The English Premier League season starts on August 8 and we at 32 Flags cannot wait for the start of the EPL and the rest of the European league season. We’re here to let you know what’s going to happen this upcoming 2015-16 season. Ok, these predictions are sure to be wrong so feel free to laugh at us, but that doesn’t mean we can have a little fun while looking foolish at the same time.
For our predictions, each writer voted in each category in this article. If there was a tie, I was the tiebreaker. So away we go.
EPL Champion – Chelsea (4 votes)
Over half of us feel Chelsea is going to make it back-to-back and win consecutive EPL titles for the first time since Manchester United won three in a row from 2006 to 2009. Chelsea dominated last year and while they have been rather quiet on the transfer moves so far, they have added some depth with Asmir Begovic and getting Radamel Falcao on loan. As of now, Chelsea are the “de facto” champions and everyone else has to catch up, much less pass Chelsea for the title.
Others receiving votes – Manchester United (2), Arsenal (1)
UEFA Champions League qualifiers – Chelsea (7 votes), Arsenal (7), Manchester City (6) and Manchester United (5)
No surprises here, the same four teams who qualified for Champions League last season will do the same this season. Maybe Liverpool and Tottenham can provide a scare to an unsuspectedly struggling team but they’re going to have to have a near flawless season to break into the top four.
Others receiving votes – Liverpool (2), Tottenham (1)
UEFA Europa League qualifiers – Tottenham (6 votes), Liverpool (5), Swansea (2)
This is where Tottenham and Liverpool look to compete for. While they will be trying for top four, they will most likely be here when it’s all said and done. That third spot caused a sense of debate among the staff but in the end, Swansea, with their non European season, win out for that final spot.
Others receiving votes – Manchester United (2), Southampton (2), Stoke (2), Manchester City (1), Crystal Palace (1)
Relegated teams – Bournemouth (5 votes), Sunderland (5), Leicester City (4)
This isn’t going to be one of those seasons where we’ll automatically assume the three promoted Championship teams are instantly going to relegate. There are many teams who have a legitimate chance at dropping at the end of the season. And given that the top of the table is expected to be a little more predictable than in previous seasons, this could be the most entertaining battle of the Premier League. We have Championship winners Bournemouth, Sunderland and Leicester City dropping but as you can see below, there are other teams who should be worried as well.
Others receiving votes – Norwich City (2), Aston Villa (2), Newcastle (1), Watford (1)
FA Cup winner – Liverpool (3 votes)
The dominance of the FA Cup by Arsenal looks like it will end this season and Liverpool may be the most likely team to do just that. Liverpool got to the Semifinal last season and lost to Aston Villa. This upcoming season, they may be on the fast track to win their eighth FA Cup.
Others receiving votes – Arsenal (2), Chelsea (1), Stoke (1)
League Cup winner – Chelsea (2 votes)
Along with back to back EPL titles, Chelsea also appear to be winning back to back League Cup titles according to the 32 Flags staff. Stoke got a pretty respectable showing with a couple of votes but with me being the tiebreaker, I have Chelsea winning.
Others receiving votes – Stoke (2), Arsenal (1), Liverpool (1), Manchester City (1)
Golden Boot winner – Diego Costa-Chelsea (3 votes)
The staff have Diego Costa as the Golden Boot winner after losing to Sergio Aguero last season. While injuries kept Costa from playing in as many games this season, the attack by Chelsea is going to provide many chances for Costa to get his goals and give Chelsea the title.
Others receiving votes – Aguero (2), Kane (1), Sanchez (1)
Goalkeeper of the Year – Thibaut Courtois-Chelsea (6 votes)
This was about as close of a landslide as you’re going to see. Since David de Gea looks like he’s going off to Spain, that only leaves Courtois in between the posts of the predicted EPL champions.
Others receiving votes – Cech (1)
Most Outstanding Player – Eden Hazard-Chelsea (4 votes)
Same as last year, Eden Hazard is going to be Footballer of the Year due to his work as Chelsea midfielder. Hazard hasn’t missed a step since his phenomenal season last year so expect more of the same from him.
Others receiving votes – Aguero (1), Coutinho (1), Sanchez (1)
Manager of the Year – Mark Hughes-Stoke (3 votes)
Manager of the Year is always that manager from that midtable team who surprises everyone by exceeding everybody’s expectations from the beginning of the season. Last year, it was Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace and Ronald Koeman of Southampton. This year, we feel that Stoke is going to be that surprising team and it is going to be because of the work of Mark Hughes.
Others receiving votes – Koeman (2), Van Gaal (1), Wenger (1)
So those are our picks. What are yours? Just like all of you, we cannot wait for the start of the season next weekend. We’ll have our best and worst EPL kits later in the week as well as a couple other things to welcome the new season.