THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…
ARSENAL and Chelsea should pip Spurs to the Champions League places for next season, say surfers of this site.
A few days ago, Goaltastic posted a poll to ask which of the three sides currently contesting the two Champions League berths alongside Manchester United and Manchester City should miss out.
And after a huge number of votes in just a couple of days, an overwhelming majority (61.98 per cent) feel that Tottenham should finish fifth, rather than Arsenal (18.23 per cent) and Chelsea (19.79 per cent).
Of course, the reality of the situation may not match the results of the poll – but whatever happens it should be an exciting run in this season.
CHELSEA, Arsenal and Spurs are currently locked in one of the closest races in Premier League history.
Sadly for the trio, it’s not the title at stake, but to secure Champions League football.
Anyone who says that Germany has now eclipsed England and Spain as the top league on the continent should cast an eye at the strength of the squads vying for third and fourth places – with World Class talents like Juan Mata, Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Santi Cazorla, Jermain Defoe and more facing off for the right to represent England over the next few weeks.
And sadly, one of these squads – all of which could arguably challenge for the European crown next season – will miss out.
It’s a hard one to call – but you can vote for who you think should miss out with out vote below…
THOSE big teases over at the official Premier League Fantasy Football game – the free game which Goaltastic runs its league through – have put out a smattering of player values ahead of launching the game.
With the site currently down pending its 2012/2013 season launch, hopefully later this month, fans of the site have been handed a selection of prices to whet the appetite.
They are Eden Hazard (£9.5m), Ji-Sung Park (£6.0m), Pavel Pogrebnyak (£5.0m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (£9.0m), Shinji Kagawa (£8.5m), and Papiss Cisse (£9.5m).
Rest assured as soon as the game goes live and you can put these numbers into action, Goaltastic will let you know, and relaunch our league as well.
SO IT’S all done and dusted – the magnificently entertaining Euro 2012 tournament has finished with a Spanish blaze of glory.
But don’t be sad – there’s plenty of footballing fun to get excited about.
First we have Team GB’s men and women taking on the world at London 2012, and then a new Premier League season kicks off, and while it’s early days, there’s some excellent signings being made already.
So here’s an XI to get excited about gracing the Premier League next season. Admittedly the defence is a bit iffy, but my God they’ll be good going forward –
GK – Foster
DEF – Cuellar, Nelson, Whittaker
MID – Marin, Kagawa, Sigurdsson, Hazard, Podolski
ATK – Petric, Giroud
BELGIAN prankster Eden Hazard held up an international flight with a totally hilarious hijink.
The Lille midfielder, while queueing up for his outbound flight from his nation’s draw with Greece, decided to liven up proceedings by stealing teammate Nacir Chadli’s £6,000 watch from the meal detector trays.
Of course, Chadli became a little annoyed when his expensive watch went missing, as did the airport security when accused of stealing a watch.
The whole rib-tickling, side-splitting episode caused the flight to be delayed by 30 minutes, and many of the squad missed their connecting flights.
Belgium manager Georges Leekens said: “This is proof that the atmosphere in the group is excellent.”
Of course, Hazard is rumoured to be heading to the Premier League this summer – hopefully he’s heading to Chelsea, what with their obvious love of prank after prank after prank.
RISING star Eden Hazard has flashed a warning to his current employers that he’s heading to England.
While ruling out a January move from French club Lille as the Ligue 1 side are currently in the title race, Hazard has pledged to move to the Premier League this summer.
In an interview with Canal+, he said: “I have over 100 Ligue 1 matches, I’m young but I want to know something else. Paris is tempting with the players there now but I prefer to go abroad.
“I think I’m heading to England, the style of play suits me there and I think it’s in this league that I can learn as much.
“We know the great English clubs. It will be a club where I’m sure to play with a play style that suits me.
“I don’t know for which club I’ll sign yet. Manchester, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all great.”