The new Premier League season is now just over a week away, so it’s time to think about how the upcoming campaign will shake out.
In the build-up to the new season we’re profiling each of the 20 top-flight clubs, from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to Premier League new boys Brighton & Hove Albion.
Our next team in the spotlight is Southampton…
An 8th place finish, Europa League football and a first domestic cup final for 14 years. It’s fair to say the 2016-17 season was a good one for the Saints.
This year could be more difficult however.
While others around them have strengthened, the South Coast side have stood still.
Polish centre-half Jan Bednarek is the only new arrival, and although undoubtedly talented, it remains to be seen whether the 21-year-old can replace wantaway captain Virgil van Dijk.
They do have a new manager, though, in the shape of ex-Valencia boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
The Argentine may be untested in the Premier League but Saints have an excellent record of getting it right where managerial appointments are concerned.
A repeat of last season’s impressive campaign will be difficult for the South Coast club who will aim for a top-10 finish, but may fall short.
Southampton – 2017-18
Key arrivals: Jan Bednarek
Key departures: Jay Rodriguez, Cuco Martina
Man to watch: Manolo Gabbiadini
Title odds: 200/1
Best bet: Bottom half finish @ 7/5
We say: Southampton have been quiet on the transfer front, which could spell trouble for them this season. Clubs who fail to build on the previous season tend to struggle the following campaign and we think that could be the case here. They may not quite end up in a relegation fight, but we reckon the Saints will fail to live up to last season’s 8th place finish.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing