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Norwich City, Aston Villa & Southampton to be Relegated – Premier League Predictions 2012/13

Champions – Manchester City

Though we have yet to see Man City make a big splash in the transfer window, their squad still looks to be the strongest in the Premier League, and Roberto Mancini has promised City fans that there will be signings made this summer. Any success Man City will have next season could be largely due to the strike partnership of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, which we saw a little glimpse of towards the end of last season, and that partnership may prove even more deadly if given an entire season to flourish. Vincent Kompany will, of course, have an equally important role in the centre of defence, but if his performances are anything like those of last season, City fans have a lot to look forward to.

Champions League Places

2nd – Manchester United

United will, of course, be title contenders and will contest the title right to the last, but I think they will just miss out again this year. Man Utd will have things to look forward to, though; Nemanja Vidic’s return from injury is eagerly awaited by United fans, we will continue to see the progress of young talent like Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Danny Welbeck. After very encouraging performances for Team GB in the Olympics, next season could be a big one for Tom Cleverley, who missed most of last season through injury. There is also the opportunity to see Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who promises a lot.

3rd – Chelsea

Roberto Di Matteo made a fantastic start to life as Chelsea manager, initially on an interim basis, by winning both the FA Cup and the Champions League after a poor first half of the season for Chelsea under Andre Villas-Boas. Since then, Di Matteo has added the exciting attacking talent of wingers Eden Hazard and Marko Marin and Brazilian midfielder Oscar. The signings of Hazard, Marin and Oscar, along with the exits of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, have significantly improved the average age of the squad and this new youthful exuberance and vigour should see Chelsea improve on their sixth-place finish last season. Questions are still asked about Fernando Torres, though, his form improved towards the end of last season and he was excellent during Euro 2012, can he bring that form into the new season? Will he be trusted to take the reigns after Drogba’s exit, or will Chelsea look elsewhere.

4th – Tottenham

The exit of Harry Redknapp certainly raised a few eyebrows and had many scratching their heads in confusion. Upon signing Redknapp’s replacement, Daniel Levy made his intentions concerning Tottenham’s future quite clear when he signed former Chelsea and Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas. This suggested Levy was looking for a youthful approach to the team’s management and this seemed like a signing that looked to secure a stable long-term future of Tottenham Hotspur. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen seem like very good signings, but there is still speculation surrounding the future of Luka Modric. Many Spurs are crying out for another striker, and Emmanuel Adebayor has not yet signed a permanent deal with the club, after a great loan spell last season. There is still time to sign another striker in the window, though.

Europa League Places

5th – Arsenal

Even after signing strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud and with the signing of Spanish winger Santi Cazorla seemingly imminent, the focus is still all on star striker Robin van Persie. The striker has stated that he will not sign a new deal with Arsenal with his contract expiring next summer. It may well be that the Dutchman will leave before next summer, though, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus all interested in the player, and Arsenal preferring to sell him rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. Arsenal will have the return of Jack Wilshere in October to look forward to, but with Chelsea and Tottenham improving on last year, I can’t see Arsenal making the Champions League places, especially if van Persie leaves.

6th – Newcastle

Newcastle exceeded everyone’s expectations last season and the signings of Demba Ba for free and Papiss Cisse for £10 million were strokes of genius, Hatem Ben Arfa will also be key to the Magpies this season if he can keep his fitness levels up. Another striker is needed to add a bit of depth after the exit of Leon Best. It remains to be seen what parts Gael Bigirimana and Romain Amalfitano will play but they are young players with a lot of promise. Even more importantly, though, Newcastle have not lost any of their top players, giving the squad a bit of stability. Next season looks to be just as promising as last.

7th – Liverpool

This one is very difficult to call. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers was a bit of a surprise to me; I thought they’d go for someone with more experience. It remains to be seen whether or not Rodgers can get his message across and cope with the pressure that comes with managing Liverpool. It’s a big step to go from managing Swansea to Liverpool and this may be a jump too big. The problem last season wasn’t with Kenny Dalglish’s management, it was that he signed average players for big money. Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, in particular, were very disappointing, and Charlie Adam, while being a decent player, isn’t a Liverpool-quality player. The signing of Fabio Borini could be a good one, but Liverpool will need more than one signing to get where they want to be. There is also the future of Andy Carroll to sort out.

8th – Everton

9th – Sunderland

10th – QPR

I can’t see them being anywhere near the relegation zone next year with the signings they’ve made and with Mark Hughes having a full season to work with his team.

11th – Fulham

12th – Stoke

13th – West Brom

14th – Swansea

15th – West Ham

West Ham will be fine this year, whether or not you like his tactics, Sam Allardyce knows how to get the job done. The teams in a relegation fight need a bit of steel about them, and Allardyce provides his players with that (I still maintain that Blackburn would still be in the Premier League if Big Sam had stayed)

16th – Wigan

17th – Reading

I wasn’t sure about their chances until they signed Pavel Pogrebnyak, he will provide them with plenty of goals that will help them stay up. It will be interesting to see how Danny Guthrie does if he is given a run in the team. Adrian Mariappa may be good signing too.

Relegation Places

18th – Norwich

I really don’t want them to go down after they impressed so much last year and because they are managed by Chris Hughton, who I’m a big fan of, but I just don’t see them staying up again. Hughton is a good manager and it’s good that they’ve managed to keep hold of Grant Holt, but there are better teams than them in the league.

19th – Aston Villa

After doing so well with Norwich, I’d like to see Paul Lambert succeed with Villa, but I can’t see it happening. They were poor last year, but it’s not that surprising; their team just isn’t as good as it was a few years ago, they haven’t replaced Milner, Young and Downing. Charles N’Zogbia was very disappointing last year. They desperately need another striker, Darren Bent is a natural goal-scorer, but if he gets injured again, they could be in deep trouble. Bent is, of course, their best player, but there aren’t many other Villa players that are at the same level as him. Randy Lerner’s reluctance to splash the cash could end up costing Aston Villa dear.

20th – Southampton

They were very impressive in the Championship last year, but I don’t think the additions they’ve made to the squad are good enough to keep them up. Jay Rodriguez may be a good Championship player, but there are doubts about whether he can transfer that to the Premier League, it’ll also be interesting to see how Nathaniel Clyne does in the Premier League after all of the hype surrounding him. I hope that I’m proven wrong and will be pleasantly surprised by them.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Steve Smith

    7 August, 2012 at 11:04

    Splendidly uninformed comment!!

    Makes me laugh how so few people at large and in the media know what is going on at Southampton! It is not all about signings, although there is more to come in that area, it is about the philosophy and development culture of the club. The best estimates prior to last season were that we would finish mid-table, and a few even predicting we would go down from the Championship. We ended up basically dominating the division for the whole season, and whilst I would accept that is a little unlikely this time around, I fully expect Saints to be challenging for the top half rather than ending up bottom.

    In Nigel we trust….COYR!!

  2. Rob B

    7 August, 2012 at 11:07

    Complete and utter rubbish! Southampton were by far better than West Ham last season and Villa have quality all through their squad. Paul Lambert wil inspire them. Can you please justify why you think the likes of Wigan will finish mid table when there squad for this season is clearly weaker than last?

  3. Sam Gibbons

    7 August, 2012 at 11:26

    Norwich, Aston Villa and Saints? This is pure misguided opinion. I’m a Saints fan and although I think we’ll struggle i can’t see us finishing bottom or even getting relegated for that matter. Villa will not get relegated and nor will Norwich.

    Bottom 3:

    Westham
    Swansea
    Reading

  4. AMG

    7 August, 2012 at 11:34

    I just love looking at stupid posts/blogs …. and this really sits at the top, obviously has no knowledge of teams before writing this article, mate, your a knob, a big one, it’s good to have an idea or look in to the future .. but your bottom 3 teams for the drop …. really ??? or did your wife pick these out of the hat for you …. your a tosser

  5. Dan

    7 August, 2012 at 11:36

    Im sorry but this article and indeed prediction is completely flawed. Just compare southampton to reading. Both had almost equal squads at the end of last season but this guy things reading will stay up because of the pog? How can you predict a teams success on one player? And im discounting mariappa because you said saints signings are ‘championship standard’ but then go on to praise mariappa, another player from the championship? Im sorry but if your going to make predictions, atleast follow the same logic as you used with other teams. You cant say that one player will be a flop and the other wont for no reason? And saying a single player will carry a team is just pure footballing ignorance!

  6. Davfc

    7 August, 2012 at 12:05

    Villa won’t go down if Alex Mcleish couldn’t do it lambert wont completely stupid prediction villa will get a mutable. Finish this coming season where did they drag this idiot from to make such a stupid prediction?

  7. Davfc

    7 August, 2012 at 12:06

    *midtable

  8. catcher

    7 August, 2012 at 12:21

    A lot of angry Southampton fans, look, finishing first in the championship isn’t always an indicator as to how well they’ll do the next year.
    Look at West Brom, promoted as champions in 07/08, Stoke finished 2nd. In 08/09, West Brom were relegated as the bottom club, while Stoke haven’t been relegated since and have established themselves as a Premier League club. Sorry if I upset anyone, and like I said, I hope they prove me wrong.

    And Dan, I never said Rodriguez would be a flop, I meant that it’s hard to predict how he’d do, and I said Mariappa MAY be a good signing. We’ll see.

  9. catcher

    7 August, 2012 at 12:43

    Well if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it at the end of the season, that’s when predictions should be judged.

    Olly, see my earlier comment about the whole Rodriguez/Mariappa thing.

  10. Saint Sam

    7 August, 2012 at 13:02

    You have no knowledge of football outside the the top flight that is blindingly obvious saints finished second not first and also isn’t it something like 11 of the last 15 teams promotes stayed up on there first season of all the teams to be promoted west ham where the weakest. They have some Big names but they just got there playing some appalling football. Southampton and reading played very good football more suited to the prem.

    Your entitled to your views but I’m just laughing at them as you haven’t a clue about the championship or what happened last season at all.

  11. no fool

    7 August, 2012 at 13:03

    This is a very poor piece, It is possible that West Brom, Wigan and West Ham could be in the bottom 3 come Christmas, Reading and Southampton may stay up after investments in their squad. Swansea may be in trouble after they sell Sinclair, Norwich will go down but the club that you have totally got wrong is Villa, they are investing in quality players and with Lambert at the head should be looking for top 10. I would not be so sure of QPR’s position either, they have bought old slow players that are just about propping up the side, they may fall from grace at the end of the season.
    Maybe this article should have been published after the start of the season and just before the transfer window closes so an accurate picture could have been painted ?

  12. Stanners

    7 August, 2012 at 13:05

    Um Catcher Reading won the championship not Saints…..

    Oh dear please do some research before spitting out utter rubbish!!!

  13. Dperc

    7 August, 2012 at 13:25

    So by your logic Catcher, we’ll do a Stoke and stay in the Prem for years. We finished 2nd behind Reading last season.

    Everyone’s entitled to their opinion though. I just hope everyone underestimates Southampton this coming season and we’ll catch some teams out.

  14. catcher

    7 August, 2012 at 13:29

    Sorry I got mixed up, but like I’ve said, if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly admit it at the end of the season when predictions should be judged. no fool, I take your point, maybe this has been posted a little prematurely.

  15. Sam Gibbons

    7 August, 2012 at 14:03

    Oh dear Mr Catcher, you’ve taken a bit of a hammering there mate!

    We’re all entitled to our opinions and it’s good to ruffle a few feathers to kick start a debate.

    In my opinion Saints are short of a couple of players to really make an impact. We’re sorted up front but we lack defensive qualities and a little pace.

    Oops, sorry, forget this wasn’t a Saints Forum!

  16. catcher

    7 August, 2012 at 14:18

    Haha, I’m not particularly bothered about taking a hammering, mate, it’s just a prediction, I’m willing to admit I could be wrong, and will admit it if I am at the end of the season.

    I just wonder if the Saints fans on here are putting as much energy into arguing with the betting companies that are also predicting Southampton will go down.

    Also, honestly, before the 2010/11 season, how many people predicted that Birmingham would go down that year, or that Bolton would go down last season before it started? Not many, I bet. Predictions can be wrong. Maybe the last few weeks of the transfer window will reveal a bit more about who’s sorted for the seasons and who isn’t.

  17. Dave

    7 August, 2012 at 14:23

    catcher – Saints did not win the Championship they came second.

    Saints will struggle if we dont make a few more signings however as refreshing as swansea have been I think that they will struggle now that they have lost their talismanic manager

    Other prem teams that will struggle will be West Brom and Wigan

    Of the teams that got promoted I probably worry for Saints the least. They are very together and have a very misxed style of play.

    West Ham have some good players on paper (Vaz-te was class. They should have romped the Championship Last year but didnt. It just goes to shows that Manager that plays the antithisis of the fans ideal and a band of mercinaries can struggle. Holding it together through a relagation battle will be hardest of all.

  18. jezza

    7 August, 2012 at 15:12

    you need to get your facts right saints finished second in the last two seasons and im pretty sure everyone predicted bolton would be relegated theyve been on the slide down for a while. you clearly dont know anything about football and have just copied what the betting places have said

  19. catcher

    7 August, 2012 at 15:40

    Jezza, no I haven’t, I wrote this yesterday and looked up the betting odds today. A lot of the betting companies are predicting Reading will go down too, but I’m not. And yes, I know Saints finished second, I got mixed up. And not many people predicted Bolton would go down last year, everyone was predicting any of Norwich, Swansea, QPR, Wigan, Blackburn and Wolves.

  20. Dez

    7 August, 2012 at 16:07

    Funny last year I read a blog that had Southampton to finish 2nd to bottom in the Championship, then we finished second and didn’t drop out of the top two all season.

    I’m sure we won’t mind being underestimated again!

  21. Scott

    8 August, 2012 at 08:15

    Who cares about the article, just reading the comments put a grin on my face, love it. Having said that I agree that A) your choice of teams to go down is crap, especially villa as they didn’t do it last year with all of the injuries they have and B) the author is a cockholster.

    On a side note can any West Ham fans comment on what happened with Ravel Morrison?

  22. Jem

    8 August, 2012 at 17:09

    I’m not even going to try to sound impartial, I grew up in Southampton, worked at the stadium for a while, love the place.

    I’m not sure I see Saints finishing bottom but it’s not going to be easy – we might slip back down. Frankly the manner in which we’ve stormed up the divisions probably puts us on shakier ground than clubs who’ve grown slowly through the Championship.

    I do agree with your comments on West Ham (and Blackburn) but for my money, I think West Brom could be further into the danger zone than they might like having lost Hodgson.

    Interesting discussion nonetheless!

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