Predicted position of Guardian writers: 17th (NB: this is not necessarily Michael Butler’s prediction, but the average of our writers’ tips)
Position last season: 15th
Odds of Winning the League (via Oddschecker): 500-1
If Southampton is good, it is a top half Premier League team. And when they’re bad, they’re fodder for relegation. Ever since Ralph Hasenhüttl came up with it at the end of 2018, the problem is that you never know which version you’re going to get. Unfortunately, that’s about the most exciting thing about being a Southampton fan right now.
After Southampton failed to replace Danny Ings at the start of last season, Southampton won 10 games to win its first game and ended the season with a worse goal difference (-24) than relegated Burnley, with only a prosperous period in February that kept the club going. above the drop zone.
Transfers have been quirky for a while – the idea of Saints having a player good enough to sell to Liverpool these days seems a bit far-fetched. This summer’s transfer policy of paying more than £23million for Manchester City academy players seems a bit risky, until you remember the success of both Tino Livramento and Armando Broja (of Chelsea) last season. If Southampton does one thing right, it’s a good youngster. It’s the rest of the recruiting you need to worry about.
Much will depend on the fitness and form of captain James Ward-Prowse – last year’s top scorer (11 goals) and title maker (eight assists) – and whether they can find a goalscorer. Broja has gone back to Chelsea, Che Adams has had a mixed time, while Adam Armstrong has failed to fill Danny Ings’ shoes after the latter left for Aston Villa a year ago.