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English Premier League 2013-2014 Season Preview And Predictions Part 1
The new campaign is about to kick-off and we start a Premier League season for the first time without Sir Alex Ferguson, which has made the title race a lot more open and interesting. Managerial changes have come from all the top three teams of last year, including Moyes to Manchester United, Pellegrini to Manchester City and the return of “The Special One” to Chelsea. Everton decided to take on Martinez, criticised for taking Wigan down but praised for his style of football he insists his teams play. Stoke have gone for Mark Hughes who already seems to have become a very unpopular character at the Britannia Stadium and will most likely have a tough time from the fans in his early days which could lead to poor results.
Arsenal : Arsene Wenger
Slowly drifting further away from the top teams standards and aware of Tottenham’s growing threat every year, Wenger knows his team could drop out of the top four and is clearly showing his intentions of putting up a fight against the big boys by bidding 40 million pounds plus 1 pound for Liverpool striker Luis Saurez. Arsenal are starting to look like a more complete team with their defence not as fragile as in recent years, Koscielny looking better and stronger as a player, Mertesacker comfortable next to him and a competent left-back in Monreal. If Wilshere can
reach full fitness for the beginning of the season then his partnership with Arteta could be key in creating chances and keeping the ball. Arsenal may have missed Van Persie last year but with him gone they managed to score enough goals collectively, so the inclusion of Saurez to their squad could make a huge difference. Whether they get Saurez would change my mind on where I think they’ll finish in the League, while he isn’t an Arsenal player I’m going to say that they’ll just about have enough to fend of Spurs for just another season, fourth place.
Prediction : 4th
Aston Villa : Paul Lambert
A young side full of potential and managing to fend off 17th place experts, Wigan, they should go into this season which a load of confidence having been a young squad and succeeding at staying up and not even near their peaks, normally these should be exciting times for this young Villa team. There will be a lot of expectation on Benteke having scored 19 goals last season, with Weimann and new boy Nicklas Helenius, Villa will hope to get many goals this season. A main problem last season was their unreliable defence so reinforcements, Jores Okore and Antonio Luna have been brought in. There have also been additions to the midfield, Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Tonev to have more strength in depth and to replace Petrov. They could be the surprise of the season but with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea (depending on rescheduling) in their first three matches, they most likely won’t pick up any points early on but would need to pick themselves up and try and play well for what is a kind fixture list after that until Christmas. It’s a very young squad and still really trying to find their feet, I don’t think they’ll have as many poor results as last year and be in as much trouble but I doubt they’ll be competing for the Europa League spots. I predict that they will come 13th.
Prediction : 13th
Cardiff : Malky Mackay
The best equipped team promoted and ready since a few years to be in the Premier League, it comes at the worst time for Cardiff fans, now their team playing in red, but they aren’t worrying too much any more because they’re in the Premier League. There are very few Cardiff players that have Premier League experience but some of them seem more than capable of competing in England’s top-flight. They were defensively solid last year in the Championship but their strikers barely played well enough to be in the bottom of the league sides, they relied mainly on their midfielders to score some of the goals, even Bellamy didn’t score that many, so if they want to stay in the Premier League, they can’t rely just on their defence. I think Cardiff will be the only promoted team to stay in the league, but not without an odd dip in form once in a while, I predict they’ll finish 15th.
Prediction : 15th
Chelsea : Jose Mourinho
He’s back and it was perfect timing considering that his rival, Sir Alex Ferguson, has just retired. This will be the perfect chance for “The Special One” to make a special return to Stamford Bridge with unbelievable attacking options and a possible transfer of Wayne Rooney, Mourinho being a part of a team that has just changed manager, he could also capitalise on other team’s “transition year” to maybe pinch the title. It’s obvious why Chelsea are interested in Rooney, their top scorer last season was Frank Lampard with 15 goals (One of only two Chelsea players to get into double figures in the league, the other being Mata). Torres underperformed in the league and they probably didn’t contend for the title for that sole reason. Their defence is looking better with Luiz more consistent with the ever-dominant, Ivanovic and Azpilicueta becoming a better defender, Mourinho will be working hard to get a perfect defence. Chelsea have a fine pick of players from Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Moses, Schurrle….. but last year they lacked width (weirdly enough), Schurrle has been brought in to add a bit more width and De Bruyne could also add to that as he might become a starter and let’s not forget that if Lukaka starts and plays like he did for West Brom then this could be an amazing season for Chelsea and all Belgian players. Chelsea look very strong this season
and will want to take advantage where the others will be weak, I predict that they’ll win the title.
Prediction : 1st
Crystal Palace : Ian Holloway
Not long ago this Crystal Palace team were just about avoiding relegation to League 1 and fans were anticipating the inevitable relegation one day until Holloway performed what could barely be called miracles, because we can easily say that the top-half teams in the Championship underperformed and it wasn’t a case of who could do the best but mainly who didn’t do the worst, so I can see Palace struggling this season. It’d be unfair to label Holloway as a manager who could easily get relegated when he’s only had a year in the Premier League where he couldn’t maintain his team’s momentum or mental strength and it just went down-hill during the second-half of the season. Palace also haven’t really invested and they really should, their main striker who scored 30 goals last season, Glenn Murray will be injured until Christmas and Zaha is gone so they should really look at a competent replacement who could eventually play along side Murray. I can see Palace having a disastrous season and might not pick up a lot of wins, I predict last for The Eagles.
Prediction : 20th
Everton : Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez is probably the luckiest man in football, getting Wigan relegated then getting offered to fill big shoes at ambitious Champions League chasers. Martinez has obviously been brought in so he can integrate his philosophy into a team that probably needs that having been unlucky trophy wise. Martinez has brought in Kone and Alcaraz from former club Wigan, which will make some competition in defence and attack. Everton players showed last season that they can create goals in a “Martinez style”, the players should be capable of reproducing that sort of style but may struggle when it comes to keeping the ball in defence which could consequently lead to silly goals conceded. Deulofeu should be a good addition to the squad and probably be an impact-sub. Everton’s priority this summer must be to keep Baines and Fellaini, if they were to sell them two then I’d see them finishing lower in the table. I’m not sure how most of the players would suit playing a 3-5-2 to accommodate their new style that they will inevitably try and play, Baines would be out of position and probably not as effective as a left-wing-back instead of a left-back, not depending on surging up the field to over-lap the wingers, or if Fellaini would be a “no 10” or just a sitting midfielder. This will obviously be a season of transition for Everton but they shouldn’t really drop in the table, I predict a 7th place finish.
Prediction : 7th
Fulham : Martin Jol
It would be harsh to say that Fulham relied on Berbatov last season, but they did. His 15 goals in the league ensured that Fulham weren’t relegated to the Championship with an unusual end to the season for Fulham, from whom we normally expect to finish in the top-half. They’ve signed Amorebieta from Bilbao which surely add a bit more grit into their defence, he had been sent off 13 times playing at Bilbao. But Fulham’s main problem was to find a midfielder who could create and defend, Danny Murphy was a big loss to them and they haven’t found a player like that, they don’t create enough chances, Berbatov has to track back and try and create play but he struggles with that and Bryan Ruiz is more than capable of doing something special one match out of ten, so they really need to get their act together and get all their players playing consistently and probably buy a midfielder. I think Fulham will be fine, like they usually are and get about mid-table, I predict 10th.
Prediction : 10th
Hull City : Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce has become a very familiar face to the Premier League and he wants to prove his worth after having an unsuccessful spell at Sunderland. Bruce has made sure that his defence is solid first of all, after that their attack was pretty poor with their top-scorer scoring only 9 goals in the Championship. As mentioned before, the Championship didn’t seem like it was up to the same standards as years before so these teams were promoted after a poor year performance wise for the top teams in the Championship, so I can see this side also struggling. With strength in depth defensively, Bruce might be able to pull off a miracle and keep this side up but I pretty much doubt it and see them finishing above Crystal Palace in 19th.
Prediction : 19th
Liverpool : Brendan Rodgers
What do you do when your striker gives a bad impression for one of the biggest clubs in the world, gets banned for the beginning of the season, someone offers over 40 million pounds for him and he demands to leave? It seems obvious until we see that he scored 23 goals in the Premier League last season and the possible buyers are rivals Arsenal, now this is a bit of a mess. It’s hard to see where Liverpool would have been without Saurez last season, maybe not even finishing 7th, which would have been an embarrassment and Rodgers would most
likely have got the sack, but he didn’t and now he can expand on that, maybe with or without Saurez but Liverpool can still attract players because of the history of the club and now because of their style, the money is there and even more would be there if they sold Saurez, but there isn’t a striker in the world who could replace Saurez for 40 million pounds. If Saurez stays, the season may be a very long one for Rodgers probably having to defend his striker for all his misbehaviour on the pitch, or if he goes he will most likely have to put up with the press bothering him because of poor results and could finish lower than last season. But let’s not forget that they looked very good when Sturridge and Coutinho came in January and with those two they might not need Saurez as much as they think. Saurez is still at Liverpool so I think that Liverpool will skip ahead of Everton into 6th place.
Prediction : 6th
Manchester City : Manuel Pellegrini
A highly praised manager, a squad full of talent and no more controversial characters, surely this is all City ever wanted. Man City have got rid off Tevez, Balotelli and Mancini so this should be the year where City really shine, even in Europe? Pellegrini’s main job right now is to steady the ship and get the top players back to their best and from what’s been said he is the man to do so. With a new look strike force of Negredo and Jovetic along with old faces Aguero and Dzeko, this City team should thrive. New signing in midfield Fernandinho could also prove valuable to let Yaya Toure roam more up-field and also to create chances when David Silva isn’t having a good day. Jesus Navas will add to the squad’s strength in depth and will most likely be starting, his pace could cause problems for any Premier League team. City have a strong squad this year and a very good manager, I’d be surprised if Pellegrini could win the league in his first season but he won’t come far behind. I think City will finish 2nd place.
Prediction : 2nd
Read part 2 for previews of the other ten teams in the league. http://www.letstalksport.org.uk/english-premier-league-season-2013-2014-preview-and-predictions-part-2/
“English Premier League 2013-2014 Season Preview And Predictions Part 1” written by Seb True
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