2015/16 Premier League Season Previews
The 2015/16 football season kicks off this weekend – and you can warm-up for the new campaign with our comprehensive guide to all 20 of the Premier League teams.
Below you’ll find links to top flight team profiles, complete with all the transfer news, line-ups, fixtures and predictions on each club.
For the third summer in succession, Arsenal have had substantial funds available to add quality to the squad and have not had to sell a player against their will. These two factors combined together have been the key behind Arsenal’s slow but steady improvement over the last three years.
The list of honours collected by this group of players stands at back to back FA Cups. The question on every Gooner’s mind is whether they can take to next step and become Premier League champions.
After challenging the established top 4 under Martin O’Neil, Aston Villa have tumbled down the Premier League in recent seasons with fans now more accustomed to being in a battle against survival.
Top scorer Christian Benteke and club captain Fabian Delph have both moved on to pastures new during the summer, meaning Tim Sherwood’s recruitment will decide the outcome of the Villains’ campaign.
Liverpool and Tottenham have both struggled to get new squads to gel in recent seasons where as Southampton flourished last year despite selling many of their major stars showing that Sherwood’s task is tough but nonetheless achievable.
AFC Bournemouth are Premier League newbies, but The Cherries will be hoping to do more than just make up the numbers, as they look to surpass the feats of Swindon Town, Blackpool and Barnsley and avoid instant relegation. Winning the Championship title with 90 points, Eddie Howe’s men played some of the most aesthetically pleasing football in the country and bring top flight football to Dorset for the first time.
Chelsea come into this season as defending champions. Following a dominant campaign that saw The Blues lift both the Premier League and League Cup, Chelsea have been very quiet this summer. Despite the lack of transfer activity, it is clear that José Mourinho and his squad are gearing up for a title defence.
After a strong finish to last season and some astute business in the transfer window it looks as though The Eagles are going to continue establishing themselves as a mid-table Premier League side. Can Crystal Palace possibly improve on their highest placed finish of 10th in the top flight which they achieved in May?
Everton have established themselves in the upper echelons of the Premier League during recent years, first under David Moyes and then in Roberto Martinez’s first season at Goodison Park. The ever present Premier League club have been battling for Europe during the majority of campaigns and will hope to return to those heights after a blip last season.
It all seemed too good to be true at the start of summer for The Foxes as they survived the drop with a tremendous run of results. The Midlands club first lost Pearson’s son and other members of the youth team after a racist scandal, then they lost Pearson himself after an ongoing tense period between himself and the powers above.
Now with Claudio Ranieri at the helm, they will want to build on survival and attempt to establish themselves in the top flight. However, it may just prove too big a task to complete.
It is often said that an animal is at its most dangerous when wounded. Will this be case with a Liverpool team with a huge point to prove? Last season was one to forget for Rodgers and company, and everyone at the club will be raring to put the recent past far behind them.
Money has been spent on fresh talent and it appears yet another partially new-look team will take to the field come August the 9th. Will the revamped Liverpool be good enough to secure a top four finish?
With the Premier League season less than a week away we’re looking at how Manchester City performed last season, as well as previewing and predicting the key players for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season.
It is season number two for Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United and expectation levels have risen higher than just finishing in the top four, almost reaching the dizzy heights of life under Alex Ferguson. The Old Trafford faithful are expecting a title charge but with the added stress of Champions League football to contend with, will Van Gaal’s men be up to the task in the coming campaign?
Norwich completed the rarest of rare feats last season, bouncing back into the Premier League at the first time of asking after relegation in the 2013/14 season. Finishing 18th and slipping into the relegation zone only as the season drew to a close, Norwich completed good business in the off-season with Snodgrass and Fer leaving for big fees.
Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban were brought in and hit 30 goals between them as Norwich finished 3rd before winning promotion through the play-offs. Norwich have spent this summer strengthening the side in key areas, and with exciting young manager Alex Neil at the helm, they will be looking to enjoy the 2015/16 season as much as possible; their 25th in the top flight.
After the intense media speculation surrounding Southampton last summer where meltdowns, boardroom chaos and even relegation were mentioned following what many perceived to be an asset strip, Ronald Koeman steadied the ship in his first season in English football.
Now he faces a different challenge; trying to achieve the same results but with European football and increased speculation. Oh, and without arguably the finest Saints player for a generation.
As Stoke City enter their third season under Mark Hughes, Potters fans will be hoping for another successful campaign as the Welshman continues to cement the club in the top half of the Premier League table whilst playing aesthetically pleasing football at the same time.
Sunderland being a Premier League club in 2015-16 is something of an achievement in itself. The last three seasons have seen managerial changes as the board desperately tried to keep the club up.
With Dick Advocaat being persuaded to stay on as manager for one more year after guiding them to safety last season, many fans will be hoping to see them enjoy a safer season. In reality, the squad hasn’t improved that much and it is likely to be another nerve-racking final couple of months to the season for the Black Cats’ supporters.
Before looking at what Swansea can hope to achieve in what is set to be one of the most competitive Premier League seasons to date, it is important to first place into context the achievements of Swansea City in last year’s campaign under the ever-impressive tutelage of Gary Monk.
Tottenham Hotspur seem to have been in a perennial period of transition now for a good few seasons, with summers of disruption and shake-ups being all too commonplace.
However, they have had a stable transfer window thus far with no significant departures and in retaining Mauricio Pochettino, they have a man at the helm with a clear understanding of how to get the best out of the technically gifted players in the squad.
Whilst Harry Kane will still most likely be their main man, I expect them to have a more balanced season which is not so dependent on the England striker this time around.
Watford return to the top division of English football after an eight year absence as they look to preserve their Premier League status beyond the first season for the first time ever.
They will be looking to build on some brilliant form last season as they look to follow in the footsteps of Leicester City and beat the drop at the first attempt.
The Hornets look to combine the core from last season with lots of additions to the squad as they look for relative success.
West Bromwich Albion go into their sixth consecutive season in the Premier League on the back of a 13th-placed finish under the guidance of a manager who has never been relegated.
Tony Pulis; who joined the club at the turn of 2015, will be eager to assemble his own side after inheriting a squad containing 10 of Alan Irvine’s signings that; Lescott apart, have all struggled.
A recent takeover from a Chinese consortium failed to materialise so Jeremy Peace remains the owner going into the new season, doubtless with debatably realistic ambitions of replicating the 11/12 and 12/13 seasons by finishing in the top 10.
West Ham United will be embarking on their fourth consecutive campaign in the top flight since their return in 2012. It will be their first time not playing under the guidance of Sam Allardyce following his rather unceremonious removal and replacement by Slaven Bilic once the 14/15 season had come to a close.
This will be the Hammers’ final season at The Boleyn Ground before they move onto the Olympic Stadium. They hoped to give it a fitting send-off as the club returned to European football for the first time since the 2006/07 season, but an early exit in the qualification rounds put pay to this ambition.
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