Season preview – there still is some work to do. by Konstantin Mitov
Alright people, the season is knocking on the door with just a few days separating us from a game against Leicester and this is my preview of how I see us doing throughout the season in the different tournaments, but lets start first with a squad review.
We made two big signings in Lacazette and Kolasinac and both look like they will improve the squad. We look strong at the CF and WB positions as well as attacking midfield with lots of options to chose from, but central midfield needs a Cazorla replacement and at CB is the other area where most of our problems will come.
Onto the tournaments, the EFL cup will most likely be sacked again and I expect not more than a 1/4 final there. The FA cup is a trophy that we’ve won a lot recently and it practically saved Arsene’s career here, so I think with the amount of players we’ve got, we’re likely to do well in the competition again as it is not the main priority of the other big teams.
The Europa League… I’m not happy we’re playing there, but I want us to win this competition and I feel that with a bit of luck from the teams that will come from the CL we an do it. As I said, we have a huge squad, so we should be able to put a few youngsters and enough squad players to go past the group stages and from the 1/4 finals up if we play our best squad, we can win it and why not? It’s a European trophy which I hope we can take home.
And now the big one, the Premier league. Wenger hinted we will focus on this tournament and with the current state of teams I expect us to fight for 4th with Spurs and Liverpool and possibly Man United. Some teams strengthened and some not so much, but we left ourselves with a few pockets to fill. If we get Lemar and Seri and possibly a CB, we can be contenders but so far I feel 3rd at best and it will be a scrappy battle for the Champions League places.
In the end I think we should take a peak at the opposition. City look prime candidates to win it. They addressed their problems at the back and added a new keeper. If they don’t win it I think all the blame will be at Guardiola – and rightfully so with the amount of talent and money he has at his disposal.
Chelsea will have the Champions League this year and they don’t have a lot of players. Their handling of Costa, one of the league’s best strikers is terrible and you can see tension between Conte and their board with the lack of investments in players they want, but still they should have enough quality for a top 4 spot.
United are also a team to look out for. Lukaku is a good signing, Matic too. I still feel like up front it’s questionable how they will do, but they could do more business and are one to look out for.
Spurs haven’t really signed anyone, they are playing at Wembley next season and they lost Walker. Still, they had a very exciting squad last year, but I feel they went a step back and they will be fighting for a top 4 spot with us, United and Liverpool.
Speaking of Merseyside, Liverpool will play Europe too and they will suffer from this with their squad not being too big and if they sell Coutinho, I wouldn’t back their top 4 chances. They beat Bayern 3:0, but they beat Barca 4:0 last season in a friendly so don’t take too much from those results. I expect them to also take a step back this year.
And finally we should mention Everton and their spending. They have a good coach and bought some decent players so it’d be interesting. All I care about now though is beating Leicester. They signed Iheanacho, but if we play well enough, we should be too strong for them.