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Liverpool’s 5 ‘big six’ rivals predict the 2022/23 Premier League season

The usual Premier League ‘big six’ are expected to dominate this season, but can anyone break the Liverpool-Man City stranglehold?

The start of the 2022/23 campaign is almost upon us, as the Reds look to go one better than last term and pip City to the title.

Pep Guardiola’s side are the favourites to make it five in six years, but Chelsea, Tottenham, Man United and Arsenal will all hope to be much improved.

Here’s what fans of Liverpool’s rivals at the top had to say about the new season…

 

Man City – Will Pep’s men deny Reds again?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: Champions, 93 points | Top Scorer: Riyad Mahrez (24)

City again deprived Liverpool of league glory last season and they go into 2022/23 as the bookies’ favourites to make it five in six years.

The monstrous Erling Haaland has arrived from Borussia Dortmund – Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez are also ones to watch – but the exit of stalwarts such as Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchecko and Fernandinho could hamper them.

TIA Predicted Finish: 2nd


The View From Man City

Simon Curtis (@bifana_bifana)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… another one where we were chased hard by an excellent Liverpool side and held them off in true Man City seat-of-the-pants style with those three goals in five minutes against Villa.

The same drama exploded in our faces against Real Madrid, however, so still fewmin about that.

This season will be… different with some of the same.

By that I mean the top two are likely to be the same, probably in the same order, but City’s heavy ins and outs and the promise of a resurgent London scene may mean other contenders are closer.

Our key player is… Haaland. No, I mean Cancelo. No, has to be De Bruyne, of course. Wrong again, it’s Rodri.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 30, 2022: Manchester City's Erling Haaland during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How confident are you about the Haaland signing? Liverpool fans will know about knee-jerk reactions with Nunez.

One deflected header and he’s transformed from liability to superman. I’m not sure why people don’t see how ridiculous this looks.

Haaland will be fine, but maybe not next week already.

We’ll finish… I am going to tempt ‘Cityitis’ out of its current hiding place by saying 1st.

Liverpool will finish… 2nd

 

Chelsea – Off-field drama threatens Blues’ progress

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Chelsea's manager Thomas Tuchel is interviewed after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Chelsea won 1-0 condemning Liverpool to their fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time in the club’s history. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 3rd, 74 points | Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (15)

Chelsea may have secured a third-place finish and reached both domestic cup finals, but last season was a forgettable one for the club.

Roman Abramovich sold up and left Stamford Bridge, leading to major financial issues, and there is a real feeling that all is not well under Thomas Tuchel currently.

Will this be another season when things suddenly unravel for yet another Blues manager?

TIA Predicted Finish: 4th


The View From Chelsea

Richard Long (@Chelseafan_Rick)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (R) and Chelsea's captain César Azpilicueta before the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… as expected. We weren’t expected to fight for the title, but had a chance in the cups and were unlucky to lose on penalties in two finals.

This season will be… similar to last season. Same team and still no one that can score 20 goals a season – we are just aiming for third or fourth in the league.

Our key player is… Mason Mount. He’s getting better every year and starting to add goals to his game. I’m expecting a big season from him.

How do you think Sterling will fare? I hope I’m wrong but I think he will flop. I don’t think he’s what we needed and I don’t think he’s any better than Pulisic, Mount or Havertz.

We’ll finish… 4th

Liverpool will finish… 2nd

 

Tottenham – Conte’s men the best of the rest?

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 9, 2022: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates after scoring the fourth goal, completing his hat-trick, during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 4th, 71 points | Top Scorer: Harry Kane (25)

Spurs ended up edging out rivals Arsenal to fourth place last term, as Antonio Conte outlined why he is one of Europe’s leading managers.

Now, a productive summer is seeing them being spoken of as the best of the rest behind City and Liverpool, aided by the addition of Clement Lenglet, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic and Richarlison.

TIA Predicted Finish: 3rd


The View From Spurs

Sam Hawkey (@samhawkey)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Tottenham Hotspur's manager Antonio Conte during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… a bit odd. We had Nuno, who turned out to be what we thought he might be: a last resort that no one really believed in.

And then Conte arrives. Sharp, smart and, well, a bit of a whinger, too. Cut to the end of the season and we looked alright, not to mention pipping Arsenal to the top four.

Like I said, odd.

This season will be… a comfortable top four. We’ve bought well and Conte looks more settled.

Our key player is… Harry Kane. Always.

But if I had to be less boring I’d say Ivan Perisic. Experienced, quality and knows what Conte wants.

Is Conte going to end the trophy drought this season? I think so, but it may be next season.

First year he cleaned us up, second year he’s cleaning out and bringing in his players, year three should be the chance to have a real run at the top three.

We’ll finish… 4th

Liverpool will finish… 2nd

 

Arsenal – Time for Arteta to deliver top-four finish

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 5th, 69 points | Top Scorer: Bukayo Saka (12)

There was progress at Arsenal last season, but ultimately, they blew a top-four finish after a spineless end to the campaign.

The Gunners should no longer have the excuse of being a work in progress, however, with Mikel Arteta spending big this summer, partricularly on Gabriel Jesus.

The pressure is now on the former Everton man to go up a gear.

TIA Predicted Finish: 5th


The View From Arsenal

Adam Clancy (@AdamClancy9)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 20, 2022: Arsenal's goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0, 2-0 on aggregate. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… refreshing. It felt like the club was brought together again with a core group of young and exciting talent, and it was a big improvement on the last two eighth-placed finishes.

Of course, it was disappointing to miss out on fourth spot and Champions League after the position we were in, especially to Tottenham, but if you offered any Arsenal fan fifth before the season started, we would have snapped your hand off.

This season will be… intriguing. The signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Man City are exciting, given that they have both worked under Mikel Arteta before.

We were also in desperate need of signings in those positions.

Jesus has been particularly impressive in pre-season, as have the rest of the team, and the Brazilian feels like the missing piece of the puzzle needed for us to push on this season.

Our key player is… Gabriel Jesus.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 13, 2022: Arsenal's Granit Xhaka walks off after being shown a red card and sent off during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Is it top four finish or bust for Arteta? For the fans, it feels like it.

The fanbase is somewhat split on the manager already and not improving on fifth place from last season will feel like no progress has been made, which is the whole point of the process.

It must be said that the board seem fully behind Arteta, though, backing him once again in the market with signings that he wants, so it is hard to answer whether they would sack him if we did miss out on the Champions League again.

We’ll finish… 4th

Liverpool will finish… 2nd

 

Man United – Will the post-Fergie misery finally end?

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag during the Bangkok Century Cup pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 6th, 58 points | Top Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (24)

It was yet another false dawn for Liverpool’s biggest rivals in 2021/22, as they slumped to an embarrassing sixth-place finish.

Erik ten Hag has now arrived to sort the mess, but whether or not the problematic Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Old Trafford remains to be seen.

Is this finally the end of United’s misery, or will it continue?

TIA Predicted Finish: 6th


The View From Man United

Manchester United's Harry Maguire reacts after Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (not pictured) scores their side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday October 24, 2021.

Alex Turk (@AlexCTurk)

Last season was… hellish. My worst-ever season as a Man United fan. The only way is up, surely.

This season will be… better, but expectations must be tempered. Of the £54 million net spend United have backed Ten Hag with this summer, only one signing poses as a regular starter.

He needs to time to form his team and implement his vision, so fans must maintain perspective and not be drawn into the inevitable media storm when we draw a game like usual.

Everyone is going for Ten Hag’s head this season. Luckily, it won’t be too challenging to improve on last term.

Our key player is… Jadon Sancho. He was United’s best player in pre-season and looks a man on a mission to prove he can make an impact in English football.

Ten Hag is utilising him on the right – his natural position – and early indicators suggests he could reap the rewards.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 24, 2021: Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected as his side are thrashed 5-0 during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What’s your stance on Ronaldo’s future? Ironically, after regularly proving those arguing he was a problem last season wrong, Ronaldo is one now.

He wants to leave and I think the club would let him, despite their public stance stating otherwise.

Demand is limited, if existent. If no suitable offers arrive, he soon needs to accept a season away from the Champions League and buy into Ten Hag’s vision.

Either that or he risks disrupting a dressing room the Dutchman already has an almighty task of mending.

We’ll finish… 5th. It’s difficult to see United recovering from last season by surpassing Chelsea and Tottenham, especially amid their stellar transfer business.

Liverpool will finish… 1st. I believe Darwin Nunez will adapt to Liverpool much quicker than Erling Haaland will adapt to Man City, and vice versa.

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