn’t going anywhere, so should be at or near the top of the scoring charts, but if he can manage a full season in a Pep Guardiola team, it’s hard to see beyond Sergio Aguero

Ian Murtagh, Daily Star

Title winner: Arsenal

Surprise package: Everton

Top scorer: Harry Kane

Most likely to struggle: Watford

Chris McKenna Daily StarChris McKenna, Daily Star

Title winner: Manchester United

Surprise package: Sunderland

Most likely to struggle: Hull

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Pete Oliver WardlesPete Oliver, WWA Sport

Title winner: Manchester United

Surprise package: Middlesbrough

Most likely to struggle: Hull City

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Richard Jolly ESPNRichard Jolly, The National, ESPN, The Guardian

Title winner: Manchester City

Surprise package: No one, sadly, unless you count Chelsea going from 10th to top four as a surprise

Most likely to struggle: Hull. Though I’m starting to fear for Swansea

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

David Anderson MirrorDavid Anderson, Daily Mirror

Title winner: Manchester City. Pep will get the best out of them this season
Surprise package: Bournemouth to finish in the top 10
Most likely to struggle: Hull City. They are a complete mess
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero – if he stays fit

Mike McGrath, Sun on SundayMike McGrath, The Sun on Sunday

Title winner: Tottenham. They have a settled side and didn’t do anything wrong last season until the final couple of weeks. Leicester won it instead of Spurs losing it. Other teams will take time to adapt but Spurs won’t
Surprise package: Swansea have bought well up front and finished last season well
Most likely to struggle: Hull are in disarray. They need the takeover to be completed and get a manager in to sort out their mess
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero, providing he stays fit

Ian Ladyman Daily MailIan Ladyman, Daily Mail

Title winner: Manchester City
Surprise package: Bournemouth
Most likely to struggle: Hull
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

James Robson MENJames Robson, Manchester Evening News

Title winner: Man City

Surprise package: Everton

Most likely to struggle: Burnley

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Emlyn Begley BBCEmlyn Begley, BBC Sport Online

Title winner: Manchester City.

Surprise package: This is a tough one. There is so much strength in the Premier League that a lot of teams couldn’t really count as surprise packages – West Ham, Everton or Southampton say. Let’s go for Crystal Palace.

Most likely to struggle: Will anybody not say Hull City for this one?

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero.

Arindam Rej ESPNArindam Rej, ESPN

Title winner: Manchester United
Surprise package: Middlesbrough
Most likely to struggle: Hull City
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Tom Rostance BBC SPortTom Rostance, BBC Sport Online

Title winner: Manchester City

Surprise package: Middlesbrough

Most likely to struggle: Hull

Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Craig Hope Daily MailCraig Hope, Daily Mail

Title winner: Spurs

Surprise package: West Ham

Most likely to struggle: Hull City

Top scorer: Harry Kane

Dom King Daily MailDominic King, Daily Mail

Title winner: I’m going with Arsenal. I know they missed a glorious opportunity last season but preparations, in the main, for the campaign have been smooth; Granit Xhaka looks a quality addition and a couple of more signings before the window closes will put them right in contention

Surprise package: Might seem a strange selection but I’m picking Leicester City. How can the champions surprise everyone? Well, plenty are expecting them to struggle but I think they will have another good season – better than many will expect

Most likely to struggle: Sorry to say but it’s got to be Hull City. Preparations have been dreadful, a fine manager has been allowed to walk out the door and the lack of new signings is alarming. I don’t see how they can stay up

Top scorer: If Sergio Aguero stays clear of injury, he wins this race by daylight. He’s the best striker in the Premier League and you would imagine a Pep Guardiola team will create plenty of chances for him

Louise Taylor GuardianLouise Taylor, The Guardian

Title winner: Tottenham Hotspur
Surprise package: Middlesbrough
Most likely to struggle: Hull City
Top Scorer: Harry Kane

Shamoon Hafez BBC SportShamoon Hafez, BBC Sport Online

Title winner: Manchester United

Surprise package: Middlesbrough

Most likely to struggle: West Brom

Top scorer: Ahmed Musa

TIm Abraham journalistTimothy Abraham, freelance

Title winner: Chelsea – Team spirit is suddenly en vogue and Antonio Conte will get the best out of a squad that so drastically under-performed last season

Surprise package: Stoke – Mark Hughes has been quietly building something in the Potteries and it could come to fruition this season

Most likely to struggle: Hull City and Everton – Will struggle in different ways but both desperately need to make some signings

Top scorer: Anthony Martial – Did not get much of a chance during Euro 2016 but could set the Premier League on fire

George Caulkin TimesGeorge Caulkin, The Times

Title winner: Manchester City
Surprise package: Middlesbrough
Most likely to struggle: Hull City
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Martin Blackburn The SunMartin Blackburn, The Sun

Title winner: Man City
Surprise package: Everton
Most likely to struggle: Hull
Top scorer: Sergio Aguero

Matt Law Daily TElegraphMatt Law, Daily Telegraph

Title winner: Chelsea
Surprise package: Middlesbrough
Most likely to struggle: Hull
Top scorer: Diego Costa
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