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Sinclair: Defoe can upset odds for AFC Bournemouth

9 Aug 2017
Jermain Defoe, AFC Bournemouth

Surprise package? Champions? Top four? Former West Ham midfielder is the fifth pundit to reveal his 2017/18 picks

Trevor Sinclair believes the summer signing of Jermain Defoe means AFC Bournemouth can upset the odds this season.

Sinclair, the fifth pundit to reveal his predictions for 2017/18, says Defoe's predatory play on the tight Vitality Stadium pitch could make the Cherries this season's surprise package.

Who will finish in the top four, and in what order?

1 Manchester City. Full-backs are a huge part of Pep Guardiola's teams. They've recruited very well and strengthened at goalkeeper which hurt them last season.

2 Chelsea. They were incredible last season but the 3-4-3 formation that worked so well will require tweaking due to the Blues not having the best squad for the Premier League. There is the added pressure of UEFA Champions League commitments this season.

3 Manchester United. There is big pressure on record signing Romelu Lukaku, who will do well and add raw pace to the attack, but they still lack depth.

4 Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez staying makes a huge difference. Alexandre Lacazette needs to adapt to the Premier League quickly but form is temporary and a top-four finish will be achieved.

Who will miss out?

5 Tottenham Hotspur. Wembley Stadium is a big factor. Kyle Walker will be missed and Spurs are still too reliant on Harry Kane.

6 Liverpool. I have doubts about their defence and goalkeeper but they're still as exciting as any in attack.

7 Everton. Any improvement on seventh would be huge. Some great additions have been made by Ronald Koeman but I can't see them penetrating the top five, never mind the top four. 

Dominic Solanke, Liverpool
Sinclair says that Liverpool's Dominic Solanke could be the Premier League's standout young player this season
Which promoted team will fare best?

Newcastle United, mainly because of Rafa Benitez's leadership, tactical expertise, experience and proven quality.

Surprise package

AFC Bournemouth. They've made a huge signing in Nathan Ake, where they really needed strengthening. On a tight ground my old team-mate Jermain Defoe should get a hat full.

Golden Boot

Sergio Aguero.

Young player of the season?

Dominic Solanke at Liverpool. He has had some great performances in the England side that won the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, as well as an impressive pre-season at his new club and, given the opportunities, he will shine.

See: Pundits' predictions for 2017/18

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