Premier League best season predictions: Spurs look secure in top four
The Premier League returns with Arsenal's trip to Crystal Palace on Friday, so it is time to pick out some key predictions for the season ahead.
Many expect the top flight title race to again be fought out by Manchester City and Liverpool but Tottenham and Chelsea may have something to say about that.
Throw in Manchester United and Arsenal and the battle for the top four looks as intriguing as ever.
There is also rarely ever a dull moment in the scrap for survival so with anticipation growing ahead of the big kick-off, we take a look at who could thrive and who may struggle in 2022-23.
Top-four finish looks within Spurs' grasp
Although challenging for the title may ultimately prove beyond them, there is every reason to think Tottenham could be the third best team in the Premier League this season.
Spurs collared Arsenal to land fourth last term and eventually finished only three points behind Chelsea as they ended the campaign strongly, winning 10 of their final 14 matches.
Tottenham clicked into gear in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system, which was boosted by the January arrivals of Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus.
Further astute additions over the summer should ensure they are now even stronger from the off.
Conte has added dynamism to his midfield with the signing of Yves Bissouma from Brighton, while Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Djed Spence and Clement Lenglet are four more talented arrivals that increase competition for places.
Conte’s set-up allows Harry Kane, who finished last term brilliantly, and Heung-Min Son to thrive, and in Cristian Romero they have one of the best defenders in the division.
If there is to be a shock in the title race this season then it could be Tottenham, who are expected to at least better the efforts of Chelsea, Arsenal and United and secure a top four place at worst.
Toffees could be in a sticky situation again
Exactly two of the three newly-promoted teams have been relegated in six of the last eight Premier League seasons, which may not please supporters of Fulham, Bournemouth or Nottingham Forest.
However, there are reasons to believe at least one of that trio can avoid the drop, particularly Forest, who have recruited significantly, and that may leave Everton in danger.
The Toffees finished 16th last season, only four points clear of the drop, and have been weakened by top-scorer Richarlison heading to Tottenham.
Frank Lampard is still relatively inexperienced as a manager and has to prove his credentials, while there is added pressure to keep Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who managed just five goals in 18 appearances last season, fit.
New signings James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil were relegated from the Premier League with Burnley last season, too, so this squad does not look much deeper and a slow start could soon see Goodison Park turn toxic.
Relegation does not appear out of the equation as they could be on the back foot early, especially given that they face Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in three of their first seven games.
Salah the man to beat in scoring charts
Mohamed Salah and Heung-Min Son shared the top goalscorer prize last term with 23 goals apiece, but the lively Liverpool forward may win it in his own right this time around.
Salah won the accolade in his debut Premier League campaign for Liverpool in 2017-18, netting 32 goals, and only once in four subsequent seasons has he failed to rack up a tally of 20.
The Egyptian forward, who takes penalties, has an insatiable hunger for goals and may benefit from not having to compete with former team-mate Sadio Mane, who has left the Reds to join Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
The 30-year-old, who finally signed a new long-term deal at Anfield over the summer, will also profit from not having to go to the World Cup, so he looks the prime candidate to be the Premier League top scorer in 2022-23.