Manchester United – New England Patriots


No one likes them, they don't care.

The Patriots are the pantomime villains of the NFL, led by curmudgeonly coach Bill Belichick and golden boy quarterback Tom Brady.

They've had some scandals in recent years, but like United are the most hated team in the league for one reason – they win.

The Patriots have lifted the Lombardi trophy four times since Belichick became the head coach in 2000.

Fancy seeing your team win a Super Bowl in the next few years? Play it safe and pick the Pats.

Watford – San Diego Chargers

Their first-year head coach has been tipped for big things. Leading a team with plenty of room to improve, he could be a hot commodity by the end of the season.

Newcastle – Washington Redskins

A former NFL superpower, Redskins fans have wanted owner Dan Snyder to sell up for years. Like Mike Ashley, he continues to cling on.

Tottenham Hotspur – Atlanta Falcons


The Falcons fell just short of a championship last season, but their young core and coach should keep them in contention for years to come.

In reigning MVP Matt Ryan and star receiver Julio Jones, Atlanta have an elite duo who play with the kind of telepathy that Dele Alli and Harry Kane so often display for Spurs.

Coach Dan Quinn – entering his third season with the team – has built a side that pride themselves on a solid defence but can also score at any time.

If they can find a way to take the next step forward, they’ll be the league’s most formidable team.

Bournemouth – New Orleans Saints

An exciting attacking team whose shoddy defence will stop them from contending any time soon.

West Brom – Houston Texans

They might not score many, but the Texans’ outstanding defence will help them punch above their weight all season.

Manchester City – Seattle Seahawks


After winning their division just once in the 1990s, the Seahawks are now among the most consistently dangerous teams in the NFL.

Some big spending and smart recruitment saw them win the Super Bowl in 2013, and they were one play away from defending their title a year later.

Like Manchester City, they are relative newcomers at the summit of the NFL in comparison to the more traditional superpowers like the Broncos, Packers and Steelers.

They fell short last season, losing in the second playoff round, but must be considered one of the favourites to win it all again this year.

Leicester – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Their new coach, promoted from within, performed well in his first season. Now, the Bucs can push on with a fast-paced attack.

Liverpool – Dallas Cowboys


With five Super Bowls, the Cowboys are one of the most successful teams in NFL history.

Since winning three between 1992 and 1995, however, they have failed to even make it past the second round of the playoffs.

Like Liverpool, Dallas fans are always keen to remind their rivals of their former success, even as it fades further and further into the past.

But with a talented roster, particularly offensively, they could be back in title contention soon.

Stoke – Buffalo Bills

The NFL’s archetypal ‘tough place to go’, which actually wasn’t that tough at all last season. They lost four of their eight games in icy Buffalo.

Crystal Palace – San Francisco 49ers

A new coach has arrived, armed with a brand new offensive philosophy. Unfortunately, his squad isn’t really talented enough to pull it off.

Arsenal – Cincinnati Bengals


An attacking team packed with talent, led by a coach who has achieved very little in over a decade and yet still, somehow, remains in his job.

Sound familiar?

Marvin Lewis and the Bengals are regularly among the top contenders in the AFC, with six playoff appearances in the past eight years.

They always seem to fall short when the pressure is on, though, with those six years in the postseason ultimately producing just one victory.

Alexis Sanchez can probably empathise with AJ Green – an elite offensive player whose team-mates have let him down too often.

Swansea – Green Bay Packers

The NFL’s sole supporter-owned franchise are an obvious comparison with the Swans, who are the only team in the Premier League to have fan representation on their board.

Southampton – Philadelphia Eagles


The Eagles seem to field a new-look team every season.

They follow Southampton’s method of replacing key players almost every summer, but, like the Saints, their performance on the field never seems to suffer.

The Eagles haven’t been among the top teams in the league for a while. Their last Super Bowl appearance came in 2004 and they haven’t been past the first round of the playoffs in seven years.

But they are still remarkably consistent, with only three seasons in the last decade seeing them record more losses than wins.

Everton – Oakland Raiders

A revamped roster and an elite passer means the Raiders could finally emerge from the shadow of their more successful local rivals.

Brighton – Jacksonville Jaguars

A coastal team with little chance of contending this season, their struggles to improve the roster over the summer will leave them fighting at the bottom of the standings.

Chelsea – New York Giants


Known for their rock-solid defence, the Giants always have the potential to go all the way, and have done so with two Super Bowl wins in the past 10 years.

They are, however, prone to incomprehensible Chelsea-esque slumps that last an entire season.

The Giants shipped out former coach Tom Coughlin – who delivered those two championships – in 2016, and his replacement, Ben McAdoo, acquitted himself well in his first season in charge.

The 40-year-old has built a team who fly around the field like Antonio Conte’s Blues, relying upon their athleticism to overpower their opponents.

Burnley – Kansas City Chiefs

They aren’t the most fashionable franchise, but combining a pragmatic approach with an intimidating home ground makes them incredibly tough to beat.

Huddersfield – Miami Dolphins

Their charismatic head coach is a star in the making, and the athletic roster that he has helped build could fare better than most are expecting.

West Ham – Los Angeles Rams


After a difficult first year since they moved stadium, the Rams are keen to turn things around.

They have the players they need to do so, with running back Todd Gurley a stand-out talent. Like Javier Hernandez, he could do a job for any team in the league.

Their big-city location means they have the potential to reach the top, and if they put it all together they could trouble some of the NFL’s big boys.