The Premier League finally kicks off tomorrow after three long months of watching tennis, cricket and golf. We have waited long enough and tomorrow we can finally get stuck into some top class English football once again.
As I did this time last year, (click here to view last season’s prediction) I am making my prediction of what the final league table will be. In honesty my prediction last time was woefully bad. Other than naming the correct top four teams, albeit in the wrong order, I didn’t really get anything else right. Click here to see how Mike Kehoe’s predictions went.
The title winner was wrong and I didn’t get any of the three relegated teams correct. QPR mid-table and Swansea bottom I thought. Not very smart. However, never one to shy away from a challenge I am trying to name the final league positions of all twenty teams in the Premier League again this time. After all, I can only get better surely. Here it is.
1. Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini inherited a squad of world class players and has added a few of his own in Negredo and Navas. They underachieved last year to finish so far behind Man Utd and City have stolen a march on their rivals by getting their transfer activity completed early. The new players have already had a couple of months to bed in and should hit the ground running, and that will prove to be the difference come the end of the season.
2. Manchester United It looks like Wayne Rooney will be gone before the end of the transfer window or even if he stays, he’s not got his heart at Old Trafford anymore. A player of his calibre is irreplaceable, even if you have got Robin van Persie in your team. David Moyes has an impossible task in following Sir Alex Ferguson. Anything less than the title or Champions League is a failed season at Man Utd and I think Moyes may end up with neither.
3. Chelsea The return of the Special One should allow Chelsea to add another ten points to their total from last year. Just by grinding out those painfully boring 1-0 away wins at places like Fulham and Sunderland. Last time he was at Chelsea, Mourinho’s success was built on Claude Makelele protecting his back four and that is why so conceded so few goals. They don’t have a player in that mould currently and until they do, Chelsea will still come up short.
4. Arsenal No matter how close Tottenham get, Arsenal always seem to do enough to finish above them and claim the fourth Champions League spot. I’m expecting the same again this time. Jack Wilshere hardly featured last season and his return is like a new £30m player. Theo Walcott improves every year and I think he will be one of the players of the Premier League. Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla will also all be better after impressive debut seasons.
5. Tottenham Despite Daniel Levy’s stubbornness, it looks like Gareth Bale will be wearing the all white kit of Real Madrid by the start of September. Tottenham’s mistake has been in trying to hold onto Gareth Bale when he clearly wants to leave. They should’ve sold him as soon as Madrid offered over £80m and gone straight out and bought three or four top class players. As it is they will end up without Bale and with no time to spend the money.