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PST’s big Premier League predictions post — Best XI, Golden Boot, Manager of the Year

It’s here! The Premier League begins its 2023-24 season this weekend with plenty of drama expected within the 380 matches that comprise the top division campaign in England.

Manchester City’s fighting for an unprecedented fourth-straight English top flight crown, with Arsenal and Manchester United hoping to take the next step in their projects by winning titles under Mikel Arteta or Erik ten Hag, respectively.

A muddled next group included Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea, his former club Tottenham Hotspur, 2022-23 top-four side Newcastle United, and dark horses Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion.

[ MORE: Premier League 2023-24 schedule - fixtures, results ]

But as we’ve learned there will always be an even darker horse surging into the discussion. We’ll also surely see a team stunning us as a relegation candidate for a longer portion of the season than most would’ve predicted in August.

ProSoccerTalk will send you its top 20 players and 1-20 Premier League table in separate posts, but we spun a bevy of big questions to our staff as we prepare for Friday’s opener between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor (Watch live at 3pm ET online via

Here’s what we learned:

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 6: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal in action with Mateo Kovacic of Manchester City during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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How many teams are Premier League title contenders? How many more are possibilities, but longshots?

Joe Prince-Wright: Three genuine title contenders (Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United) and another 3 are possibles (Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham) but longshots.

Nick Mendola: Four. And it could’ve been five. Man City, Arsenal, Man United, and Liverpool are right there with Europe-free Chelsea sliding out of the top four after the big injury to Christopher Nkunku. Aston Villa and Newcastle are your long shots to take the number to seven, while Ange Postecoglou will have to be the next Pep to make Tottenham No.8 (and even if he is, they are the longest shot)

Andy Edwards: One? It feels like Manchester City would have to lose half their starting XI to injuries for anyone to keep pace with them over a 38-game season. Even last season, when they trailed Arsenal by the biggest title lead ever to be overturned, Man City showed that over 38 games they have no equals.

Who will win the league, in what week, and why?

Joe Prince-Wright: Manchester City will win the league and I’m going to go for Week 35. Why? Because they are getting stronger defensively and they have Erling Haaland. The most demoralizing thing about City for every other team they play knows that City’s defense rarely makes a mistake.

Nick Mendola: Man City, Week 37. Defending the European title Is important and surely Pep would love to win all competitions, but the shine will be on becoming the first “four-peat” winner in English history.

Andy Edwards: Man City, in Week 36, as they become the first club to win four straight Premier League (or English top-division) titles.

Chelsea, Liverpool clash with early point to prove
Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards preview the marquee fixture of the Premier League's opening weekend, as Chelsea and Liverpool lock horns at Stamford Bridge after summer rebuilds for both clubs.

Which Premier League club will progress the furthest in Europe (any competition) and, if different, Which Premier League club will go furthest in the Champions League?

Joe Prince-Wright: I think Manchester City will win the Champions League again and Aston Villa will win the Europa Conference League. Brighton will also get very close to winning the Europa League.

Nick Mendola: Aston Villa will win the Conference League and Liverpool will win the Europa League. Arsenal and Man City will both go the furthest in the Champions League, but just miss out on a final.

Andy Edwards: Not to sound like a broken record, but all three of Arsenal (first time back in UCL; schedule congestion), Manchester United (lack of depth) and Newcastle (first time in UCL; lack of depth; schedule congestion) have major questions about their ability to compete at a high level in both the PL and UCL. Those questions don’t exist about Manchester City, because they won both of them last season.

Who will win the Premier League Golden Boot? If you put Erling Haaland, who will finish second?

Joe Prince-Wright: Erling Haaland and then Marcus Rashford second. (Usually I would pick Harry Kane but who knows where he will be!?)

Nick Mendola: Haaland, and Mohamed Salah will finish second.

Andy Edwards: Harry Kane scored 30 last season, and no one knows it because Haaland scored 36. It’s hard to imagine Kane failing to reach 20-25 again this season, in Ange Postecoglu’s system, if he is still at Tottenham.

Who will lead the PL in assists?

Joe Prince-Wright: Obvious answer: Trent Alexander-Arnold. With a more advanced role for him, I’d expect TAA to have plenty more assists.

Nick Mendola: Martin Odegaard will just end Kevin De Bruyne’s reign atop the Playmaker of the Season list.

Andy Edwards: Bukayo Saka won’t have to shoulder as much of the goal-scoring load (14 last season) with Kai Havertz arriving this summer (you read that right), resulting in his assist numbers skyrocketing. Throw in the fact he takes most corner kicks for Arsenal, and you have the recipe for 15-18 assists.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 6: Eddie Nketiah, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrate victory during The FA Community Shield match between Manchester City against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Offside via Getty Images

Who will have the most clean sheets?

Joe Prince-Wright: Ederson. As I mentioned above, City’s defense is so solid and Ederson is actually extremely underrated as a goalkeeper. Andre Onana will be a close second.

Nick Mendola: Ederson will beat out Alisson.

Andy Edwards: Man City conceded multiple goals four times last season, including zero times in their last 19 PL games. Oh, and they added the best center back prospect in the world, in Josko Gvardiol.

Predict the 2023-24 Premier League Best XI

Joe Prince-Wright: Ederson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Josko Gvardiol, William Saliba, Luke Shaw; Kevin De Bruyne, Casemiro, Declan Rice; Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland, Bukayo Saka

Nick Mendola: Alisson; Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias, Raphael Varane, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Rodri, Enzo Fernandez, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard; Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland

Andy Edwards: Ederson; Raphael Varane, Manuel Akanji, William Saliba; Rodri, Bruno Guimaraes, Martin Odegaard, Bruno Fernandes; Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Erling Haaland

Who will be the first manager fired?

Joe Prince-Wright: Paul Heckingbottom. Not sure what Sheffield United’s owners expect, but this is going to be a tough season for the Blades.

Nick Mendola: Gary O’Neil. I really like O’Neil and am certainly open to him showing us different feathers than the ones that saved a workmanlike Bournemouth from the drop. But Julen Lopetegui left Wolves because he wasn’t getting the quality he wanted in the transfer market and I’m unsure whether the players left for him are those that suit what we saw succeed at Bournemouth. Hopefully he knocks it out of the park, and he could become the new Eddie Howe (oddly enough a Bournemouth upstart himself).

Andy Edwards: David Moyes. Let’s be honest, there was more than enough reason to fire Moyes at multiple points last season, if West Ham weren’t on their way to winning the Europa Conference League (while also flirting with relegation). Their business this summer has been… uninspiring, shall we say, and the Hammers look primed for a poor start. There is now European excuse this season.

Who will be PL Manager of the Year?

Joe Prince-Wright: Mauricio Pochettino

Nick Mendola: Mauricio Pochettino

Andy Edwards: Mauricio Pochettino seems like the right manager, at the right club, at the right time, for a young (and expensive) Chelsea team. Getting them back into the top-four in year one would earn my vote

Who will be PL Young Player of the Year?

Joe Prince-Wright: Cole Palmer

Nick Mendola: Bukayo Saka

Andy Edwards: Evan Ferguson

What number will be higher: Total number of PL appearances from Antonee Robinson, or total number of PL appearances from all other USMNT players (Matt Turner, Zack Steffen, Auston Trusty, Ethan Horvath, Tim Ream, Chris Richards, Gaga Slonina)?

Joe Prince-Wright: I was going to take Antonee Robinson, but now that Matt Turner has signed for Nottingham Forest it is pretty clear the USMNT starting goalkeeper will start for Forest. Ream, Trusty and Richards will all play plenty too.

Nick Mendola: The field. Assuming no major Robinson injury, let’s say he plays 36 of Fulham’s 38 matches. Trusty, Turner/Horvath, Richards, and Robinson’s own teammate Ream would need to average 9 appearances to reach that mark. I’d bet on one of those players to make at least a half-season’s worth of appearances (Trusty?).

Andy Edwards: I’ll take the field, for the sole reason that I really believe in Chris Richards after watching him in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals and final this summer.

Fulham v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Pre-Season Friendly

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Antonee Robinson of Fulham FC runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Pavel Kaderabek of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim during the pre-season friendly match between Fulham and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Craven Cottage on August 05, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

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Which clubs will leave the 2023-24 season with trophies, and which ones?

Joe Prince-Wright: Manchester City (Premier League, Champions League), Aston Villa (Conference League), Tottenham (League Cup), Chelsea (FA Cup)

Nick Mendola: Man City (PL), Villa (UECL), Liverpool (UEL), Chelsea (FAC), Arsenal (LC)

Andy Edwards: Manchester City (Premier League, Champions League), Arsenal (FA Cup), Tottenham - (League Cup - manifesting).

Who gets promoted from the Championship?

Joe Prince-Wright: Southampton, Middlesbrough, Leicester City

Nick Mendola: Southampton, Leicester City, and Coventry City

Andy Edwards: Leicester, Southampton (automatic) and Middlesbrough (playoff)

Make one crazy prediction for the 2023-24 season.

Joe Prince-Wright: Chelsea will be in the title race for most of the season and are guaranteed a top four finish.

Nick Mendola: Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford all finish top-20 in goal contributions (Goals+assists).

Andy Edwards: Jurgen Klopp has been at Liverpool long enough that him being fired would feel pretty crazy. At some point this season, everybody decides/realizes it’s just time.

Liverpool FC v SV Darmstadt 98 - Pre-Season Friendly

PRESTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Jurgen Klopp the manager of Liverpool FC looks on prior to the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale on August 07, 2023 in England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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