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Premier League Fan Panel predicts Manchester battle for title

The Euros may have been a resounding disappointment but no matter, English football fans have what looks set to be a thrilling Premier League season to look forward to.

Everyone loves an underdog story and last year’s surprise winners Leicester City gave Premier League fans just that, but this year a close battle for the title between Manchester United and Manchester City could be on the cards.

Certainly, this is what fans expect according to the latest Premier League Fan Panel conducted by Populus, which found that 38% of respondents predict a win for Pep Guardiola’s Man City, with Manchester United coming a close second (37%).

Just 0.5% of fans think reigning champions Leicester City will retain the title. That said, expectations have in fact been raised since a year ago; just 0.1% of fans said they thought Leicester City would win when asked the same question this time last year. Anything can happen.

Chart 1

The ones to watch

City striker Sergio Agüero emerged as the favourite to win the Golden Boot this season, beating the likes of last year’s winner, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, and major Manchester United signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Podium 1 - top scorer

When it comes to managers, fans also expect another Manchester clash, with 29% predicting Pep Guardiola will win the award for Manager of the Season, compared to 24% who think José Mourinho will take the title.

Podium 2 - Top Manager

As well as a managerial shake up at some of the top clubs, some major new signings have the potential to make this season extra special for fans.

In a similar fan panel conducted at the end of last season, new Manchester United recruit Zlatan Ibrahimović came second below Lionel Messi as the player fans would most like to see in the Premier League this season.

Fans certainly seem excited about the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba, naming them as the overseas signings they’re most looking forward to seeing in the Premier League this season.

Podium 3 - Overseas signing

The underdogs

This season sees promoted teams Hull City, Burnley and Middlesbrough join the Premier League. Sadly, fans don’t appear to have much confidence in the new additions, naming them as the clubs they think will be bottom of the league at Christmas.

Chart 2 - bottom of league

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