Matt Bullin – Head of Sport
Title Winners: Chelsea. It’s difficult to see Jose Mourinho’s side slipping up this year. I’m backing them to retain the title, with similar ease to last year.
Champions League Places: Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool. The pressure’s on for Brendan Rogers, but I think The Reds are going to surprise a few people and sneak back into the Top Four – at the expense of Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United.
Relegated: Aston Villa, Watford, Norwich. Norwich rock-bottom, too.
Player of the Season: Raheem Sterling. Just you watch. A hat-trick at Anfield is inevitable.
Surprise Package: Young Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has looked excellent in pre-season – expect him to start against Stoke, and have a fine debut season for the club.
Young Player of the Year: Jack Grealish. A quality little player I had the pleasure of seeing at Notts County a couple of years ago. Heard he likes a drink, too.
Signing of the Summer: I think Memphis Dephay is going to be brilliant.
The Sack Race: Alex Neil of Norwich will be the first to go.
Niall Flynn – Head of Station
Title Winners: Though it pains me greatly to admit, I have Chelsea down to retain the title. They still have the strongest squad in the league – and a nasty habit of not losing games of football.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City. The Gunners will push their West London rivals close, with the Manchester clubs completing the Top Four.
Relegated: Leicester, Bournemouth, Watford. The two promoted clubs will come straight back down, with the Foxes following – despite their Houdini efforts last season. The owners will come to rue the dismissal of Nigel Pearson, and if you don’t agree, well – then… you’re an Ostrich.
Player of the Season: Alexis Sanchez. With a year of Premier League experience under his belt and a Copa America winner’s medal on his mantlepiece, expect the Chilean to come back even better.
Surprise Package: Aston Villa are going to surprise a few people. Many are tipping them for the drop after the departures of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, but much like Southampton last year, they’ve recruited smartly. Idrissa Gueye is ready-made for the Premier League, and Micah Richards will join Ciaran Clark in what should be a solid defensive partnership.
Young Player of the Year: It’s a big year for John Stones. He has everything in his power to be a top, top central defender – and a cultured composure that is, dare I say it, Bobby Moore-esque.
Signing of the Summer: Though an honourable mention must go to Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United, I think Petr Cech is a huge coup for Arsenal. John Terry claimed that the Czech stopper will be worth 12 to 15 points for the Gunners – I think he might be right.
The Sack Race: Watford’s hierarchy don’t seem to have a problem with dismissing managers – I give Quique Flores until Christmas.
Jack Fantham – Deputy Head of Sport
Title Winners: Chelsea to win it, again.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur. Watch a reinvigorated Spurs rejoin the European elite.
Relegated: Leicester, Norwich, Bournemouth. Getting rid of Pearson was a huge mistake.
Player of the Season: Jose Mourinho recently claimed that Eden Hazard is a better footballer than Cristiano Ronaldo. Whilst that’s an optimistic claim, I think the Belgian will have another fine year for Chelsea.
Surprise Package: Crystal Palace. The Alan Pardew Effect.
Young Player of the Year: Patrick Bamford. The Alan Pardew Effect.
Signing of the Summer: Petr Cech is an excellent signing for Arsenal.
The Sack Race: I don’t give Steve McClaren very long at Newcastle.
Daniel Tidey – Online Editor
Title Winners: Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s just too good. Defensively, they’re second to none.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City. City haven’t improved enough and United are still a distance from contending again. Cech will be key for Arsenal
Relegated: Villa, Norwich, Bournemouth. The loss of Benteke and Delph will cripple Villa. Norwich and Bournementh will struggle to cope with better teams in the league.
Player of the Season: Eden Hazard. An all-round magician and Chelsea’s key man. Goals and assists guaranteed.
Surprise Package: Watford. Nobody knows what to expect from their influx of new players. If they jel, which I think they will, they’ll surprise a lot of teams.
Young Player of the Year: John Stones will be a crucial player for Everton is they are to get back amongst the Top Seven. A future England captain, no doubt.
Signing of the Summer: Petr Cech. £10m is a bargain for such an experienced keeper – he will win Arsenal points on his own.
The Sack Race: Claudio Ranieri. Leicester will fail to get going after their dramatic survival last season – the fans will turn on the Italian quickly.
Jack Johnson – Football Correspondent and Commentator
Champions: Chelsea. Showed their ability last year – a largely unchanged squad with few faults to pick out overall. Expecting them to retain the title.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United. Arsenal will challenge and with Cech, they have a quality keeper for the first time in years – as well as a much more balanced squad. Not much in it between the Manchester clubs, but I’ve got City to edge it over United – just.
Relegated: Sunderland, Watford, Bournemouth. Feeling that Sunderland’s luck may finally run out after leaving it late to survive the drop in the last two seasons. Watford are showing signs of QPR’s failed approach in recruiting large numbers, and I feel that Bournemouth will struggle to translate their attacking football into the Premier League.
Player of the Season: Eden Hazard. Dominated defences last season and hugely important for the title favourites. He’s still young, and I can only see him improving on last year’s performances.
Surprise Package: Dimiti Payet. A relativity under-the-radar arrival, who has been brilliant for West Ham in pre-season and was highly regarded in France. Has the potential to be a great success in East London.
Young Player of the Year: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A very hypothetical choice. IF he gets injured, which has proven to be the biggest issue for this man so far, then there’s little chance he’ll really impress. But, if fit, he has huge ability and appears confident ahead of the new season. He could really make his mark.
Signing of Summer: Morgan Schneiderlin is Prem-proven, and was a consistent performer for Southampton. I certainly expect him to take this form into United’s midfield.
The Sack Race: Steve McClaren. Newcastle is a tricky job to take on and coming up from the Championship to do so will be a difficult transition for McClaren. His previously high profile jobs may prove useless in his attempt to rescue a club that has been in turmoil for a few years now.
Jonathan Booth – External Football Correspondent
Title Winners: Arsenal. They have one of the strongest squads they’ve had a in a long, long time. They’ve been impressive in pre-season, too. I’m backing them.
Champions League Places: Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. Chelsea to run Arsenal close, with United and City just behind.
Relegated: Bournemouth, Newcastle, West Brom. Nobody is calling West Brom with Tony Pulis at the helm, but I see them struggling.
Player of the Season: Christian Benteke. He has an impressive record when he’s fit, and I think he will shine with better players around him at Liverpool.
Surprise Package: Norwich. They are no strangers to the Premier League. I think they’ll surprise a few people – including the league’s big boys.
Young Player of the Year: Raheem Sterling has a point to prove this year with such a big price-tag, he has no option but to perform – and I think he will.
Signing of the Summer: Ibrahim Affellay can make a huge impact on an improving Stoke City side – and maybe even lift them into the Top Six.
The Sack Race: I don’t think Steve McClaren will last long at all. I think the fans will turn on him quickly – his recent track-record doesn’t bode well for him.
Will Poyser – Football Correspondent and Commentator
Title Winners: Chelsea. It’ll be much closer than last season, but I think that Chelsea’s squad is still the strongest – especially with Jose Mourinho at the helm.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City. The Gunners will only just miss out on the title – the signing of Cech is an immense one, but they still lack that world-class striker. Manchester United to follow, due to their depleted strike-force, and Manchester City finishing fourth. Pellegrini to be sacked and Guardiola to take over. Heard it here first.
Relegated: Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester. The squads will be the downfall of the two promoted teams, not enough Premier league quality. It’ll be tight with Norwich and Sunderland in the mix but they have enough quality to survive.
Player of the Season: Alexis Sanchez had an impressive first season in the league and I expect him to get even better, helping Arsenal push for the title.
Surprise Package: Georginio Wijnaldum. A great signing for Newcastle, I think he’ll surprise many with what he brings to the league, especially in a team like Newcastle. Very impressive in the Eredivisie for PSV, and still only 24.
Young Player of the Year: Patrick Bamford. The young Chelsea forward shone in the Championship whilst on-loan at Middlesbrough last season. I’m predicting he’ll be prolific for Crystal Palace. Scored a hat trick for them on his debut.
Signing of the Summer: Memphis Depay. Outstanding in the Eredivisie last season – so much potential at such a young age. The mantra of playing youngsters is thoroughly embedded into Manchster United, and under the direction of fellow Dutchman, Louis Van Gaal, Memphis will have a great debut season in the league.
The Sack Race: Quique Flores. Watford always like a change in manager, even when they’re at the top of the Championship. A tough start to life in the Premier league will see them pull the trigger and sack Flores. I give him until November.
Tom Brown – Scandinavia-based Football Correspondent
Title Winners: Arsenal. Back to winning ways for Arsene Wenger’s side – who seem to have rediscovered that winning mentality. Perhaps slightly lacking in fire-power up-top – however, if they defend well and keep injury free, I reckon they’ll run riot against the smaller teams, and pick up good form going into the harder games.
Champions League Places: Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United. In that order.
Relegated: Leicester, Villa & Bournemouth. Also in that order.
Player of the Season – Laurent Koscielny. Even though he won’t win it, officially at least, you can bet your bottom-dollar he will be the most consistent defender – whilst producing high quality performances.
Surprise Package: Bournemouth. Even though I’ve predicted they’ll be relegated, I think they could have a Blackpool-esque season from a few years ago. Impress everyone, score lots of goals and fully adhere to the underdog story as well.
Young player of the Year: I expect Hector Bellerin to continue where he left off with Arsenal.
Signing of the Summer: Jordi Clasie looks to be a good bit of business for Southampton.
The Sack Race: Claudio Ranieri. I just don’t think he was the right man for the job.
Sam Bernard – Football Correspondent and Commentator
Title Winners: Chelsea. Best squad, combined with the Mourinho effect.
Champions League Places: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United. With not much separating them, either.
Relegated: Bournemouth, Norwich, Aston Villa. Time’s up for Tim Sherwood.
Player of the Season: If Sergio Aguero stays fit, he’s a class above everyone else.
Surprise package: I believe that Stoke could have a very good season – and possibly even steal a Europa League spot, too.
Young Player of the Year: Does Jack Wilshere still count as a young player?A big season for him – he has to stay fit.
Signing of the Summer: Petr Cech is an absolutely fantastic bit of business from Arsene Wenger.
The Sack Race: Roberto Martinez. I can finally see Everton losing patience with the Spaniard if they fail to start the season well. The pressure’s on.