Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sports Break: EPL Predictions

The beautiful game is back in Britain this weekend with the kickoff of the English Premiership. Without further ado, my predictions:

  1. Liverpool: This team was almost good enough to win last year. Stephen Gerrard is probably the best player in England. Yes, Alonso's a big loss but I think the Reds bring home the trophy this year.
  2. Manchester United: The Red Devils are going to have a devil of a time replacing Cristiano Ronaldo. That said, this is the deepest team in England and should be able to finish top two. Wayne Rooney will have start scoring goals at an elite level.
  3. Arsenal: Arsène Wengar may be the most underrated manager in football. Arsenal rebuilt last year, suffered injuries to their three best players at various points in the season, had way too many draws at home and still finished fourth. Yes, they lose Adebayor and Touré. As long as Cesc Fabregas stays in London, this team will create lots of chances and Andrei Arshavin has shown himself more than capable of finishing.
  4. Chelsea: A lot of people think this team could win it all. I'm not convinced. This team is old and getting older by the day. Combine that with their fifth, yes FIFTH, manager in four years and I'm wondering about that old dogs, new tricks adage. The Blues are due for a fall.
  5. Everton: With all the talk about Man City people forget about the little engine that could that was Everton last season. Consistency led them to an FA cup final and fifth in the league. They have the best young manager in the game in David Moyes. If Arteta comes back healthy, watch out.
  6. Tottenham: Tottenham earned exactly two points in their first 8 league matches last year. They earned 49 in their last thirty after Harry Redknapp toook the helm. As long as Luka Modric is at Tottenham, this team will be competitive. Modric may be my favourite player in the EPL.
  7. Manchester City: I know they spent like drunken sailors and got everybody that didn't go to Real Madrid. However, this team had a lot of holes to fill. Robinho still has to figure out how to play on the road in England. They'll get European football for their money but it won't be Champions League.
  8. Fulham: Europa League play may tear through this thin squad like a hot knife through butter. If they are knocked out of Europe early or can find some depth, they could compete to get back to Europe next year. No one liked playing at Craven Cottage last year and I expect that won't change.
  9. West Ham: The middle of the table is a crapshoot for me. I think West Ham is thoroughly mediocre. 9th sounds about right.
  10. Wigan: Wigan does nothing but defy expectations and get results. I think they sneak into the top ten.
  11. Aston Villa: Villa was awful down the stretch last year. The heart of the midfield is gone. I think the real Villa is the late season Villa. A slide is in order.
  12. Bolton: A mediocre team that should be good enough to avoid a relegation fight.
  13. Wolverhampton: Wolves ran away and hid from the Championship last year. I expect they will have some adjustments to make coming into top level football but they should stay up.
  14. Blackburn: They flirted with the drop last year. They may do so again. Then again, they could be good enough to be a top half of the table team.
  15. Birmingham: The second team from the Championship will benefit from a glut of bad teams below them.
  16. Sunderland: Some people are high on the Black Cats. I see a team that barely avoided the drop last year and isn't significantly better this year.
  17. Stoke City: How Stoke stayed up last year is anyone's guess. I'm not sure how they'll do it this year. I just think they're a little better than the three teams below them.
  18. Portsmouth: I'm not sure who will play in front of David James this year in the south of England. An ownership issue meant that the team was looted for parts over the summer. Eighteen months ago Pompey won the FA cup, how long ago that must seem now.
  19. Hull City: The Tigers bought themselves an extra season in the Premiership with their fast start last year. Like Villa, I think the later season Hull is the real Hull. Bye-bye to the amber and black.
  20. Burnley: I admit some ignorance about Burnley. However, nobody think this team has a shot so I'll go with the crowd. Watch... they'll finish 8th.
Enjoy the footy!


McGuire said...

A little generous with the Gooners & Wigan. The gooners IMO will finish 6th. I'm got Spurs getting the final CL berth at 4th. 'Arry will wave his cockney magic & do good things at the Lane this year.

I want Wigan to do well, as their new manager want to play the right way, open & attacking. Of course, mowbray was the same way last year & it got WBA relegated.

Spot on about Liverpool though ;)

e-Soccer said...

I guess you under estimate Manchester City. It's true that they spent a lot buying new player but all players are professional and they will not find hard time playing together. Still they are facing problem developing a rhythm but there record so far is not good.

As the time will pass the team will be in a good shape. I guess they will make it to top 4 this season ..


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