So with the Premier League kicking off again this weekend, I thought I would take a half-hour FIFA break to write up a few predictions. It’s a bit of a deviation from our usual ramblings, but what is life without a little variety?
I think this year the Premier League will be a lot tighter than seen previously, with the potential for teams like Southampton, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham to push the traditional top 6 much harder than before.
Here are my predictions-
1st – Chelsea – I can’t see past Mourinho’s men. Despite not adding to his squad, Mourinho is one of the most tactically astute mangers in the Premier league, his ability to take the pressure off his players following poor performances is uncanny, and it does have a positive effect on his teams.
With a solid defence and an impressive front line including Hazard and Costa, Chelsea will score plenty of goals. The lack of quality additions to the side could leave things a bit stale but, with their number of motivated top quality players, I think Chelsea will retain the title. As for the transfer of John Stones, I don’t think he should move. The best way to improve is to play football week in week out, and under the tutelage of Martinez Stones can greatly improve; sitting on the bench at Chelsea will do nothing for him.
2nd – Manchester City – Another second place for the blue half of Manchester, despite the high profile additions of Sterling and Delph. I feel City are weak at the back with Pellegrini still not knowing his first-choice-centre-back-partnership. I also feel that Pellegrini can be too easily out smarted by the likes of Mourinho.
I think that the two high profile additions are improvements to the squad; the two young Englishmen certainly have great potential, and learning from some of the best players in the league (Toure, Silva and Aguero) can only help them. However, I do disagree with young players moving to clubs only to sit on the bench… but that is an argument for another day.
3rd – Arsenal – Although some are tipping for a title contention, without a more prolific striker and improvements to the back four I can’t see a title contender emerging from North London. The signing of Petr Cech is a strong improvement, but I can’t see him alone making the difference. Despite the disappointing display against West Ham this weekend (Wooooo- Lewis) I am not concerned that Arsenal won’t make the top 4. (No pressure Petr).
4th – Liverpool – There will be a fight between Manchester United and Liverpool for the final Champions League spot. The side from the red half of Merseyside seems to have a better balance, and after spending big money on a number of new attacking options (including Benteke, Ings and Firmino), as well as bringing in Nathaniel Clyne to replace Glen Johnson at right back, Rodgers has the tools to make a real challenge this year.
United, on the other hand, need to keep hold of De Gea, after watching Romero in action against Spurs I feel he is a classic South American Keeper; more interested in making saves for the camera than for the team. The red half of Manchester have also spent big money on holding midfielders but as to where goals will come from? Without further attacking signings I am unsure.
And so onto… the relegation zone. I can only really see four candidates for relegation; Watford, Norwich, Sunderland and Bournemouth.
18th – Norwich – This was the hardest position to allocate, but after a lot of mind changing I settled on Norwich. Despite having a number of players with Premier League experience, I think Norwich will lack goals without the purchase of an out and out striker before the end of August.
However, the accurate passing displayed against Crystal Palace could serve them well and I expect it to be tight between Watford and Norwich for the final unwanted relegation spot.
19th – Sunderland – After managing to escape the drop two consecutive seasons on the bounce, I think this will be Sunderland’s year to exit the Premier League. After a woeful performance yesterday a lot of work needs to be done to maintain safety.
20th – Bournemouth – I think every football fan in England wants Bournemouth to succeed this year. Despite his faith in last year’s team, I think Eddie Howe’s side will struggle for goals and clean sheets, normally a fairly fatal combination. Despite this they won’t go down without a fight; they’re a good cohesive unit that will fight for every point.
However Burnley were described in a very similar way last year, and we all know how that ended up…
So that’s it, a brief set of predictions for this year football season, if you agree, disagree or just want to have a shout, feel free to post a comment below.