3 Predictions for the Second Half of the Premier League Season

As we approach the midway point of a remarkably strange Premier League season, a few recent observations (or overreactions) have led me to come up with three predictions for what should be a fantastic 5 month build-up to crowning another champion. I am not responsible for any gambling losses on these matters, but any discussion is welcomed!

1. Aston Villa will finish comfortably mid-table

It’s amazing to see how far Villa have come over the past year. Marred in a relegation battle for most of last season with everyone’s favorite Midlands manager Alex McLeish, the youth movement that Paul Lambert is instilling at Villa Park finally paid off with a signature 3-1 victory at Anfield on Saturday. Lambert’s success has come in the face of criticism for benching the highly paid Darren Bent and underperforming Charles N’Zogbia. He has stuck to his principles of getting the best out of young players that don’t demand high wages. Villa boast the third youngest average squad age in the league at 25.8 years old.

The spine of this team is what has stood out the most so far. Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker are putting in some top performances in front of the ever impressive Brad Guzan in goal. The industry of Barry Bannan in the center of midfield has also been extremely effective, but the recent efforts of the attacking partnership of Andreas Weimann and bargain summer signing Christian Benteke have given Villa the added goal scoring threat that Lambert was missing early on in the campaign. If this side can stay together for a couple of seasons, it could bring Villa back towards being a top 10 side in the table.

2. Chelsea will mount a serious title challenge under Rafa’s guidance

As a Chelsea fan, the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo came as a complete shock and was completely undeserved. Having said that, I fully believe that the slight tactical changes that Benitez has employed are getting more out of this group of players. Under Di Matteo, a lot of Chelsea’s attacking play seemed very labored and congested. Teams were keeping the play in front of them and the lack of cutting edge runs behind defenders was not creating enough concrete chances. Having the trio of Oscar, Juan Mata, and Eden Hazard all playing at the same time was creating a severe lack of width in the attacking third.

Under Rafa, there has been a marked difference in the organization of the team at the back and up front. The main difference has been the structure of the front four. The introduction of Victor Moses as a squad regular wide on the right allows Hazard to occupy his favored position wide left. This has given Mata the ability to play directly behind Fernando Torres, operating as a true number 10 and directing traffic like a maestro. If John Terry is able to stay on the pitch for the majority of the next few months and a few squad depth signings are made in January, this is a side that could at least make things interesting for United and City come the end of the season.

3. Tottenham will claim the final Champions League spot

In the midst of extreme criticism, undeserved booing, and key squad injuries, AVB already has this Spurs side in the coveted fourth spot. Scott Parker and Younes Kaboul have been on the sidelines all season, while early injuries to key signing Moussa Dembele and Benoit Assou-Ekotto left Villas-Boas scrambling to keep his side in a decent run of form. He has done just that, including one of the most impressive victories of the first 17 rounds of games, the thrilling 3-2 win at Old Trafford. Despite some of the early season blips, there is nowhere to go but up for this young but talented squad. Jan Vertonghen and Steven Caulker look like an excellent center back pairing, while Dembele and Parker offer unlimited energy in the middle of the park. If Clint Dempsey continues to find his feet, coupled with the return of Gareth Bale, I see a very good side that is capable of having an extended run of excellent form. However, as Morgan Green would so readily admit, it is all dependent on AVB learning how to close.

What are your predictions for the second half of the Premier League season?

10 thoughts on “3 Predictions for the Second Half of the Premier League Season”

  1. 1. Manchester United will run away with the title.

    2. Arsenal will miss on CL spot and Arsene Wenger will be promoted to become a board member with Thierry Henry taking over the team management.

    3. City, Chelsea and Spurs will claim other CL spots.

    1. Number 2 is quite an interesting proposition. Although something tells me Henry probably doesn’t want to retire from his playing days just yet. He still has a lot to offer

  2. I agree with 1 & 3, but I love how the first “Related Post” for this article is “Wolves will finish in the Top Half of the Premier League this Season”

  3. 1. Benteke is sold to Arsenal in January. Villa finish 16th, Arsenal 5th.
    2. Mancini out, Mourinho in. Citeh win the league.
    3. ‘Arry somehow manages to save QPR from relegation

  4. 1. Liverpool will continue to buy badly once again stocking up on overhyped English mediocrity, Sturridge and Ince come to mind. They will finish 8th or 9th not just because of their squad but also because other managers have figured out how to out-manage Brendan Rodgers who is not the most tactically astute manager around. He’s still learning his trade at the expense of Liverpool’s fortunes.

    2. Everton will push Spurs and Arsenal to the very end for that all-important 4th spot. No chance of Arsenal winning the CL to gain automatic qulifiation so this season 4th spot gains you CL action next season. Spurs have the better squad, but they could implode like they did last season when they looked like challenging for the title.

    3. City or United will win the title and with City not involved in Europe they will push United to try and stay ahead of City. Losing Yaya Toure in January won’t help City but they will cope but won’t get ahead of United while he is away. March will be the critical month that will decide the title winner.It’s United’s to lose.

  5. 1: Spurs will finish 3rd

    2: Chelsea will fire Rafa

    3: Old Red Nose will retire

    4: Brendan Rogers will again claim that the World and his dog is against Suarez

  6. None of these are exactly going out on a limb are they? Aston Villa has one good game and everyone gets excited? Chelsea flop around a bit in Asia and spank Leeds like they should and everyone gets excited? Tottenham finally manage a clean sheet instead of extracting defeat out of the jaws of victory and everyone gets excited?

    The title is a two horse race. Chelsea and Arsenal (who will become more consistent) should wrap up 3rd and 4th. I just don’t see teen wolf AVB overcoming his panic disorder to instill any sort of real confidence and Adebayor looks like he’s heading for a major strop during the second half of the season.

    The most interesting scenarios are can QPR manage the great escape, will Newcastle be scrapping it out to avoid the drop, how far can Norwich really go? and what nonsense will Brendon Rodgers spew when he has to give back his swimming pool, Porsche turbo and new Canali coat he recently sported while getting hilariously stuffed 3-1 by Aston Villa at home.

    Oh and (almost forgot) when will the Fox SC ad man learn team names instead of mangling Leicester into Lysester and Kilmarnock into Killmanock hahahaha!!!

    1. You don’t necessarily have to go out on a limb to make some predictions. I mentioned how they are possible overreactions, but with how this season has been going so far, anything is possible. All 3 of those teams have been under heavy criticism from their respective fan bases, which is part of the reason for my focus on them.

      Those other scenarios are equally intriguing. The bottom of the table is a complete mess. Besides Reading being surefire for the drop, I’m honestly not sure who the other 2 sides will be.

      As for Rob Stone learning how to pronounce names correctly, that is something only the Mayan Apocalypse could bring forth.

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