Premiership Predictions

(Getty)

 

TOKNOWTHEGAME.COM tries to predict the top 4 teams this year in the English Premier League. We asked a Manchester United fan – Taimur Shah and an Arsenal fan – Omer Salahuddin for their views and opinions.

4th Place: Taimur Shah: Arsenal.

Arsenal have to be the most consistent team ever when it comes to finishing in 3rd or 4th. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. This season it seems to be another case of fighting it out for 4th spot. RVP has joined United & although the team has bought extremely well in Cazorla, Podolski & Giroud (so far) one never knows how a player outside the Premier League will adapt. Having said that, I do believe with Tottenham having lost Modric & Newcastle not strengthening a great deal, the fight for 4th will be more an exhibition match than a title bout. It’s almost a coin flip at this point with Chelsea.

4th Place: Omer Salahuddin: Chelsea.

Quality players, good signings, an unlimited transfer budget to help them out in January if needed and yet I put them for 3rd? Their greatest strength is also their greatest weakness – Roman Abramovich. How will he react if the new signings don’t gel? Fire another coach? Bring in some more expensive signings? And while Di Matteo won the Champions League his tactics were based around a defensive strategy. In the Premiership he will need to attack more and that I feel will be his undoing. That all being said now watch them prove me wrong and be challenging for the title and Torres for the golden boot!

3rd Place: Taimur Shah: Chelsea:

I think Chelsea will pip Arsenal to the last automatic qualifying spot in the Champions League. The quality of their signings have been outstanding. As it stands, I think the title is a stretch for them but if they can put a solid run of results together at the start of the campaign to keep Roman’s itchy trigger finger off the “Fire incumbent manager” button, then they should have an excellent year which will set the basis for a title push in the next two seasons. In Torres, Mata & Hazard, they have a mixture of tried & tested with limitless potential. Hazard has been compared to Messi & to his credit, the Belgian doesn’t seem to mind that comparison. Things are looking distinctly rosy for the posh part of London.

3rd Place: Omer Salahuddin: Arsenal:

In Arsene We Trust – never has this been more true than the last few years. Every year he sees players move to clubs where they double/triple their wages (trophies if you believe the players) and every year he keeps Arsenal in the top 4. This year losing RVP & Song is a big big blow! However with a decent strength in depth, some quality new signings and a new defensive coach, Arsenal should have a close race for third with Chelsea. The season starts off with some difficult matches in the first 10 games but after that it should be smooth sailing.

2nd Place: Taimur Shah: Manchester City:

I know, I can hear the ridicule & taunts already. It’s because I’m a Man United fan that I’m so biased. Conventional wisdom & all the experts believe that Man City will walk away with the title just like Chelsea did after winning their 1st one under Mourinho. There is no doubt that Man City played out of their skins last season. Despite that, they only managed to win the title on goal difference & that too with a last minute goal. I don’t see much improvement in their performances as they were already top notch. I think Tevez’s golf holiday certainly didn’t help but it’s hard to imagine them doing much better than they did during the period he was gone. In any case, Tevez always has at least one controversy in him per season so expect to see pictures of him white water rafting or mountain climbing for a few months in the upcoming season. With another African Cup of Nations this year & with it, the absence of one of their star performers in Yaya Toure, I hope & expect the title to end up in Manchester, but not the blue half.

2nd Place: Omer Salahuddin: Manchester United:

RVP, Rooney, Valencia, Nani, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck and still finish 2nd? While RVP is a great signing perhaps they could have spent the money on a midfielder, a left back and a quality centre-half. Phil Jones and Smalling may turn out to be bargains but they are not finished articles. With Ferdinand and Evra showing their age and Rafel forgetting how to defend the only quality defender is Vidic. There is talk of Carrick starting in defence! And of course their midfield remains either old (Scholes/Giggs), lazy (Anderson), over-rated (Carrick) or unproven (Cleverly). How many of United’s midfielders would get a spot in Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle or even Everton’s midfield? While they have a very strong attack and a good squad I feel it will not be enough to finish top.

Champions: Taimur Shah: Manchester United:

Some might say I’m being a bit sentimental with choosing United & they will not be able to retake the crown from a City side filled with belief. United have always been resilient & come back whenever they’ve faced a challenge. I was sick to my stomach losing the title last season in the manner that we did so I can only imagine how the players & manager feel. It’s imperative that United remain hungry & remember that feeling because that is what will push them the extra mile to turn the draws into wins & the losses into draws. The keys for United losing the title last season were losing the head to heads with City 7-1 on aggregate, Vidic’s season ending injury, Paul Scholes’s delayed un-retirement & THAT game against Everton. With RVP, Kagawa & Vidic back, it’s like three new signings instead of two. We still have an issue at midfield but the way United are set up to play this year will be a more multi dimensional attacking approach rather than just the wing play that has come to typify United teams in the past few seasons. This more aggressive approach should lead to more cut & thrust in our play against teams that are able to shut us down on the wings. Football has a way of writing its own stories & wouldn’t it just be fitting if the greatest manager of all time could end his career by bringing the title back to Old Trafford, home from the ‘noisy neighbours’, one last time. Such is the energy & passion of the man, that one shouldn’t be surprised if the Legend then decided to go after another one.

Champions: Omer Salahuddin: Manchester City.

Confidence! No new signings but each and every single City player now believes that they are the best team in England. Aguero will only get better after his first season in the EPL; Balotelli appears to have matured and if Tevez can be controlled than these 3 alongside Dzeko are potentially better than the attack of RVP, Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez. City can play an attacking game or can grind out 1-0 wins such is the sheer number of quality players that they have. They already posses a world class striker, proven premiership midfielders in Silva, Nasri and Toure, a solid defence of Hart and Kompany and a new found swagger.

However their most important attribute will be belief and confidence which should see them through in the end and why they are the bookies favorites this year.

(Editor’s note: After the article was written, Man City signed Maicon, Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Nastasic)

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One Comment on “Premiership Predictions”

  1. jobloggsexplains September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Good blog.. My view about the top 4 this year would be a mix of what both have said here . I think 4th will be Arsenal, 3rd will be Chelsea, 2nd will be Man Utd and 1st will be Man City. Gonna be interesting to find out

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