In the summer of 2015 – our very first episode – we made a selection of predictions for the upcoming season. In the summer of 2016 we did exactly the same thing. And, true to form, in the summer of 2017 – just this week in fact – we made our predictions for the new campaign.

Unfortunately, due to a technological hitch, that latest episode will forever be hidden away in the Four Pints Later vault. But, not to fear, you can still pore over our naive forecasts here in writing. Enjoy…

Premier League top 4

Could Leicester City make a surprise return to the top table of English football? Can the North London hokey cokey society recover from last season’s car crash of a campaign? Or could Pep’s full back splurge prove fruitful? Here’s what we think…

Tom: Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur.

Nick: Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea.

Conor: Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal.

Jack: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur.

Premier League bottom 3

Will this year’s promoted sides beat the drop? Could Leslie Hughes’ Stoke ensemble come under pressure or is Marco Silva looking down the barrel of two successive basement drops? Predicting the bottom three is always difficult, but here’s how we see it:

Tom: Brighton, Swansea, Huddersfield.

Nick: Brighton, Burnley, West Brom.

Conor: Watford, Burnley, Brighton.

Jack: Stoke, Watford, Huddersfield.

First manager to be sacked

Now of course we don’t like anyone being handed their P45, but this is one of our favourite categories. There was a correct prediction of Francesco Guidolin last season, will we get it right again this time around?

Tom: Slaven Bilic, West Ham United.

Nick: Sean Dyche, Burnley.

Conor: Chris Hughton, Brighton.

Jack: Leslie Mark Hughes, Stoke City.

Team to be promoted from the Championship

With 45 games to go, this one is anyone’s call. And analysing our predictions below, it looks like one of our number has taken a cursory glance at the current Championship table and decided that’s how it’ll finish. Good luck to all 24 sloggers…

Tom: Fulham.

Nick: Bristol City.

Conor: Aston Villa.

Jack: Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Player we don’t know about who might be quite good

Those of you who have been with us before may remember this category thanks to its catchy jingle. But, if you don’t, think of it as the Ronseal of pre-season predictions. Four interesting nominations coming up (remember, they only have to be ‘quite’ good).

Tom: Roque Mesa, Swansea City.

Nick: Steve Mounie, Huddersfield.

Conor: Florian Lejeune, Newcastle United.

Jack: Davy Propper, Brighton.

Signing of the season

Well, what a transfer window it has been. Lukaku has signed for Man United, Neymar rocked up in Paris and of course Jon Walters will now be practising his unique style of football at Turf Moor. But who will prove to be the best acquisition?

Tom: Wayne Rooney, Everton.

Nick: Nathan Ake, Bournemouth.

Conor: Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City.

Jack: Leonardo Bonucci, AC Milan.

Flop of the season

Turning the tables from success to stagnation. Here’s our nominations for the season’s flop to be. Looks like the Hammers are in for another tough season, then…

Tom: Marko Arnautovic, West Ham United.

Nick: Javier Hernandez, West Ham United.

Conor: Liverpool.

Jack: Alvaro Morata, Chelsea.

Surprise package

And so to our final category, the surprise package. Could a mid-table obscurity specialist end up in the Europa League spots, is there a manager out there who is going to prove everyone wrong? Or is it just that Huddersfield will finish with a nosebleed in 17th?

Tom: Leicester City.

Nick: Huddersfield.

Conor: Swansea City.

Jack: Crystal Palace.

So there we have it, there may be no podcast but there are still predictions. You can hear a few snippets of what we actually said to accompany these ideas over on our Twitter and Soundcloud pages.

We’ll be back next week with the first ‘proper’ podcast of the season. Until then, as the curtain comes up on another season, enjoy the hope that August and September bring – there’s no feeling like it.

You can follow us on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Written by Conor Shilling.

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