What’s your prediction for how the 2012-13 Premier League table will finish? Which clubs will fill positions one through 20?

It’s the million dollar question for this, the 21st season of the English Premier League. The bounty for the clubs who stay up this season will be a massive rise in revenue from global TV rights beginning in the 2013-14 season. Therefore, there’s so much riding on the line. And this, I truly believe, will be the most competitive Premier League season in the history of the league — from top to bottom. That doesn’t mean there’ll be a new club on top of the table at the end of the season, but what it does mean is that quality of soccer on display will be the best it’s ever been.

For the past six years, I’ve posted my predictions for what the Premier League table would look like if the season ended (2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2006-07). And now, here are my predictions for how the 2012-13 Premier League table will finish:

  1. Manchester City (C)
  2. Manchester United
  3. Chelsea
  4. Newcastle United
  5. Arsenal
  6. Liverpool
  7. Tottenham Hotspur
  8. Swansea City
  9. Fulham
  10. Everton
  11. Aston Villa
  12. Reading
  13. West Bromwich Albion
  14. Southampton
  15. Norwich City
  16. Sunderland
  17. Wigan Athletic
  18. Stoke City (R)
  19. Queens Park Rangers (R)
  20. West Ham United (R)

FA Cup: Manchester United
League Cup: Manchester City

Even with Manchester United signing Robin van Persie, who will be a goalscoring machine for Manchester United, there are still too many weaknesses in this team especially in defense. Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand are not the defenders they once were, and over the course of the season, they will make mistakes.

Manchester City, meanwhile, is going to go from strength to strength. The only obstacle in their path is themselves. As long as Roberto Mancini can keep order within the ranks of City by giving his footballers enough playing time, City will be unstoppable.

Elsewhere, Chelsea will wobble but they have enough depth (and money) to stabilize the club into a third place finish. Arsenal still has a lot of room to improve, and the departure of van Persie will have a serious impact on their aim of qualifying for the Champions League.

Newcastle United has made wise choices in the transfer market, which has only strengthened an already versatile Newcastle squad. Tottenham, despite their abundance of talent, are going to suffer at the hands of Andre Villas-Boas. I predict that the pressure will get to him, just as it did at Chelsea, and it’ll be detrimental to the team’s performances on the pitch.

At the bottom of the table, Stoke City will bid adieu to life in the Premier League after their tired and older squad will come undone against younger and more skillful opponents. Likewise, Queens Park Rangers will continue to struggle to play as a team, and will be relegated, where they’ll join West Ham United in going down.

Post your predictions (positions 1-20 below, including FA Cup and League Cup winners). Plus, if you agree or disagree with any of the above predictions, please be constructive in your criticism and tell us why you agree or disagree.

I look forward to reading your predictions and analysis.

Note that these predictions were made before the 2012-13 Premier League season started, and before the summer transfer window concluded, so a flurry of transfer activity could have a profound effect on how the table will shift.