Can Leicester City, Newcastle United, and Aston Villa Find Another Gear in the Premier League this Season?

    Can Leicester City, Newcastle United, and Aston Villa Find Another Gear in the Premier League this Season?
    02/08/22 1590

    We begin with Leicester City, who would have been hoping to push for the top four places last season but finished in 8th place.

    It is testament to where the Foxes have come under Brendan Rodgers that finishing in the top 8 last season was seen as a disappointment, especially as they reached a European semi-final.

    A major issue in the Premier League was conceding goals from corners and Leicester City conceded 16 goals from corners. Having several key players on the treatment table did not help, with Jaime Vardy, Wesley Fofana, Wilfried Ndidi, and Jonny Evans among those unavailable for prolonged periods.

    Burnley were relegated having conceded 53 goals and Leicester City conceded 59 goals, so there is clear room for improvement at the back.

    An injury free campaign for key players, especially in defence, should see Leicester City in the mix for the European places again this season.

    Aston Villa must be aiming for a top half finish in the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Following the arrival of Steven Gerrard in November 2021, there was an improvement in results and performances but the overall season was one of disappointment.

    Aston Villa won only 2 of their final 11 Premier League fixtures, which is a poor record and they cannot start the new season in that sort of form. The permanent arrival of Philippe Coutinho plus the additions of Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara are a boost and should lead to an improvement in performance.

    Ollie Watkins will need to score more than the 11 goals he managed last season if Aston Villa are going to trouble the teams pushing for the European places. A top half finish would be a good season for Aston Villa but Gerrard will be hoping for more.

    Moving to Newcastle United and we are unlikely to see another team have a season like the Magpies last season, it was extraordinary. Newcastle United were without a win and in serious relegation trouble when, on paper, they became the richest football club in the world.

    Just two weeks after the arrival of the new owners, Steve Bruce was sacked and Eddie Howe stepped in to take charge. Newcastle United failed to win any of their first 14 Premier League matches of the season. They conceded 28 goals in those 14 games, at an average of 2 goals per game.

    In 3 matches in December, Newcastle United conceded 11 goals against Leicester City, Liverpool, and Manchester City. Relegation seemed a certainty. Then, Newcastle United went on a 9 match unbeaten run and won 13 of their final 18 Premier League games.

    The additions of Bruno Guimarães and Dan Burn were key to the revival of Newcastle United under Howe and the summer arrivals of Matt Targett, Nick Pope, and Sven Botman should see the club compete for a top half finish in the coming campaign.