Hello lads and girls. For those of you who were wondering where I was, I was studying for exams and taking time after the World Cup to get a cool, relaxing break. The sport maniac is back baby! I will not waste any more of your time and will jump directly to my premier league predictions this season. I know we are two weeks into the new season but I had already made a sketch of what to expect.
20. Huddersfield Town
This, people, is the easiest pick of the twenty slots. I don’t understand how little Huddersfield is a top flight club, to be honest. David Wagner has worked wonders since he took over as boss but I think second season syndrome is a thing unless he is the Eddie Howe part 3. I actually rate him highly, but that squad is not good enough to remain in the top flight. When last season ended, the fans celebrated surviving the league as if they had actually won the premier league. Sunday’s 6-1 brushing at the hands of a Sergio Aguero-inspired Man City just goes to prove it.
19. Cardiff City
The last time Cardiff was in the premier league, they were getting beaten left, right and center. They remind me of Blackpool in 2011. Neil Warnock is a championship specialist. Getting teams promoted to the Premier League tells their own stories. But I am predicting another swift relegation for the Welsh club with Warnock sacked by Christmas. I can guarantee this will happen. The man who has made an enemy out of of almost everyone he has ever laid his eyes on has never really set the world alight in the top flight.
18. Brighton & Hove Albion
I know what you are all going to say, they will survive… A win over Man United doesn’t mean they won’t get relegated. Just ask Blackpool in 2011. They have 100% win record against title favorites Liverpool (prove me wrong Liverpool fans!). Chris Hutton is a good manager but they have a very average squad. I don’t think Anthony Knockaert is good enough to keep people in the top flight. So is a 34-year-old Glenn Murray.
It’s amazing how Watford treats their managers. They wrestled Everton for Marco Silva last year only to get rid of him before Christmas. They always unsettle managers meaning that they will end up fighting for survival. Like, if Garcia is still there by Christmas, find some stones and beat me with them, lads.
Bournemouth, Bournemouth, you are just hanging in there. It’s amazing how they have stayed in the top flight for three years now. I am expecting Eddie Howe to continue working his wonders and keep them up. They have a decent squad to do that and are now spending 25 million pounds on players nowadays. That shows you how things have changed since 5 years ago when their record signing cost 800,000 pounds only.
I don’t know what happened to Southampton. Two seasons ago, they were reaching cup finals and sacking managers for finishing eighth. Now they needed to rely on Mark Hughes to keep them up last season. Hughes was sacked by Stoke last season for nearly relegating them and they actually got relegated. He is a typical Premier league manager though, and he should keep them up.
Could someone please explain to me how Jean Michael Seri joined Fulham? Linked with almost every top club in Europe including Barcelona and then joining Craven Cottage! Imagine rejecting Luis Suarez for Aleksandr Mitrovic’! For that reason I think they will stay up. They have a decent left-back-cum-winger in Ryan Sessegnon, the first ever championship player to be nominated for the PFA young player of the year and promising loanees Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Calum Chambers. That should be enough to keep them up.
The question lingering in most of your minds right now is whether I was dropped on my head as a child. The answer is no! Burnley will not finish in European places again. They have no squad depth and playing on Thursday nights will drain their energy. Their only decent arrival is Joe Hart and even then, I think he has been drained off confidence by Pep Guardiola; Nick Pope and Tom Heaton are getting ahead of him in the England pecking order. Luckily for him, they are both injured at the moment. He better take advantage.
12. Crystal Palace
A comfortable mid-table finish should be enough for Roy Hogson’s men. They are now thanking the Almighty that Wilfred Zaha didn’t move on. If he had done that, we would now be betting that Crystal Palace would be facing Wigan Athletic in the championship next year since they would have a striker in Christian Benteke who is as much a goal threat as a rained-on chicken nowadays. And how on earth did he get on the plane to Russia for the World Cup with two league goals to his name!? They also signed Max Meyer on a free transfer. They should be good enough to stay up.
11. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves look like a force to be reckoned with. They are signing the whole of Portugal and Nuno is a master tactician lads.Joao Moutinho has over 100 Portugal caps to his name, is a Euro 2016 winner and was a champion’s league regular. Ruben Neves is another star man. Some questions are unanswerable. Why does the Sun Set in the west and not north? Why do identical twins not have similar fingerprints? Why did Reuben Neves sign for Wolves when they were in the championship? He practically led wolves to the topflight last season.People are saying they will get into European places but I still think it’s too early. A comfortable mid table finish first lads.
I feel sorry for Rafa Benitez. It’s like he is trying to build a house without stones or cement or ballast or anything for that matter. When will the club ever get rid of Mike Ashley!? Benitez is not getting enough money to build a squad he wants and the fans continue getting desperate by the day. When fans are wishing Paul Dummet a speedy recovery, you know the club has got no sense of direction. So just like last season, they will have to do with a mid-table finish.
Leicester city have nothing to play for this year. It’s hard to imagine that 2 years ago, they were making premier league champions out of Nathan Dyer and Danny Simpson. Now they’ve finally sold Mahrez after years of anticipation. Jamie Vardy turns 32 this year and for a player whose game relies heavily on pace, they may struggle for goals given age may get the better of him and the creativity of Marhez on the wing is not present anymore. They however have new signing James Madison who is one of the players to watch this year.
8. West Ham
West Ham may have started the season badly, but I presume it is because their new look squad have not gelled together. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Filipe Anderson and Lucas Perez are quality players. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pushed for more given Pelegrini got Malaga a taste of Champions League football for the first time in the club’s history. Unless China drained his tactics and football awareness, he should be able to get the best out of that squad.
What’s with Everton and spending a lot on players nowadays? I remember the days before Moyes’ career consisted of speaking terrible Spanish and not playing players for allegedly sleeping with his daughters and was playing Victor Anichebe and Tonny Hibbert. He barely spent coins on players and Everton still used to finish seventh. Now they spend money for the sake of it and finish lower. I don’t know what their plan was when they signed 3 number tens last year. Rooney shone for some time and then stopped, Sidgurdsson was the shadow of the player he was at Swansea and we forgot who the hell Klassen was. Fast forward to present and Everton are spending 50 million on Richalison, a player who, until the start of this season, had not sniffed in the direction of a goal. To be honest, they have started the season well with Richalison in particular being superb. But trust me, it will not last long.
They may have won away at Huddersfield and scraped away a narrow victory over Arsenal in the weekend, but don’t expect them to repeat Conte’s heroics of last season but one. Maurizio Sarri is nearly 60 and has never won a single trophy in nearly 3 decades of management. To add on to that, they have a Europa League campaign to play which will drain their energy. They just let go of Courtois to replace him with an overpriced Kepa Arrizabalaga who, judging from Saturday’s game, still has a lot to do to prove his price tag.The man looks like he stole a name from a family of six.Good God. Their defense is still in shambles especially down the left flank. Marcos Alonso is good offensively but poor defensively. Good news for them though, it doesn’t look like Eden Hazard and Willian won’t join the Chelsea Exodus soon.
The gunners look frightening going forward, Aubameyang and Lacazette have an amazing partnership on and off the pitch, pivoted by the creative talents of the likes of Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey. Their defence and flanks is still an issue though. Arsenal was the third most prolific team in the premier league last season alongside arch-rivals Tottenham. They however conceded 51 goals thanks, mostly, to blunders. Emery has had an encouraging start to life, filling Arsene Wenger’ shoes despite losing to Man City and Chelsea, which to be fair, were always going to be tough fixtures. He should use this season to get his team right and try win the Europa League to get the team back into the champions league. Fifth should be a good finish for starters. Unfortunately, I don’t St.toterighamings day for the 3rd season running this year.
I don’t think Tottenham are genuine title challengers this year. There isn’t enough squad depth. They did not spend a penny on a new player this year. Pochettino’s weak side has always been the transfer market. He actually made legal tender of Pablo Osvaldo at Southampton and Moussa Sissoko. They really missed Victor Wanyama last year, in my view. Harry Kane’s goals should be enough to get them into the champions league though.
3. Man United
Man United fans may think I know nothing about football. Let’s be realistic people. This year the defence looks like a joke. How do you concede 3 goals by half time against Brighton!? That’s the price you pay for failing to sign quality defenders and play wingers-cum-left-backs as right backs. For that reason, I don’t see you guys challenging for the title. I also see you dropping a position to third, with Mourinho getting sacked by the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong, third season syndrome is a thing for Jose. Ask Chelsea and Real Madrid fans.
Liverpool! You are safe! You finally have a goalkeeper who doesn’t have porridge operating his brains. You now have a quality midfield boasting the likes of Naby Keita and Fabinho. Your attack is a menace. You could actually even win the trophy. You have the ’best’ center back in the world in Dejan Lovren because he reached a Champions League and World Cup final. I think you are the only decent challengers to Man City for the prem title this year.
1. Man City
This is going to spark debate. I have watched Man City so far this season. They were brilliant away against Arsenal and whitewashed Huddersfield on Sunday. They finished last season on 100 points, scored 106 goals, conceded as few as 27 goals and then added Mahrez to the already complete squad. Pep has got so much depth he even afforded to leave Kyle Walker, Mahrez and Sane on the bench on Sunday. They have goalkeepers who can play with their feet and make assists. This season won’t be a walkover though. I see a title challenge alongside Liverpool but they will still win. A repeat of 2014, you might say.
Will I get all of these correct? No, of course not. But let me know what you think about my predictions. Follow the blog, give it a share, a like, a reblog…you know, all that good stuff and as always. I hope to write more soon.