HERE’S what SunSport columnist Troy Deeney is looking forward to casting his eye over in the Premier League and beyond as we hit 2023…

HOW MANY RECORDS WILL ERLING HAALAND BREAK?

Troy Deeney reckons Erling Haaland will score 40 Prem goals

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Troy Deeney reckons Erling Haaland will score 40 Prem goalsCredit: Getty

First and foremost, Haaland will be tasked with helping Manchester City chase down Arsenal at the top of the table – but he is a pure goal scorer, and will be wanting those records too.

When I look at him and what City are doing, it is impossible to see how he doesn’t score 40 goals and that is mental to say.

He only needs 12 more goals in 23 games to reach Mohamed Salah’s tally from last season. It isn’t even out of the blue for him to score six goals in two games.

If he is on 35 goals heading into the last few matches of the season, I feel sorry for anyone who has to stop him. He is a freak, a lovely freak to watch.

WILL A JANUARY SPLURGE HELP ARSENAL’S TITLE BID?

Buying new players to bolster their squad is all well and good, but it is about bringing in new players and maintaining the consistency they have had so far this season.

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They don’t need too many additions, but if they do sign someone else, how does that dynamic change things? They have a happy squad, and you need to keep it that way.

There is a growing expectation that Arsenal really can do it the longer they are top, and if they come out of the next month unscathed, I will start believing.

But I just wonder that if City catch them, and I believe they can, will Arsenal recover from it? I actually feel they will finish as low as third come the end of the season.

Deeney thinks Arsenal could finish third this season despite their flying start

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Deeney thinks Arsenal could finish third this season despite their flying startCredit: Getty

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WILL SOUTHAMPTON, WOLVES AND EVERTON STEER CLEAR OF TROUBLE?

These are the three teams that I worry about the most when I think of relegation and survival in the Prem this season.

They are three teams who we thought could break into the top 10 for the past few years, but have they now missed that window? The bottom is now looks like where they belong.

Two of those three have changed managers – I am really interested to see how they get on, especially Nathan Jones at Southampton and will he be given enough time to turn that club around even if they go down?

HOW WILL CODY GAKPO SETTLE IN?

It will be interesting to see how this signing influences Jurgen Klopp’s rotation policy with his attacking players at Liverpool, especially someone like Darwin Nunez who is going through a tough patch right now.

Gakpo needs time to develop and grow into the striker that we all know he can become, so who will drop out every now and again from the likes of Nunez, Mo Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in order to give him that?

I don’t think the kid is a No.9, but someone who could drift across all three positions up top.

Cody Gakpo watched his new Liverpool team-mates face Leicester on Friday at Anfield

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Cody Gakpo watched his new Liverpool team-mates face Leicester on Friday at AnfieldCredit: Sky Sports

ARE LEICESTER NOW A NOTHING-TEAM?

By their own lofty standards in recent years, they have had a poor, poor season, and it is turning into a real nothing season for them. It is just about staying up.

But with their money issues and needing to still sell to buy, are they now just back to what they have been before the title win and FA Cup glory – a middle-of-the-road team?

They still haven’t replaced Kasper Schmeichel, they still haven’t found a replacement for Jamie Vardy.

The whole squad is a bit iffy at the moment, they have stagnated in the transfer window and they are where they are as a result.

CAN NEWCASTLE CONTINUE TO SOAR?

They have lost one game all season. To me, that’s frightening. Should they go and finish in the top three or even top two, it will be an incredible story.

Leicester’s Prem win in 2016 still stands above everything else. No one saw that coming.

But Newcastle would come close if they can finish the job and keep competing with the very best from where they were last year.

Eddie Howe has built a really balanced team.

FA CUP REPLAYS RETURNING

Not just from a club’s perspective, but from a fan’s perspective, it brings a lot of excitement — and they are vital for teams who don’t have massive budgets.

Portsmouth have Tottenham away. If they manage to earn a draw, then they get a big night at Fratton Park.

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That would probably keep them alive for another year.

Gillingham have Leicester. Chesterfield have West Brom. Oxford have Arsenal at home. I was brought up on the FA Cup and chances like this, one replay can change their entire financial year. It can change a player’s career. It’s magic.



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