Monday, 11 August 2014

2014-15 Season Predictions

Premier League 2014-15 Season Predictions
Premier League Season Predictions
Premier League 2014-15 season is about to start, and we can already say that it will be the closest ever since there are five big clubs with strong title ambitions. Manchester City will be looking to retain title, but they will have to face a tough challenge from Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. It is very difficult to defend a Premier League title and we don't expect City to retain it. Chelsea and Arsenal are our main favorites, with Liverpool and Man Utd very close behind. But first, let's check club activities during summer and start with defending champions. 

Manchester City - they had a quiet summer of transfer activity signing only Franck Lampard and Bacary Sagna, Porto’s Fernando and Willy Caballero from Malaga. They have a good, balanced team and have won two titles in the last three years but the competition is fierce. Much will be expected in Champions league, and perhaps nothing but the title will be enough so Pellegrini's team will be under a lot of pressure. The goal is to retain the title. No doubt they have one of the best teams in the league, but with so many good, experienced players in the squad coach will heave to work hard to maintain players motivation. We predict place in top three. 

Chelsea - came up short last season due to lack of quality upfront. If they had a 30 goal striker they would have won the race lasts season. They are fantastic at the back with possibly the best defense in the league. Big time signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa will bring even more quality in the midfield and upfront. Diego Costa will have help from veteran Dider Drogba, and one of the most perspective young goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois will strengthen the defense even more. Everything but the title will be a big disappointment for Chelsea and for us, therefore we predict them as new champions. 

Arsenal - they won the cup trophy last season after several non trophy seasons and they hope to build on it. Impressive 3-0 Community Shield win over Man City is only a display of what we can expect from Arsenal this season. Many players left the club but they were productive as well during the summer. Signings like Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy will add quality to forward and right-back. With David Ospina and Szczesny the goal-keeping position is going to be strong. Sanchez had a great season in Barcelona with 19 goals and 10 assists in 27 games and should easily adapt to Premiership. If they can remain injury-free throughout the season they could even win the title. We predict second place. 

Manchester United - it has been a busy summer in Manchester United. Many players are out, and they signed some highly talented youngsters like Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera. New manager Louis Vaan Gaal will try to change formation to his favorite 3-5-2 and during preseason they were unbeaten with wins over Real Madrid, Roma and LA Galaxy. Some of the old players looking well again and MU will certainly complicate things in the championship race. We don't see them as title contenders as changing formation and adapting to new coach takes time and we have seen how bad things may turn out last season. We see them fighting Liverpool for 4th place. 

Liverpool - the real question here is can Liverpool overcome the loss of Luis Suarez? Suarez is maybe the best striker in the world at the moment as he scored 31 goals and notched up 11 assists in 33 games for Liverpool last season. Dejan Lovren has been singed from Southampton and he should help sorting out Red's leaky defense. Lambert, Lalana, Marković and Origi are good players that can add depth and diversity in front of goal but none in Suarez's class. As they didn't sing any top player at front, it seems that Suarez contribution will not be matched and Liverpool will have difficult time to match fan's expectations this season. We predict place in top five. 

Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle, Swansea, Southampton - Everton made a huge deal signing Lukaku and Gareth Barry. New name Muhamed Bešić should bring some flair to the midfield as well. They look good, stable and we see them in fight for fifth place once again. Tottenham on the other hand sacked Tim Sherwood and installed Argentinean Mauricio Pochettino as a new manager. Ben Davies is a significant signing that will strengthen the team at the left-back. Levy's expectations are always big, meaning fighting with the top clubs but to be able to do that without him spending money. Not this season. We predict solid 7th place. Newcastle had a great summer with some really good signings (Riviere, Cabella, Janmaat) but they did lose their best striker Remy and full back Debuchy. The aim is to fight for Euro league spot. Swansea should build on a solid last year season and pairing Bafetimbi Gomis and Wilfried Bony in the upfront should bring joy to the fans. Southampton had to deal with departure of many players during the summer. They did earn a lot of money but the team didn't get any stronger. Ronald Koeman still has a team well enough for mid table. 

Not so many things changed in Aston Villa. Signing Roy Keane as assistant manager could be a good solution for the club. Stoke City signed Bojan Krkić, Mame Biram Diouf and Steve Sidwell thus showing enthusiasm. Mark Hughes is doing a good job and we predict a solid season without turbulence. Sunderland should do fine, all they need is a good striker to keep them away from danger zone. Over the last two seasons S.Allardyce proved he can keep West Ham in Premier League, and we don't expect this to change

West Brom, Hull City, Leicester, Burnley, QPR - Leicester signed striker Leonardo Ulloa. David Nugent, Jamie Varney and Ulloa will have to provide goals for them not to be relegated but Premiership is a different level then Championship. Steve Bruce acquired Tom Ince and Robert Snodgrass to provide more chances for Nikica Jelavić. Harry Maguire is an exciting prospect at centre-half but will all the mentioned be enough to avoid relegation? QPR will be in relegation fight as usual. Burnley will kick off this season thinking of not to be relegated. The signings have been unspectacular so far and the rest of the team will hardly be able to match Premiership level. We predict relegation. WBA will get into the season with the same thing in mind. They didn't do much during the summer to convince us that they can play at this level so prediction is relegation.

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