I'll post weekly updates on the predictions league along with my predictions for each game week on my blog. As usual I'll also try to give pointers to which players might be good choices for fantasy managers too.
Saturday August 8
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
12.45pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester
United have spent big yet again this summer and will surely be expected to put in a title challenge after showing some improvement last season. They will have to deal with Champions League football again once they get past the qualifying round and that might stretch them a little. I'm still not sure they will have what it takes to genuinely challenge the three teams who finished above them last season.
If Wayne Rooney gets the chance to lead the line for United he might be a good choice for fantasy managers while Memphis Depay looks a possibility too as he's listed as a midfielder.
Spurs haven't exactly been over active in the transfer market this summer and need to strengthen if they're going to improve on last season. They will have to contend with Europa League football on Thursday night's yet again and it has proven to be a hindrance for English clubs in recent seasons. I can't see them doing any better than last season unless they add some real quality before the window closes.
If Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli can replicate their form of last season they are all worth considering for fantasy managers.
I think United will get their season off to a good start with a narrow victory.
Bournemouth v Aston Villa
3pm BST, Dean Court, Bournmouth
Bournemouth beat all the odds to win promotion last season and it will be a huge task for them to try to stay up. They like to play attacking football though and they will certainly give it a go at home in particular. I don't think their resources will stretch to keeping them in the Premier League, but their promotion has shown it's possible for almost any club.
There are always bargains to be found for fantasy managers in newly promoted teams with Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson possibly the most likely to succeed in the Bournemouth team.
Villa reached the FA Cup final last season, but they only just managed to beat the drop too. They have sold arguably their two best players in Christian Benteke and Fabien Delph, but they have also added plenty of new players to their squad. If they're going to do better this season those new players will have to make an impact and I'm not so sure that's going to happen.
It's not easy to see which Villa players will make that impact this season, but there's a possibility of either Jordan Veretout or Rudy Gestede doing so.
I think this is going to be a very close game, but I have a feeling Bournemouth will get their first season in the top flight off to a flyer.
Everton v Watford
3pm BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool
Everton haven't been too busy in the transfer window and they're more or less depending on a squad which under performed last season. They will need to make a better start this season, but they won't have the distraction of Europa League football this season. With so many other teams improving their squads Everton could find things a little tough this season if they don't add to their squad before the window closes.
Gerard Deulofeu might do well now that he's back at Everton while players like Romelu Lukaku, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman are always worth considering too.
Watford have brought in a host of new players to bolster the squad which won them promotion last season. It still won't be easy for them to survive in the top flight, but they're probably the most likely of the three promoted teams to avoid the drop. They look capable of scoring a few goals, but they will need to improve in defence if they are to avoid the drop.
If Watford are going to stay up then players like Troy Deeney and Steven Berghuis might be the ones to at least warm the bench for fantasy managers.
I think Everton should be good enough at home to win this game by a couple of goals.
Leicester City v Sunderland
3pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester were the miracle men of last season when they somehow managed to avoid the drop after a very strong finish. They have brought a few players in, but the loss of Esteban Cambiasso could be a real blow for them. Much will be expected of new manager Claudio Ranieri, but I'm not so sure they can improve on last season.
I'm not sure which of the Leicester players to opt for, but Jamie Vardy and Robert Huth could be outside bets.
Sunderland were very close to going down last season too, but Dick Advocat just about managed to reverse their fate when he took over from Gus Poyet. They had problems scoring goals last season and every so often their defence went to pieces too. I can't see the players they have at the moment making things any better and they could be in for another long hard slog.
Costel Pantilimon did well for fantasy managers last season and could be worth buying again while Jeremain Lens could be the signing to make an impact for them.
I think Leicester might just get the better of Sunderland in a tight game.
Norwich City v Crystal Palace
3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich did well to come straight back up via the play offs, but they will have to improve or their stay will be brief. Their squad doesn't look any better to me than the one which went down a couple of seasons ago. They will want to get their campaign off to a good start at home, but they will find Palace a tough task to take on.
Robbie Brady's ability from set pieces could make him worth considering for fantasy managers.
Palace did well after Alan Pardew took the reins last season and have added to their squad this summer. If they can retain the attacking flair from the second half of last season they should find themselves comfortably in mid table. They can't take anything for granted and like so many other teams could find themselves struggling if they don't get a good start.
Yohan Cabaye has the ability to do well for fantasy managers while Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha, Glenn Murray and Parick Bamford are worth considering too.
Palace had a good away record last season and I think they will take all three points on their first road trip this season.
Chelsea v Swansea City
5.30pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea won the league fairly easily in the end last season and they're favourites to retain the title too. They haven't added much to their squad so far and you would imagine they will be active before the transfer window closes. They were unbeaten at home last season and will want to continue that against Swansea even if their pre season hasn't gone so well.
There are so many Chelsea players to pick from for fantasy managers with Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas all good choices and all of their defenders are hard to ignore too.
Swansea did well under Gary Monk last season and they will be looking for more of the same this season. They haven't added too much to their squad like quite a few other clubs, but the style they have developed makes them a handful for any team. A trip to the reigning champions in their first game is a tough task and one they will do very well to get get any points in.
There are plenty of Swansea players such as Lukasz Fabianski, Bafetimbi Gomis, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Ki Sung Yueng and Jonjo Shelvey for fantasy managers to include in their teams while new recruit Andre Ayew could be worth a punt too.
I think Chelsea should be good enough on their own patch to take the three points despite their indifferent pre season form.
Sunday August 9
Arsenal v West Ham United
1.30pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal retained the FA Cup last season and were the best team in the league in the second half of the season. They have only brought Petr Cech in so far, but the strength of their squad gives them some real hope of contending for the title. They had a good home record last season and scored plenty of goals at home and they will want to get off to a flyer in this game.
Arsenal have plenty of players for fantasy managers to consider including Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez.
West Ham struggled badly in the second half of last season and Slaven Bilic took over from the departing Sam Alłardyce in the summer. They put out a weakened team in the Europa League on Thursday night and were knocked out as a result. They won't find it easy away to Arsenal, but they have already played six competitive games which might just make them that little bit sharper.
Diafra Sakho and Dimitri Payet are probably the West Ham players most likely to make a difference for fantasy managers.
I think Arsenal should be more than good enough at home to win this game by a few goals.
Newcastle United v Southampton
1.30pm BST, St. James's Park, Newcastle
Newcastle just about avoided relegation last season and Steve MacLaren has come in to try to change their fortunes. His time at Derby didn't end too well last season though, but surely he can get more from the Newcastle players than his predecessor. They will have to improve on their poor home record of last season, but won't find it easy against a strong Southampton team.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksander Mitrovic could be the new boys to impress for Newcastle while Papiss Cisse could be worth a shot too.
Southampton again sold a defender to Liverpool, but they have added to their squad. They did very well last season and progressed to the next round of the Europa League on Thursday night too. They will fancy their chances away to a team that struggled last season and have every chance of taking the points.
Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and all of the Southampton defenders (as well as new boy Cedric Soares) did well last season and are worth considering again while the fit again Jay Rodriguez shouldn't be discounted either.
I think this is a game which could go either way and will probably end with the spoils shared.
Stoke City v Liverpool
4pm BST, Brittannia Stadium, Stoke
Stoke had a very good season by their standards last season and have strengthened again for this season. They will hope to do even better this time, but it won't be easy for them to surpass any of the teams who finished above them. They thrashed Liverpool in this fixture in the final game last season, but they won't find it so easy this time.
With so many additions to their squad it's not easy to know which Stoke players to pick for fantasy managers, but Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam, Mame Biram Diouf and Bojan Krkic are all worth considering.
Liverpool had a very poor finish to last season, but they have added to their squad despite losing Raheem Sterling to City. They will have to contend with Thursday night Europa League football this season and will have to improve a lot if they are to get back into the top four. They will want some revenge for the pasting they got from Stoke last May, but they will have to improve an awful lot in defence or they won't meet any of their targets.
Christian Benteke, Jordan Henderson and Phillippe Coutinho are all good fantasy options while Daniel Sturridge is a good choice too if he can overcome his injury problems.
I have a feeling Liverpool might just get some payback for that awful result from last season with a narrow victory.
Monday August 10
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
8pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Bromwich improved when Tony Pulis took over last season, but they fell away once their Premier League safety was more or less assured. They have added a few players, but I can't see how any of the additions so far will make the team stronger. They won't find it easy at home to last season's runners up in their opening game, but they won't give City an easy ride either.
With Tony Pulis in charge West Brom's defenders are worth considering for fantasy managers along with Saido Berahino of course.
City were disappointing in defence of their title last season and they will want to do an awful lot better this season. I'm not convinced they have added enough to their squad to win the title though, but they might still have some business to do before the window closes. They had their problems away from home last season and could have a few players missing for this game including star man Sergio Aguero.
Aguero is the stand out fantasy option in the City team, but he might not be playing early on with David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Yaya Toure all good options too.
As usual this season my fantasy league is up and running again and it's open to all comers with a €50 prize (out of my pocket) to the winner. You can join up by using the league code 48497-14043 after you have set your team up here and good luck to all who play. There were over 1,000 teams in my league last season and I'm hoping for even more this season.
I'm also running my Predictions League again this season and it's very enjoyable even if there's no cash prize for the winner. The code for my league is FD757-ARR after you have signed up here and of course both games are completely free to play.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.