I always like to avoid cliché and the expected angle whenever I write. However I make an annual exception in the week leading up to the start of the Premier League season when I throw my hat into the predictions ring. If anything, it is a nice excuse for me to stop watching the rolling news coverage of rioting across the country.
This season looks like being one of the most exciting for many years, largely due to the close nature of the sides within the league. This closeness will also be my excuse when these predictions prove to be wrong.
So, let’s find out who has won the golden ticket. Drumroll, please, ladies and gentlemen . . .
Despite the defeat in the Community Shield, this will be the year that finally it clicks into place. Roberto Mancini has given the side some stability and with the quality and strength in depth of the squad being much better than elsewhere in the league, City fans will next summer begin celebrating their first Premier League title.
The Manchester rivals will end up leading the way this season but the red side of the city will for once end up on the wrong side of the rivalry. It is not so much that they have gotten worse over the summer. It’s simply that City have improved to a greater level. Nonetheless, I do expect this to be an incredibly close battle throughout the season with one or two results proving decisive.
Champions League Places:
Chelsea and Arsenal
Despite the apparent resurgence of Liverpool, instigated by their summer spending spree, I can not see them or Spurs dislodging these two from the top four. Chelsea will not challenge for the league, they simply have not made wise enough signings, whilst Arsenal’s season will rest on the location of Fabregas at the end of August and whether Gervinho can hit the ground running. Liverpool and Spurs will push them all the way but I think that the experience of Chelsea and Arsenal will shine through.
Swansea, Norwich and Blackburn
Much as it is predictable and painful to suggest that newly promoted teams will fail, I can not avoid it this year. Both Swansea and Norwich play an exciting brand of football but they will run into the same issues as Blackpool last season. Mainly that is that both sides will have to be very focused defensively. However, I can not see them being able to sustain this through the length of the season.
The final team to go down will be Blackburn. The chaos at Ewood Park since the Venky’s takeover will catch up with the team on the pitch and see the proud Lancashire Club tumble into the Championship. There appears to be a lack of faith in the manager and a lack of footballing awareness in the boardroom, a situation that only ever leads to troubles. One only has to look at Newcastle for the perfect example of that in recent times.
What do you think of these predictions? Who do you think will win the league and who will go down? Share your opinions in the comments section below.