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How Premier League fans predicted their club's 2018 starting XI five years ago

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A lot can change in five years and the Premier League is no different.

Rewind half a decade and Sir Alex Ferguson is still in charge of Manchester United, Chelsea are European champions, Steven Gerrard is England captain and Gareth Bale is tearing apart every team in his path with Tottenham. It's fair to say time flies in football.

The amount that can change in those five years, makes predicting the course of the Premier League and beyond an almost impossible task.

Whether by the medium of a supercomputer, Football Manager, the latest FIFA game or sheer ambition, though, there's no end of fun in attempting to predict and foresee where football is headed.

That was certainly the name of a game in a 2013 Reddit thread in which football fans tried to predict how their team's starting XI would look in five years time.

And now that those five years have passed, the thread has emerged again with supporters scrolling through the posts to see what Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea fans predicted for their teams in 2018.

Funnily enough, they were never exactly going to come close but the results still make interesting and hilarious reading nonetheless.

While fans from smaller clubs such as Crewe Alexandra even tried to forecast the next five years, we'll focus on the Premier League's biggest sides here and Manchester United possessing a midfield spearheaded by Nick Powell is the just the tip of the iceberg.

Take a look at the amusing results below:

Arsenal

Reddit user 'sogolon' predicted: Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Ignasi Miquel, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott and Ryo Miyaichi.

FBL-ENG-LCUP-ARSENAL-CHELSEA

Chelsea

Reddit user 'PrettyFlaco' predicted: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Tomás Kalas, David Luiz, Luke Shaw (naturally), Josh McEachran, Nathaniel Chalobah, Kevin De Bruyne, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.

Liverpool

Reddit user 'BraveFart' predicted: Pepe Reina, Martin Kelly, Sebastian Coates, Danny Wilson, Jack Robinson, Jordan Henderson, Conor Coady, Suso, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.

West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - Premier League

Manchester City

Reddit user 'omiclops' predicted: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasić, Marouane Fellaini (?), Marco Verratti, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Erik Lamela, Sergio Aguero and Edinson Cavani.

Manchester United

Reddit user 'xanth_' predicted: David de Gea, Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Fabio, Tom Cleverly, Nick Powell, Wilfred Zaha, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez.

FBL-ENG-PR-MANUTD-WIGAN

Well, at least fans can be credited for having more faith in their younger players than their clubs eventually had with the likes of McEachran, Kalas, Powell and Miyaichi tipped for success.

Unsurprisingly, few were anywhere close to the answer, remaining cautious on introducing potential signings to the fray. Only the Manchester City fan truly went for it - successfully predicting Lamela's Premier League arrival and Fellaini moving to Manchester, albeit United.

It just wouldn't have been as fun if they'd nailed it, though, let's be honest.

Who would win the league out of XI's above? Have your say in the comments section below.

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