We’re all starting to hear and read everyone’s predictions for this year’s EPL with the season less than a week away (!). So I thought I would chime in with what I think is going to happen, and try to avoid the obvious picks or the shock-factor bold predictions other clown shoes are throwing out there.
Premier League Champions: Chelsea FC
So this is neither bold nor obvious, in my opinion. As a Man United fan it was tough to admit this, but it basically came down to process of elimination. Arsenal just won’t win it, because they don’t win anything. Tottenham – no. Fuck Man City. And Manchester United will be a in a bit of a transition period this campaign. So that leaves Chelsea.
But in all seriousness, Manchester City will have a good squad. They’ve made the biggest moves this offseason and brought in a new manager, but all the money in the world can’t but you a premier league title every year. The team isn’t going to mesh, there are too many big contracts and big ego’s, and a lot of their new signings are going to have a hard time adjusting to life in the Prem. I think it will be a three-horse race between the Manchester clubs and Chelsea. There’s no reason United can’t win it, with basically the same squad as last year (maybe, pending Rooney’s decision to be or not to be a selfish dick), but I think a lack of new signings and the biggest transition the club has seen in 27 years leaves United settling for second place. Also, I’m trying not to be too biased here; I’ll save that for the rest of the season.
Jose Mourinho’s triumphant return to West London will return an EPL trophy to Abramovich. Mourinho, in turn, will promptly be sacked on June 1st.
Top Goal Scorer: Sergio Aguero
Currently at 7/1 odds at being the league’s top goal-scorer this season, it’s not a very hard choice to make. Man City will score a lot of goals this season, they’ve got the skill on their team to but the ball in the net but with no more Tevez, Aguero will be the go-to man this season for the Citizens. It’s hard not to back RVP for this award again, as he’s clearly first on the team sheet for United, but I think he will struggle to score as many, especially without Rooney dropping snipes on to his left foot. You’ll see a much more balanced squad from the red side of Manchester this year.
Premier League Top 4: Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Tottenham
It’s hard to really make this prediction with the transfer window still open, but I’ll stick with this no matter what happens. United and Chelsea won’t gain or lose enough to change their spots with or without Rooney. And Bale leaving Tottenham would obviously be a huge hit, but with big summer signings in Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, and Nacer Chadli, the Spurs have bolstered their squad for a good campaign this year.
Premier League Bottom 3: Crystal Palace, Hull, Stoke City
I think everyone is fearing for Crystal Palace and Hull’s chances of survival this season. Palace lost their best player in Wilfried Zaha and Hull just won’t be able to hang with the big dogs, so they will have to get off the porch. Stoke failed to make any significant changes to their squad, other than manager Mark Hughes, but that won’t be enough to save them this time and down they go.
Signing of the season: Roberto Soldado
Coming from Valencia for a cool £26m, Soldado will have an immediate impact. I think he will be the striker they have been looking for after a failed experiment on Emmanuel Adebayor. Soldado will be a serious contender for the golden boot this year and I think will take Tottenham to a champions league spot next year.
Flop of the season: Fernandinho
I’m tempted to just put the entire Man City squad in here, let alone all of their offseason acquisitions. Take your pick on any of the players that Man City spent £97.5m on this offseason, but for me it has to be the absurd £35m spent on Brazilian guy Fernandinho. It may be hard to really quantify Fernandinho’s impact this year as much as potential goal-scorers like Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, but considering the amount they spent on someone relatively unknown, this one will be hard to swallow come seasons end.