2023/24 SEASON PREDICTIONSBy Howard Hockin | 11 August 2023
We asked the 93:20 Podcast family for their season predictions, so we can have a good laugh next May. This is what they predicted.
Who will win the league?
George Cockburn: I think Manchester City will be breaking another record this season and will go on to win an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row. It won’t be a cake walk though and I envision it going down to the wire.
Howard Hockin: Citeh, obv. Every season I think the league will be ultra-competitive, the most competitive ever, and I think this once more. But you can’t back against City with their record – as long as another signing or two comes in of course.
Ally Fogg: City.
Ben McKean: City. Despite lack of incomings, still think there is gap between us and others.
Joe Green: City (Possibly Liverpool if they can get a decent CM in).
Ahsan Naeem: City.
Ste Tudor: Arsenal. That’s right, I’m going with Arsenal. It concerns me they might have the hunger to do it this time.
Tom Young: City.
Laura Duncan: I believe City will do it once again. However, with that being said I think it’ll be a close-run thing.
Chris Wright: City.
Harry Siddall: Manchester City. No matter what happens in the transfer market, Pep Guardiola will find a way.
Who will make up the rest of the top four – in order?
George: Arsenal, Liverpool, United
Arsenal will get even closer to us this year, but their emotions will once again get the better of them. Liverpool’s attack will carry them through the season, with Salah hitting top form once again and United will scrape 4th with fierce completion from Newcastle, Spurs and Brighton.
Howard: Arsenal, United, Liverpool. Truly impossible to predict, though. Who knows what Chelsea we’ll get this season. If Caceido changes his mind and goes to Liverpool, bump them up two places.
Ally: Man United, Arsenal, Aston Villa.
Ben: City, Liverpool, Newcastle, Man U. I think Liverpool will come back this season after finishing well last year. Their signings in midfield will give them much needed freshen up.
Joe: Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal.
Ahsan: Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea.
Ste: City, United, Liverpool.
Tom: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea.
Laura: Liverpool, United, Arsenal.
Chris: Arsenal, Liverpool, United.
Harry: Liverpool, Arsenal & Manchester United.
Who will be relegated?
George: Sheffield United, Wolves, Luton Town
The two promoted sides will struggle to compete with the ever-rising quality of the Premier League. Sheffield United seem to be selling all the best players due to their precarious financial situation and Luton seem to be hoping the same formula that promoted them will keep them up. Wolves have been handcuffed by FFP this summer and have had a managerial change 3 days before the start of the new campaign, it looks like the Portuguese-led project has lost its legs.
Howard: What George said.
Ally: Luton. Nottingham Forest. Wolves.
Ben: Wolves, Sheffield United, Luton.
Could see Luton all but mathematically gone by Christmas. Having to play first few games away won’t help their start either. Sheffield United don’t have enough quality, especially up front and Wolves lack goals and have done for last couple of seasons. I think Burnley will survive but only just, I think they play to open for the PL.
Joe: Everton, Bournemouth & Luton.
Ahsan: Luton, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest.
Ste: Wolves, Sheffield United and Luton.
Tom: Luton, Sheffield United, Wolves.
Laura: Sheffield United, Luton and Bournemouth.
Chris: Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest, Luton.
Harry: Luton, Sheffield United, Wolves.
Who do you think will be the 2nd in the Golden Boot race?
George: A tough one to call while Harry Kane’s future hangs in the balance, but I’m going to go with Mo Salah to run Haaland the closest this campaign. He has a more creative midfield behind him this season and with no Champions League football to worry about, will be fully focused on the Premier League.
Howard: As I write, Kane looks on his way, unless he bottles it, which is entirely possible. Copying George once more I am afraid, as Salah seems the obvious answer. Won’t be Hojlund, that much I do know.
Ally: (Would have said Nkunku until I saw injury news today, so boring answer) – Kane.
(Ally sent in the earliest predictions)
Ben: Harry Kane or if he goes to Bayern, Salah.
Joe: Darwin Nunez.
Ahsan: Phil Foden.
Ste: Arf. Isak.
Laura: Mo Salah and I actually think it will be closer this time out.
Harry: Fancy Cody Gakpo to have a good year in front of goal. Liverpool’s attack looks scary good, with lots of depth.
Total goals for Erling Haaland.
George: 52 goals in all competitions is going to be seriously hard to beat but I don’t think Erling Haaland is slowing down anytime soon. I expect him to play a few games less this season and with that being said, I think he will score 48 goals in all competitions.
Howard: Stop speaking sense, George! I too wonder if he will be rotated a bit more this season, now that he has a Treble and all the records under the sun. So, a conservative 43 for me.
Ally: 40 in the league. 62 total.
Ben: Slightly more difficult second season but still see him scoring 40 plus in all comps. Will go for 42.
Harry: In all fairness, I’ve gave up guessing, but I’ll go 28 in the Premier League, 42 in all competitions.
A side that will beat the odds and do better than expected?
George: I really liked what I saw from Nottingham Forest toward the back end of last season. They had a chaotic start to life back in the PL last season but after shedding some dead wood this summer, a few good signings and a full pre-season with a settled squad, I think Steve Cooper’s team will be much more of a force this year.
Howard: Aston Villa, if that counts as “beating the odds”. There’s a good thing going on with Emery, the Gerard era a distant and easily-forgettable memory. Recruitment has been good, and the money is there to back the manager. He’s a cup specialist though, so their fans will have to hope he doesn’t overly-obsess on matters away from the league. Unlikely, to be honest.
Ally: See my prediction of Villa for Top 4. At the other end, have a hunch Sheffield United will sparkle (especially if we let them have Doyle & McAtee for another year, & I think we might).
Ben: Spurs – although not top 4, I think they’ll be a lot better this season and harder to beat. Expect them to finish 5th.
Joe: Chelsea (Despite the madness, really rate Poch/their squad).
Ste: Bournemouth to finish top 10.
Tom: Aston Villa. I’m not entirely sure what the club will be hoping for this season, but I really, really rate the work done by Unai Emery since arriving. I think they have done some shrewd business this summer and I can certainly see them upsetting a few of the ‘big boys’ en route to a trophy of some description this season.
Laura: I think Burnley will do well, however, with Vinny they’re probably favourites out of those promoted to stay up. I think I’m going to go with Palace to have a really good campaign.
Harry: Struggled to think of this one, but I’ll go for Bournemouth having another solid season – love the Alex Scott addition.
A side to unexpectedly struggle?
George: Brentford have been a great addition to the league ever since their promotion in the 21/22 season, but I fear this may be their toughest campaign yet. Losing leaders David Raya and Pontus Jansson, as well as their talisman Toney being banned until January are big hurdles to overcome, especially while trying to compete with the financial might around them. They will survive the drop, but only just.
Howard: I’ll stick my neck out for once and say Brighton. The sole reason being the asset-stripping of some of their best players. They will be fine, and De Zerbi is a genius, but there is only so much brilliant recruitment that can replace exits with players of similar quality. There may be a drop-off, with European football stretching the resources. If Caicedo stays, forget everything I said.
Ally: Wolves. Or if that’s not unexpected, Brighton (compared to last year).
Ben: Not sure if it’s unexpected but I think West Ham will struggle. They’ve lost a few players, struggled with incomings and even if they get Maguire and JWP, I fear they won’t be enough.
Ste: Not sure how surprising it would be, but Palace to just about stave off relegation.
Tom: Newcastle. Not that they will be in danger of relegation or similar, but I think their squad is still far too light to be able to compete for a top four spot as well as managing expectations in Europe. They won’t make the top four this season.
Laura: Spurs. Especially now with Kane looking like he’s going to Germany. I can see Spurs really dropping this season, possibly down near that mid-table area. Especially when you consider how positive the likes of Villa and Newcastle look. Then if Chelsea can have a better season than last. Wouldn’t shock me to see Spurs down in 8th or 9th. Everyone in that ‘big six’ area have really strengthened, I don’t feel Spurs have done that on the same level.
Harry: Brighton. I think some may have underestimated how big of a loss Mac-Allister and Caicedo could be to their season.
De-Zerbi is a top manager, but how long till a top job becomes available and a bigger team comes knocking.
Non-City Signing of the summer?
George: Nicholas Jackson to Chelsea. A really exciting and dynamic player, who will get lots of game-time now Nkunku is out is injured until December. I expect him to be a player of the season contender for Chelsea.
Howard: Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, annoyingly.
Ally: Pau Torres at Villa. Sandro Tonali could be great for Newcastle.
Ben: Mac Allister.
Joe: Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool (£35m) or James Trafford to Burnley (£19m).
Ahsan: Whoever gets Caicedo.
Ste: Mac Allister to Liverpool.
Tom: Jurrien Timber at Arsenal. He looks to have the full package as far as a ball playing centre half is concerned. I genuinely believe City would have been in for him, if not for Gvardiol. At less than £40m, he’s a steal.
Laura: Mac Allister to Liverpool is up there. Or Diaby to Villa could be one to watch.
Chris: Mac Allister.
Harry: I’ll go James Maddison. Would have loved him at City.
Worst signing of the summer?
George: Havertz to Arsenal. £65m is a lot to spend, even in modern football terms and I don’t see how he will improve their team. There is a belief Arteta is going to unlock something within Havertz and he will suddenly be world-class, but I think that overstates Arteta’s ability. Havertz is ineffective in front of goal and not defensively minded enough to play deeper, I see him spending a lot of time on the bench from January onwards. Am I still bitter about that goal in Porto? Maybe.
Howard: Never rated Havertz, so typical that he should score a Champions League winning goal against City – and Arteta knows what he is doing. Pedro Porro looked pants on loan at Spurs, and his permanent signing would not excite me as a Spurs fan – especially if he has to play in a back 4.
Ally: Hojlund at United looks massively overpriced to me. Might dodge flak by scraping over the bar marked ‘better than Wout Weghorst’.
Ben: Hojlund /Onana/Maguire
I’ve been greedy and gone for three as I can’t decide who is going to be worst. I think Hojlund will struggle to settle once he is fit, Onana is more mistake prone than De Gea and Maguire is a busted flush if he goes to West Ham.
Joe: Rasmus Hojlund to United (£72m).
Ahsan: The fake Haaland at United.
Ste: It’s got to be Hojlund hasn’t it? Can’t play twice a week or risk surgery and with an enormous price tag on his back. I might even feel sorry for the lad.
Tom: Kai Havertz to Arsenal. Utter garbage.
Laura: Havertz to Arsenal for £65mil. Purely down to the amount they paid for a player that solves no problems for them. He’s no better a striker than Jesus, not clinical but not really suited to the midfield (which is already strong anyway for Arsenal now).
Harry: Still don’t ‘get it’ with Kai Havertz.
Fantasy Football bargain pick?
George: I don’t know if £6.5m is bargain territory in FPL but I am expecting big things from Eberechi Eze this season. He had a fantastic second-half of the season in 22/23 and with Zaha’s departure to Galatasaray, Eze will now be the main penalty and free-kick taker.
Howard: Dan Burn at £4.5m? Yes please. I see Lucas Paqueta is £6m. Interesting.
Ally: Botman is a steal at £4.5m. NUFC haven’t signed any other defenders so can’t see why he won’t play every week again.
Ben: Kovacic – I think he’ll play a lot this season, will get clean sheets and think his game in the final third will improve. He’s more direct than people think so expect him to feed Haaland plenty.
Joe: Encisco/Mitoma (Brighton).
Ste: Botman at Newcastle. If Muric plays regularly for Burnley, not Trafford, then he’s a shout at £4.5m.
Tom: Mbuemo (Brentford) or Eze (Crystal Palace).
Laura: Mbuemo for £6.5mil. Especially now he’s Brentford’s penalty taker.
Harry: I don’t play, but Ollie Watkins is absolutely flying under Unai Emery, so he can’t be a bad shout up top instead of a premium striker.
PFA Player of the Year 23/24?
George: Like City, Erling is going back-to-back. Goals galore once more, as well as being the match-winner for us in some title deciding matches.
Howard: Even if Haaland continues as normal (which for anyone else is not normal), there will be a push to vote for “someone else”. That push will involve many wanting to avoid anyone City-related so that they can convince and contradict themselves that City have destroyed football whilst also not having the best players. Trent Alexander Arnold will do some nice things in midfield whilst continuing to ignore the art of defending, and a tidal wave of PR will see him sweep multiple awards. Gareth Southgate will be forced to pick him, and he’ll score an own goal in a knockout game next summer. You heard it here first, folks.
Ste: I kid you not. Leandro Trossard.
Harry: Kevin De Bruyne.
First Premier League manager to leave their job (during season)?
George: Marco Silva. Fulham don’t appear to have strengthened at all for the coming season, which isn’t a great sign after they ran out of steam down the home stretch last season. At the first sign of trouble, I think Marco will run for the hills, or in his case, Saudi Arabia.
Howard: Moysey (sorry) might be saved by a flurry of late transfer activity to replace his best two players. I’ll go for the Sheffield United manager, the one with bottom in his name.
Ally: Whoever takes the gig at Wolves.
Ben: Dyche – with his replacement doing another rescue job for Everton.
Joe: Either Iraola or Marco Silva.
Ahsan: Steve Cooper.
Ste: David William Moyes.
Tom: David Moyes.
Laura: Paul Heckingbottom.
Chris: Paul Heckingbottom.
Harry: I think it could be a short and sweet what feels like millionth spell at Crystal Palace for Roy Hodgson.
Champions League winner?
George: Manchester City. Real Madrid, Bayern and Arsenal will all be in the conversation. It but when it’s all on the line I don’t see any of those teams beating us over two legs. I think we will see a City v Arsenal knock-out tie as well.
Howard: Superstition does not allow me to back City. Impossible to predict a cup competition, but with Courtois out for the season, perhaps it is time for Bayern Munich, especially if Harry Kane goes there. Or he may curse them as he is allergic to trophies.
Ally: PSG. They just have to stumble over the line sooner or later, surely?
Ben: Real Madrid.
Ste: AC Milan. Outside shot admittedly but they’ve bought excellently this summer.
Tom: Man City, the shackles are off.
Chris: I want to say City, but if Kane goes to City, I will say them.
Harry: Bayern Munich.
City player to have a stand-out season?
George: Gvardiol is going to hit the ground running. He has all the attributes Pep wants in a defender and I think his passing, ball progression and physicality are going to give opponents nightmares all year round.
Howard: It’s your time, Phil.
Ally: Foden. (If Baldy ever actually picks him, obvs)
Joe: Jack Grealish.
Ahsan: Phil Foden.
Ste: I’d love it to be Foden please.
Tom: Rico Lewis.
Laura: Phil Foden.
Chris: Phil Foden.
Harry: I think keeping Bernardo Silva will be huge for City.
Your hot-take for the season ahead.
George: Aston Villa will finish in the bottom half of the league, but will win the Conference League and FA Cup.
Howard: City will relegate Luton town. Hopefully. More a wish than a hot-take, to be honest. Oh and Harry Maguire to be West Ham’s Player of the Year.
Ally: It will be more than a 2-horse race and tight to the finish, 3 or 4 different teams still hoping to win PL at the start of April.
Ben: Arsenal won’t finish in top 6. Champions League football will take its toll, they’re still too emotional to come out on top in a title race and they lack a goal scorer. Harvertz is not the one.
Joe: Arsenal are far too emotional and will struggle under the expectations of their own fans + performance of last season & won’t compete for the title. Chelsea will have a solid season after a tricky start under Poch.
Ahsan: The bottom eight of the Premier League will be worst in the Premier League era.
Ste: The overall card-count has been on the rise since VAR. I think that’s going to continue with loads of yellows and ropey reds seen in the first third of the campaign. Oh, and Villa to be in the mix for top 4.
Tom: Spurs won’t be as bad as people expect following the expected exit of Harry Kane. Postecoglou is a very good manager and, if given time, will do a good job at Spurs. Say it quietly, but I think Richarlison will go well this season too.
Laura: Rodri is the only CDM in that league worth well over £100 mil.
Chris: Despite predicting that Liverpool will get Top 4, this could be Klopp’s last season at Liverpool.
Harry: Jack Grealish finishes the season with the playmaker award.
To be continued…..