Quite possibly the biggest sporting national football/soccer league is about to begin in twenty different Premiership stadiums. Three newcomers await their chances to prove their talent, two experienced managers are ready for their revenge and one new coach looks out at the league unimpressed – ready to unveil his revamped Manchester United squad. This is the English Premier League – we’re back folks. In this article I’ll look at the four biggest teams challenging last year’s winners Manchester City – as well as give several predictions for the season, including a predicted league table. I’ll be starting off with a look at this year’s Community Shield winners – Arsenal.
Last season felt disastrous for Arsenal, especially with Wenger’s 1000th game (the 6-0 loss to Chelsea, in case you’ve forgotten) – but it was actually a pleasant surprise for Arsenal fans, who got in a comfortable position in the league, while taking their first trophy in a very long time. They capped it off last weekend by winning the Community Shield against Manchester City. They’re extremely happy at the Emirates – but they need to remember that Manchester City didn’t have the likes of Zabaleta, Agüero, Negredo, Lampard and Joe Hart in their squad – while Arsenal really only missed Mertesacker and Özil.
Now, Arsenal did win 3-0 against Man City – and they do have a very good squad in place; especially now that they’ve added the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez to the squad. However, with last year’s league results in mind – they’ve not improved more than their rivals have. Now even Tottenham and Everton could be vying for their spot in the top.
♦Is It Over For Gerrard?
Last season was heartbreaking for The Reds – and though they never walked alone, their tears were plentiful. They let it slip out of their hands, and now the title seems farther away from them with Luis Suarez gone to Barcelona. Will this then be the swift return out of the top 4? Or can they fight back, and retain a fine placement in the top? Personally, I would feel very happy with the moves they’ve made if I were a fan of the Merseyside Reds – and the fact that they’ve tapped most of the talent out of Southampton is both scary and fascinating. I have the Reds finishing in the top yet again, and that’s due to a great coach that is still controlling the Kop through his personally-designed system, first unveiled to the Premiership during his stint at Swansea. This will probably be a very good season for the former top team.
♦United Back On Top?
Look at his grin. While I may not be a fan of his new team, or the man himself, one has to respect his managerial talent and his mind. This man fooled everyone when he subbed in his reserve goalkeeper in the World Cup in Brazil – only to have him ready for the Penalty Shootout. It worked, and he skillfully became the envy of most clubs. Now he will begin his adventure in the best league in the world – taking hold of the Manchester United squad. A team in need of a fresh feeling. He’s brought in a lot of people to help the team succeed. Personally, I feel that he’s rushing things by bringing in these new players in new surroundings without knowing the team himself. He’s changing the formation as well, thus making limited strides with the in-house players. He needs to work with players like Kagawa and Mata, not bring in a ton of his own players – for this team was set-up right with Sir Alex Ferguson.I feel that the team will improve from last year, but that it still won’t be enough of an improvement to push off the top teams. They’re still a step behind the two oil-clubs, and don’t have the player-for-player advantage in surroundings that Merseyside does. However, they’ve improved much more than Arsenal has – and they should finish higher than them.
♥Mourinho’s Finally Ready
José Mourinho said goodbye to Chelsea Legends like Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, and is ushering in Atletico players left and right. This means that they know eachother, and will have an easier way of adapting to their surroundings. Adding to that, Chelsea has gotten younger – and added two huge stars in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
Having seen all of their Pre-Season games, I can tell that they’ve improved their ball-pressure; and have reworked their possession tactics. However, some things just don’t work – including their 3-man defense when attempting to play an offensive 3-6-1. Their main formations are still 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, but they work with more fluidity now. Their team has improved.
The following is a list of bold predictions I’ve thought long and hard about. The list of predictions includes a league table I’ve tried to think out, along with projected points for each team.
- Arsenal Sacks Wenger – My first bold prediction is that Arsenal will finally fire their legendary manager Arsène Wenger during their season, or as a result at the end of the year.
- Liverpool Won’t Miss Suarez – I predict that Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho will score and assist at a higher number than that of the total of Suarez last year.
- Left Back Will Be The Weak Link For Van Gaal – I predict that Luke Shaw will fail in his first year at Manchester United, and it will lead to problems on the left flank for the red side of Manchester.
- Blue Topscorer – I predict that Diego Costa from Chelsea will become the topscorer for the Premier League.
- Predicted League Table:
1. Chelsea Football Club – 103pts.
2. Manchester City – 97pts.
3. Liverpool Football Club – 85pts.
4. Manchester United – 77pts.
5. Tottenham Hotspur – 75pts.
6. Everton – 72pts.
7. Arsenal – 70pts.
8. Newcastle – 54pts.
9. Stoke City – 49pts.
10. West Ham Utd – 43pts.
11. West Bromwich Albion – 40pts.
12. Aston Villa – 33pts.
13. Swansea City – 32pts.
14. Sunderland – 30pts.
15. Leicester City – 29pts.
16. Southampton – 20pts.
17. Queens Park Rangers – 19pts.
18. Crystal Palace – 18pts.
19. Hull City – 17pts.
20. Burnley – 16pts.