Season Predictions

Before the season began, the 9320 pod family gave their predictions for the season ahead. This is how they did.

(Photo by Andrew Yates/AFP)

Before the season began, it was felt a good/terrible idea (delete as applicable) to gather the thoughts of the 9320 podcast family to give their predictions for the season ahead. Always a dangerous game, but always fun to revisit. Which is what this article is all about. Let’s take a look at how everyone did.

League Winners

You will be glad to know that everyone, bar one, predicted City to once more win the league. The black sheep, I mean exception? Ste, who tipped Arsenal to have the hunger to go one better, and to be fair, it proved to be a logical argument that thankfully didn’t quite come to fruition.

Rest of the Top Four

A generally good showing. Many of the 9320 podcast family were seduced by United’s 3rd place finish last season and put them in. Lots of Arsenal and Liverpool choices, and credit to Ally for choosing Aston Villa in 4th (as did Ste, kind of, later on).

Who will be relegated?

Plenty got two out of three right, understandably, namely Sheffield United and Luton. Everyone was seduced by Vinny, no one picking Burnley. Still, if Bayern Munich can be seduced by him after relegating his team, who can blame us? There were a few shouts for Wolves, which considering their troublesome summer made sense.

Who will be 2nd in Golden Boot race?

This was before Kane had left these shores, so Ally is excused for choosing him. Punished for responding too quickly. Needless to say no one considered Cole Palmer an option, with plenty of Salah shouts. Shout out to Joe and Tom for their Nunez call, and more seriously, for Ahsan’s Foden shout, with Ste picking Isak. Harry picked Cody Gakpo.

Total goals for Erling Haaland?

For the record, it was 38 goals.

Harry, Ste and Ben were closest with 42, with Howard going for 43.  Harry was just one off with a league prediction of 28 goals. Most optimistic award went to Ally, who predicted 62 goals.

A side to do better than expected?

Let the fun commence. Howard picked out Aston Villa despite not picking them for top four. George was less successful with his Forest call. Ahsan picked Burnley, as did Chris and Laura, who also picked out Palace to have a good campaign, and was eventually proved right. Bournemouth got a couple of mentions too. Ben predicted 5th for Spurs, and so it came to pass.

A side to unexpectedly struggle?

Howard felt Brighton’s schedule and asset-stripping would cost them, and was right, though it wasn’t that tough a call. Harry agreed. Ally mentioned them too, along with Wolves, who a few noted. Ahsan sensibly picked out United, the Neil Ashton PR campaign clearly wasted on him. Joe picked Arsenal. There were a couple of calls for Newcastle, that were broadly correct in the assertions, as was George in picking out Brentford.

Non-City signing of the summer?

Alexis Mac Allister was the choice of Howard, Ben, Joe, Laura and Chris, and he did well, despite some Klopp tinkering. Harry bigged up James Maddison, who was brilliant for a while pre-injury. No doubt Lloyd would have picked him too if he had bothered to send in any predictions. Tom’s call on Timber proved a curse, as did Ally picking out Tonali. George felt Jackson would be a player of the season contender at Chelsea. To be fair, there wasn’t much competition for that title.

Worst signing of the summer?

The majority piled in on Havertz, and credit to Arteta in getting the most out of him. Still not convinced. Hojlund got plenty of mentions, and hardly set the world alight, though who would at that club?

Bargain Fantasy Football pick?

Let’s cut to the chase and big up Harry for picking Olly Watkins, who scored 228 points. He was considerably more expensive than anyone else’s pick though, to be fair. As is always the way, some picks were scuppered by long-term injuries.

George and Tom – Eze – 136 points
Howard – Burn – 97 points
(he also picked out Paqueta, expecting an imminent move. Whatever happened to him? Anyway, he got 100 points)
Ally – Botman – 51 points
Ben – Kovacic – 59 points
Joe – Encisco – 20 points and Mitoma – 74 points
Tom (again) and Laura – Mbuemo – 127 points

PFA Player of the Year 2023/24

This hasn’t happened yet, but it’s going to be Foden.

Everyone piled in on Haaland, except Howard who gave a caveat, convinced that a media campaign would see Trent Alexander-Arnold sweep to victory. Harry went for Kevin De Bruyne, unaware he was very broken indeed

Ste went for Trossard.

First Premier League manager to leave their job?

Congrats to Howard, Laura and Chris who plumped for Heckingbottom. Harry was eventually proved very right about Hodgson, as was Steve Cooper with Forest. The other choices all survived, though Moyes only just, and a few chose him.

Champions League winner

I’ll ne brief. Naturally plenty of choices for City.  Howard noted: “Bayern Munich, especially if Harry Kane goes there. Or he may curse them as he is allergic to trophies.” Only Ben may be right, with Real Madrid, though George covered his back by picking Madrid as one of four possible winners.

City player to have a stand-out season?

Plenty called Phil Foden. George expected Gvardiol to hit ground running, but Joe missed with Grealish, who failed to sober up until winter arrived.

Your hot-take for the season.

It may just be best to finish off this blog, by reproducing them in full. Read it and weep. Until next season….up the blues!

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 the Premier League 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.

And on that bombshell….​