Premier League 2016/17

Note: This article was written before the Premier League 2016/17 season took place.  

With the Euro 2016 over, all the attention will now shift to the English Premier League 2016/17 season, with so much excitement lying in store for us. Most people are anxious to see how Leicester City will perform in this season and if they will be able to successfully defend the title.


Others are wondering if the title race is going to go narrow down to Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. However, one thing is certain, there are plenty of subplots as we start the new season! How is your favourite team shaping up for the Premier League 2016/17 season? We have prepared a detailed guide to all the 20 League teams and their odds of winning the title, in addition to some of the key moves that you will see in the premier league transfer news!

AFC Bournemouth

Club ManagerEddie Howe
StadiumDean Court
Year Founded1899
NicknameThe Cherries
Premier League Odds to Stay Up2/9



One of the most important fact about AFC Bournemouth is that the team wasn’t relegated. Nobody expected that the Cherries would survive the relegation battle in the 2015/16 Premier League competition. The team was rambunctious and boisterous just like Blackpool, and the fate of the ‘small’ teams in the EPL who think that they can play attacking football during their first stay in the top flight usually results into them being axed back to the championship. However, Bournemouth has made it for two successive seasons without struggling.

However, they are not out of the woods yet. The second seasons for the small clubs are usually as trying as their first season. Even though the team has gone out and made it clear that they are not ready to go down yet by making a few eye-opening signings, the truth of the matter is that they are still one of the weakest team in the English Premier League. Yes, they may have some good attacking football but remember that they also conceded goals, with Aston Villa being the only team to concede more goals than Bournemouth last season. Should this trend continue this year, then Bournemouth should be another cautionary tale of a football team treading on dangerous grounds.

Significant addition: Jack Wilshere

The young midfielder had a long-term contract at Arsenal FC but decided to play for AFC Bournemouth after the arrival of Granit Xhaka. One of the main reasons why Jack might have decided to make a surprise switch to Bournemouth is probably because of the first team football. Moreover, he’s always been on the Arsenal FC bench most of the time, mostly because of an injury. Will his move to Bournemouth have any significant impact? Well, we are yet to see that having only played a match that he performed averagely.

Other additional players to the AFC Bournemouth squad include Lys Mousset (Le Havre), Nathan Ake (Chelsea), Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Mark Travers, Mikael Ndjoli (Millwall), Lewis Cook (Leeds), Brad Smith (Liverpool), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham).


Significant Departure: Matt Ritchie

In a surprise movement, Matt Ritchie left his long-term club to sign for a second division team – Newcastle United. The 27-year-old winger has been a regular player for the Cherries, having played for three years at the club and featuring in 37 matches in the 2015/16 Premier League season. He’s one of the notable players who helped the team climb back into the top tier.

Other departures from the team include Sylvain Distin (released), Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion), Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa), Lee Tomlin (Bristol City), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Harry Cornick (Leyton Orient), and Stephane Zubar (released).

State of the Club

Fearful. While Bournemouth’s main problem is their defence, the team’s manager has decided to go to the market and buy strikers and midfielders. The team’s main motion has been to play attack football, and it was their biggest saviour last season. However, this motion could prove to be their Achilles heel this season.


Arsenal FC

Club ManagerArsene Wenger
StadiumEmirates Stadium
Year Founded1896
NicknameThe Gunners
Premier League Odds to Finish Top 44/6



After the club managed to sneak into the second spot on the last day of the campaign, Arsenal FC is looking to launch a serious title challenge in Premier League 2016/17 season and avoid the mistakes that made them drop points in the 2015/16 season. With France international, Olivier Giroud being the main man upfront, it is a known fact that we are going to see offensive breaks – hoping that the team is going to work on their already good defence and try to avoid the frequent mental collapses which cost them points last season. If they work on this, and if their Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez deliver as expected of them, this could probably be Arsenal’s year.

Significant addition: Granit Xhaka

Arsenal FC fans have been urging Wenger to add a defensive midfielder for a few now, and Wenger decided he’d go out to the market and get them one of the best players. He brought in Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach to replace the retired Michael Arteta and Tomas Rosicky in midfield. His presence in the team will free up the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez as well as Mesut Ozil so that they can do what they do best – create lethally quick scoring chances for themselves as well as for Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez.

Other additional players to the Arsenal squad include Rob Holding – a defender from Bolton Wanderers, Takuma Asano from Hiroshima Sanfrecce, Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia and Lucas Preze


Significant departure: Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta spent the last few seasons at Arsenal playing a crucial role in anchoring the team’s midfield, but he’s now retired and joined Manchester City’s coaching team. As an Arsenal FC player, Mikel Arteta was one of the few players who never received the much-deserved credit – as he was one of the players who moved the team. With his tidy and accurate passes, Arsenal played differently whenever he was not included in the lineup.

Other departures from the team include Mathieu Flamini(Retired), Tomas Rosicky (Retired), Wellington Silva (Fluminense), Jack Wilshere (AFC Bournemouth) and Wojciech Szczesny (AS Roma)

State of Arsenal FC

Arsenal FC fans are apparently never in a jovial mood especially when it comes to the state of their club, and the Premier League 2016/17 season is no different. They frantically want the club’s manager to make key signings to strengthen the team’s defence as well as challenge their main striker, Olivier Giroud. Well, Wenger has heard their cries and brought in Mustafi and Lucas Perez. Hopefully, these two major signings in addition to Xhaka will deliver positive results and see the team win the Premier League 2016/17 trophy.


Burnley FC

Club ManagerSean Dyche
StadiumTurf Moor
Year Founded1882
NicknameThe Clarets
Official Website


In the 2013/14 season, Burnley FC came back to the top flight after an exemplary performance in the Championship. They bounced back to the top tier in prudent fashion, stuck with the same squad, and one season later, they were axed back into the Championship, to nobody’s surprise. Fast forward to this year and it all seems familiar. So for the Premier League 2016/17 season, Burnley FC has only made two major additions to their first team including an 18-year-old from Manchester United. This is contrary to their counterpart, Middlesbrough, who have made significant signings such as Alvaro Negredo and Victor Valdes.

There is with no doubt a balance to be struck. Burnley has lost the clubs player of the year, Joey Barton, who signed a contract with Rangers FC. Otherwise, the team that went unbeaten in the last 23 games of the 2015/16 season is still intact, including their top scorer Andre Gray and England’s goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Another interesting fact about Burnley is that the team is well familiar with keeping clean sheets, with Boro conceding fewer goals than Burnley. Will this be enough, though? Perhaps not. But Leicester FC is the English Premier League defending champions, so all the bets are off.



Significant addition: Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson

It will be the first time that Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson is playing in the English Premier League. Even though he was relegated from the English Championship in the 2016/16 season, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson played all the games in the Euro 2016 competition with Iceland charming their way around France.
Other additional players to the Burnley FC squad include Jimmy Dunne, Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Nick Pope (Charlton Athletic), Alvaro Negredo, and Victor Valdes.

Significant departure: Michael Duff

Michael Duff made a decision of hanging up his boots and slip into a tracksuit. This means that the Burnley fans will no longer be able to enjoy the real life work of one of the calmest, reliable right back that a numerical intellection ever gifted to the football world.
Other departures from the team include Joey Barton (Rangers), Matt Gilks (Rangers), Matt Taylor (released), Michael Duff (retired), Josh Ginnelly (Walsall).

State of Burnley FC

Their belief of not spending unnecessary money during the transfer season may see Burnley going back into the Championship, even though the principle may also bring stability to the club. The club’s current chairman, Mike Garlick took over the rank in 2012 and has helped the club return to the English Premier League due to his favourable policies. Together with Dyche, Mike Garlick have helped the club to rise all the way to position 20 in the ranking of the best teams in England. This, in my opinion, should make the Burnley players happy!

To find out more about Burnley’s fixtures as well as the team’s news, click here.


Chelsea FC

Club ManagerAntonio Conte
StadiumStamford Bridge
Year Founded1896
NicknameThe Blues
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Finish Top 42/5



After they had been crowned the English Premier League Champions in the 2014/15 season, the club made history the following year, though not one that the fans will like to remember for years to come.
2015/16 season was probably the worst season for Chelsea FC for the past two decades after they missed to qualify for European competition for the first time ever since the 1996/97 season in addition to the worst title defence in EPL history. Jose Mourinho, who is often referred to as the special one due to his exemplary track record in major European Leagues, was looking to create a dynasty, but instead, he was sacked as Chelsea FC’s manager with the team being just one point above the drop zone. Guus Hiddink, who was one a Chelsea Coach, came back for a second stint and guided the club to 10th position.

In the 2016/17 season, the all-important task of taking Chelsea back to the helm has been entrusted to Antonio Conte, who also has an impeccable track record at Juventus. His main task as the head coach is to ensure that the largely unchanged and motivated squad can once again believe that they can win the title. Moreover, he’s also meant to improve upon players like Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas and get them to do what they do best.

Significant addition: N’Golo Kante

It is no doubt that N’Golo Kante was the all-important player in last season’s EPL as he helped Leicester to claim their first ever League Trophy as well as claim a spot in UEFA Champions League competition. This season, however, he will not be able to enjoy the privilege of playing in the Champions league as he has signed a contract with Chelsea FC to ensure that the team has improved from the 10th position to a top four spot, if not win the title again.
Other additions to the squad include Juan Cuadrado, Michy Batshuayi (Marseille), David Luiz (PSG)


Significant Departure: None

One thing that Chelsea FC have ensured is that no player with an important role in the team has left. Chelsea FC didn’t pick up the buy options on either Radamel Falcao’s or Alexandre pat’s loan contracts. However, the club still has a very large and impressive first-team squad with more than 20 players who are qualified to play in any major competition.

Departures from the club include Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem), Tammy Abraham (Bristol City), Nathan Ake (AFC Bournemouth), Mohamed Salah (Roma), Jeremie Boga (Granada), Alex Kiwomya (Crewe Alexandra), Tomas Kalas (Fulham), and Kasey Palmer (Huddersfield Town).

State of Chelsea FC

Prudently hopeful. It’s no doubt that the 2015/16 season was the worst in the clubs memory, as compared to the club’s success in the recent past. However, with a new coach and rejuvenated team, it’s more likely that Chelsea is going to go for the top prize.


Crystal Palace

Club ManagerAlan Pardew
StadiumSelhurst Park
Year Founded1905
NicknameThe Eagles
Official Website


Crystal palace surprised many with their performance in the 2015/16 season. Before the end of the year, the team was sitting in the fifth position and things really looked bright and promising for them. They looked like they were going to play European Football. They had also beaten both Liverpool and Chelsea and it seemed to most people that the sky was the limit for Alan Pardew’s men. All over a sudden, they forgot the winnings ways. After they secured an away win at Stoke City in late December, they did not win any other match until early April when they were playing against Norwich City.

They lost key players, James McArthur and Yannick Bolasie, to injuries and slowly turned their once bright hopes of playing European Football to hopes of avoiding relegation. At the end of the 2015/16 season, they secured the 15th position. One fact though is that they have reached their second ever FA Cup final and they were going to play against Manchester United. Their efforts seemed to be reflecting well when they scored first through Jason Puncheon but ultimately lost to Manchester United.

That was last season though. This season, the management has brought in new players to strengthen the team but after they’ve lost Dwight Gayle, Marouane Chamakh and Emmanuel Adebayor, they will surely need a new striker. This comes after they only scored 39 goals last season.


Significant addition: Andros Townsend

As it stands now, the English Premier League is generating more money than ever, but it’s surprising that Crystal Palace has only spent a club record of £13 million fee on Andros Townsend. To Townsend’s credit, he did manage to score four goals after making 12 appearances for Newcastle FC before they were axed to the Championship. In the Premier League 2016/17 season, Alan Pardew will be looking for Townsend to improve on his form and help the team to compete competitively with other teams.

Other additions to the team include James Tomkins (West Ham United) and Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Christian Benteke.

Significant departure: Dwight Gayle

Dwight wasn’t outstanding by any means as he only managed to score three goals in the 2015/16 season. But with his departure, it means that Crystal Palace only has Frazier Campbell, who didn’t score any goal and Connor Wickham who only managed to score five goals.

Other players who’ve left the team include Emmanuel Adebayor (released), Marouane Chamakh (released), Brede Hangeland (released), Adrian Mariappa (released), Patrick McCarthy (released), Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United), Jake Gray (Luton Town), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jerome Binnom-Williams (Peterborough United).


State of Crystal Palace

According to the team’s manager, he believes that the Club is not anywhere near where they should be or where the fans expect them to be. The club has been searching for an elusive striker without any success. They tried to sign Michy Batshuayi, but he opted to sign the contract with Chelsea instead. They hope that Saido Berahino will leave West Bromwich for their team and maybe join Christian Benteke in attacking.

Generally, if Crystal Palace won’t be able to find a striker who will score goals for them, it is no doubt that they will be relegated to the Championship. In the 2015/16 season, they managed to escape relegation by a whisker, but injuries might happen again, the bad run of form may come back and if the team does not manage to fight through those times, then Alan Pardew and his players may find themselves joining the likes of Newcastle FC, i.e., if he makes it through to the end of the season.

Everton FC

Club ManagerRonald Koeman
StadiumGoodison Park
Year Founded1878
NicknameThe Toffees
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Finish outside Top 41/16


Optimism at the Goodison Park was sent sky-high at the beginning of this year when Farhad Moshiri took over as the new club owner. During his press conference, he promised to invest in the club’s infrastructure as well as the playing squad. For a moment, this optimism dissipated as the team’s performance nosedived under the leadership of Roberto Martinez, but with his sacking, everybody was given an opportunity of starting afresh.

Come the start of the new season, everybody was expecting Everton to be very active in the transfer market, only for them to add a new manager, Ronald Koeman as well as the director of football, Steve Wash. These two are part of the club’s plan for investing in the club’s future success. According to some of the staunch club supporters, they strongly believe this is the start of an exciting new era under the new management.



Significant addition: Idrissa Gueye

Idrissa Gueye is perhaps the only senior outfield player to have signed for Everton FC in the recent years. He is set to bring the much-needed solidity to the club’s midfield, and his market price of £7.1 million is indeed a bargain given that today’s football market is inflated.

Other additions to the Everton team include Bassala Sambou (Coventry City), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham), and Chris Renshaw (Oldham Athletic).

Significant Departure: John Stones

While the club got an amazing £47.5 million for John Stones and given the fact that the player is not coming off a great season, Stones remains to be one of the club’s most gifted players in defence. Everton will surely need to invest part of the money back into the market and purchase two quality defenders, but as of this moment, there surely is a big hole in their defence.

Other departures from the team include Leon Osman (released), Tony Hibbert (released), Steven Pienaar (released), and Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids).

State of Everton FC

The club’s fans haven’t been optimistic for a long time now. After seasons of underachievement and under-investment, it now seems that the club has some goals set, thanks to the ambitious and competent leadership, which seems like they are going to spark a change in the club’s fortune. This excitement, however, is mitigated by a mild frustration from the fans for lack of making key signings in the transfer window. But it’s no doubt that the club is now heading in the right direction, and I’m hoping that with a little more patience from the fans, they will richly be rewarded in a few years.


Hull City FC

Club CaretakerMike Phelan
StadiumKCOM Stadium
Year Founded1904
NicknameThe Tigers
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Stay Up5/6


As the English Premier League 2016/17 season approached, most of the soccer pundits and punters were optimistic that Hull City FC was going to be relegated. Having sold one of their most important player to Championship team, Newcastle FC, and having only acquired one youngster player to reinforce the gap left by Mohamed Diame Hull City. Further, the loss of the club’s manager, Steve Bruce and all the negative energy surrounding the club made people believe that the team was outright going to be relegated.

This however turned out to be the reverse. The team shocked everyone to claim a victory against Leicester City, a win against Swansea, another comfortable win against Exeter City and a brilliant performance against Manchester United, even though the Red Devils managed to nick a goal and get the three points in extra time.

The team might have sold out its key players but as the transfer deadline approached, they managed to make huge signings that will help them continue with their exemplary performance. After an outstanding performance, they are yet to play Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, and should they collect points from these teams, it will be a good thing to the players belief and the club’s fans.


Significant addition: Will Mannion

It is without no doubt that, the 18 year old is the main addition to the main team. However, he is still a young player and essentially fetal for a goalkeeper. Chances are therefore that he won’t be making so many appearances in the first team. Still, Will Mannion is a highly rated player, and he decided to play for Hull City instead of Stoke City or Liverpool, thanks to the very positive meeting with Steve Bruce.

Significant departures: Mohamed Diame

When a big club comes for one of your key players, all that you can do is try convincing him to stop leaving by adding him some money and if that doesn’t work, you ensure that he’s gone at a good price that will enable you bring in a few players to cover his spot. However, what shocked people is why Mohamed Diame was more than willing to drop back into the Championship. While Newcastle FC willingly paid Mohamed Diame’s release clause and offered him decent prospects and wages, it is not a great look when Hull City let go of the player who scored the all important goal that led to the club’s promotion.

Other departures include Ryan Taylor (released) and Sone Aluko (released).

State of Hull City

Reasonably on fire! The last time the tigers were in the English Premier League, their events on the field were overshadowed by the efforts of the owner, Assem Allam, to rename the club to The Super Hull Thunder Tigers. The avid Tiger Fans protested this decision and the FA declined the proposal and the owner urged his critics to die as soon as they wished and he immediately put the club up for sale. So far, there is no major improvement. The season tickets are at a record low, and the management has decided to take the widely unpopular decision to stop giving concessionary prices to seniors and the children. Consequently, the seats at the KC stadium remain empty and the club is set to face protests from its supporters.


Leicester City FC

Club ManagerMike Phelan
StadiumKing Power Stadium
Year Founded1884
NicknameThe Foxes
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Win66/1



At the beginning of the 2015/16 season, nobody in his right mind believed that Leicester City would go ahead and win the title at the end of the season. However, to people’s disbelief, the team shocked the whole world when the reached the EPL summit at the beginning of the year and went ahead to defy all the odds to win the English Premier League for the first time in history. It was indeed a thrilling season as few of the die hard Leicester City fans went ahead and reaped huge prizes after placing cheeky bets on the team. In notable incidents, a lady won a whopping £50,000 in real money after placing a cheeky £10 on the Foxes to win. In a separate incident, a player won £72,000 when the foxes won the title in May.

However, this season things seems to have changed with most of the big guns having added key players to their teams as they try to gun down the Foxes from the top of the pyramid. Leicester City surely has the quality that they need to challenge the title again in this season, but the pressure that they are experiencing pressure on them like never before. In the 2015/16 season, they were a classic tale of rags to riches, or the Cinderella story that inspired and amazed masses and players in the EPL. Now, they are the defending Champions and people are expecting them to enjoy similar success. However, it is not going to be an easy task for them, but as we saw last season, Leicester City is not a team that shies away from challenges.

Significant addition: Ahmed Musa

As seen in the Barcelona vs. Leicester City in the International Champions Cup, this young Nigerian forward makes the club’s favourite player, Jamie Vardy, look heavy-footed. He has an excellent touch, and his finishing skills are on point. Moreover, he has the much-needed Champions League experience, something that Jamie Vardy of Riyad Mahrez don’t have. It’s no doubt that he is going to play a crucial role at the club.

Other players to be added to the team include Bartosz Kapustka (KS Cracovia), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96), Nampalys Mendy (Nice), Luis Hernandez (Sporting Gijon), and Raúl Uche (Valencia).


Significant departure: N’Golo Kante

One thing that all football fans across the world will agree on is that N’Galo Kante played a huge role towards Leicester City’s success in the 2015/16 season. He was always available when needed by the team – marking dangerous players during set pieces, screening the back line, retaining and recovering possession as well as crashing the box. In short, he was always there when the team needed him.

He was one of the players who filled many roles and losing him to Chelsea FC was a major blow to the whole team. Even though the new signing, Mendy performs well, he is not going to be able to replace everything that N’Golo Kante gave to the team.

Other players who’ve left the club include Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Hamza Choudhury (Burton Albion), Mark Schwarzer (released), Michael Cain (Blackpool), Paul Konchesky (released), Joe Dodoo (Rangers), Ryan Watson (released), Harry Panayiotou (released), Dean Hammond (released),

State of Leicester City

Leicester City FC brought joy and excitement to the city, and the club’s fan base is still ecstatically celebrating the team’s success in the 2015/16 EPL season in addition to being cautiously concerned about the 2016/17 season. The team’s success created a daunting task for them – which involves repeating the same success. This is not going to be an easy task given the fact that no team has successfully managed to retain the trophy in years now. Therefore, whether or not they are going to live up to this expectation, it is something that we are yet to see!


Liverpool FC

Club ManagerJürgen Klopp
Year Founded1884
NicknameThe Reds
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Finish Top 41/1


In the 2015/16 season, Liverpool FC gambled on giving Brendan Rodgers one more chance to redeem himself and get the club back on track. They did this by giving him all the funds that he needed to secure new players, as well as giving him the power to make some important decisions at the club. However, this did not pay off. It was at that point that they decided to bring in one of the most successful and celebrated coach in the world, Jürgen Klopp, who despite being applauded as the best successor, he did not achieve what the club and fans wanted. He, however, did manage to show that the club indeed was making a significant improvement, by reaching the first UEFA Europa League finals before losing to Sevilla.

In the 2016/17 season, however, things are set to look bright with Klopp stamping his mark on the team by bringing in some major players from across the world. These new signings are set to bring peace to the team as well as the promise of more goals. Klopp has brought high expectations at Anfield, and his high-octane approach is expected to bring life back into Liverpool and hopefully they return to their old winning ways.



Significant additions: Loris Karius

Joël Matip was no doubt one of the best defensive players in the Bundesliga who is set to help patch things up at Liverpool’s defence, Sadio Mane is a representation of the biggest outlay, but one player that will have a big impact in Liverpool is Loris Karius. Liverpool’s other signings have strengthened positions that already had depth but Loris strengthened one of Liverpool’s weakest point. Or should we put he was meant to, until he fractured his arm, meaning that he will have to spend his first two months as a Liverpool player on the sidelines.

Other additional signings to Liverpool’s already bolstered lineup include Sadio Mane (Southampton), Joel Matip (Schalke), Ragnar Klavan (Augsburg), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle), and Alex Manninger (Augsburg).

Significant departure: Christian Benteke

After Liverpool lost Luis Suárez to FC Barcelona, there has been no other key player that has left the club until now, when Christian Benteke is leaving the club for Crystal Palace. He was the key player during Brendan Rodgers error and he’s always scored key goals to earn Liverpool points.

Joao Carlos Teixeira (Porto), Kolo Toure (released), Jerome Sinclair (Watford), Jordan Rossiter (Rangers), Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon Town), Danny Ward (Huddersfield Town), ),Samed Yesil (released), Jordon Ibe (AFC Bournemouth), Jose Enrique (released) Sergi Canos (Norwich City), Brad Smith (AFC Bournemouth), Martin Skrtel (Fenerbahce), Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Jon Flanagan (Burnley).

State of the club

Some of the Liverpool supporters remain neurotic on the lack of the so-called marquee signing during the transfer season, but for most of the supporters, the mood is tensed, as they are yet to see what Jürgen Klopp can do during his first season fully in charge at Anfield. They hope that without European Football, they are going to see the same performance they did during the 2013/14 season when they almost had the trophy.


Manchester City

Club ManagerPep Guardiola
StadiumCity of Manchester Stadium
Year Founded1880
NicknameThe Citizens
Official Website
Premier League Odds to win Title11/8



Last season saw Manchester City exhibit their poorest in five years, finishing fourth on the table thanks to the struggles of other top teams. This performance was the first in four years in which they failed to finish in the top two in the EPL.

The Citizen’s season was characterised by struggles against top sides, with the team failing to secure a win from any of the top five teams in the EPL. However, things are set to change with the change in managers. Pep Guardiola has taken over from Manuel Pellegrini, and everybody including the fans and the coach expecting so much from him.

Significant additions: Leroy Sane

This is one of the key players to have made a move during the EPL transfer season. Leroy Sane is a young pacey winger who can create chances as well as score goals. He has managed to work his way into the Germany Football Team and was included in the squad that played in the Euro 2016. In fact, he is considered to be one of the few young players who have a bright future in their respective club and country teams.

Other additions to the team include John Stones (Everton), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Oleksandr Zinchenko (FC Ufa), Marlos Moreno (Atletico Nacional), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), and Gabriel Jesus* (Palmeiras), *will join in January 2017.

Significant departures: Martin Demichelis

Martin Demichelis is no doubt going to be missed at Manchester City, especially when they start playing both the European and Domestic football. He, Demichelis, was one of the few players in the EPL who was able to provide cover as a centre back as well as a defensive midfield. One thing for sure is that he wasn’t a star like Yaya Toure, but he did have an impact whenever he played. He had the much-needed experience, and whenever he missed playing an important match, the team would struggle.

Other players to leave Manchester City include Seko Fofana (Udinese), Marlos Moreno (Deportivo La Coruna on loan) and Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town on loan).

State of the club

Optimism, may be misplaced given the fact that the Citizens is made up of an ageing squad that was demolished all too easily by the top EPL teams last season, even at their home ground. However, Pep Guardiola has a record of success, a factor that makes most of the people believe that he will make the players deliver!


Manchester United

Club ManagerJose Mourinho
StadiumOld Trafford
Year Founded1880
NicknameThe Red Devils
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Win Title5/2


Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the unforgettable tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson created a dangerous delusion of exceptionalism. After he retired in 2013, Manchester United peculiarly turned to a mid-table specialist. Asked why they decided to go for him instead of highly ranked managers who were readily available at that time, the response that they gave shocked many; ‘We are Manchester United’. Less than a year, the praised David Moyes was gone, and the club was attempting to right the wrong by giving the old Louis van Gaal the role of manager at the club. Louis van Gaal’s totalitarian approach best suited the role of managing one of the best and largest clubs, but his style of play – slow and stifling, wasn’t welcomed by the fans who kept chanting ‘Attack! Attack!’ every time there was a match at the Old Trafford.

Despite winning an FA Cup in May, Louis Van Gall had to go for missing to secure Manchester United a spot in the Champions League, and was sacked a few hours after lifting the trophy. It was then that Manchester United’s board decided to make the all important decision that they should have made when Sir Alex Ferguson retired – they appointed Jose Mourinho as the head coach.

Despite having a bad season at Chelsea FC, the Portuguese coach has enjoyed success in most of the leagues across the world and has also won all the coveted trophies with teams that have no experience or huge stars. Jose or the ‘Special One’ as he is referred has the charisma and will to take back Manchester United back to the top where they once belonged. And if history has anything to go by, he is set to win this season’s league.



Significant additions: Paul Pogba

After staying for four seasons at Juventus FC, the young French midfielder has been signed for a world record fee of 89.3million. A price that was paid by the club that once let him go for free in 2013. As it stands, the 23-year old is set to become one of the very best midfielders in the coming years but only if he can add both attacking drive and defensive steel to his skills.

Other additions to the team include Eric Bailly (Villarreal), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG).

Significant departures: None

One important thing that Manchester United have ensured is that they retain all its players. As the time of writing this, the only departures from the club are reserve players. This include Tyler Reid (Swansea City), Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough), Jimmy Dunne (Burnley), Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic), Joe Rothwell (Oxford United), Ashley Fletcher (West Ham United), Guillermo Varela (Eintracht Frankfurt), Paddy McNair (Sunderland), and Donald Love (Sunderland).

State of the club

It is no secret that Manchester United’s supporters are truly positive for the first time in many years. The team’s management has hired one of the best managers in the football world and has also shown willingness to spend more money in bringing more world-class players to the team. These among other reasons should give us more reason to think that the English Premier League could be heading to Old Trafford for the first time in many years. The signs are already being seen with Jose being in charge for just 100 days.

There are however small issues and concerns that still surround Jose Mourinho’s management such as his poor track record of nurturing young talent.



Club ManagerAitor Karanka
StadiumRiverside Stadium
Year Founded1876
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Stay Up1/8


The English Premier League 2016/17 season marks Middlesbrough’s return to the English Premier League after playing in the championship for seven years. In a hectic intervening period, Middlesbrough has narrowly avoided relegation to League 1, they have had four different managers, and they once suffered a promotion playoff heartbreak. However, all this changed with the incumbent boss Aitor Karanka who led them to an automatic promotion to the Premier League 2016/17 season.

Eyebrows were raised and questions asked when Aitor Karanka was appointed manager two years ago – with some being reasonable, and some less so. Not only was Aitor Karanka the first non-British manager in the history of Middleborough, but he had also not taken charge of any senior team on his own, having been Jose Mourinho’s assistant when he was the head coach at Real Madrid. However, he proved the doubters wrong by building a team from the defence lines towards the attack. His strategy of defending and hitting a team on the counter worked so well that it earned Middlesbrough a promotion back to the league.

Another key factor is that the team’s chiefs have recently reorganised the club’s backroom organisation – by hiring Victor Orta who was Zenit St. Petersburg’s sporting director – a factor that seems to be rewarding the team. They have also made a significant investment in this summer’s transfer by bringing in some big guns who should help them score goals and hopefully keep them alive in the Premier League come May 2017.


Significant additions: Marten de Roon

Though former Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo and one-time wonder kid Viktor Fischer grabbed the headlines when they signed for the team, it’s debatably the signing of midfielder Marten de Roon that is considered as Middlesbrough’s most notable business deal. The club reportedly signed the Dutchman for a fee close to £12 million after spending one season at Atlanta and consequently making himself a name of one of the most impressive defensive midfielders in Serie A. At a tender age of 25 years, Marten de Roon could probably go ahead and become one of the best players in the club’s history.

Other additions to the team include Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian), Antonio Barragan (Valencia), Victor Valdes (Manchester United), Alvaro Negredo (Valencia), and Brad Guzan (Aston Villa).

Significant departure: None

Middleborough, just like other teams in the EPL have ensured that they have held onto the players who helped them rise from the Championship, with only insignificant players of the squad having been allowed to leave the club. However, players such as Rhys Williams (Perth Glory), Jonathan Woodgate (released), Connor Ripley (Oldham) and Damia Abella (released), were all allowed to leave the club.

State of the club

So far so good, things are looking bright for the club. The club’s chairman gambled by committing the club’s future at the hands of Aitor Karanka, who successfully lead the team back to the English Premier League. He has also backed the manager by giving him the funds that he needed to bring in major signings who will help the team in the EPL this season. With the club securing a spot in the EPL this season, it means that they are eligible for the top-flight TV money share, meaning that any financial concerns should be taken care of by this share.


Southampton FC

Club ManagerClaude Puel
StadiumSt Mary's Stadium
Year Founded1885
NicknameThe Saints
Official Website
Premier League Odds Top Half Finish5/6


Once again, the 2015/16 season saw The Saints improve on their last league position by climbing to 5th position and registering an improvement for the sixth successive time. This is something that their fans should start getting used to by now. The team’s slow but steady climb to the 5th position ever since they earned promotion to the league has been a joy for the fans to watch and they have now proved that they are the most consistent and quick improving team in the EPL.

Another thing that the fans should have gotten used by now is the fact that they will always lose key players and coaches during the summer transfer window. Just like Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman decided to leave Southampton to a much bigger club – despite Southampton finishing way ahead of Everton in the English Premier League 2015/16 season. When it comes to football, money talks and that is the reason why Southampton have lost a further three key players in the 2016/17 transfer window including Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama.

However, the appointment of their new coach Claude Puel seems to be comforting, with additional signings of Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond and Bayern Munich’s Pierre Emile Højberg are stirring. In the 2016/17 Premier League season, there is very little room for Southampton to improve as compared to the big teams such as Manchester United and Liverpool FC, but once again, the team is poised just to go ahead and try to prove the doubters wrong.



Significant addition: Nathan Redmond

The club lost Sadio Mane, who was a key player at dictating the team’s pace. To fill the gap he’s left behind, the management has decided to poach Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond who’s already proved to be a good replacement during the preseason matches. He might have a long way to go before he can impact just as Sadio Mane did for the team, but he has the required skills and the prospect to be an excellent player in the near future.

Other players who have joined the Southampton team include Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich), Jeremy Pied (Nice), Alex McCarthy (Crystal Palace).

Significant departure: Victor Wanyama

To some, it would be easy to say Sadio Mane would be the significant player to leave St Mary’s but in reality it’s Victor Wanyama who Southampton will miss this season. The Kenyan player has had a long impact in Southampton’s midfield, though his lack of discipline and attitude problems have left the Southampton fans wanting more. Victor Wanyama is a talented player with a bright future in English football, and he seems to have always wanted to leave for a bigger club – and despite his high profile, Southampton couldn’t get a bigger transfer fee of more than £11m.

Other departures from Southampton first team include Gaston Ramirez (released), Paulo Gazzaniga (Rayo Vallecano), Kelvin Davis (retired), Juanmi (Real Sociedad), Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), and Jason McCarthy (Walsall).

State of the Club

The club’s fan base still remains fairly positive. By now they have been used to the summer upheavals and attitudes to Southampton are totally pliable to anything that happens after three successive summers of change. There is also a section of the fans that is frustrated at the club’s management for not going out to the market and get decent players, given the fact that there is a new TV rights money that every club is poised to receive as well as the transfer money that the club is getting from the players that are being sold. However, the overall mood at the Saint Mary’s stadium remains to be positive under the new leadership of Puel.


Stoke City

Club ManagerMark Hughes
StadiumStoke on Trent
Year Founded1863
NicknameThe Potters
Official Website
Premier League Odds Top Half Finish5/2


As we head into the 2016/17 season, Mark Hughes will also be celebrating his four-year stay at the stadium that was once known as the Britannia. Since he took over the managerial role at Stoke City, we can comfortably say that things are satisfactory. The team has finished thrice in a row in the ninth position, which is a pleasing sign of security and stability at the club. There used to be an appalling, sadistic pleasure in watching the teams barbarians under Tony Pulis upsetting their betters; now when Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan and Marko
Arnautović click, you can enjoy watching the team play.

However, for the Premier League 2016/17 season, the big question is whether Mark Hughes boys will manage to overachieve their ninth place and perhaps secure a spot in the European Competition. There is nobody expecting them to pull a “Leicester” as we shall forever know it, but the Saints, the Hammers and Everton have all registered squads of similar quality in the UEFA Europa competition since Mark Hughes took over. Consistent performance will be very crucial, especially at home, where they trounced both Manchester Clubs last season but lost to teams that were struggling to remain in the Premier League.


Significant addition: Joe Allen

Buying a player who played so well in international competition has always been seen as a tricky idea, but Mark Hughes, just like other self-respecting Welshmen, he did not want the summer to end without having a significant addition to the team. Therefore, in the form of Liverpool comes one of the best performing players in the Euro 2016 competition, Joe Allen. At a tender age of 26, and priced at £13 million, which at this time that players prizes are being fluctuated, seems like a sort of bargain. He has probably been brought in to pair with Giannelli Imbula, Stoke’s record signing who joined the team in the 2014/15 January transfer window.

Other additional players to Stoke FC’s first team include Ryan Sweeney (AFC Wimbledon), and Ramadan Sobhi (Al Ahly).

Significant departure: Steve Sidwell

Stevie has taken his slow paced game down to the Championship after signing a contract with Brighton and Hove Albion and some of his fans will be saddened by his departure. But to be honest, Stevie was getting on a bit, and in the turn of things at the stadium, it was perhaps best for both club and player for him to sign for Brighton and Hove Albion and the club to find a new player, such as Allen, to fill his gap and deliver as expected.

The other player to leave the club is Peter Odemwingie who was released from his contract at the Potters.

State of the club

Pottering on steadily, if you won’t mind the pun. In a business as hectic as football, maintaining the same manager for a period of four years results into something admirable, and as seen from above, Stoke City have been one of the stable teams in the English Premier League. Well, they may have a squad that is a little unbalanced and has a few ageing players who need to move on. And should the team continue to surge up the EPL table, it will be interesting to see how long the parties at the club remain content with the state of things.


Sunderland FC

Club ManagerDavid Moyes
StadiumStadium of Light
Year Founded1879
NicknameThe Black Cats
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Stay Up1/2


Sunderland FC can be compared to a Cat that has nine lives. It is the only team in the English Premier League to constantly survive the axe towards the end of the season. Their tale is the same for three years now, and during the 2015/16 season, they just survived the relegation race, and now thanks to Big Sam who dropped them for the coaching role in the England National squad, they are with David Moyes, the ex-Manchester United and Everton coach. Moyes has had a long history of keeping English teams afloat in the EPL, but his two major jobs were disastrous.

Sunderland’s offseason activity has been minimal, only making their first notable signing in the final week of August. As compared to other teams that are poised to compete with Sunderland for survival this season, things may not be looking good as the competitors have spent a big share of money to make big signings in a bid to compete fairly with other teams. One consoling factor is that Sunderland are not exactly strangers in the relegation battle, and they may just figure something out before the end of the season!



Sunderland Football Team Players: Significant addition

He is also the only single addition to the team so far, and he is poised to play a very important role for Sunderland. He really had a good spell at Werder Bremen during the second half of the 2015/16 season, playing a full match as compared to the one-minute playtime he was being given at Chelsea. He now has a key role to play at Sunderland and help them remain in the EPL come May 2017.

Papy Djilobodji’s athleticism brings Sunderland something in central defence, which they lacked before, and this is set to be an important factor this season.

Sunderland Football Team Players: Significant departure

DeAndre Yedlin’s defensive career at Sunderland started at a slow start until the arrival of Big Sam, who boosted Yedlin’s value in the team. Losing his drive, pace and attacking contribution on the right flank will surely cost the team if they don’t get a replacement in the January transfer because they lack a significant player who can replace him.

Other players who have left Sunderland include Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers), Will Buckley (Sheffield Wednesday), Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Adam Matthews (Bristol City), Wes Brown (released), Mikael Mandron (Eastleigh), Santiago Vergini (Boca Juniors), and Emanuele Giaccherini (Napoli).

State of the club

As it stands, things at the Stadium of Light are shaky. Sunderland is in a transitional period that they hadn’t thought they’d be with the sudden departure of Big Sam. Things are even worse as the incumbent manager, David Moyes, is struggling to rebuild the team as well as his image with very little time. Sunderland fans are anxious and nervous, hoping that this won’t be the season when their team will finally succumb to the relegation pressure and fall down to the Championship!


Swansea City Team

Club ManagerFrancesco Guidolin
StadiumLiberty Stadium
Year Founded1912
NicknameThe Swans
Official Website
Premier League Odds Top Half Finish4/1

Swansea City Team

The Swans have always managed to finish mid-table, but the 2015/16 saw them for the first time in many years flirt with the possibility of relegation in the first half of the season. The excitement of playing seemed to be exciting Garry Monk, who was immediately fired before he had a chance of realising his dream. His replacement, Francesco Guidolin, played a very big role in ensuring that the ship remained afloat in the Premier League waters. And eventually, the club went from battling the drop to secure a comfortable 12th place finish, just ten points above the cut.

This year, Swansea City team have already lost their key striker Andre Ayew, which may impact negatively on their team given that the team had one of the worst attacks, scoring only 42 goals in total. They have tried to cover this up by signing up Fernando Llorente, who only managed to score four goals in the La Liga. Additionally, they have also lost Williams, another player who had a huge impact in helping them climb up the table, to Everton FC.


Significant additions: Fernando Llorente

The ex-Sevilla player hopes to enjoy an Indian Summer to his football career in Wales and hopefully help solve the team’s attack problems. Swansea is a highly ranked team and 42 goals in a full season is just not enough to keep them playing in the EPL. However, with Fernando being the major upgrade up front, we hope things will change, and we’ll be able to see more goals scored.

Other players to be added to the team include Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets), George Byers (Watford), Leroy Fer (Queens Park Rangers), Tyler Reid (Manchester United), and Mike van der Hoorn (Ajax).

Significant departure: Andre Ayew

Other departures such as Paloschi and Gomis will definitely hurt the Swans, but none of the mentioned players was as influential as Andre Ayew. He is the only player who always posed threats to opponents and always had to be held accountable after the match. However, with West Ham having poached him, there is a gaping hole in the team’s lineup.

Other players who have left Swansea include Kyle Bartley (Leeds United), Matthew Grimes (Leeds United), Alberto Paloschi (Atalanta), Ashley Williams (Everton), Bafetimbi Gomis (Marseille), Liam Shephard (Yeovil Town), Ryan Hedges (Yeovil Town), Eder (Lille), and Matt Grimes (Leeds United).

State of the club

Relief? Avoiding the drop was clearly a huge relief to the players and fans and Guidolin has already proved in his first half-year in charge that he is competent and can get the best out of his players. A whole year in charge at the team could prove fruitful.


West Bromwich Albion

Club ManagerTony Pulis
StadiumThe Hawthorns
Year Founded1878
NicknameThe Baggies
Official Website
Premier League Odds to Stay Up1/4

West Bromwich Albion team recovered its respect after they secured the 14th position in last season’s Premier League. Their success was noted when they took 10 points in the four games that took place in February and early March after that they failed to win any other game in that season. This provoked the fans and the booed the team while others wanted Pulis out of the team. The leadership of Pulis was based on patience especially when the results do not match their expectations.

Tony Pulis has not changed his all-out attacking style even after the addition of Matt Phillips, a pacey winger. He intends to retain and reinforce the solidarity of the defense and Midfield. This season their goal is to at least get a win and nick a goal to maximize their chances of rising in the Premier League. They will still keep it tight and hope for another highly amusing win, just expect fun from the West Brom team.


West Bromwich Albion team: Key addition

Matt Phillips comes from Queens Park Rangers and Blackpool and all his adventures saw his team’s go to relegation. Under Pulis, who has not been relegated as a manager or a player, might give him a chance to taste the success of beating relegation. This season, West Brom is dealing with a paradox that can be harnessed to give them an alternate dimension.

West Bromwich Albion team: Key departure

The unpredictable Stéphane Sessègnon is now without a club after he was released. During the Premier League he had a skill that could get him through strategic defenses, he was a terrific forward, but that was all he knew. Pulis might have been frustrated by his confusing and confounding talent. Other players who were released at the same time as Sessègnon were, Anders Lindegaard and Victor Anichebe.

State of the club

Pulis has been the head coach in Hawthorns since January 2015 and has made the team stable in the simplest way possible. His games have not been that exciting to the fans. West Brom still benefits from the Steve Clarke-Pepe Mel-Alan Irvine experiment.


West Ham United

Club ManagerSlaven Bilic
StadiumOlympic Stadium
Year Founded1895
NicknameThe Hammers
Official Website

This season comes with a great transition for the Hammers, as they will be competing in the Europa League, now they are preparing by moving into their new stadium leaving the 60,000 seat Olympic Stadium behind. The finished the seventh place after Manchester United won the FA Cup. Unfortunately, the results of their contention for the Champions League spot did not come out as expected.

Slaven Bilic replaced Sam Allardyce who led West Ham to their 13th, 12th and 12th previous league positions making it a possible relegation candidate. Taking over in the year 2015, he has earned the club three records in last season’s Premier League: most goals scored (65), most points (62) and fewest games lost (8). West Ham has a bright future given that they have a new stadium and tons of more money to spend. If they put more effort they might replicate the successes of last season or even exceed their expectations.


West Ham United Team – Key addition 

Andre Ayew joins The Hammers from Swansea City, breaking the club’s fee record when he signed a contract worth £20 million. He is a versatile 26-year-old Ghanaian player, can play any side of the Middlefield. He scored 12 goals last season while in Swans, not forgetting his solid scoring record at Marseille. He is not the only player entering the field, the Hammers added Sofiane Feghouli, Håvard Nordtveit, Ashley Fletcher, Gökhan Töre and Arthur Masuaku.

West Ham United Team – Key departure

This summer, West Ham released Tomkins after he signed for a £10 million deal with Crystal Palace. He has played in 243 games and this becomes a challenge for Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid to fill gap of performance. Last season the West Brom defenders a bit shaky, so it is up to the management to rekindle the hopes of the fans. Other players that left include Alex Song, Joey O’Brien and Emmanuel Emenike.

State of the club

As the season begins the club is hit by several significant injuries (Manuel Lanzini, Aaron Cresswell and Gokhan Töre) which could cripple their success.

West Ham United Team remains cheerful as they wait for more signings. Their main obstacle is regression. If they are lucky, West Ham might qualify for the Europa League and even race for a Champions League place- anything can happen.