It has been a busy summer of transfer activity already for sides in the Premier League. The start of a new season is fast approaching, and teams will be looking to complete their business early to ensure that players have a full pre-season with their new teammates.
However, clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Aston Villa are still looking to offload players with just under a month until pre-season gets underway. With so much quality in the Premier League this term, it is expected to be a hugely competitive campaign. But, which teams could be contenders to be the surprise package?
It has been a long wait for Nottingham Forest to get back into the Premier League, and they will make their big return at St James’ Park on the opening day. It has been over 20 years since they last played in the English top-flight, and they are already seen by many sportsbooks as the leading contenders to drop straight back into the Championship. However, it looks like they are being underestimated by many already, and with a high calibre manager such as Steve Cooper, many will be surprised by how quickly they will adapt to Premier League football.
They have already made some strong moves in the transfer market, and the rumoured signings of Dean Henderson and Taiwo Awoniyi could be inspired moves. Last season, they beat Leicester and Arsenal in the FA Cup, and that was only a sample of the problems that they may give other sides in the English top-flight this term.
It appears strange putting Leicester City down as a dark horse for the 2022-23 season given that they were playing European football last season. However, we would expect them to be much more competitive in the league this term, as they stuttered to eighth in 2021-22. The Foxes endured no shortage of injury issues throughout the campaign, with the absence of Jamie Vardy felt at the top end of the pitch.
No European football this term will be a massive benefit for Leicester and we could easily see them getting back in the hunt for a top six finish if they can keep the core of their squad fit throughout the campaign. The fitness of Vardy will be essential to their chances this term, but the Englishman could be one of the star’s that flourishes due to the break in play due to the World Cup mid-season.
With the money available at Newcastle United nowadays, a bottom half finish in 2022-23 would be considered a very disappointing campaign. However, we would expect them to have a very solid season as they haven’t acted irrationally during the summer window and tried to bring in ready-made superstars. Instead, Eddie Howe’s side are looking to bring in young players that can be developed, while also bringing in experience that can help the younger stars.
The addition of Nick Pope could turn out to be a masterstroke, while we are likely to see a more complete version of the term that completed last term with Bruno Guimaraes at the heart of their play. Newcastle are building on what they have and that’s a solid blueprint to progress effectively, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them chase the top six this season.
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