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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Premier League Predictions

So, after three months, the Premier League is finally about to return.

Many big money deals have happened this summer, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso leaving for Real Madrid, whilst Manchester City have certainly made waves in the market.

It is sure to be a fascinating season at both the top and the bottom of the table, so here I give my predictions as to where everyone will finish.

1. Liverpool -Even without Xabi Alonso, I am still quite confident Liverpool will finally win a Premier League title this season. If Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres remain fit for the course of the season, I see absolutely no reason why Rafa Benitez’ men can’t go all the way this season.

2. Chelsea – Will go close, but not close enough.

3. Manchester United – Without Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo, I really think United will struggle this season. You can’t under estimate how big an impact the pair had at Old Trafford and with Sir Alex Ferguson admitting that he won’t be signing anyone else this summer, I can’t see them finishing anywhere other than 3rd this season.

4. Manchester City – Anyone with any knowledge in the football betting sector will know, that Mark Hughes’ men are a cracking price at 6/4 to finish in the top four this season. They have added quality in the form of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor so I firmly believe they will gate-crash the “Big 4″ this season.

5. Arsenal – I’m sure a lot of you Arsenal fans will have something to say about this. There is no doubt that they have lost two of their key men in the shape of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor and what makes it worse is that they have sold them to the club they are likely to be battling with for that final Champions League spot.

6. Tottenham – After last season’s pathetic start to the Premier League season, Harry Redknapp will no doubt be looking to get off to a faster start this time around. The signing of Peter Crouch undoubtedly gives Spurs one of the strongest strike-forces in the league which should be enough to secure a Europa League spot this season.

7. Everton – The lack of money to spend at Goodison Park is a big concern. David Moyes has failed to add to his squad at all this summer and in my view, that will see Everton’s struggle to improve on last season’s 5th place finish.

8. Sunderland – Steve Bruce has made some quality additions to the Sunderland squad this season. The signing of Lee Cattermole, who for me, is a must for any Fantasy Football team this season, is one of, if not, the best signing of the summer. I can see Sunderland improve dramatically on last season’s 16th place finish and push all the way for a Europa League spot.

9. Aston Villa – Perhaps my most surprising prediction this season, however the loss of Gareth Barry will be massive for Martin O’Neill’s men. Losing a captain is never easy and especially if you don’t replace him properly. I am certain that Villa won’t be anywhere near as good as they were last season, so that is why I have predicted they will finish 9th.

10. Fulham – I am sure I’m not the only person who feels Fulham over-achieved last season. In fact, I’m sure the majority of players and staff at Craven Cottage would agree with me. With Roy Hodgson’s men in Europe this season, I feel they may lose focus on the Premier League and mid-table mediocrity is a certainty.

11. West Ham – Gianfranco Zola has done a sterling job at Upton Park since arriving at the club last season. The Hammers finish 9th last season and I don’t think they’ll be too far away from that this season. I am little bit surprised that Zola has only brought two new faces to East London this summer but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

12. Bolton – They finished 13th last season, so not much of an improvement expected here.

13. Blackburn – Not too much has happened at Ewood Park this summer apart from Roque Santa Cruz leaving. 15th last season, not too much better this season.

14. Wolves – Out of all three promoted clubs, I feel Wolves have definitely made the best signings over the past few months. Mick McCarthy has signed Kevin Doyle, Michael Mancienne and Andrews Surman, all of whom I feel are well capable of playing Premier League football. I am sure the majority of Wolves fans would delighted to see their club finish 17th, however I feel they are well capable of finishing 14th.

15. Stoke City – Tony Pulis did a magnificent job last season, guiding Stoke to an incredible 12th place finish. People often talk about second season syndrome, however I think Stoke can overcome that a finish in a very respectable 15th place finish.

16. Birmingham City – With Joe Hart and Barry Ferguson arriving at St Andrews this summer, I think Alex McLeish has definitely got the squad to steer Birmingham clear of the drop zone.

17. Wigan – Losing key players like Lee Cattermole and Antonio Valencia will no doubt have a massive affect on Wigan’s season. The players they have added are all, for me, Championship standard players. Having said that, I do think they have enough to narrowly avoid the drop this season.

18. Portsmouth – The majority of football news in England has surrounded Portsmouth this summer. Off the field matters have had a major impact on the club’s transfer policy, with very few new faces coming in and big names going out. The decision to appoint Paul Hart, coupled with the loss of Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson will, in my view, all add up to Portsmouth’s relegation this season.

19. Hull City – They narrowly avoided relegation last season, however I don’t think they’ll be as fortunate this season. Phil Brown has made a few decent signings but I’m convinced they won’t be playing top flight football next season.

20. Burnley – Probably not going to be quite as bad as Derby County two seasons ago but they will still finish rock bottom.

Agree or disagree? Comments below please.

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