Many people of the football world consider six clubs in England being able to challenge for the Barclays Premier League title this season. The usual suitors of Manchester United and Chelsea will be there, but the so-called “Big Four” is now expanding out to Manchester City and Tottenham. Even outsiders such as Everton and Sunderland have a shot at making Europe – which is a huge compliment to the Premier League and its competitiveness.
6th: Tottenham Hotspur
People who are close friends of mine know that I like to give my predictions the opportunity to prove me wrong. Spurs’ case this year is no different but I believe that they will give the title and a spot in the Champions League are real shake, however will ultimately fall short. However, if Harry Redknapp can acquire a top class striker, the goals will start to flow and the points will be cranking up.
Key Player: Rafael Van der Vaart
I can not please everyone and somehow fit six clubs into four places – so Arsenal fans, bear with me here! As I said with Tottenham, I almost want Arsenal to prove me wrong and bring some success to the Emirates this season (I am not an Arsenal fan). In recent years, the Gunners have always suffered a late season blip, which ultimately costs them the Premiership. With the rise of Manchester City and the “renaissance” at Liverpool, Arsenal may find it hard to go all the way.
Key Player: Robin van Persie
4th: Manchester City
Manchester City have the biggest buying power in England, and have secured a few notable signings this transfer window, especially Sergio Aguero. It just adds to the undoubted talent within the Eastlands squad. It will be interesting to see how City cope with Champions League football and how they balance it with the other competitions – something that rivals Tottenham did not do too well last season.
Key Player: David Silva
Since the heights of pushing Manchester United all the way in 2008/2009, Liverpool have faltered to finish outside the top four the past two campaigns. However, Kenny Dalglish has returned and has breathed new life into the Reds’ play. This transfer window’s signings, as well as January’s captures of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll have strengthened the Merseysiders’ strike force and dominance in midfield. Now, all that completes the puzzle is perhaps a quality left-back.
Key Player: Luis Suarez
The Blues’ have endured an unusually quiet transfer window, and arguably their biggest signing of the period is manager Andre Villas-Boas. There is something fresh at Stamford Bridge this season, a new feeling. Apparently good things come to those who wait, and some big coups such as Anderlecht’s Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham’s Luka Modric could materialise. Their squad, though ageing, still possesses strength and exceptional ability to challenge for the title once again. Also watch out for Fernando Torres – perhaps a man on a misson?
Key Player: Frank Lampard
1st: Manchester United
On the back of a record-breaking 19th English title, many think that the Red Devils might take the foot off the pedal. Such media, are very foolish in my opinion. Manchester United still have a great squad at Old Trafford – plus they have acquired three great signings in the forms of David de Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones, signalling Sir Alex Ferguson’s intention of revolution. The team sheet might not have the gloss of what it used to have back in the days Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez etc., but this is a battle-hardened group who know how to win (albeit the hard way sometimes).
Key Player: Wayne Rooney
Whatever the outcome at the end, it sure looks a tantalising season coming up, and I have not spoken to one person who isn’t eager for the season to kick off.
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