Author Topic: 2017-18 EPL Season  (Read 4668 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

2017-18 EPL Season
« on: August 08, 2017, 10:09:01 AM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
No one has started the thread, so I'll start it early.

Season kicks off Friday with Arsenal v Leicester.

While we wait, we can discuss things about the EPL here. Any predictions? Who's your top 4? Who do you think will be relegated? Sleeper mid table squads that can make the top 4? Do you think there's a small club out there that can pull a Leicester, or who's close? Overrated/Underrated buys so far? Stories you're looking forward to see?

The season is upon us. Let's do this.

Oh, and #COYG!
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red


Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 10:15:51 AM »

Offline Somebody

  • Bill Walton
  • *
  • Posts: 1215
  • Tommy Points: 132
  • Running in the 00s I WANNA BE THE NIGHT
My prediction for the top 4 is:
1. Manchester United 8) (gotta home)
2. Arsenal
3. Manchester City
4. Tottenham Hotspur
I don't think we'll see any more Leicester teams, it'll be the big 6 and Everton occupying the top 7 spots. For overrated buys I think City's Mendy and Chelsea's Bakayoko are a tad bit overhyped, they would need time to adjust and may not be able to justify that 50 plus million price tag. For underrated buys, Arsenal's Lacazette and United's Lindelof come to mind. I'm only thinking about the big clubs so if there are any small club fans sorry (although I love the Blackburn Rovers as well lol :laugh:).
On the other hand, wow it's my 900th post! Thanks to everyone for making me feel at home here, it's a wonderful community and I hope I can continue chatting with you for a long time.
Also, we'll spank Real's ass well tonight.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 10:57:49 AM by Somebody »

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 11:24:38 AM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
First off, TP


On the other hand, wow it's my 900th post! Thanks to everyone for making me feel at home here, it's a wonderful community and I hope I can continue chatting with you for a long time.

Predictions (as of today of course, the transfer window is still open)

1. Man City: Just too good, and if that defence holds up with the buys that they did, I see no reason for them losing. Superb attacking, and they added Bernardo Silva. This is their season to lose.

2. Man United: I really don't think a Lindelof - Smalling -Blind back three is going to do well, but they have quite possibly the best cover in a Matic - Pogba - Pereira front. That is an insane midfield as far as defence, size, quality and skill. Adding Lukaku to the mix makes them and even scarier threat. Might miss the title by 2-3 points.

3. Chelsea - The injuries to Bakayoko and Hazard might knock a few points off them at the start of the season, and that could be vital. I really don't trust Azpelicueta and David Luis as CB's, not anymore. But once they start becoming fit, they'll roll out again as they did last year.

4.  Arsenal - Yep, I'm putting us here. Kolasinac seems like a great bargain to get for FREE. What a tank. Lacazette will score. No Champions League schedule, which means we can sit the key guys while playing the rest of the squad for Europa. This could be the first full season we for a back three, which has worked well at the tail end of last year. Easy to see us in 4th place, our usual spot.

Can't see enough from Liverpool to make it past the 4th place. They added Mohamed Salah and Solanke, but their defence is still shady as hell, and Klopp says he'll roll with it. Tottenham, thank God, are being weird. Have not brought in anyone, and sold one of, if not the best Right Back in the league. New stadium, Champions League, and the rest of the top teams improve, it's easy to see them fall out of the top 4.

I know Everton is the one being poised as the next mid table team to threaten the top squads, but I gotta go with West Ham. Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez are GREAT buys IMO, and will help them in the goal scoring problems. They got Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart on a free and on loan respectively, great veteran players who can organize the team.

Underrated buys for me are.

Nemanja Matic - Man United:
- Excellent buy, just excellent. Will be a great partner for Paul Pogba.

Sead Kolasinac - Arsenal:
- I don't think we can even call him a buy, as he cam in on a free, but he's already proving his worth. Beastly on the pitch.

Jermain Defoe - Bournemouth:
- Defoe won't be enough to give Bournemouth a boost to the top 4, but they could easily contend for a Europa spot if he starts scoring goals for this team that plays organized and beautiful football.

Chicharito - West Ham:
- I really believe this. Dude is a scorer, he's going to score, and for 16 million, that's is a bargain for West Ham,

Pascal Gross - Brighton;
- Brighton might come back to the Championship after this year, but they got a hell of a player in Pascal Gross. I've read and heard a lot about him in many forms of media, and he's actually one of the best IN ALL OF EUROPE in creating chances.

Overrated buys;

I just got one, Alvaro Morata.

I don't see him as a 75 million player. He didn't score in bunches in Juventus, and had a good stint in Real Madrid, but not close to being the player for his price tag. I just think he's still an unproven commodity, but he costs like a world class player.

I'm excited!
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red


Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 03:12:18 PM »

Online Who

  • James Naismith
  • *********************************
  • Posts: 36696
  • Tommy Points: 1844
A couple of fun categories.

Best forwards
Best center midfield
Best center defenders
Best GK

Give a top 3 selection or rank the top 6 clubs

Best Forwards

(1) Liverpool - Firmino, Salah, Sane
(2) Man City - Gabriel Jesus, Aguero, Sane (or Sterling)
(3 tie) Arsenal - Alexis Sanchez, Lacazette, Ozil
(3 tie) Chelsea - Hazard, Morata, Pedro
(5) Tottenham - Kane, Son, Alli
(6) Man United - Lukaku, Martial, Mata

I love Liverpool's frontline. It is absolutely nasty. So much pace. Terrific defensive group pressuring defenders into mistakes. I loved Salah at Roma. I doubted him at Chelsea but Salah has been become much better since then. Much improved when he gets used higher up the pitch and closer to the penalty box than as an orthodox winger. I think he is a 65-75 million player. Absolute bargain for Liverpool. Got him for half price. I am a big fan of Sturridge too even though he is not in my main 3 forwards for Liverpool. Gives them the option of playing with a true #9 who can be a point of reference for them when they need one.

Diego Costa is a huge loss for Chelsea. Best #9 in England. Better than Aguero. I don't think Morata or Batshuayi will be able to replace him. Good players in their own right but Costa was special. To be that good on the ball and in the build play, to create his own chances, to give a physical presence and stretch the pitch. All-round menace.

Gabriel Jesus looked awesome in the short stretch of games he played last season before getting hurt. City needed a 2nd goal-scoring threat next to Aguero and Jesus looks the man for the job. Moves City to top tier attacking side.

Best center midfield

(1) Man Utd - Matic, Herrera, Pogba
(2) Tottenham - Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen
(3) Liverpool - Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana

I love the balance of a three man midfield for Man Utd. With Matic as the holder and Herrera and Pogba as roamers (box to box CMs) ahead of him. Great balance defensively, physicality, passing wise, creativity and some goals.

I hope to see United move to a diamond and put Mhkitaryan at the top of the diamond. Then play Martial or Rashford alongside Lukaku. That would be a phenomenal midfield 4. I do not understand why Mourinho did not do so more last year.

Dembele has been one of the finest CMs in the league over the last 2-3 years. Eriksen is an absolute diamond as an attacking mid. One of my favourite players to watch. So much class on the ball, passing and creativity. Big goal-scorer too. Plus there is Dele Alli. Wanyama is strong defensively but needs to do more on the ball.

I dropped Man City because I do not like their defensive balance. Lots of quality attacking mids (De Bruyne, D.Silva, B.Silva) but dodgy defensive mids (Fernandinho is really a box-to-box midfielder) and center mids (Yaya is old, Gundogan is class but injured most of the time).

I dropped Chelsea because I think CM is a weak part of their team. Kante is a top defensive midfielder. Fabregas is good attacking but no longer a top player because he is not mobile enough without the ball. Bakayoko is useful but unexceptional. A downgrade from Matic.

That leaves Arsenal and Liverpool.

I am a huge Santi Cazorla fan. Best CM in the PL since Modric left in my opinion. But his injury situation and Arsenal's lack of viable replacement has soured me a bit on their midfield. Big fan of Aaron Ramsey. One of the finest box-to-box midfielders in Europe. Great goal-scorer and all-rounder. I am fond of Xhaka as well. Lovely range of passing from base of midfield. Ozil is a through ball artist as attacking mid. I do not like the balance of the 3 though. Arsenal switched to that 3-4-2-1 to try and keep them on the pitch together. That looks to be working because they looked dodgy as a three man 4-2-3-1 CM. Cazorla is the one that makes that team tick. That gives balance to everything. Arsenal miss him desperately.

Liverpool did much better in midfield than I expected last year. Coutinho is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. Brilliant ball-control, dribbling and creative passing. Henderson did a much better job than I had expected at the base of the midfield and Klopp still found a way to give him some freedom to move forward. Largely thanks to Wijnaldum who gave the team great balance. Lallana was a revelation as a CM last year too. Moved further back the pitch to great effect. Best English player in PL last season? Probably.

(4) Man City - Yaya, De Bruyne, D.Silva or B.Silva
(5) Arsenal - Xhaka, Ramsey, Elneny (and injured Cazorla)
(6) Chelsea - Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas

Best central defenders

(1) Tottenham - Vertonghen, Alderweirld, Dier - best backline in PL
(2) Chelsea - David Luiz, Gahill, Azpilicueta

I think the top two have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Only two top defensive teams in the league.

Chelsea had a great backup defensive 3 too with Zouma, Christensen and Rudiger. Annoyed and irritated at Zouma being put out on loan. Now it sounds like they are buying another DC to replace Zouma. Why? Zouma was awesome. I hope we get to see Christensen at least - he sounds like one heck of a talent.

(3) Man City - Kompany, Stones, Otamendi 
(4) Man Utd - Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof (or P.Jones, Rojo)
(5) Arsenal - Koscielny, Holding, Mustafi (or Monreal)
(6) Liverpool - Matip, Lovren, Klavan

I wonder what happens to Sahko at Liverpool. Does he get another chance? He could be a major asset for Liverpool if Klopp can bring him back into the fold. Liverpool too reliant on Matip and are lightweight elsewhere at CB.

Arsenal and Man Utd have good depth and options at CB. I was surprised how good Man City were I sat down and remembered about Otamendi and Stones. All you hear about is Kompany with that team. I think those two (Stones, Otamendi) do not get a fair shake. Man City more talented CBs than Man Utd. United just give their CBs more protection in midfield. City more exposed. The talent is there though. At the back. It is the midfield that isn't working right.

Best GK

(1) Man Utd - De Gea - best GK in the world for me. Ahead of Neuer. Has everything.
(2) Tottenham - Lloris - sweeper keeper extraordinaire
(3) Chelsea - Courtois - top defensive keeper

(4) Arsenal - Cech - no longer world class. Still very good though.
(5) Man City - Ederson - needs to prove himself. I am looking forward to seeing more of Ederson. Heard so much about his long goal kicks. I am excited to see that.
(6) Liverpool - Mingolet, Karius - no established #1. Either one not up to par with other teams. I do really like Karius as a prospect though (defensive keeper like Courtois).

Best full backs / wing backs

(1) Man City - Mendy, Danilo (or K.Walker)
(2) Arsenal - Bellerin, Kolasinac
(3) Tottenham - Trippier, Rose
(4) Chelsea - Alonso, Moses
(5) Man Utd - Valencia, Shaw
(6) Liverpool - Clyne, Milner

Man City tower over the rest. Mendy is the only world class full back / wing back in the premier league. One of the top 3 LBs in the world alongside Marcelo and Alex Sandro. I rate Danilo over Kyle Walker - better skills on the ball. Both are highly talented. Incredible talent in their 3 full backs. Give City a much improved balance between attack and defense this season.

Tough choices between the rest of them. I saw Tottenham and Arsenal as close for the next two slots. Then Chelsea vs United. With Liverpool at the bottom of the table. I gave Arsenal the nod over Tottenham because I love Bellerin and I am buying on Kolasinac. Trippier and Rose are very good well-rounded full backs for Tottenham though. Liverpool and United both have talented right backs but question marks at LB.

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 03:19:27 PM »

Offline Rondo2287

  • Frank Ramsey
  • ************
  • Posts: 12964
  • Tommy Points: 814
Tottenham finished 2nd two years in a row.  Hoping they come out and win the league this year.  The continued maturation of Eriksen, Alli, Kane could do it. 

They were hit by the injury bug last year losing Lamela, Kane, Rose, Lloris, Alderwereild, Dembele for big chunks of the season.  Really amazing they finished second all things considered.

If they are able to stay healthy this year I think they have the best starting 11 in the league. 
CB Draft LA Lakers: Lamarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony,Jrue Holiday, Wes Matthews  6.11, 7.16, 8.14, 8.15, 9.16, 11.5, 11.16

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 03:23:33 PM »

Offline Rondo2287

  • Frank Ramsey
  • ************
  • Posts: 12964
  • Tommy Points: 814
Yoki,
I don't know how you can have spurs outside of top 4.  Shame on you
CB Draft LA Lakers: Lamarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony,Jrue Holiday, Wes Matthews  6.11, 7.16, 8.14, 8.15, 9.16, 11.5, 11.16

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 05:30:42 PM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
Yoki,
I don't know how you can have spurs outside of top 4.  Shame on you

Sorry, R2287, but I promise you this isn't just an Arsenal fan being bitter.

Every body from the top 5 teams, including Everton, has made improvements in the transfer window, you guys not only have not brought anyone in, but sold one of your best players, on a top 4 team no less.

I understand you guys still have Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, but will that be enough vs all the top squads who had major improvements? Your Kyle Walker replacement in Keiran Trippier is hurt too.

You guys are also playing in Wembley, taking away the White Hart Lane advantage. And with no new names being brought in, you're going to have the same guys competing for the PL and the Champions League, that could burn out your best players.

As of right now, I don't see it. The window is still open, plenty of time to get a RB replacement, although I have no idea who will that be or where it will come from, but as it stands, I don't see you guys making the top 4.
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red


Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 05:32:53 PM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
A couple of fun categories.

Best forwards
Best center midfield
Best center defenders
Best GK

Give a top 3 selection or rank the top 6 clubs

Best Forwards

(1) Liverpool - Firmino, Salah, Sane


That's a ridiculously fast front line. Defenders are going to be in a world of trouble on those guys.
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red


Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 05:42:47 PM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
Glad that Who is online.

I value your football insights, and what you wrote is a fantastic season preview to read. TP.

I want to ask you, and to everyone else too for that matter, which mid-table team do you think could make the most noise this year? Will there be one?
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red


Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 06:45:17 PM »

Online Who

  • James Naismith
  • *********************************
  • Posts: 36696
  • Tommy Points: 1844
Glad that Who is online.

I value your football insights, and what you wrote is a fantastic season preview to read. TP.

I want to ask you, and to everyone else too for that matter, which mid-table team do you think could make the most noise this year? Will there be one?

I don't see anyone threatening the top 6 and Everton. All those clubs look far too talented to be caught by the rest of the pack.

I liked what Leicester did getting Iheanacho, Iborra and Harry Maguire. Strengthened the spine of the team. Iheanacho should work well playing behind Jamie Vardy. Iborra strengthens that center midfield. Maguire at CB. They have managed to keep Mahrez too which is huge for them. I'd like to see more upgrades defensively to threaten the top 6 though.

I am lukewarm about West Ham. I feel like half their midfield is built to play counter attacking football and half their midfield is built to play possession football. Things do not fit smoothly. And I am unconvinced by their manager Bilic. They did do some good work getting Chicarito, Hart and Arnautovic but I see them more fighting for the 8th-12th places than higher up the table.

I am interested to see what Marco Silva can do at Watford. Not to threaten the top 6 but maybe a surprise team to make the top 10. He did a great job with Hull last season and they have made some nice signings (Chalobah, Will Hughes, Richarlison).

Crystal Palace were a team I thought could threaten the top 6. I thought they had a great basis for a counter attacking team with Townsend, Zaha and Benteke. Cabaye and Puncheon in midfield. Milivojevic as holder in midfield. Add some defenders and another CM and I thought that team could have made a strong run at it. Disappointed in their summer so far though. Not convinced by De Boer either. So I have them outside the top 10.

Mark Hughes looks set to be sacked at Stoke. Do not know what is going on there. Also outside the top 10.

I didn't like the signing of Defoe for Bournemouth. Too much money for a 34 year old striker reliant on his pace. Still they should at least get 1 good year out of him. Ake and Begovic should help them. Both now and long term. I liked those defensive moves.

Southampton look set to have a good season. A lot of good things being said about their new manager. They have a good and deep squad. They should be in the top 10.

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 07:10:23 PM »

Offline Sixth Man

  • NCE
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Posts: 977
  • Tommy Points: 80

I know Everton is the one being poised as the next mid table team to threaten the top squads, but I gotta go with West Ham. Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez are GREAT buys IMO, and will help them in the goal scoring problems. They got Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart on a free and on loan respectively, great veteran players who can organize the team.

Yoki, my friend, I think you're referencing the Hammers here, not the Toffees. 

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 07:17:26 PM »

Offline Sixth Man

  • NCE
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Posts: 977
  • Tommy Points: 80
First off, TP


On the other hand, wow it's my 900th post! Thanks to everyone for making me feel at home here, it's a wonderful community and I hope I can continue chatting with you for a long time.

Predictions (as of today of course, the transfer window is still open)

1. Man City: Just too good, and if that defence holds up with the buys that they did, I see no reason for them losing. Superb attacking, and they added Bernardo Silva. This is their season to lose.

I'd love to agree with you on this, Yoki, but I'm concerned that Pep is going to war with a threadbare squad - two strikers, three holding/box-to-box mids, three CBs and three FBs.  Given the age and injury history of some of these players, he's taking huge risks by not providing adequate cover at these posiitions.  Will Kompany and Gundogan remain healthy?  All our top young players are going out on season-long loans, so he won't get any relief there, either. 

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 07:20:50 PM »

Offline Sixth Man

  • NCE
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Posts: 977
  • Tommy Points: 80
Glad that Who is online.

I value your football insights, and what you wrote is a fantastic season preview to read. TP.

I want to ask you, and to everyone else too for that matter, which mid-table team do you think could make the most noise this year? Will there be one?

I don't see anyone threatening the top 6 and Everton. All those clubs look far too talented to be caught by the rest of the pack.

I liked what Leicester did getting Iheanacho, Iborra and Harry Maguire. Strengthened the spine of the team. Iheanacho should work well playing behind Jamie Vardy. Iborra strengthens that center midfield. Maguire at CB. They have managed to keep Mahrez too which is huge for them. I'd like to see more upgrades defensively to threaten the top 6 though.

I too liked the Foxes' offseason activity.  They may be a top 7 or 8 side, but as you noted, some defensive reinforcement would be most useful. 

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 07:25:35 PM »

Offline Sixth Man

  • NCE
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Posts: 977
  • Tommy Points: 80
No one has started the thread, so I'll start it early.

Season kicks off Friday with Arsenal v Leicester.

While we wait, we can discuss things about the EPL here. Any predictions? Who's your top 4? Who do you think will be relegated? Sleeper mid table squads that can make the top 4? Do you think there's a small club out there that can pull a Leicester, or who's close? Overrated/Underrated buys so far? Stories you're looking forward to see?

The season is upon us. Let's do this.

Oh, and #COYG!

TP for starting the thread, Yoki.  Big season upcoming for Arsenal and Wenger.  I think the Gunners can absolutely make a strong case for the top three, as there is more solidity in the spine of the squad and Lacazette should flourish in attack, a true #1 striker, at last!  I also believe Granit Xhaka will be a huge success in this, his second season in England. 

Re: 2017-18 EPL Season
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 08:18:00 PM »

Offline Yoki_IsTheName

  • Danny Ainge
  • **********
  • Posts: 10049
  • Tommy Points: 1149
  • I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
"The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life."

- Red