West Ham United have been backed to pull of something of a shock by finishing in the top half this season.
Many are predicting West Ham will be relegated this season.
And it is easy to see why.
The Hammers scraped survival in the penultimate game last term and have not signed a single new player to improve their squad this summer.
West Ham left behind in transfer window as Prem rivals spend big
West Ham are the only club in the Premier League not to have welcomed a new arrival with spending well on the way to surpassing the £1 billion mark.
David Moyes is desperate to improve a defence which leaked 60+ goals for the third time in the last four seasons.
But he will start the campaign against transfer-giddy Newcastle on Saturday with the same squad of players that finished last season.
The controversial sale of Grady Diangana – against Moyes’s wishes (Daily Mail) – sparked a revolt against unpopular co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold from fans and players – led by captain Mark Noble.
Grave concerns for Hammers but shock jock tips surprise top half finish
And many feel the toxicity in the atmosphere combined with a lack of squad improvement will spell disaster for the Hammers.
talkSPORT shock jock Adrian Durham disagrees, though.
Speaking on his DriveTime show on Thursday evening, Durham said he believes West Ham will finish in the top half of the table.
“West Ham are going to finish top half in the Premier League,” Durham said on talkSPORT.
“None of their fans will agree with this whatsoever. Moyes had them purring at the end of last season and a full pre-season will only add to that.
“The fans will not be able to handle how good West Ham are going to be. Alright top half doesn’t sound particularly great, I can’t go top six, a lot of their fans think ‘Diangana’s gone, the board are terrible, Moyes is no good’ (but) I’m saying top half of the table West Ham will finish.”
Beware false prophets, we’ve been here before
West Ham fans would love Durham to be right. But they should beware false prophets.
Last summer Durham predicted West Ham would challenge for the Champions League places (talkSPORT).
He looked set fair to be proved right as the Hammers started the season seven games unbeaten and were on the brink of going third at one stage.
But injuries to the likes of Lukasz Fabianski and Michail Antonio exposed West Ham’s lack of depth and they tumbled down the league into a relegation battle.
It cost Manuel Pellegrini his job. David Moyes was given a second chance and he kept the Hammers up.
Now he must try and prove Durham right by continuing the club’s form from the end of last season.