Normally at this time of year, you read the usual types of predictions by pundits in the papers and in the various supplements about what’s going to happen over the course of the season.
We’ve all read these predictions over the years and whether we agree with them or not, they do one thing: they get us football fans talking about what we think the final outcome of the season will be.
With the new Premier League season starting a week today, I thought it would be good to get my predictions down for the start of the season, not that I am great at predicting anyway having tipped Chelsea to win the league last season.
Of course I was delighted that I had been proved wrong, as I genuinely did not think we would win the league last season – despite the fact we only missed out by a point the year beforehand.
So here is what I believe come the end of the season, the Premier League table will look like:
1) Manchester United
2) Manchester City
10) Aston Villa
12) Newcastle United
13) Blackburn Rovers
14) West Brom
As you have seen I have predicted United to retain the title for our 20th league championship, which would move us two clear of Liverpool.
Alike our contributor @KevinAshford7, I believe that City will run us close this season and although I would hate to admit it, if we were not to win the league this season then I do think Mancini’s boys will win the title.
Chelsea and Liverpool will round out the Champions League places, but in a prediction that more than likely will come back to haunt me (not that it’s going to drastically impact on my life) I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that Spurs – providing Harry Redknapp buys well (which is a big if) – could finish ahead of Arsenal.
I just feel that should Arsenal get off to a rocky start and if Arsene Wenger continues to have problems with his defence then they might finish below Spurs for the first time since the 1989/90 season when Gary Lineker was banging the goals in for Lilywhites.
There won’t be too much between the teams I’ve predicted to finish between 8-12th and if any of those teams has a good finish to the season they will move up a few places towards the end of the season. Sunderland could be n interesting team to watch and with their new signings, Steve Bruce should feel confident about the season ahead.
At the bottom of the table, I cannot see any hope for Norwich and Swansea which is a shame as their managers like to play football the ‘right way’ but defensively they look weak and don’t have too much in terms of quality. The other relegated team I think might be Wolves who despite showing great guts at the end of last season to stay up might not have enough this time round.
Should Mick McCarthy’s team stay up however I think QPR will go down. There’s something ‘fishy’ going on at Loftus Road and the quality of the signings made by Neil Warnock have not been to the same standard that Rangers and neutral fans would have imagined.
In terms of the first manager sacked this season, I think it’s a toss-up between Steve Kean and Warnock sadly. Both of them will be under pressure this season to probably achieve more than they should with their teams and both are clinging onto a very thin rope at the moment and that’s before the season’s even started.
In terms of the domestic Cup competitions, I think it would be nice if Everton a club who are long overdue winning a trophy would be able to grab their hands on a piece of silverware come the end of the year at Wembley.
David Moyes has done a great job there and with ex-Reds Tim Howard, Phil Neville and Louis Saha making up the core of his squad, I don’t think any neutral across the country would begrudge the Toffees a moment of glory, as long as it’s not againgst our expense of course!