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Premier League Preview

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Newcastle start the season against Southampton




Here is a brief article regarding my expectations for the season coming:

AFC Bournemouth
Star Signing: Max Gradel – the former Leeds man will be looking to rebuild is reputation in England, he should get some goals for the newly promoted side.
Manager: Eddie Howe – Has done a fantastic job in getting them to the premier league, but it will be a much harder job to keep them up.
Prediction: 19th – I might be seriously selling them short but I don’t think they have a team to keep them up this year. I see them doing a Burnley, great style of play, great effort but will eventually fall too short.

Arsenal
Star Signing: Petr Cech – he might be the only signing but he will be key to the title charge which looks likely to happen this year.
Manager: Arsene Wenger – One of the greatest managers of this era. He is as important to the team as any of the players.
Prediction: 1st – That’s right I think Cech is that good of a signing that he will be the difference between second and first for Arsenal. It is a risky predcition considering I still think Chelsea are the team to beat – but I think Arsenal will beat them.

Aston Villa
Star Signing: Jordan Ayew – Unfortunately he is going to be burdened with the label of Benteke’s replacement, if he doesnt perform then Villa are in big trouble.
Manager: Tim Sherwood – The young English manager performed something of a miracle with an underperforming side last year. But the loss of Benteke will be huge for the club, the loss of Delph will also be a blow. That could cost the club.
Prediction: 18th – As I’ve alluded to already I think that they have been stupid enough to let players go without adequately replacing them, which is not a position that they can afford to be in, I’m sorry to say it but I think they will go down, unless they make some good deals in the last few weeks of the window.

Chelsea
Star Signing: Falcao – the underperfoming striker has stayed in the league. Much to a lot of people’s surprise. As back up to Diego Costa he could be very decisive in certain games and the end destination of the title – sadly I think he will, but not on the way some people have suggested.
Manager: Jose Mourinho – A natural winner, a master of mind games and a great man manager. Wenger has already got one over on him so expect it to be a loud encounter in the league.
Prediction: 2nd – I expect them to do well and just be pipped to the post by Arsenal. It will be tight and I’d even expect Chelsea to take it if it came down to Goal Difference but I’ve just got an inkling that it’s Wenger’s year.

Crystal Palace
Star Signing: Yohan Cabaye – We all know what he is capable of, a fantastic player let hope that his time in Paris hasn’t left him out of sorts. He is joined by Connor Wickham who I think will be the stand out English striker of the season.
Manager: Alan Pardew – At his old club where the fans love him and the players seem to be playing well for him. Traditionally his first full season is his best at a club so expect Palace to do well.
Prediction: 8th Ambitious? yes. Realistic? yes. Good players will breed good results, Wickham’s goals and Cabaye’s leadership and assists will bring them some good results.

Everton
Star Signing: Tom Cleverley – This isn’t a promising star for the Toffeemen! They need to make another signing or two to compete and desperately need to hold on to John Stones.
Manager: Roberto Martinez – A cup winning manager who can’t seem to get it quite right in the league. There is something I just don’t see working with him, his teams play well, they play a good style but they just don’t quite click. He’s been a little unlucky in inheriting a largely aging club at Everton, but Lukaku should be getting more goals than he is.
Prediction 10th – Just another season mediocre season for them but a safe one. No European distractions could enable them to do better though.

Leicester City
Star Signing: Robert Huth – I can’t decide between him and Christian Fuchs – but Huth was influential in keeping them up last year (along with a lot of hard work from the the other 10 players). Staying up is built on a good back 5, and Huth is part of that.
Manager: Caludio Ranieri – Leicester have had a weird summer sacking Pearson part way through and replacing him with ex-Chelsea man Ranieri. I must admit I liked him when he was at Chelsea and think he could do well.
Prediction: 14th I think they will stay up with a bit of fight, I can see a change of managers part way through the season to give them a boost on the back straight.

Liverpool
Star Signing: Christian Benteke – Last year the biggest thing missing from the side was goals, Benteke will score the goals they missed – Milner, Ings, Clyne and Firmino also good signings so they have definitely got stronger.
Manager: Brendand Rogers – I can’t make up my mind with him. One minute I’m thinking he isn’t good enough to be at a club like Liverpool, a few good games later and he is brilliant again. Make or break season for him.
Prediction5th: I think they’ll get some good results but just fall short of the champions league places, which the fans will view as a failure.

Man City
Star Signing: Raheem Sterling – A player I’m not sold on yet, he has potential but he also has the potential to waste it.
Manager: Manuel Pellegrino – A poor second season has left alot of people expecting him to not make it through this year, I’m inclined to agree with them. They may well focus on the Champions League this year, could they win it? No. Could they at least go further than before? Yes.
Prediction4th The signings they’ve made will not push them up the league! They need another top centre back and centre mid to bring them up to the level of their counterparts.

Man Utd
Star Signing: Bastian Schweinsteiger – the german midfielder is a top draw player at a drop draw club. To sell (or relase) Cleverley and Nani and to bring in Schweinsteiger, Depay and Schneiderlin is top business.
Manager: Louis Van Gaal – has to prove himself this year, did better than Moyes but fell just short of the expected mark from Man U. FA Cup for them this year as an additional prediction.
Prediction3rd I think Chelsea and Arsenal just about have the edge but they will run them close til the very end – I think it could be a matter of 5 points separating the to 4 and Man U will be in the mix.

Newcastle United
Star Signing: Alexsandar Mitrovic – The team lacked goals last year. Perez and Riviere both tried hard but weren’t quite good enough to shoulder the burden of being the top choice (Perez should come good without the pressure).
Manager: Steve McClaren – a new one for the club, he can’t do worse than Carver, I just hope all the fans give him a chance and don’t get to him (like they did with Carver, Pardew, Alardyce and many others).
Prediction9th ambitious I know but if the new guys settle in then we should do alright.

Norwich
Star Signing: Graham Dorrans – a creative player that was the most hyped player, when he was at West Brom, in our season in the Championship. I like him, but I don’t think he is as good as some people suggest. But will still do well for them.
Manager: Alex Neil – I literally know nothing about him, he is like Sean Dyche this time last year. I hope in 12 months time his reputation is raised like Dyche’s.
Prediction:15 – I think they’ve got enough about them to stay up, it might come down to a bit of luck in games against the teams around them, but I fancy them in the battle.

Southampton
Star Signing: Juanmi – the former Malaga player is just 22 so isn’t the finished article, is something of a Jesus Navas in his size and style of play. He got 8 goals last season and would do well to get the same return in his first season.
Manager: Ronald Koeman – a master of rebuiling squads and that is what will help with this side – Juanmi, Clasie, Caulker and Soares are all decent players that he as bought in to replace out going players – them settling is vital.
Prediction11thI think the European competition could see them drop down the league but will still do well enough to maintain their reputation.

Stoke
Star Signing: Ibrahim Afellay – a player looking to rebuild his reputation, at PSV he was a star, at Barca he has been over shadowed and underperformed. I really hope he does well.
Manager: Mark Hughes – I know a lot of people that don’t seem to like Hughes as a coach but I think he has been unfairly treated at alot of clubs. The club seems to have invested enough to move forward this season.
Prediction:7th – My pick for the surprise package this year. They have everything they need to do well this year.

Sunderland
Star Signing: Yann M’Vila – A bit of a Tiote type player that will break up play and could be the difference in a tight game that. Should give players like new boy Jeremaine Lens the freedom to attack.
Manager: Dick Advocaat – Worked something of a miracle with them last year, as did Poyet and Di Canio… So he’ll leave in February to be replaced by a out of work manager. Glenn Hoddle this year?
Prediction17thI want them to struggle but the events of a derby day are worth keeping them for.

Swansea
Star Signing: Andre Ayew – the second Ayew to hit this list, again with the job of replacing a top striker in this case Bony. I can’t see him getting as many goals as Bony but will definitely score a few.
Manager: Gary Monk – Has shown to be a top manager both tactically and in the transfer market. Another manager I’m happy to see do well.
Prediction: 12th – Still going to lack the goals that Bony got them over the past seasons so they won’t build on last year.

Spurs
Star Signing: Toby Alderweireld – He had a great season at Southampton and Spurs snuck in to steal him away from the south coast club (something Southampton are still arguing about apparently). A great partner to Vertonghen at the back.
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino – a top manager that can really get the best out of younger players, which he will have to do in order to better last years results.
Prediction:6th A lot will rest on Harry Kane’s goals and, personally, I don’t think he will get as many as last season. I don’t think Trippier adds much to the squad either. They need a couple more signings to keep up with their peers this year.

Watford
Star Signing: Matej Vydra – a player that breathed goals for them on two different loan sessions in the Championship. Signing him full time is great business for them.
Manager: Quique Flores – I foreign manager who seems to do ok at clubs that not much is expected from them. So he seems to fit the bill for Watford.
Prediction:20th Yup bottom with very little fight to show for it. Not just as a Lutonian that was brought up to hate the Hornets…honest…

West Brom
Star Signing: Rickie Lambert – I really didn’t know which of the three under imposing signings to pick. They really need a good signing.
Manager: Tony Pulis – Vital to an underimposing side is a top manager and West Brom have that, never relegated but will come close this year.
Prediction: 16th Skin of their teeth survival this year. I reckon they will make a signing or two but not of the quality required.

West Ham
Star Signing: Angelo Ogbonna – I really like this guy. Strong in the air and quick on the ground – great player, Dimitri Payet is a good forward player for them too.
Manager: Slaven Bilic – A good manager at International level so will be a good test at club level. A fans favourite and club legend so they should at least offer him the time.
Prediction: 13th A safe mid table season for West Ham’s last season at the Boleyn Ground, relegation shouldn’t be a worry but if it is then they will be in big trouble with the ground move next year. Could cause some jumpy moves from management.

Joshua Waldock

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