Sixteen days to go until the Premier League season kicks off, and now we’re outside the bottom three and on to the closest survivor. Someone hit the music and let’s do the damn thing!
*obligatory parody video that I have a strange obsession with because it will never fail to make me laugh. They say a perfect video doesn’t exist. I say nay.*
17. Huddersfield Town
Last Years Finish: 16th in Premier League (36 points)
Predicted 2018/2019 Points Total: 36
Notable Additions: Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Terence Kongolo (Monaco), Adama Diakhaby (Stoke City)
Notable Losses: Tom Ince (Stoke City)
I know I said that Southampton will go down with 36 points, and I know I predicted here that Huddersfield will stay up with 36 points, but I think this will come down to goal differential in the end. While last season Southampton had a significantly better goal differential (-19 to -30), I think Huddersfield has done a much better job of strengthening their squad this summer to reverse that gap. Durm and Kongolo are both solid defenders to shore up the left side of their defense, and for a team that scored only 28 goals last term (and just lost one of their key attacking players in Tom Ince), they’re going to need every bit of that defensive line. A big reason I think that they stay up is manager David Wagner, who has his team very well-drilled at all times and has no illusions about who they are and how they have to stay up. Last year, Huddersfield stayed up thanks to having the joint-most draws in the league at 19 (9-10-19 record overall) and that’s how they’re going to have to do it again. Analytics say it will be incredibly tough to replicate that kind of success-via-draws again, but I think they’ve done enough (so far) to hold their ground, at least for another season.