Predictions – English Premier League
Posted by Sports Snob on August 18, 2006
Well, its finally here. The start of the new season. It doesn’t seem like too long back that Chelsea hammered United to seal the premier league title. After one glorious World Cup, we are back to club football!
The EPL starts this weekend and here are our predictions for the top 5 positions this year. Maybe V and I can go through (and possibly revise) these predictions during Christmas.
#5 Tottenham Hotspur
Strengths: Strong team spirit and good depth
Weaknesses: Too many squad players
Despite two great buys in the transfer market- Zokora and Berbatov, I don’t see Tottenham breaking into the top 4 this season. I don’t know why! Maybe we have just gotten used to seeing Tottenham **** up every single season.
Strengths: Thierry Henry, Young Squad, Great manager
Weaknesses: Lack of depth and too much depends on one man.
Just don’t see Arsenal doing too much this season. They will easily beat the bottom half teams thanks to goals from Henry. Will struggle against the top teams. They haven’t addressed their problem at the centre of defence or in the strikers and their midfielders role. Let’s see if Wenger can spring another surprise. Will end up 4th and will struggle in Europe.
#3 Manchester United
Strengths: Defence looks solid
Weaknesses: No squad depth whatsoever
If Manchester United can avoid major injuries this season I see them challenging Chelsea all the way. However, over the course of 38 games its stupid not to expect injuries and this is going to prove their biggest undoing. An injury to Carrick means that O Shea and Giggs will be playing in the centre of the park. Not the best bet against Ballack and Makelele right?
Its easy to forget that the team scored 83 points last year. But such was Chelsea’s dominance that it wasn’t enough. A great start is a must. Will end up losing to Milan or Barcelona in Europe.
Its going to be very interesting to see how Pool shape up this year. They have everything going for them , a great manager, a brilliant captain in Gerrard and some good transfers in the off season. If there is any team that can seriously challenge Chelsea this season it has to be Liverpool. What remains to be seen is how many points they lose against the bottom half teams. That could prove to be the big difference.
Same old yes. But this time I expect the title race to be a lot closer than what it has been over the last two years. I don’t think Chelsea will accumulate as many points as they did last season but will still end up doing enough largely because they will have one eye on Europe.
Its going to be interesting to see how Ballack, Makelele and Lampard play together. More interesting will be how many goals Shevchenko scores. Expect more whining from Mourinho about how the whole world is conspiring against him. Finalist in Europe. Will lose to Barcelona!
Chelsea’s obsession with the Champions League might benefit the other teams (much like how Aragorn and Gandalf ensure that Sauron has one eye on Gondor thereby enabling Frodo to walk into Mount Doom! Just had to do this – sorry!) but their squad depth and water tight defence will ensure they will win the EPL this year.
Funnily, if United doesn’t win I would actually prefer Chelsea winning. Why? Because if they win, we can attribute it to the money and it’s going to be no big surprise anyway! Liverpool or Arsenal winning instead of United is going to be hard to swallow. Don’t see it happening though!