O’Hara and Enrique’s Premier League preview
With the opening day of the Premier League season just around the corner, Grosvenor Sport ambassadors Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique give their predictions ahead of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.
To win the Premier League:
Jamie: Manchester City 4/5
I think it’s going to be between Manchester City… and nobody else! I don’t think anyone is going to get anywhere near them this season – they’ve just come off the back of a treble and Pep Guardiola is going to set standards where he’s going to say, ‘let’s go again’, and they’ve signed some big players. I think the rest are going to try and get near them, but Manchester City for me are leaps and bounds over everyone else.
Jose: Manchester City 4/5
People have to remember that Manchester City last season weren’t winning in some periods – that’s why Arsenal were at the top – and even then, they managed to lift the title. They’ve replaced Ilkay Gundogan with Mateo Kovacic and they’re adding another centre-back in Josko Gvardiol, both of whom are very good players. I agree with Jamie – I think they will win the league again.
To finish in the Top Four:
I think Manchester United will finish second this season because I think they’ve got a better manager than Arsenal – Erik ten Hag knows how to win trophies. In his first season, he won a trophy and got to two cup finals. He’s put a team together now who are looking more of a threat. I think they will be the closest side to Manchester City.
Let me tell you now – Arsenal will not improve on last season. They haven’t even got a striker – Gabriel Jesus gets injured every week and he’s currently out, so they’ve got Eddie Nketiah up front! I think the jury’s out on Declan Rice too. I watched him in pre-season and I don’t think he’s going to be as good as people think. He got played off the park by Moises Caicedo last season against Brighton!
I watched Liverpool in pre-season, and their first XI is brilliant. They’ve got a new and fresh midfield which brings the legs back into the side – something that Jurgen Klopp needs. They could be a force, but it’s that back four – they concede too many goals. They’re reliant on Virgil van Dijk being the same player he was a few years ago, and he’s never going to be that player.
I think Arsenal will be the closest team to Manchester City. I love Mikel Arteta and I don’t agree with Jamie that Erik ten Hag is the better manager – for me, it’s 50/50. They had their chance to win the title and it’s easy to blame the manager, but they’ve still got a very young team. I just love Arteta and think they will do well again.
Liverpool definitely need to sign two more midfielders. I think they will sign one – they should get Romeo Lavia done – but they need to get new legs. Maybe Jordan Henderson could have stayed there, and I don’t know what happened with Fabinho last season, he was awful, but the squad needed something else.
I think that Chelsea need to finish in the top four. They have a big advantage of not playing in Europe this season and there is a lot of world class talent in that squad. I really believe that they need to finish in the top four because last season was very bad for the club.
To Finish in the Top Six
Chelsea have to achieve top four this season. The pressure is on them and they need to perform. They’ve got a top squad with really top players. I still feel they need another striker before the window closes, but they’ve got a lot of good players at the club now. Mauricio Pochettino has managed to get rid of the deadwood and players that he doesn’t want, and I think they will push for top four. If they don’t finish in the top four, Pochettino will get the sack.
I think Newcastle will do well again this season; they’ve signed some good players. I think that Alexander Isak, who was out for a long time last season, is a star, a real world class star player and if he stays fit he will be a massive asset to them.
Manchester United have added some world-class players to their team. The expectations of the club is to win – they won the League Cup last season and finished in the top four, but now they want to achieve a little bit more as well. I don’t think they will finish second because I feel Arsenal have a better team than them.
I hope Newcastle don’t take their foot off the gas but it’s true that this year they have a lot more pressure on them. Last year a lot of people probably didn’t even expect Newcastle to finish in the top six, whereas this year they have pressure to finish high up the league table again. this is a very different season to last season because now they have already achieved a top four finish, so that will be the minimum expectation again.
Premier League Top Goalscorer:
Jamie: Erling Haaland 7/10
I think Erling Haaland will break the Premier League scoring record again like he did last season when he scored 36 goals. I think once he broke the record last season he took his foot off the gas and kept a couple of goals in the tank, and I reckon he’ll get 38 next season.
Jose: Erling Haaland 7/10
Erling Haaland is extremely professional and for a player of his age it is very impressive. He’s still very young so we will have to wait and see, but I can see the mentality in him, similar to what Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi offered us for so many years, that football is everything to them and they are going to give everything to break every record.