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Official Premier League Discussion Thread


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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

Alrighty got a bit of time to fill so thought I'd give my thoughts on the upcoming season:cool:

The Title Race

So obviously there's the two favourites in Chelsea and City, who look the best on paper and defiantly have the managers to get them over the line. Chelsea seems to be the favourite for most, which isn't surprising after they brought in Costa and Fabregas as well as Filipe Luis, Drogba and not to mention the return of Courtois. They've certainly got the depth to challenge in all competitions like City, but the pressure will be on Mourinho to deliver in the premier league this season or else he may be looking at the sack. City haven't added significantly compared to Chelsea, but they've added some solid players who they'll be able to look to if last seasons winning team doesn't get off to the start they should. Pellegrini has a season BPL experience now, which will only benefit City. Outside those two though, there's defiantly the chance that one if not two or all three of Arsenal, Liverpool or Man United have a crack at the title. There's been a lot of talk about Arsenal challenging for the title lead by the new signing of Alexis Sanchez, and there's a good chance they will be in the mix come next may. United fans defiantly fancy themselves to be up there without European football, and I have to admit things are looking promising for them under Van Gaal so far. Despite coming second last season, the departure of Suarez means that very few expect Liverpool to back that result up with another title challenge. While things don't look as promising at this point as to what they did when Suarez was at the club, it would be silly to completely write them off of any sort of charge for the title, especially since nobody thought they could last year but still did it anyway.

The Battle For Top Four

With City and Chelsea expected to take up the top 2 spots of the table, the favourites for 3rd and 4th come down to Liverpool, Arsenal and United, with Everton and Spurs also outside chances. For Liverpool the goal really is to back up last seasons effort with another top 4 finish ton consolidate their return to Europe's elite. Many of their signings have been criticised as 'overrated', but despite this they have unquestionably strengthened in depth, something necessary to cope with the extra demands of European football. If they are to retain a spot in the top four, key individuals from within the squad are going to need to step up to make up for the loss of last seasons player of the year. Arsenal's main priority seems to be a title challenge, but the strength of Chelsea and City means it is difficult to see them any higher than third at the end of the season, and even that is far from guaranteed. As previously stated United are European football free, and if taken advantage of they are capable of pulling off what Liverpool did last season, but the most likeliest of outcomes that they end up in an enthralling race for 3rd and 4th. Everton have reassumed the position of dark horses, and while admittedly 4th seems to be beyond them at this stage anyway, Roberto Martinez is certainly the right man to have around if they are to pull off the miracle their fans are looking for. Tottenham are also a contender to finish in the top four spots, but like Everton it seems as if the teams favoured ahead of them are just going to be too strong.

The Surprise Packages

For all the misery their fans have been put through in the last two seasons, Newcastle's faithful may find all the gloom comes to an end. With the signings of Remy Cabella, Siem De Jong and Daryl Janmaat I for one think they have a real shot at a surprise top 8 or possibly higher finish. The thing that may hold them back though could be in the form of their manager Alan Pardew, who hasn't impressed in the way he's managed Hatem Ben Arfa in the last season or so. The squad is capable of bringing a smile to the fans at St. James Park once more, but the mountain to get there would not seem nearly as steep with a fit and firing Ben Arfa.

Arch rivals Sunderland also make this list. While the possibility of relegation hasn't gone away yet, Gus Poyet certainly looks like he is capable of leading the Black Cats into the top half at least. The hot form he managed to get his side to produce in the latter half of the season to avoid relegation is defiantly evidence that they can do some damage this season. Poyet will be tasked with proving that his sides victories over Chelsea and Man United were no flukes in last seasons run in, and if he can produce similar results right from the beginning a top 10 spot is defiantly on the cards.

The Relegation Scrap

At this stage, it seems pretty tricky to pick the three teams to be relegated. The new boys in Leicester, Burnley and QPR are more than likely to all be close to the bottom three at some point this season, but there are a number of other sides that suffer the worst of fates. Swansea, West Brom, Aston Villa and West Ham are all far from assured premier league status next season, but they are also now joined by Crystal Palace, who up until yesterday looked relatively safe. Losing your manager two days before the season start is a very cold blow, and if the Palace board does not appoint the right replacement what seemed a promising season could very quickly turn into a nightmare. Hull City, Stoke, Sunderland, Southampton and even Newcastle are a chance to go down if things go wrong, but each of these clubs can remain fairly positive at this point unless they also encounter a problem on the level of the Tony Pulis crisis.

The Prediction

1.Chelsea

If new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas click then this season could be a walk in the park for Mourinho's men, and what's even more frightening is that Eden Hazard has hardly earned a mention yet.

2.Manchester City

They'll compete with Chelsea, but I think after Premier League success, Pellegrini will be looking at a strong champions league campaign which could limit how well they do in the league.

3. Arsenal

The next three spots were insanely hard to pick because each of the Gunners, Liverpool and United all have their own flaws that are very capable of undermining what they are aiming for. However I chose Arsenal for third because they have really just improved what they had last season, and that got them a fair way. I can't see them challenging for the title though, and the fact that they haven't invested in a quality defensive midfielder or a proper alternative to Giroud means they could easily find themselves as low as 6th with the competition on offer this season. That could change though if Wenger is able to make further additions before the window shuts.

4. Liverpool

Liverpool come in next because I don't think they'll do as badly as most seem to be making out because of no Luis Suarez. I'm not saying they won't feel the loss of such a talented player because the truth is they will, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest they will cope anyway. This season the team will not be built around Luis Suarez, but around Brendan Rodgers favoured 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 system, equating for more team balance. Even without last seasons top scorer, they now have the second top scorer able to take on his preferred position as the lone striker. A lot will depend on the performances of Raheem Sterling and Philipe Coutinho, and if they are able to fire, there will be plenty of memorable moments to come at Anfield.

5. Manchester United

Expect to see a vast improvement under Van Gaal this season compared to the David Moyes era at United, but not enough to quite force their way back into the top 4. Van Gaal may be a master tactician, but despite the likes of Wayne Rooney and RVP he doesn't boast the strongest side around. It is hard not to question how the expected trio of Smalling, Jones and Evans will be good enough to hold out the likes of Aguero, Costa, Sanchez and Sturridge, but having said that it isn't impossible for them to produce something special under Van Gaal. Depth is lacking in defence at this point, especially with Jonny Evans out for the opening fixture. Even though I'd expect United to ease past Swansea tonight, it will defiantly be interesting to see how they operate without the quoted '9' players they will be missing.

6. Everton

Everton beats Tottenham to 6th because they're just looking like the better side at the minute. They've had a half decent transfer window so far, and without any notable losses except Barkley it is pretty much the same young side, except Martinez has had a whole season and a 2nd pre-season to work his impressive management skills. While they may fall down a position on the table this season, it looks like as a developing team they will have improved in every respect except league position.

7. Tottenham

Tottenham are a similar case to Everton because while they may improve in terms of performance on the pitch, the level of class that the teams who finished above them last season possess will be what makes the difference on the final league ladder. Spurs fans can be assured that they have a manager who actually has a plan this season, and there's every chance that all the 'flops' they signed last season have finally gelled with a season of english football, or may yet still with the improved management of Pochettino. The only way I can see them getting close top the top four is if the teams expected to beat them to it fail in the style that United did last season.

8. Newcastle United

9. Southampton

10. Hull City

11. Sunderland

12. Stoke City

13. QPR

14. Aston Villa

15. Crystal Palace

16. Leicester City

17. West Ham

18. Swansea City

19. West Bromwich

20. Burnley

Top Scorer: Diego Costa

Player of the Season: Eden Hazard

Most Assists: Mesut Ozil

Manager of the Season: Jose Mourinho

Well that's it then, didn't realise it got that big lol:p Couldn't be stuffed doing all the teams that took me a while aha. Probably a bunch of mistakes couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing over :D :D :D

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

Federico Fernandez has tweeted goodbye to Napoli supporters, the deal is as good as done for a reported £8 million. Haven't seen a lot of him, but he's highly rated and I'm glad we've got a replacement in for Chico in quickly. I think we're a full back and winger short of a team I'd be pleased with this season.

We may well have lost players, but the players we've brought in have plenty of quality and we should still have a couple of players for every position next season. We appear to have a united squad, those who wanted out have gone and those causing trouble have gone and whilst it make take a while for our players to settle in I think we'll surprise a few and have a strong season.

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

Champions: Chelsea

Champions League: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool

Surprise Package: Sunderland

League Cup: Arsenal

FA Cup: Man City

CL Winner: Chelsea

Relegation Dark Horse: Aston Villa

Relegation: Crystal Palace, Hull, West Brom

Top Goalscorer: Diego Costa

Most Assists: Mata

Most Clean Sheets: Courtois

Most Reds: Steven Caulker

Best Signing: Diego Costa

Best Bargain: Gomis

Biggest Flop: Shaw

First Manager sacked: Nigel Pearson

Best Young player: Courtois

Bounceback player: Erik Lamela

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

Just out of curiosity' date=' what makes you think this?

Based specifically on the fee paid or how you actually expect Shaw to perform in terms of his ability?[/quote']

I rate Shaw in the long term and think he'll be a superb left back for you in a few years time, but as of right now, I don't think he's good enough defensively and can see other teams exploiting that particularly with the formation you play.

If he had been cheaper then I wouldn't of suggested him but you're paying at least £27 million you're not paying for a back up left back, you're paying for a starter and I can see him being a weakness this season.

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

I rate Shaw in the long term and think he'll be a superb left back for you in a few years time' date=' but as of right now, I don't think he's good enough defensively and can see other teams exploiting that particularly with the formation you play.

If he had been cheaper then I wouldn't of suggested him but you're paying at least £27 million you're not paying for a back up left back, you're paying for a starter and I can see him being a weakness this season.[/quote']

There will be bigger flops in the League then Shaw, mark my words.

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

I rate Shaw in the long term and think he'll be a superb left back for you in a few years time' date=' but as of right now, I don't think he's good enough defensively and can see other teams exploiting that particularly with the formation you play.

If he had been cheaper then I wouldn't of suggested him but you're paying at least £27 million you're not paying for a back up left back, you're paying for a starter and I can see him being a weakness this season.[/quote']

Yeah I know what you mean. Just interesting to see how others determine who could possibly be classed as a flop.

Obviously as expected, people will link a transfer fee to how they rate a players performance throughout the season, even though they are completely independent.

For example: Felliani, I don't technically see him as a flop as he has delivered exactly what I expected of him (absolute garbage performances). The fee, well that's just an added insult.

Personally I don't think Shaw will flop based on my expectations from him this season (regardless of transfer fee).

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Re: Premier League Discussion Thread

You'd swear we weren't playing according to BT. United this, United that. We didn't win the game, United lost it if you listened to them. Paul Scholes response to him predicting us to go to down being brought up was that 'United would bounce back'.

As for the excuses about United needing more players, so do we. We're expecting to sign at least three new players, which didn't stop us winning. We also had more than our fair share of injuries for this sort of stage of the season.

Great win though, for a team that didn't play we defended an awful lot better than they did and attacked a lot better than they did.

david moyes 4 - 1 swansea

van gaal 1 - 2 swansea

moyes > van gaal

:P:cool:

David Moyes 1-2 Swansea

Swansea > Man. United

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