Paul Merson predicts final Premier League table for new season
Last Updated: 04/09/15 1:24pm
With the transfer window now closed and four games played, can you predict how the Premier League will turn out?
We challenged Sky Sports expert Paul Merson to do exactly that - by putting the 20 clubs in the order he thinks they will finish at the end of the season.
Read on to see why Crystal Palace fans could expect European football next year - and why Sunderland could be in for a season to forget...
Manchester City (1) are my tip to be champions. They look the best team at the moment, and they've bought quite well. Chelsea (2) won't be far away and Arsenal (3) will finish the usual third or fourth.
I wouldn't have gone for Man United (4) at the start of the season, but I watched Liverpool disintegrate last week at home to West Ham and they didn't look like scoring in a month of Sundays, so I'm going to go for United to finish in the top four.
I like Crystal Palace (5) and if they stay fit as a team, they won't be a million miles off. They're not in Europe and they've got very good players. People are going to say they won't be up there because they're not Tottenham or Liverpool, but half of their players would get into Tottenham or Liverpool's team.
I thought Liverpool (6) played well at Arsenal for the first half and should have won really, but then they capitulated against West Ham and don't look like scoring enough goals. Then I like Swansea (7) and I think if they can keep their players fit, they're a good football team. Again, they've got players that would get into Liverpool and Tottenham's teams all day long.
Next I'll go for Spurs (8). I think they needed a forward. If they'd bought Saido Berahino, I'd have moved them up a couple of spaces, but there's too much pressure on Harry Kane. He hasn't scored yet, and I know last year he scored in November and scored 30 goals, but surely not this year as well?
Southampton (9) will get better. They've had injuries and they've just brought Virgil van Dijk in to boost numbers at the back so I think they'll be decent. Everton (10) have kept John Stones and they'll think they're a team in motion, still. They could finish two spots above 10th, but I don't think they'll be any further above that.
Stoke (11) have got to be careful. They seem to be a bit too open for me. They look like they're going to be great going forward, but when they're defending I don't see how they're going to get the ball back. They will miss Steven N'Zonzi.
A few weeks ago I feared Aston Villa (12) might be relegated, but I don't think they will now because they've got enough in their squad. I look at those mid-table teams that have brought in quite a lot of players and they need to gel quickly.
Leicester (13) have started well and they'll be well safe. They can beat teams and I love the Nathan Dyer signing… he could easily get in Tottenham's team.
When West Ham (14) are not expected to win, they turn it on and when they have home games against teams that are going to be in the bottom half they get beat - so that needs to change. The fans need to be a little bit more patient at home. Away from home, the shackles can come off.
Newcastle (15) are about the same as West Ham. I like Steve McClaren, he's a good manager, and I think they will just consolidate this year and don't want to be in a relegation battle.
Bournemouth (16) are decent, I was a bit worried at the start of the season but the West Ham game was impressive and they've got some good players, who will get used to the Premier League and they will be alright.
I'll say West Brom (17) will survive… just. I only say that because the Berahino issue has knocked them a bit sideways and there's a lot going on at West Brom. I don't think they've brought in enough.
I want to see Sunderland (18) stay up - it's a big football club - but I always think, when you're down there season after season then sooner or later you'll get caught in it and drop like Wigan did.
I've watched Norwich (19) loads of times. Two years ago when they were in the Premier League they didn't score enough goals. If you don't score any goals, you ain't going to stay up. I thought getting rid of Bradley Johnson for £6m was strange. He's one of those midfield players that can chip in with a lot of goals.
I've watched Watford (20) a few times now and I thought at Everton they were very good, but they haven't looked like scoring since then, and you've got to score goals to stay up. They're not playing to Troy Deeney's strengths.
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