2023/24 Premier League Season Preview

Football Commentator and Sports Broadcaster Kieran Burke previews the new EPL season.

A team by team preview ahead of the new EPL season which starts on Friday night with Burnley v Manchester City.


The first silverware of the new season went Arsenal’s way as the Gunners laid down an early marker for the upcoming campaign by defeating treble winners Manchester City via a penalty shootout at Wembley on Sunday.

Leandro Trossard’s 101st minute equaliser served as a good reminder of what is likely to come in the opening weeks of the season with match officials urged to clamp down on time wasting by adding on substantial periods of injury time, as seen at the World Cup last Christmas.

Having guided Arsenal to a second-placed finish last season, Mikel Arteta has been backed by the clubs board during the off-season with over €200,000 spent on Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and Declan Rice.

However, with Gabriel Jesus set to miss the start of the season through injury, the lack of a proven centre-forward may come as a concern to Gunners supporters with a large burden likely to be placed on Bukayo Saka to chip in from wide. Saka scored 14 Premier League goals last season and will be key to any Arsenal success again this term.

At the other end of the park, Aaron Ramsdale recovered from some poor performances in pre-season to save a Rodri penalty in Sunday’s shootout success but reports of an Arsenal move for Brentford’s David Raya continue to circulate. The more competition for places the better so signing Raya would certainly make sense.

It’s been a long time since Arsenal fans had so much to be positive about going into a new season with the purse strings finally loosened by the powers that be. As a result, there’s no reason Arsenal can’t match what they achieved last season.



The Cherries looked down and out when Gary O’Neill took charge last season but despite guiding Bournemouth to safety, O’Neill was swiftly shown the door with Spaniard Andoni Iraola flown in ahead of the new campaign.

Iraola led Rayo Vallecano to an 11th placed finish last season in a campaign that included wins against the big two, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The decision to replace O’Neill with a manager renowned for his attacking philosophy has shades of Crystal Palace appointing Patrick Vieira about it, and we all know how that ended.

Almost €70,000,000 has been forked out on new signings so the gamble on replacing O’Neill with what the club obviously feel is a more progressive coach is one that will be keenly followed this season.



Outside of the obvious candidates, Unai Emery had to be in the conversation for manager of the season last term. The ex-Arsenal boss found some serious momentum upon replacing Steven Gerrard at Villa Park with the result being a top-seven finish and a place in Europe.

The Spaniard has been rewarded during the summer with some notable names arriving at the Birmingham club, including Moussa Diaby (€55 million, Leverkusen), Pau Torres (€33 million, Villarreal), and Youri Tielemans (free, Leicester City).

Should Villa go on a decent European run they will need those extra bodies. West Ham are a prime example of how difficult it can be to balance domestic and European duties when you aren’t blessed with a squad the size and quality of the very top clubs while the likes of Chelsea will be expected to challenge the top-six again after an off-season in 2022/23.



Having scored 20 league goals last season, the suspension of star striker Ivan Toney until January next year is a real hammer blow for the Bees to contend with ahead of the new campaign. Brentford came up just short in terms of qualifying for Europe last season but a 9th place finish was still an incredible achievement.

The signing of Irish international Nathan Collins could be an inspired one given how Brentford play. A technically gifted centre-half, Collins should love playing under Thomas Frank. Reports linking David Raya with a move to North London will be a concern but Mark Flekken’s arrival from Freiburg at least means they are prepared for the worst.

All in all, another top-half finish would be a sensational accomplishment for the Londoners.



Almost overnight Brighton fans went from wondering how they’d survive without Graham Potter to pondering how they ever managed without Roberto De Zerbi. The Italian made an instant impact at the Seaside club as he guided Brighton to a top-six finish and a place in Europe and while the cost for such an achievement was losing the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Robert Sanchez and possibly still Moises Caicedo, the level of fresh young talent coming through at the Amex Stadium bodes well for Brighton’s chances of building on last seasons success.

As mentioned with Aston Villa, balancing Europe and Premier League duties will make backing up last season’s top-six finish difficult but overall, I’d be very hopeful of the Seagulls flying high this season.



Vincent Kompany’s Burnley team not only went up as champions last season but they have earned the plaudits of possibly being one of the second-tiers best ever sides after amassing 101 points with 29 wins from 46 matches and just the three defeats.

Sean Dyche did an amazing job over a number of years on a shoestring budget at Turf Moore but Burnley are a different club these days with overseas investment allowing the Clarets to spend big in the transfer market with almost €80,000,000 forked out on new arrivals.

However, Burnley’s biggest achievement during the summer break was been able to keep a hold of the Manchester City legend in the dugout. With Wolves in turmoil, Everton looking like they may tread water at best again this season, and fellow new boys Luton and Sheffield United unable to invest to the same sort of levels as Burnley, the Clarets should stay up comfortably.

PREDICTION: Bottom-half.


Most Chelsea fans would probably settle for a stable season with no headlines or extravagant sound bites from their controversial American owner Todd Boehly with new manager Mauricio Pochettino been left to his own devices at Stamford Bridge.

Should Chelsea manage to reduce the off-field drama this season, Pochettino has proven his ability to improve teams through his coaching methods while the ex-Spurs boss has been given a helping hand with the big money signings of Christopher Nkunku, Alex Disasi, Nicolas Jackson.

A mass clear out of the Stamford Bridge dressing room facilitated such incomings with Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic all moved on.

Sadly, striker Nkunku will miss the first few months of the season through injury but Jackson will just have to hit the ground running while Pochettino may get more out of players such as Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez this season after lukewarm starts to life in London.



The Patrick Vieira experiment was quickly ditched at Selhurst Park with the safety blanket that is Roy Hodgson quickly reached for. The steady English man kept the Eagles up with plenty to spare in the end which meant the club were always likely to go with the tried and tested this time around as opposed to making further sweeping changes.

Crystal Palace will be entering a new era of sorts this season as they adjust to life without Wilf Zaha and having only signed two players in the summer window, you’d have to ask yourself if Palace have any ambition of ever doing more than just staying up?

Jefferson Lerma looks a good addition to the engine room in midfield while Brazilian attacking midfielder Matheus França (€20,000,000 signing from Flamengo) is something of an unknown as he moves away from his native land for the first-time.

As pointed out earlier, Palace may get lucky with some of the teams below them but it’s hard to see anything other than a campaign spent in the lower reaches of the table.

PREDICTION: Bottom-half


Despite staying up by the skin of their teeth last season, Everton have in fact made a healthy profit during the off-season with just two new arrivals against 10 exits, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing given Goodison Park didn’t exactly appear to be a harmonious place to play football last season.

This isn’t exactly uncharted waters for Sean Dyche either given his experience at Burnley and he’s likely to mold this Everton team into being a nasty team to play against.

However, Leicester City and Southampton are prime recent examples of what standing still can do to a club and that’s the sense you get with Everton as a club right now.

Expect another season of relegation flirtation for the not so sweet Toffees.


PREDICTION: Bottom-half


Marco Silva did a stellar job with the Cottagers last season who just ended up missing out on Europe in the end but with star striker Alexander Mitrovic currently at loggerheads with the club and Willian also eyeing up a Craven Cottage exit, matching last season’s exploits won’t prove easy.

The signing of Raul Jimenez from Wolves could be a shrewd one while Calvin Bassey’s capture from Ajax appears to be something of a coup.

With Villa and Brighton trying to balance the league and Europe and with Brentford without Ivan Toney until January, Fulham will be hopeful of improving on last season’s 10th place finish but they may come up just short on that front.

PREDICTION: Bottom-half


A return to the Champions League will be Liverpool’s objective for this season and the capture of World Cup winner Alexi Mac Allister and Hungarian international Dominik Szoboszlai can only help in that regard but overall, you’d have to hold concerns regarding the Reds squad depth.

Key squad players such as Fabinho, Firmino, Henderson and Keita have all moved on while the back four will have to buck up their ideas massively from last season. Somehow, I don’t see that happening but that should lead to some wonderfully entertaining games with Liverpool’s midfield and front three full of threat but the back door could be left wide open by Alexander Arnold’s lack of positional awareness and the fact Jurgen Klopp doesn’t appear to have found a consistent partner for Virgil Van Dijk who himself appeared off colour for much of last season.



Luton’s biggest investment since promotion has been in work required on Kenilworth Road just to make the venue suitable for Premier League football, a good indication of the level of challenge facing the newcomers this season.

The fact Ross Barkley’s free transfer from Nice is being viewed as something of a marquee addition adds further to the awareness of how difficult survival is going to be for the Londoners.

In fact, It’s only ten years ago that Luton were preparing for another season in the Conference, now they a Premier League side after coming through the play-offs last season.

Ireland fans will be wishing the Hatters well with Chiedozie Ogbene signing from Rotherham but with Burnley spending big and Sheffield United having recent experience of this level, it’s hard to see Luton being anything other than the weakest of the three promoted sides and with that you’d have to chalk them up for relegation.



How do you improve on a treble winning season? Win the quadruple is the only possible answer. The loss of the criminally under rated Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez won’t have helped such chances although Pep Guardiola has added some freshness to his squad with Josko Gvardiol and Mateo Kovacic which is very important even in a winning side.

Sunday’s Community Shield defeat won’t concern to many in Manchester as Guardiola has always preferred to bring his team to the boil at the business end of the campaign as we saw last term.

Rightfully considered one of English football’s greatest ever teams, there’s no way you can overlook City for the title this season with Arsenal again likely to be their main rivals with the likes of Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea having too much ground to try and make up in the space of one season while Newcastle would lack title race experience should they find themselves improving on last season’s top four finish.



Having finished sixth two campaigns ago, last seasons top three finish should be viewed as a very progressive initial effort from Erik ten Hag although the shine was taken off a season that contained United’s first piece of silverware under the Dutchman thanks to Manchester City’s historic treble.

Trying to close the gap with their near neighbors will again be the objective this season while United will be looking to remind everyone of their own threat as they return to the Champions League.

This pre-season has been a lot more relaxed for ten Hag thanks to a certain Portuguese players departure from Old Trafford while the former Ajax boss has spent heavily with Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, and goalkeeper Andre Onana all putting pen-to-paper at Old Trafford.

Expect more steady progress under the stern ten Hag this season.



We knew it was coming but Newcastle’s astronomical rise to the top of English and European football looks well ahead of schedule after Eddie Howe led the Geordies to a top-four finish last season. Managing expectations will not prove easy for the Englishman especially after some high-profile summer signings.

While Premier League titles and major silverware are probably only a matter of time for cash-rich Newcastle, establishing themselves in the top-four needs to be their first priority. Also, having reached the league cup final last season, ending the clubs trophy drought must also be high on the agenda for the clubs leadership this season.

A fit Alexander Isak could reek havoc this season while Harvey Barnes is a great replacement for Saudi-bound Saint-Maximin.

Liverpool look most likely to threat the Toon’s top-four status this season but with a bit of luck in regards to injuries, this could be another important chapter in the new history of Newcastle United.



It was Forest’s home form that proved crucial in the end as Steve Cooper survived some rocky patches to not only keep his job at the County Ground but to keep the boys from Nottingham in the top-flight.

A purple patch just at the right time in front of goal from Taiwo Awoniyi alsp played a huge part in Forest’s survival and Cooper has added to his options in front of goal with the signings of Anthony Elanga and Chris Wood. Not forgetting Brennan Johnson from last season, Forest now have serious depth in the final third of the pitch.

The fear with Forest is, should they get off to a slow start or hit a rocky patch their owner appears like he could be slightly trigger happy. Don’t forget, it was essentially the power of the Forest fans that saved the manager last season.

However, with the likes of Wolves and Everton likely to be scrapping towards the bottom with some of the newly promoted sides, I think Forest have enough to stay afloat.



Sheffield United will be hoping to replicate their 2019-20 Premier League season where Chris Wilder’s newly-promoted Blades took the top-flight by storm to finish in the top-ten. However, second season syndrome would strike with United relegated the following year.

Now, they are back in the big-time under Paul Heckingbottom but any notions of a top-half finish would seem wild with the Blades looking set for a long tough season at this level.

The fact they’ve brought in more money than they’ve shelled out in recent months tells you what sort of a challenge Heckingbottom is facing into, especially given it’s his maiden season as a EPL manager.

Enda Stevens and John Egan offer some Irish interest but overall, their squad doesn’t look strong enough to survive.



At the time of writing, Harry Kane’s future remains in limbo but even if they manage to somehow retain the services of the England captain, Spurs chances of a top-four return look slim.

Ange Postecoglou appears to have been received well within the Spurs camp but the major overhaul required at the North London club again hasn’t materialised. To be blunt about it, there are far too many players at the club not up to the required level to compete for any sort of honors so while the ex-Celtic boss may be able to get more out of what he has, it won’t be enough to deliver Spurs to where they need to be.

If Kane does indeed go, a top-ten finish may even prove hard work.



Despite winning the Conference League last season, David Moyes future at the London Stadium remains an uncertain one with many firms installing the Glaswegian as favourite in this seasons “sack race.”

Edson Alvarez’s arrival will help fill the huge Declan Rice shaped void but he is irreplaceable in terms of what he offered his boyhood club while Scamacca, Vlasic, and Lanzini have all also departed which leaves the Hammers squad looking on the thin side given they’ve got a Europa League campaign ahead.

Lucas Paquetá is also been linked with a big money move away and we also witnessed how the Irons struggled to juggle the league and Europe last season. This could be a difficult campaign for West Ham.

PREDICTION: Bottom-half


A club in crisis. Trying to stay within financial fair play has limited Wolves ability in the transfer window and it has cost them a first-class manager in Julen Lopetegui. While his replacement, Gary O’Neill performed a minor miracle in keeping Bournemouth up last season, this could be an even bigger rescue mission with Wolves losing the services of Ruben Neves, Nathan Collins, Conor Coady and Adama Traore.

Scoring goals was a huge problem last season so Matheus Cunha’s arrival from Atletico Madrid is most welcome but his support looks limited and as a result, it’s no surprise to see Wolves relegation odds shortening by the day.

PREDICTION: Relegated.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article