Everton, Wolves, Bournemouth, Fulham, Crystal Palace: 5 Premier League surprise packages

There are many teams which will be aiming to cause a stir this Premier League season but which five could surprise us in doing so?


Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

With the financial side of the modern game growing rapidly, now is the time to establish yourself as a Premier League Club. 

Last season, the three promoted clubs all managed to keep themselves in the league. However, now that some of the deadwood has been cut from England’s top division, the prospects now look much more tricky for mid-table sides.

This week, the BBC reported that the gap in average turnover between Premier League and English Football League clubs widened to £133 million last season. Clubs will be using this as extra motivation to avoid the drop.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is still the possibility for some of the smaller teams in the division to surprise us and lodge themselves firmly in the top half of the table..

Last season saw Burnley confound expectations and finish in the European spots. Here are five teams that we think could do the same this time around.

  1. 1 Wolves


    Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

    Wolves could well be a force to be reckoned with this season. If many pundits are to be believed, they might even make a challenge for a top half finish. 

    However, after dominating in the Championship last season, Nuno Espirito Santo has insisted they "have a lot to improve on," following the 2-2 draw at home to Everton. 

    With Everton down to ten men with a whole half to play, you would have expected Wolves to go on and take all three points but it wasn't to be. A lack of experience maybe?

    Star man, Ruben Neves will have huge expectation on his shoulders this season but has started to deliver already, curling a free kick into the top corner before notching a stunning assist for Raul Jimenez. Most of Wolves' play comes through the Portuguese with his dynamic range of passing and will be a key player this season. 

    Astute signings like Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio, both of whom were in the Euro 2016 winning squad with Portugal, will provide plenty of experience to the squad.

    With a tactical-savvy manager in Nuno, they will most certainly cause some shocks this season.

    Predicted finish: 11th

  2. 2 Everton


    REUTERS/Darren Staples

    Marco Silva doesn't exactly boast the most encouraging Premier League stats to an outsider. Hull City? Relegated. Watford? Sacked. 

    The critics will say his prestige is over-hyped. However, he is clearly a manager who knows the game inside out.

    Flirting with Everton whilst being in charge of Watford wasn't his smartest move but Silva and Everton seem like the perfect fit. His attention to detail is second to none and, with the players he has at his disposal at Everton, it could be a match made in heaven.

    Silva made it clear he was an admirer of Richarlison when he forked out £50 million for his services. The Brazilian scored twice on his debut, hinting of things to come. 

    A potential new centre back pairing of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zoma will provide a solid base to work from. However, whether Silva converts to a three-man defence like he did at Hull and Watford, remains to be seen.

    Everton will play a high-tempo game with an attacking philosophy: one which will be completely different to the one branded under his predecessor, Sam Allardyce. A different atmosphere will definitely contribute to a fortress atmosphere at Goodison for their opponents this season.

    Predicted finish: 7th

  3. 3 Fulham


    Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

    Another promoted club, the Cottagers, could cause a few shocks this season. 

    Spending over £100 million this summer, they have also made some very astute signings. Jean Michael Seri set pulses racing when he signed from French outfit, OGC Nice. He'll be joined by exciting signings like Andre Schurrle, Luciano Vietto and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

    Ruled out until September, summer signing Alfie Mawson, is another shrewd bit of business for Fulham and one which will bring a dominant figure at the back.

    Keeping hold of the services of star duo Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon was vital after performing superbly last season as they won promotion. Along with their capture of Aleksandar Mitrovic on a permanent deal, Fulham fans will be hopeful of having a strong return to the Premier League. 

    All of these players will fit well into the possession-based football Slavisa Jokanovic has encouraged at Craven Cottage. Fulham ranked highest in the Championship last season for possession stats, averaging at 57%, so don't expect to see any changes of gameplan going forward.

    Predicted finish: 13th

  4. 4 Bournemouth


    REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

    Despite their gradual development into a well-established Premier League club, Bournemouth have been tipped by many as a team to struggle this season. However, with a good young manager in Eddie Howe, this could well be a season to silence those doubters. 

    A comfortable 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on the opening day was the ideal start for Howe. 

    Keeping Callum Wilson fit for the entire season will be imperative. The striker has been plagued with horrific injuries over the last few seasons but showed how important he is with a well-taken goal to seal the three points late on. 

    Combining Wilson's pace and power with Josh King's agility and guile, Bournemouth fans will hope the strikers form a formidable partnership this season.

    The Cherries haven't strengthened the squad considerably this summer but they have made some canny signings. Record signing Jefferson Lerma, the promising David Brooks from Sheffield United and left back Diego Rico have all entered the doors at the Vitality with fans hoping they will make an immediate impact.

    There will also be expectations that Lewis Cook will carry his form from last season into the new season. Cook enjoys playing as a number eight, winning the ball and driving forward. 

    Alongside Cook, Lerma could prove to be an astute signing by Howe. The Colombian will bring a physical presence to the heart of midfield, sitting deep and allowing Cook to play his favoured role.

    Last season, Bournemouth's achievements were somewhat overlooked as they finished just five points off Everton in eighth. That five-point gap, though, was enough to see them finish 12th.

    Ensuring a stable Premier League status for the Cherries is a must if they are to embark on a project to expand the capacity of their stadium.

    Predicted finish: 10th

  5. 5 Crystal Palace


    Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

    Retaining the services of Wilfried Zaha is as big as a marquee signing in the eyes of Crystal Palace fans. The Ivorian forward shone last season for Palace and, on Wednesday, signed a new contract for at the club until 2023.

    With Roy Hodgson also signing a new deal last week, there is a feel-good factor in South London which was only added to with a professional opening day victory over London rivals, Fulham.

    Hodgson is a manager who doesn't get the regard which he deserves. Many people still associate the 70-year-old with his failure as England boss, leading them to a Euro 2016 knockout at the hands of Iceland. 

    Palace have been largely underestimated this upcoming season with many pundits suggesting a mid-table season is on the cards. However, the squad boasts great quality throughout and could make a challenge for a strong top half finish. 

    The signing of Max Meyer has excited fans around Selhurst Park. The German, who was a free agent after leaving German club Schalke, is not yet match fit but he could be the perfect player to bring the best out of players surrounding him. He possesses great awareness and artistry which could well see him become a fan favourite very quickly.

    Predicted finish: 9th

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  1. POLL: Which of these will be your surprise package this season?

    1. Wolves
    2. Everton
    3. Fulham
    4. Bournemouth
    5. Crystal Palace
    635 votes
    Share Your Result

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Iain Taylor

19

I am currently a mature student, studying Football Business and Media at UCFB Wembley. I will be starting my second year in September and I am an avid football fan who loves to write about anything to do with the sport.

I am a very active sportsman, playing numerous different sports, such as football, table tennis, badminton along with many others.

I started working for RealSport in August 2018.

Follow me on Twitter: @Iain_Taylor8

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