The non-top six challengers
- Premier League
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While it may have only been a few weeks since the last domestic season came to an end in England, preparations are already underway for the new Premier League campaign to get started in mid-September. The expectation is that the standard ‘top six’ clubs will all be in the mix for European places, but as well as the usual candidates, we wouldn’t be all too surprised if the following clubs make their own push for the stars once again.
P.S: We know there’s a lot of hype surrounding Leeds United’s return, but we just can’t see them breaking the top six this soon.
There’s obviously going to be a lot of disappointment surrounding Wolves’ end to the campaign after they were cruelly knocked out of the Europa League by Sevilla and they slipped out of the top six in the Premier League. Still, if they can keep their squad together and bring in a few new faces, the fact that they won’t be in Europe this season could actually wind up being a huge benefit for them.
Leicester City will need to be careful, because there’s a good chance their collapse towards the end of last season could carry over into the new one. The Europa League will serve as an intriguing test for them, but beyond that, they need to find the kind of stability that will allow them to still compete domestically.
We honestly believe that when you’ve got someone like Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, anything is possible. The veteran boss is already looking to add to his squad at Goodison Park with some fun names being linked with the Toffees, but they need to really focus on finding some more consistency on the pitch.
Chris Wilder will want to avoid second season syndrome at all costs, and he’s got a solid enough unit at his disposal to help him do that. Whether or not they’ll be able to push as high as they did last season remains to be seen, and it could come down to whether or not they’re pushed to one side by teams with a higher budget than they have.
Keeping hold of Danny Ings is obviously going to be priority number one for the Saints, but even when you put him to one side, this is a fun team that has the potential to beat anyone in the league on their day – as they proved against Manchester City.
Never write off Sean Dyche, folks. Burnley never come across as a team that is necessarily going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, but they always sneak up on you.