Well, here we are at the start of another season of football. There will be goals aplenty, controversial decisions, penalties, off sides, back passes, career threatening challenges, but how will it all end?
This could be one of the most open Premier League races in five years or more. The monopoly of the big four, threatened by big spending Manchester City and the gutsy performances from the likes of Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
At the other end of the table, newly promoted sides Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham will no doubt spring surprises across the league as Hull and Stoke did last year.
Ancellotti has work to do at Chelsea, but if they continue this season in the same form that they ended the previous one under Guss Hiddink, few teams will be able to overcome them.
United are weakened by the loss of Ronaldo the goal scoring menace on the wing and the graft of Tevez, who is now supplying the blue half of Manchester with his services. But who could ever rule out a team managed by Sir Alex, a man who has taken the losses of big players in his stride, examples of Cantona, Beckham and Keane in particular.
Liverpool must stop dropping home points if they are to take their first League title in nearly 20 years and pray that fitness troubled Torres finds the form that saw him blast 30+ goals in his first season at Anfield.
The aforementioned Man City will be a challenge to any team they play this season, with a wealth of talent in the final third to juggle across the domestic campaign. Perhaps they lack the power to overcome the top three just yet, but they will certainly be piling the pressure on Arsenal for forth.
Arsenal, with Wenger at the helm will always be a dark horse. The team, which won the Premier League, is now disbanded with Toure’s departure, but a wealth of emerging talent alongside his existing first eleven will see the Gunners finish in either 4th or 5th.
Making up the Europa League places, will probably be Tottenham and Villa, with the likes of Everton, Fulham, Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, Stoke making up the midtable.
The scrap for survival will be mainly fought out between newcomers Wovles, Birmingham and Burnley fighting with West Brom, Sunderland and Portsmouth who are desperately struggling with ownership problems off the field.
I can see Hull and Stoke struggling this season as well, as teams above them will have had time to adapt to their styles of play and the surprises they sprung at the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, will probably fail to materialise this year.
My full run down for the end of the season is:
2. Man United
5. Man City
7. Aston Villa
16. West Brom
18. Burnley – Relegated
19. Sunderland – Relegated
20. Birmingham – Relegated
Whatever happens at the end, there is a lot of football to be played between now and May, sit back, relax and watch another fantastic season of Premier League intrigue.
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