Predicted Premier League table 2018/19: Alan Smith's verdict
Last Updated: 10/08/18 11:17am
With the summer transfer window having now shut for the year in the UK, Alan Smith predicts where each club will finish in the Premier League this season.
Ten top-flights sides broke their transfer records this summer, with Chelsea smashing the world-record fee for a goalkeeper, while Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp splashed out an incredible £164.45m on four new signings.
However, Smith does not believe that will be enough to bring the Premier League crown to Anfield for the first time, with the former Arsenal and England striker tipping Man City to retain their title.
"Riyad Mahrez is a valuable addition and in Pep Guardiola they have a manager who retains his hunger, and as long as he can keep that hunger in his players too, then they will have too much for everyone else," Smith told Sky Sports.
"With the signings Liverpool have made, Naby Keita and Alisson being the big ones, and the weaknesses they have addressed -with them now appearing to have a quality 'keeper - it should take them to second.
"I do not think it will be a particularly entertaining campaign for United fans, but they had a great defensive record last season and although he did not get his centre-half, there is no reason why they will not be as difficult to beat.
"I know there is a lot of negative talk about Spurs given their lack of transfer activity, but they have a quality squad whatever people say and they will get a buzz from moving into their new home. So I think they will have another good season under a quality coach."
However, while Smith thinks both Arsenal and Chelsea will improve under new bosses Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri respectively, he does not believe the London duo will make it back into the top four.
"While Arsenal will not finish in the top four, it will still be a season of learning and improvement under Emery," said the Sky Sports pundit. "And it is very much an unknown quantity in Sarri and you never quite know how it will go at Chelsea, it could go one of two ways. But with Sarri trying to change the structure of the team, it will take time."
Smith has tipped Wolves to secure a mid-table finish, with the newly-promoted side likely to be "an exciting team to watch after some incredible signings and could be everyone's second team".
However, Smith has predicted the drop for Watford, Huddersfield and Cardiff.
"I'm not sure Javi Gracia will stay the season and they could then find it hard to last the season," he said. "They always have a big turnover of players, which has worked in the past, but I do not think it will this time.
"Huddersfield did brilliantly last season and overachieved really, but scoring goals was a big problem and they do not have a lot of money to spend. And I think it may be just too much for them this season.
"And Neil Warnock will try and create a siege mentality at Cardiff, but in terms of quality they are just going to be a little bit short."
Alan Smith's predicted Premier League table 2018/19