EPL 2015/16 Season Preview




It’s that time of year where we put our necks on the chopping block.

The Soccer Betting News team have put our heads together in an effort to predict the conclusion of the biggest league in the world.

We didn’t do too bad last season, predicting Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal to finish in the top three in that order while also tipping Hull and Burnley to suffer the drop down to the Championship.

Manchester United finished in the top four last season upsetting our top four predictions but that did not deter us from making another big call in this season’s predicted top four battle.

Chelsea (15/10 To Win)

Transfers In
Chelsea 2015/16 season previewNathan (Atletico Paranaense), Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco), Asmir Begovic (Stoke City)

Out
Christian Atsu (AFC Bournemouth on loan), Didier Drogba (released), Gael Kakuta (Sevilla), Petr Cech (Arsenal), Mario Pasalic (AS Monaco on loan), Josh McEachran (Brentford), Izzy Brown (Vitesse Arnhem on loan), Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem on loan), Marco van Ginkel (Stoke City on loan), Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough on loan), Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palaceon loan), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)

What happened last season: Dominated the league from the start and never looked back, using motivation of previous years to secure the title.

What will happen this season: The best team in the league has the most settled squad and room to improve – plus a fully fit Radamel Falcao. They also boast one of the greatest managers football has ever known.

SBN prediction: 1st

Arsenal (5/1 To Win)

Arsenal season previewTransfers In
Petr Cech (Chelsea) 

Out
Ryo Miyaichi (St Pauli), Semi Ajayi (Cardiff City), Abou Diaby (Marseille), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich Town on loan), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United on loan), Wojciech Szczesny (AS Roma on loan), George Dobson (Arsenal) 

What happened last season: Fuelled by Alexis Sanchez, the Gunners enjoyed their best season for some time, easing pressure on Arsene Wenger. Finished only four points shy of second-placed Manchester City.

What will happen this season: Haven't strengthened squad enough to challenge the two big-spenders and also lack a world class striker capable of pushing them to the title. As per normal the Gunners will clinch a UEFA Champions League spot but they should once again fall short of claiming the title.

SBN prediction: 2nd

Manchester United (5/1 To Win)

Manchester United 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)

Out
Tom Cleverley (Everton), Ben Amos (Bolton Wanderers), Tom Thorpe (released), Saidy Janko (Celtic), Nani (Fenerbahce), Will Keane (Preston North End on loan), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce)

What happened last season: It wasn't as bad as David Moyes' sole season in charge but Louis van Gaal's transition into the Old Trafford dugout was far from smooth. Most importantly they managed to claim the coveted fourth spot.

What will happen this season: Serious cash has been spent on a string of stars, namely Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger. However, Wayne Rooney is the only established recognised striker and United could find themselves falling short of challenging for the title if Rooney suffers an injury.  

SBN Prediction: 3rd

Liverpool (20/1 To Win and 5/2 To Finish In The Top Four)

Liverpool 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
James Milner (Manchester City), Danny Ings (Burnley), Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), Adam Bogdan (Bolton Wanderers), Joe Gomez (Charlton Athletic), Rickie Lambert (West Brom)

Out
Steven Gerrard (Los Angeles Galaxy), Glen Johnson (released), Brad Jones (released), Sebastian Coates (Sunderland), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andre Wisdom (Norwich City on loan)

What happened last season: The halo was removed from Brendan Rogers' head – and many fans ended the season calling for his head. Getting to sixth scraped a pass mark.

What will happen this season: Losing Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling is a blow but the distraction has to be a clear relief for the latter. Nathanial Clyne, James Milner, Benteke and Roberto Firmino are strong investments and the Reds could break into fourth place.

SBN prediction: 4th

Manchester City (11/4 To Win)

Manchester City 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Patrick Roberts (Fulham), David Faupala (Lens), Enes Unal (Bursaspor – sent on loan to Genk)

Out
Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa), James Milner (Liverpool), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Angelino (New York City), Micah Richards (Aston Villa), Karim Rekik (Marseille)

What happened last season: Attempts to peg back Chelsea ebbed and flowed but in the end the Londoners couldn't be reined in – and back-to-back titles remains an elusive dream.

What will happen this season: Hard to ignore the addition of Sterling but is he a genuine title-winning forward? Chelsea's megastars also seem more team-oriented. Manuel Pelegrini’s coaching talents, or lack of them could be their downfall for a consecutive season and with Liverpool’s impressive signings City could miss out on a top four finish.

SBN prediction: 5th

Stoke City (14/1 To Finish Top Six)

Stoke 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Jakob Haugaard (Midtylland), Philipp Wollscheid (Bayer Leverkusen), Joselu (Hannover 96), Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea on loan), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona)

Out
Thomas Sorensen (released), Wilson Palacios (released), Andy Wilkinson (released), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla), Asmir Begovic (Chelsea)

What happened last season: The Britannia Stadium remained one of the toughest places to visit and Stoke won as many matches at home as Tottenham and Liverpool to finish ninth.

What will happen this season: Strong squad ensures they're too good for relegation. Once their new signings settle into the starting line-up they will once again be a giant-killing force.

SBN prediction: 6th

Tottenham Hotspur (7/1 To Finish In The Top Four)

Tottenham 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Kevin Wimmer (Cologne), Kieran Trippier (Burnley), Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid)

Out
Jordan Archer (released), Cristian Ceballos (released), Bongani Khumalo (released), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Lewis Holtby (Hamburg), Etienne Capoue (Watford), Younes Kaboul (Sunderland), Benjamin Stambouli (Paris Saint Germain)

What happened last season: Never threatened those above them but didn't give away much ground to those below them. Champions League was always just out of reach.

What will happen this season: Loaded with talent, most of it in the right age bracket, Spurs will feel bullish about cracking the top four but a Europa League placing is more likely.

SBN prediction: 7th

Crystal Palace (16/1 To Finish In The Top Six & 71/10 To Be Relegated)

Crystal Palace 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint Germain), Patrick Bamford (Chelsea on loan), Connor Wickham (Sunderland)

Out
Lewis Price (released), Owen Garvan (released), Peter Ramage (released), Stephen Dobbie (released), Jerome Thomas (released).

What happened last season: A top-10 finish for the Eagles speaks volumes about their rise as a club. Competition for places was so tight even Mile Jedinak found himself squeezed out at times.

What will happen this season: Yohan Cabaye is a fabulous signing from PSG and loan forward Patrick Bamford should have an impact. They'll definitely steer clear of any trouble and we foresee them as the surprise package of the season.

SBN prediction: 8th

Everton (11/4 To Finish In The Top Six)

Everton 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona)

Out
Antolin Alcaraz (released), Sylvain Distin (AFC Bournemouth)

What happened last season: Horrendous start to the season and while the Toffees eventually rose to 11th place, the fan base became very restless about the regression.

What will happen this season: The pressure is firmly on Roberto Martinez to get away to a good start. Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu are good additions but will John Stones stay? Either way Everton have enough quality in their team to finish in the top 10. 

SBN prediction: 9th

Southampton (5/2 To Finish In The Top Six)

Transfers In
Juanmi (Malaga), Cedric Soares (Sporting CP), Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham), Cuco Martina (FC Twente), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Steven Caulker (Queens Park Rangers)

Out
Artur Boruc (AFC Bournemouth), Jos Hooiveld (released), Cody Cropper (released), Omar Rowe (released), Jake Sinclair (released), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Dani Osvaldo (released), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Sam Gallagher (Milton Keynes Dons)

What happened last season: Enjoyed another superb season and wound up finishing seventh, qualifying for the Europa League – then sold more players they've developed into stars.

What will happen this season: Losing Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin hurts but the squad has enough depth now to fight for a top-10 position next season.

SBN prediction: 10th

Swansea City (14/1 To Finish In The Top Six)

Transfers In
Andre Ayew (Marseille), Franck Tabanou (St Etienne), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Heerenveen), Eder (Braga) 

Out
Alan Tate (released), Gerhard Tremmel (released), David Cornell (released), Jazz Richards (Fulham)

What happened last season: Proved their merit once again as one of the best pound-for-pound teams in England by finishing in the top 10, despite a change of manager and selling their best player.

What will happen this season: One of the league's more cosmopolitan squads shouldn't have too many headaches staying out of trouble if Lukasz Fabianski remains solid in goal.

SBN prediction: 11th

Newcastle United (5/1 To Be Relegated)

Newcastle 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Anderlecht)

Out
Jonas Gutierrez (released), Ryan Taylor (released), Adam Campbell (released), Remie Streete (released), Sammy Ameobi (Cardiff City), Adam Armstrong (Coventry City), Freddie Woodman (Crawley Town)

What happened last season: Survived the last-season shenanigans despite conceding 63 goals, the second-worst tally in the league. The firepower of Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez got them through.

What will happen this season: They won't go far up the table but should have the players to stay up when May rolls around. New boys Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic may prove critical.

SBN prediction: 12th

Norwich City (11/10 To Be Relegated)

Norwich 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Youssouf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion), Robbie Brady (Hull City), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)

Out
Cameron McGeehan (Luton Town), Mark Bunn (Aston Villa)

What happened last season: Alex Neil's largely unremarkable collection missed automatic promotion by a whisker but then held their nerve to see off Ipswich and Middlesbrough in the play-offs.

What will happen this season: The Canaries have an experienced nucleus to the side, with Sebastian Bassong, John Ruddy, Bradley Johnson, Mulumbu and Brady all possessing the knowhow at this level to frustrate more illustrious opponents. With Cameron Jerome, Nathan Redmond, Gary Hooper and Johnson all registering strikes with regularity, they’ll avoid the drop and may even surprize themselves.

SBN prediction: 13th

West Ham United (11/2 To Be Relegated)

Transfers In
Darren Randolph (Birmingham City), Pedro Obiang (Sampdoria), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Angelo Ogbonna (Juventus), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal), Manuel Lanzini (Al-Jazira)

Out
Dan Potts (Luton Town), Carlton Cole (released), Guy Demel (released), Jussi Jaaskelainen (released), Nene (released), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)

What happened last season: Early season optimism gave way to pragmatism and three minutes after the final whistle, Sam Allardyce was sacked.

What will happen this season: Europa League duties could prove an unwelcome distraction that prevent them from climbing into the top half. Midfielder Dimitri Payet is winning rave reviews, however.

SBN prediction: 14th

West Bromwich Albion (9/2 To Be Relegated)

West Bromwich Albion 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
James McClean (Wigan Athletic), James Chester (Hull City), Rickie Lambert (Liverpool)

Out
Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Jones (Birmingham City), Kemar Roofe (Oxford City), Youssouf Mulumbu (released), Chris Baird (Derby County), Jason Davidson (released), Alex Palmer (Kidderminster Harriers)

What happened last season: The arrival of Tony Pulis in January came at the right time and he immediately guided his side out of trouble and well clear of the relegation zone.

What will happen this season: Their manager is battle-hardened in this league and is a safe bet to maintain West Brom’s top-flight status for another 12 months.

SBN prediction: 15th

Aston Villa (11/4 To Be Relegated)

Aston Villa 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Scott Sinclair (Manchester City), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Mark Bunn (Norwich City), Idrissa Gueye (Lille), Jordan Amavi (Nice), Jordan Ayew (Lorient), Jose Angel Crespo (Cordoba)

Out
Darren Bent (Derby County), Enda Stevens (Portsmouth), Andreas Weimann (Derby County), Matt Lowton (Burnley), Yacouba Sylla (Rennes), Antonio Luna (SD Eibar), Shay Given (Stoke City), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Christian Benteke (Liverpool) 

What happened last season: They stayed up despite being only one of two teams to lose 20 or more games. Christian Benteke found form at the right time to secure vital points.

What will happen this season: Benteke's sale to Liverpool is a huge blow and simply avoiding the drop would be a sensible goal. Villa’s squad now looks ill-equipped to do anything more than scrap their way towards the bottom of the Premier League.

SBN prediction: 16th

Bournemouth (13/10 To Be Relegated)

Bournemouth 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Artur Boruc (Southampton), Adam Federici (Reading), Joshua King (Blackburn Rovers), Christian Atsu (Chelsea), Tyrone Mings (Ipswich Town), Sylvain Distin (Everton), Max Gradel (Leeds United)

Out
Ian Harte (released), Josh McQuoid (released), Darryl Flavahan (released), Mohamed Coulibaly (released), Joe Partington (released), Miles Addison (released), Ryan Fraser (Ipswich Town), Brett Pitman (Ipswich Town), Jayden Stockley (Portsmouth)

What happened last season: Shocked many by winning the Championship and securing promotion to the English Premier League for the first time in their history.

What will happen this season: They'll pick up some surprise wins both home and away and should scrape survival by the skin of their teeth.

SBN prediction: 17th

Leicester City (3/1 To Be Relegated)

Leicester City 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Christian Fuchs (Schalke), Robert Huth (Stoke City), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz)

Out
Chris Wood (Leeds United), Esteban Cambiasso

What happened last season: The miracle late-season revival took Leicester from the drop zone all the way up to 14th, a remarkable effort in their first season back in the top flight.

What will happen this season: For starters they’ve lost the indefatigable Esteban Cambiasso, who turned down the club’s offer of another year. Five clean sheets in their last seven helped keep them up, but the 31 games before that saw them leak 51 goals. More of the same would make for another uncomfortable ride and this time they might not be so lucky.

SBN prediction: 18th                                                               

Sunderland (2/1 To Be Relegated)

Sunderland 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kyiv), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur)

Out
El-Hadji Ba (Charlton), Santiago Vergini (Getafe CF), Conor Wickham (Crystal Palace)

What happened last season: Drew their way to safety, with 17 stalemates generating almost half of their overall points tally.

What will happen this season: Sunderland avoided the drop by a mere three points last season and another relegation dog fight. The Black Cats have been cutting it close for the past few seasons and their failure to bring in attacking quality while also losing the services on Conor Wickham should see them go down.

SBN prediction: 19th

Watford (7/10 To Be Relegated & 5/2 To Finish Bottom)

Watford 2015/16 season previewTransfers In
Sebastian Prodl (Werder Bremen), Giedrius Arlauskis (Steaua Bucharest), Jose Holebas (AS Roma), Matej Vydra (Udinese), Etienne Capoue (Tottenham Hotspur), Valon Behrami (Hamburg), Allan Nyom (Granada), Miguel Britos (Napoli), Jose Manuel Jurado (Spartak Moscow), Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)

Out
Jonathan Bond (Reading), Lewis McGugan (Sheffield Wednesday), Diego Fabbrini (Middlesbrough)

What happened last season: Fired by Troy Deeney's goals last season, the Hornets raced into second place in the championship to secure automatic promotion.

What will happen this season: Have made a raft of new signings from around the world in the hope it will keep them competitive but the quality of their opponents should be too much for them to survive relegation this season.

SBN prediction: 20th