Power Ranking Every Premier League Team Ahead of the 2022-23 Season

Shane EvansAugust 5, 2022

Power Ranking Every Premier League Team Ahead of the 2022-23 Season

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    Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

    Well, well, well, would you believe it…the English Premier League is back for its 31st season, and boy does it look like it’s going to be a good one.

    The contenders have retooled, the mid-table squads have gotten stronger, and a fresh batch of promoted squads have come in hot. The upcoming campaign promises to be one that’s full of intrigue up and down the table.

    And it all starts Friday afternoon with Arsenal traveling across town to face Crystal Palace in the official curtain-raiser for the new season.

    Before all the madness starts with the rest of the weekend’s action, let's take stock of the current state of affairs across the 20 clubs participating in the Prem and proceed to rank them accordingly. When it comes to the 20th team in the rankings, well, that club is probably going to be playing in the Championship next season. The top three? They’ll be battling for the title. Let’s get started.

The Relegation Candidates

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    Will Frank Lampard be smiling come May time? | Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

    20. Bournemouth

    Manager: Scott Parker

    Key Players: Dominic Solanke, Ryan Christie

    The Cherries may have one of the coolest nicknames in the EPL, but the south-coast club will likely be back in the Championship next year. They just don't have enough talent to compete, consistently, with the big boys.

    19. Fulham

    Manager: Marco Silva

    Key Players: Aleksandar Mitrović, Harry Wilson

    The last six seasons for the Cottagers? Three in the Premier League, three in the Championship. The stereotypical yo-yo club, Fulham will have a tough task staying in the big leagues this season, despite the record-breaking scoring prowess (in the Championship) of its big target forward Mr. Mitrović. Winners of the second division last season, the London club will likely be right back there next campaign.

    18. Brentford

    Manager: Thomas Frank

    Key Players: Ivan Toney, Ben Mee

    The darlings of last season, upstart Brentford celebrated its first-ever season in the Premier League with an incredible 13th-place finish, a whopping 11 points above the relegation line. The magic of the last campaign may not extend to this year, though, unfortunately, as the club will have a difficult second season.

    17. Nottingham Forest

    Manager: Steve Cooper

    Key Players: Dean Henderson, Jesse Lingard

    Led by a pair of new signings from Manchester United in Henderson and Lingard, Forest, one of the traditional powers of English football, are back in the top flight for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Having added over a dozen new players, it could be tough to get the squad to jell in time to compete with the more established clubs.

    16. Everton

    Manager: Frank Lampard

    Key Players: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford

    The Toffees, under Frank Lampard, barely escaped a first-ever relegation from the Premier League and wound up with a 16th-place finish. The struggle, as they say, was real. This year should be more of the same as the club has grasped for consistency and positive momentum in recent years but with few real results.

The Constant Strugglers

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    Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

    15. Southampton

    Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl

    Key Players: James Ward-Prowse, Adam Armstrong

    Southampton had its moments in the Prem last season but only finished five points above the relegation line and had one of the most porous defenses of the bunch (67 goals conceded). James Ward-Prowse is admirably holding it down at St. Mary’s Stadium (he probably should be playing for a better side) and will have to bear the weight of keeping the club afloat again this season.

    14. Brighton

    Manager: Graham Potter

    Key Players: Leandro Trossard, Lewis Dunk

    One of those squads that you think will lose its magic and get relegated…just hasn’t. In the Premier League since 2017, the Seagulls keep finding a way under Graham Potter, and he has remained with the club despite having the chops to manage at a higher level. This season will be more of the same with Trossard and Neal Maupay causing their normal amount of trouble up front to keep Brighton competitive.

    13. Leeds United

    Manager: Jesse Marsch

    Key Players: Patrick Bamford, Tyler Adams

    The Americans are coming! Yes, led by none other than Jesse Marsch, Leeds had a decent finish to last season and put itself in a good position to move upwards in the campaign ahead. Adding U.S. men's national team players Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson in the summer will go a long way in furthering Marsch’s agenda, but the loss of Kalvin Phillips will sting, even if it was inevitable.

    12. Wolverhampton Wanderers

    Manager: Bruno Lage

    Key Players: Ruben Neves, Pedro Neto

    The Portuguese-heavy squad from the Midlands started last season in promising shape and ended it so-so, wrapping up in a tidy 10th place. Some key players were missing (Neto being one) and out of form, but the philosophy and tactics based on playing as a collective and being competitive every match were visible. They need more consistency with that mantra this year.

The Mid-Table Battlers

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    How many goals and assists for Big Phil this season? | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

    11. Leicester City

    Manager: Brendan Rodgers

    Key Players: Jamie Vardy, James Maddison

    The Foxes have enjoyed two fifth-place finishes in the last three years, but this season will be tougher. Vardy is aging (35 years old), their key midfield man Youri Tielemans might be on his way out of the club, per CBS Sports' Ben Jacobs, and they remain the only team in all of Europe’s major leagues to not sign a single player this summer. A tough campaign is coming for Leicester.

    10. Crystal Palace

    Manager: Patrick Vieira

    Key Players: Eberechi Eze, Wilfried Zaha

    Many people thought Patrick Vieira was going to crash and burn in his first Premier League management gig, but as it turns out, he was better suited than many could have predicted. A 12th-place finish was a success for the London club at this stage under Vieira, and it has the system in place and emerging talent to push into the top half this season.

    9. Newcastle United

    Manager: Eddie Howe

    Key Players: Bruno Guimarães, Sven Botman

    The investment is there, and the Magpies have been adding pieces since their much-talked-about takeover during last season. With Eddie Howe getting a full summer with the squad under his belt, Newcastle should come to play this year and could be a real force in the middle of the pack.

    8. Aston Villa

    Manager: Steven Gerrard

    Key Players: Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho

    Few clubs have had a stronger summer than Villa. The additions of Carlos, Coutinho and Boubacar Kamara have added quality through the middle and should provide a platform for the likes of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings to do what they do best in front of goal. Their 14th-place finish last season was a disappointment. They’ll better that and then some this time around.

Fighting for Europe

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    Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

    7. West Ham United

    Manager: David Moyes

    Key Players: Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen

    West Ham United has been all about balance. The squad is balanced, the tactics are balanced, the manager is as even-keel as they come. And the Hammers have only gotten stronger with a summer window that saw some new pieces come in (Gianluca Scamacca and Nayef Aguerd come to mind) and their two top performers in Rice and Bowen sticking around for another crack at the top four.

    It’ll be a tough road to really make it interesting at the top of the Premier League, but this team screams quality and competitiveness, and Moyes has been there before. Putting them ahead of Manchester United in these rankings was tempting and may ultimately be how the table shakes out come May.

    6. Manchester United

    Manager: Erik ten Hag

    Key Players: Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo

    This is a big season for Manchester United. Enter Erik ten Hag, the club’s latest attempt at getting its post-Alex Ferguson manager situation right. Early signs have been promising. A strong showing in preseason, which included a 4-0 beating of archrivals Liverpool, gave fans reason for optimism.

    New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have added some punch to the club in the middle of the park. Unfortunately, there’s something of a cloud hanging over the team at the minute.

    Yes, a massive goal-scoring Portuguese cloud that goes by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo. The superstar forward, just one season after returning to where he made his name, has submitted a transfer request, thus becoming the story of the summer at Old Trafford instead of the fresh start under ETH. However long this latest saga drags out can only mean trouble for the Red Devils. But if he does go, where will the goals come from? There are more questions than answers with this once-great team at the minute.

    5. Tottenham Hotspur

    Manager: Antonio Conte

    Key Players: Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane

    It was a bit of a surprise when Conte took over the club last season, and he’s provided Spurs with some much-needed quality in the dugout. Bringing his usual fire and system stability, the Italian is adored by the fans and has brought the best out of Kane and Son.

    The additions of Ivan Perišić and Richarlison were shrewd moves that provide the club with excellent attacking options aside from the aforementioned pair of Kane and Son. Throw in Dejan Kulusevski, who could end up being the most useful player of the bunch, and there will be goals.

    Anchored by the underrated Cristian Romero and captain Hugo Lloris in goal, the rearguard should be strong. It all comes down to Conte, though, and his ability to get every last ounce of talent out of his players. If they don’t make top four, they’ll be very close.

    4. Arsenal

    Manager: Mikel Arteta

    Key Players: Martin Ødegaard, Bukayo Saka

    What's not to like about this club right now? Arteta will have another year of managerial experience under his belt and is only getting better. A similar thing can be said about the vast majority of his young and extremely talented squad. The only way to go is up.

    If players like Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith-Rowe and new signing Fabio Vieira can stay healthy and connected to the rest of the squad, Arteta’s system will flow up and down the park and the Emirates Stadium will see some excellent, fluid football.

    The Gunners are probably a year away from really contesting the top three, but if things start to click and reinforcements come in January, it could be an intriguing end to the season.

The Top Three

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    Another season of these two going toe-to-toe | Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

    3. Chelsea

    Manager: Thomas Tuchel

    Key Players: Mason Mount, Kalidou Koulibaly

    Last season’s third-place team may end up being this year’s third-place team. While not quite boasting the quality of the top two (who can?), the Blues are still stacked all over the pitch. Moving on from the nightmare that was Romelu Lukaku’s failed $135 million move to Stamford Bridge last season, Thomas Tuchel can build around a host of attacking options, including newly signed Raheem Sterling.

    There is just so much to like about this team up front but even more so in midfield and defense. Koulibaly should have come to the Premier League sooner, but he is still world-class and will complement Thiago Silva nicely. With Brighton’s Marc Cucurella joining the funguard in London there will be many options in the wide areas, with standout Reece James joined by Ben Chilwell, Cucurella, captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.

    The likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and newly returned Connor Gallagher give Tuchel options in the middle of the pitch as well, and they'll hope Mount continues to improve. They’re just a well-put-together unit that will compete and beat most teams in the league with ease and regularity.

    2. Liverpool

    Manager: Jurgen Klopp

    Key Players: Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk

    Are we set for a third successive season of Manchester City and Liverpool battling for the top two spots? Consider it very likely. What that order ends up being remains to be seen, and the main difference between the two squads going into this new season is the additions on City’s side have been a bit stronger and should keep that gap (as narrow as it was last season—one point) where it is for now.

    The Liverpool players aren’t slouches, though, not by any stretch, and already got one up on their title rivals in a 3-1 Community Shield win last weekend. The Reds' big addition this summer was $100 million signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica, a match-winner in said Community Shield victory. He’ll add a new wrinkle to an attacking force that typically starts and finishes with Salah.

    Last year’s Golden Boot winner is at the top of his game right now and will be even more dangerous with a bona fide target forward holding things down in the middle for him. If Nunez can put himself in the right places and not disrupt what has been a lethal attack in recent years, more goals should come. The price tag was a big gamble, but he seems fit and ready to make it work with Salah and friends.

    At the back, the Reds are as strong as ever. Van Dijk has Joel Matip, Joe Gomez or Ibrahima Konate to keep him company. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are fixed in place. The run-it-back mentality could likely pay off, but we’re at least going to be treated to a wonderful two-horse race for the title.

    Now, on to the favorites…

    1. Manchester City

    Manager: Pep Guardiola

    Key Players: Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland

    Guardiola just has things figured out, doesn’t he?

    First Spain, then Germany, now England. The enigmatic Spanish coach just plain knows his stuff and has turned that into total domination of the top three leagues in Europe.

    His next trick? A three-peat with City and pulling his club ever-closer to crosstown rivals and traditional juggernaut Manchester United. There are 38 games between then and now, but damn if he isn’t set up for success heading into this campaign.

    Adding Norwegian Erling Haaland (who got the VVD treatment early on) from Borussia Dortmund was like Thanos dropping the last Infinity Stone into the gauntlet. Guardiola already had all the pieces to rule the world, now he’s just gone over the top and sealed the deal. Unfortunately for the rest of the Premier League, there are no Avengers here to save them.

    Kalvin Phillips should prove to be a great addition to a midfield group that is already stellar. Julian Alvarez up front will add a spark (and has, see the Community Shield). If that’s all they add, their squad is still the best in the land, and few major signings around the league could put even a small dent in that.

    Oh, and there’s the small matter of Jack Grealish. If he can really jell with the system and squad going into this year, in a way that Pep depends on him in the biggest moments, it could be lights out for the title race by Christmas. His play was spotty last year but showed signs of the focal point attacker he was in much different circumstances at Villa. Pep knows this and doesn’t necessarily even need that all the time from Grealish this year. But if he does...yeah, goodnight.

    Good luck stopping Man City this season—or next season, and probably the one after that. It won’t be easy, but that’s what makes this league so great.


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