Southampton season predictions: Europa League burden could cost new-look Saints

St Marys Southampton

Another summer of upheaval leaves uncertainty over Southampton's prospects but do our writers think they can improve upon last season?

Predicted position: 8th

Southampton will still pose a threat to the top six in spite of losing key men but the demands of the Europa League will take its toll.

Damien Lucas: After the Lord Mayor's Show for Southampton as their policy of selling their best players like Clyne and Schneiderlin finally catches up with them as does the slog of the Europa League to make for a rocky season.

Chris Linnell: With the Europa League providing a potential distraction, the Saints may fail to live up to their lofty expectations this season.

Olly Dawes: Another summer of loss, but Ronald Koeman keeps on going. Smart, calculated signings to replace departing players mean that Southampton should again challenge for a top six place this season.

Matthew Nash: They have lost players, but also brought in some great shouts as well. Another good year for The Saints beckons.

Che Thomas: It’s hard not to be concerned for the Saints after they lost half of their outstanding defence from last year (Alderweireld and Clyne), as well as Schneiderlin in midfield. Forster’s injury absence will also be a blow. But we said that last summer as well didn’t we. Desperately need a centre back or two after Florin Gardos’s injury. If Rodriguez shines like he has done in pre-season, Southampton could easily be at a similar position as last year.

Stephen Pickering: The Saints have once again lost a number of key players and look to be licking their wounds. However, Ronald Koeman proved last season that no player is bigger than the club and his impressive management should see them finish in a good position. Key player: James Ward-Prowse.

Tim Poole: Ronald Koeman’s side can’t be discounted and won’t go away. Another good campaign for them.

Lewis Doe: Difficult to see how the Saints will avoid suffering as a result of the players they have lost this summer.

Freddie Shires: The departures of Nathaniel Clyne, Toby Alderweireld and Morgan Schneiderlin will hurt but Koeman has already proven that he can cope under such circumstances.

Michael Stevenson: The Saints reacted well to last summer’s player exodus and will need to do so again following Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin’s departures. Will remain in and around the top eight.

Billy Hawkins: Strong signings see them move forward, despite losing key players.

Our writers were asked to predict the outcome of next season's Premier League campaign. We accumulated their rankings (20 points for first place, 1 for 20th, etc), and created a predicted 2015-16 league table.

And here it is:

Chelsea

Arsenal

Manchester United

Manchester City

Liverpool

Tottenham

Everton

Southampton

West Ham United

Crystal Palace

Swansea City

Stoke City

Newcastle United

West Bromwich Albion

Aston Villa

Sunderland

Bournemouth

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Watford

Norwich City

Leicester City

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