By News Team
Last Updated: 22nd July 2022
Former Crystal Palace and Birmingham striker Clinton Morrison has told us he believes the 2022/23 Premier League title race will go down to the wire, with Manchester City coming out on top thanks to the signing of Erling Haaland, while he’s backing Spurs to be the season’s surprise package.
Morrison was giving his predictions for the upcoming campaign while speaking on a William Hill Premier League preview panel, and said Pep Guardiola’s City will be celebrating a third straight title win come May.
“Liverpool will miss Sadio Mane massively and Manchester City bringing in Erling Haaland might just edge it for them,” Morrison told us. “They’re the two outstanding teams. I think it’s going to go right down to the wire, but if I had to pick one, I’d just go for Manchester City.
“I wouldn’t want to write off Chelsea in the title race, as I think Raheem Sterling is good business for them. I think they will bring in more defenders. When you lose the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, you’re going to have to bring in replacements.”
But while Morrison doesn’t want to write off Chelsea’s chances of a strong campaign, he feels Antonio Conte’s Spurs will excel this season and could beat their London rivals to third spot.
“Spurs are the surprise package,” he said. “I think the business Conte has done this summer has been outstanding. And he’s a winner, he wins things. When you bring Antonio Conte through a building, he wins things. Spurs could make third place, but I still think Chelsea will do good business.
“There’s always a chance Arsenal can sneak into the top four. Did I ever predict Spurs would be in the top four last season? No. But they did ever so well. There’s always an outside chance of it. At the moment I think Arsenal are in a better position than Manchester United.”
While West Ham mounted a challenge for Champions League football last season, Morrison feels doing the same again this term might prove a step too far for the Hammers.
“What stopped West Ham last season maybe going all the way into the top four was not signing enough players in January, even though David Moyes said he tried,” he said. “They were too reliant on Michail Antonio and needed another striker.
“If they had got someone like Jesse Lingard, I think he would have made a big difference. And then they picked up injuries to key players. Making a run in the Premier League and Europa League in back-to-back seasons is going to be a massive ask, definitely.”
Wolves in the past have been talked about as a team that can challenge for Europe, but Morrison doesn’t believe they have the squad depth to do so this time around.
“The problem with Wolves is that they lose players,” he said. “Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in midfield are outstanding – one of the best midfield partnerships in the Premier League when they are on their game, particularly Neves. He’s exceptional. Wolves have a good 12. When they pick up injuries – three or four – then they struggle.
“Obviously they’ve missed Pedro Neto, I think he’s an outstanding player. If they can get him fully fit with Raul Jimenez they can cause problems and score a lot of goals. But I think last season was Wolves’ season. I think Wolves, and Leicester, are now just mid-table teams that can hopefully do well in the cup.”
At the bottom of the table, Morrison says it could be a long season for Bournemouth, adding that they need to bring in more reinforcements if they want to compete.
“It will be a struggle for Bournemouth,” he said. “Scott Parker did well to get them promoted. It’s hard as a manager. When you’re one of the favourites to go up and you go in as a manager you know you have to succeed. He went there and did his job, they got promoted.
“Now the board have to back him and he has to bring in more players, because there’s always going to be question marks. Take Dominic Solanke, we know he scores goals in the Championship, but can he do it in the Premier League? I believe he can score but he needs an opportunity, and he’s not always had that.”
Morrison also feels Southampton could be in trouble, adding: “I think Southampton have to start well (or they could struggle). They didn’t end the season well, Southampton fans were having a right moan at Ralph Hasenhüttl. He has to start the season well.”
On Morrison’s former club Palace, he added: “This is the first time I’ve done a predictions piece like this and I’ve not spoken about Crystal Palace season on season being in a relegation battle. This season they’re a banker for mid-table security.”