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Men in Blazers’ 2022-23 Premier League Preview: Picks for top four and bottom three

The Men in Blazers’ Premier League preview is here, just in time for the start of the 2022-23 season. Rog and Davo shared their thoughts on the upcoming Premier League season — everything from who’s going to finish in the top four to who’s going to fall down the moon door of relegation — during their weekly live pod and listener Q&A, “Do It Live!”, which is now airing on live radio app “Amp”. Be sure to download the Amp app now in order to ask Rog and Davo your own questions during the next “Do It Live!” show.

From Jack Grealish’s impressive calves to Arsenal’s quest for a Florida Cup-induced sextuple, here's how Rog and Davo see the Premier League playing out this season.

Rog’s Top Four Premier League Teams for 2022-23:

4th: Arsenal

Rog: “Arsenal. All or Nothing 2, Electric Boogaloo. I’ve loved watching them jell so quickly in preseason. They’ve become almost must-watch, to see their sage new arrivals. (Gabriel) Jesus is a man on a mission of goal-scoring redemption, or has he used all his goals for the season too early in the friendlies? (Oleksandr) Zinchenko, a fantastic footballer. (Fabio) Vieira and (William) Saliba. (Martin) Odegaard, now captain, and of course, the genius world-class creator that is Matt Turner. I am bullish on Arsenal football club this season. They’ve already done the double, with the Florida Cup and the Emirates Cup won. This could be, I don’t like to get ahead of myself, but this could be the Arsenal sextuple season.”

3rd: Tottenham Hotspur

Rog: “Tottenham Hotspur have been un-Tottenham Hotspur-esque in this transfer window. They have backed the intense, smoldering winner that is Antonio Conte ferociously. (Yves) Bissouma is going to be a delight to witness in that midfield. Richarlison charging ahead of him. And it will be fascinating to finally see (Ivan) Perisic in the Premier League, after being linked (with the Premier League) for so long, so often. I can’t wait to watch them unfurl that Conte style of clenched-fist football. This could be the year — and I say this seriously, unironically, this is not a joke — in which eternal bants-meisters are turned on their asses, as I do believe this squad should be capable of winning a trophy.”

2nd: Manchester City

Rog: “Defending champions Manchester City, girded by four titles in five seasons; they arrive with all of us reading far too much into the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool, and leave us believing that there is a crevice of hope that Manchester City — with Haaland still to bed in for at least a trademark season in order to understand the magic of Pep — are going to be weaker on paper. Raz-less, Jesus-less. I think (Julian) Alvarez is going to be a fascinating storyline this season, with his pace and his hunger, and there’s Jack Grealish, with his calves and his Insta-bants. But this is all going to be about Erling Haaland and how he goes. The media are going to haunt him, with every kick, every mistake, every everything. They’re going to feast upon that giant 22-year-old man-boy who is still, according to reports, growing. But he’s eventually going to eat us all. He’s terrifying … a destroyer of souls and spirit and hope.”

1st: Liverpool

Rog: “Like City, Liverpool are also evolving. A settled Mo Salah, with a new contract signed. Luis Diaz. Jota is going to be coming back from injury in the wake of his new long-term deal; 34 goals in 54 games since joining from Wolves in 2020. Darwin Nunez, about whom ballads are already being written. And Liverpool still have Bobby Firmino in there, making cameo appearances like a Brazilian Cosmo Kramer. They have a new quadruple to go for, with more tactical options, even though (they’ve lost Sadio) Mane, who kind of slipped away without the true fanfare that he deserved as an epic Premier League great. He will be missed. But Liverpool are meisters at asterisk seasons. And (due to the winter World Cup) this is a wildcard season. No one navigates strange, surreal obstacles of seasons better than Liverpool Football Club. I may be trying to speak my worst fear out of reality, but I believe Liverpool Football Club will be your 2022-23 champions.”

Davo’s Top Four Premier League Teams for 2022-23:

4th: Chelsea

Davo: “I don’t think Chelsea are completely ready; I think that’s been made very evident with their preseason performances. But the transfer window doesn’t close for a few more weeks, and [new owner Todd] Boehly could buy 35 more players by then. They’re very hard to figure out, but I still think Chelsea are going to be good. I think they’ve improved, despite losing someone like Toni Rudiger, which I think is a huge loss. On the other hand, I don’t think you can say that losing Big Rom [Lukaku] is a big loss, as he didn’t contribute a lot last season. But overall, I think they’re going to be a better team. I think Raz [Raheem Sterling] and [Kalidou] Koulibaly already look like they’ve improved the squad, and they seem to have a lot more players coming in. So I think they’re going to be stronger. I don’t think they’re at the level of Liverpool or Man City, but I wouldn’t write them off yet.”

3rd: Arsenal

Davo: “I’m bullish on Arsenal. You cannot fail to be impressed by their performances in preseason, even though we can also read way too much into preseason. There’s that great Mike Tyson quote, which is that everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth. And I think with Arsenal, we’re going to learn a lot more about this side when they have their first challenge, when they have their first encounter with adversity. But if this team can start well, then when they get their setback, which will inevitably happen — they will lose a tough game at home or on the road somewhere that they shouldn’t lose — how they bounce back from that will tell us a lot about them.”

2nd: Liverpool

Davo: “I think Liverpool are going to be fantastic again. I think they’re going to be very strong. I think they’re going to have to find a slightly different way to play, without (Sadio) Mane and with Darwin (Nunez) in place. But I think they’ll be superb again. As for Nunez, I mean, who cares what he does with his shirt on? He is so good with his shirt off! He’s magnificent, that goal celebration (during the Community Shield) was everything, you can tell that Liverpool fans have already taken him to their hearts.”

1st: Manchester City

Davo: “I think (Haaland) is going to be superb. I found myself screaming during the Community Shield again and again and again, ‘Let the big horse gallop!’ I think his teammates have got to figure out how to get him the ball a little bit more. Look, they’re not used to playing with him; I mean, no one is used to playing with a striker like Haaland. And under Pep-ball, they’re certainly not used to putting the ball into the mixer. But you just want them to release him and let him run more at terrified defenders. I just think Man City, even in that Community Shield loss, you just look at them and you think, ‘Oh my god, they’re terrifying.’ Haaland has only made them more terrifying.”

Davo’s Three Teams to Be Relegated: Bournemouth, Fulham and Southampton

Davo: “I think two of the promoted teams are going to go down. I think it’s going to be Bournemouth, and I’m sorry to say, because you know I’ve got a real soft spot for Fulham — I’ve spent a lot of time at the Cottage — but I think Fulham are going to do that straight-up, straight-down move yet again. I think one incumbent Premier League side is going to go down, and in picking that team, you look at teams that have not really strengthened their squads, and who were in danger at the very end of last season. You look at (all of that), and I think the team that will go down this season, sorry to say, is Southampton. Their form coming in at the end of last season was awful. And they’ve not improved a lot. They haven’t changed a lot. I just think they’re going to be in trouble.”

Rog’s Three Teams to Be Relegated: Bournemouth, Fulham and Everton

Rog: “Fulham already seem to be listing, with their manager Marco Silva doing a Charlotte FC and begging for more players in public. Shorn of Fabio Carvalho, who’s gone to Liverpool, they will shortly Norwich it up. And Bournemouth seem to have parachute payments as their goal as well. They face Manchester City and Liverpool on the road in the first month, as well as a home clash with Arsenal. But for the third team, honestly, seriously, I’m not trying to be funny. Not trying to manage my own worst fears out in public. But I do fear for Everton, my Everton. Bite your arm off for lower mid-table. Everton, bringing in all these Burnley players — is that galaxy-brain? Use parts of relegated Burnley to try and escape relegation? Bringing in Burnley players to try and save yourself from being relegated is like using a boat with a huge hole in it to try and avoid drowning.”’

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