After the opening round of fixtures is almost done, this is my team by team guide and predictions and how I see it all unfolding…
The Gunners have bought well in this Transfer Window, some will say the best bringing in a world class player in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. It may have been treat like a ‘pre-season game’ but Arsenal impressed greatly beating an albeit weaker Manchester City side 3-0 in the Community Shield. However that made it two trophies in three months for Arsene Wenger, like London Buses they say don’t they.
They have also signed Mathieu Debuchy to fill the boots of Bacary Sagana and promising youngster Calum Chambers from Southampton but I still feel they are a centre-half and another centre-forward away from going all the way.
They still have a frightening attacking arsenal (pardon the pun) with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey to name but a few.
Another good season but not quite the finished article just yet.
Key Player – Olivier Giroud
Prediction – 3rd
I fear the worst for Aston Villa this season. Having brought in the ageing Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos along with Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho they aren’t transfers that are putting a statement out there to the other clubs around them. We’ve all heard that Roy Keane has joined the coaching setup and knowing what he is like seeing his jolly self on ITV over the past few years, he will have to get this squad incredibly fired up to give them a fighting chance.
The only hope they have is if Christian Benteke comes back from injury and finds his top goal scoring form once again.
Key Player – Christian Benteke
Prediction – 18th
Sean Dyche’s miracle getting little old Burnley back into the Premier League makes West Brom’s escape from relegation in 2006 look somewhat average. It is always an easy option to say the promoted teams are going to go straight back down but in this instance it looks even more of an impossible job than getting them there in the first place. Yes they have incredible chemistry and really are a team but in the Barclays Premier League you need that bit of star quality and obviously the Lancashire side don’t have the funding to purchase these kinds of players.
They have bought experienced veteran Matthew Taylor along with Marvin Sordell and Lukas Jutkiewicz who will have to make the big step up pretty quickly.
Having said all of that Danny Ings is a striker I really like and I do believe he is Premier League quality after watching him many times last season. If they have any chance of staying up he will have to continue from where he left off last season.
Key Player – Danny Ings
Prediction – 19th
The Blues are my favourites to lift the title come May. Last season they arguably had the best squad in the league, this time around they probably do with the additions of Filipe Luis, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and the return of Didier Drogba. If they can keep their back five injury free their forwards will then do the rest.
It will be close between them and City but Chelsea to nick it.
I think Jose’s blues will be the big horses this season……
Key Player – Diego Costa
Prediction – 1st
Tony Pulis took over at Palace last season and produced a miracle to not just keep them up, but he did it comfortably. Everyone had written them off for relegation but it just shows nothing is ever written in stone half way through the season. Having said all of this he has to do it all over again and they will no doubt be in that bottom half dog fight.
They have brought in three good players in the towering figure of Brede Hangeland, Martin Kelly and Frazier Campbell.
How strange, just as I was writing this I hear the news that Tony Pulis has left the club, this changes everything for me.
Key Player – Mile Jedinak
Prediction – 16th
I don’t know what Everton are expecting this season but I feel breaking into the top 4 will be a real challenge for Roberto Martinez’s team. The best bit of business done by them was definitely making Lukaku’s move from Chelsea permanent.
They have an extremely talented squad throughout with the likes of Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley.
Should be another top season for Everton but just miss out on top 4.
Key Player – Romelu Lukaku
Prediction – 6th
Last season the Tigers definitely over-achieved as they looked like a stable Premier League club and now they are just bolstering their squad even more. They have bought really well bringing in Jake Livermore, Thomas Ince, Robert Snodgrass and youngsters Harry McGuire and Andrew Robertson. However this time around they have miraculously got into the Europa League qualifying stages and if they get into the group stages then as we’ve seen with Swansea last season it really takes its toll.
Also after the sale of Shane Long to Southampton for £12m they better reimburse that money for a replacement.
Should be another steady season for Bruce’s Hull.
Key Player – Curtis Davies
Prediction – 11th
It is always going to be difficult for the newly promoted sides and it will be no different for Leicester. After seeing them romp to the Championship title last season they showed great togetherness throughout their squad however I fear they may just fall short. I know they are being linked with Argentinian legend Esteban Cambiasso but they haven’t really bought any top players yet, Leo Ulloa was signed from Brighton but I am unsure whether he can make the step up.
Having said all of that they do have some good players, I was really impressed with the goals David Nugent scored and the incredible work-rate Jamie Vardy showed up front and they will cause problems in this league but will they cause enough problems? I like the two foreigners out wide in Riyad Mahrez and Anthony Knockaert, very jinky wingers who can drift inside. I also like the partnership in the centre of midfield in Matty James and Danny Drinkwater, they seem to have a really good understanding and that will certainly help however I fear they may just leak too many goals and not find the net enough at the other end.
Key Player – Wes Morgan
I could ramble on about Luis Suarez all day but he has now departed to Barcelona and it is now secret they will miss him and his bundles of goals massively. Last season Liverpool surprised everyone and I don’t think they will ever get a better chance to win the league, especially for legend Steven Gerrard.
However they have made some really good signings including Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Dejan Lovren. I am also really looking forward to see how Raheem Sterling develops his game this season as he could be one of the world’s best in a few years’ time.
I just think for Brendan Rogers’ side this season top 4 would be seen as a good season as they also have to deal with the Champions League this time around.
Key Player – Daniel Sturridge
Prediction – 4th
Man City will definitely be there or there abouts come May but I think they will just fall short of Chelsea this season but it will be incredibly close. The key for the sky blues is keeping their spine of the team fit in Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
Their best signing of the summer was tying Kompany, Aguero and David Silva down on 5 year deals.
Key Player – Sergio Aguero
Who knows what will happen with Man Utd this season but I think it is fair to say that they have a better manager than last season now with Louis Van Gaal however I still think they are 2 or 3 top players away from getting back to anywhere near their best. Will they get top 4…….I think it is a really tricky one to call in which I am still undecided about but that decision could all change when the transfer window closes, but at this very minute I think they may just miss out.
Key Player – Wayne Rooney
Prediction – 5th
It’s not been massively exciting times for the toon army recently and I can’t see them getting into the top 6 or being dragged into trouble so I predict another average season for Pardew’s men. He has made some good acquisitions including Daryl Janmaat, Siem De Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and highly rated Frenchman (yes French) Remy Cabella who is one to look out for.
Key Player – Remy Cabella
Prediction – 10th
It is seen as incredibly difficult to bounce straight back up to the Premier League after just being relegated but Harry’s QPR have done it and they will look to make a better fist of it than they did last time.
Much has been made of the signing of Rio Ferdinand who will bring bags of experience to help the whole squad along especially his soon to be centre back partner who is also a new signing Steven Caulker who I am sure will learn a lot. They have also brought in Jordan Mutch who is a player I really like and Mauricio Isla from Juventus. However their biggest signing of the summer will probably be if they keep hold of talisman Loic Remy but we shall see. By the end of the window you could also be seeing Rafael Van Der Vaart, Jonathan De Guzman or Leroy Fer in the blue hoops.
Finally Glenn Hoddle’s appointment as first-team coach is a superb one in my opinion, knows the game inside and out and I think him and Harry will just keep them out of the drop zone.
Key Player – Rio Ferdinand
Prediction – 14th
The Saints exodus has finally appeared to have stopped and they are bringing plenty of players back into the club now under new manager Ronald Koeman.
I can’t see an as joyous season for the saints with key players like Shaw, Lovren, Lambert and Lallana all departed but Shane Long and Fraser Forster are good acquisitions.
Key Player – Jay Rodriguez
Prediction – 8th
Stoke are definitely my surprise package for the season, I wasn’t sure about Mark Hughes when he was appointed, especially after the tremendous job Tony Pulis did but Hughes guided them to their highest finish ever and they just seem to be improving with the additions of Mame Biram Diouf, Steve Sidwell and the man from Barcelona Bojan who I can’t wait to see.
Key Player – Bojan
Prediction – 9th
Last season Gus Poyet performed an absolute miracle to somehow steer the Black Cats away from relegation with wins at Chelsea and Manchester United but can he keep them up again? I think if they get Fabio Borini back and get Connor Wickham into the form he showed towards the end of last season then I think they may just have enough.
Key Player – Connor Wickham
Prediction – 15th
Inexperienced manager Garry Monk may find it difficult in his first full season in charge. After losing key players in Michel Vorm and Ben Davies he will be desperate to hold onto goal machine Wilfried Bony. Having said that they have brought in Bafetimbi Gomis from Lyon on a free and he is a player I’ve liked for many a years but he is a bit too similar to Bony.
Big powerful presence in the box and in the air. Gylfi Sigurdsson has also returned to the Liberty which is another big signing for them and is guaranteed first-team football and with the loss of De Guzman and Hernandez he will provide the creativity for the Swans.
Key Player – Wilfried Bony
Prediction – 12th
Spurs have appointed another new manager in Argentine Mauricio Pochettino who impressed at Southampton. I’m sure Spurs fans would like to see more incomings as at the moment they have only brought in Ben Davies, Michel Vorm and Eric Dier.
I was thoroughly impressed with Dane Eriksen last season and I hope he continues the form he showed towards the end of last season and also Roberto Soldado who had a rough first season and the forgotten man Erik Lamela are expected to have better season under the Argentine coach.
Key Player – Christian Eriksen
Prediction – 7th
Many people are tipping the Bagging to go down this season due to their lack of goals and for the somewhat left-field appointment of manager Alan Irvine. They have brought in Craig Gardner who is a good Premier League player along with Joleon Lescott who is a great signing for the club but the main man who has been brought in is £10m man Brown Ideye from Dynamo Kiev to try and get the goals to keep the Baggies boinging in the right way.
Key Player – Joleon Lescott
Prediction – 17th
I don’t think West Ham fans will ever be happy with Big Sam Allardyce as they persist on wanting him out whatever he does, but if you have players like Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole you have to play to their strengths, it’s as simple as that. Also they have done some good business in the window bringing in World Cup goal machine Enner Valencia, Mauro Zarate, Diafra Sakho, Carl Jenkinson, Diego Poyet, Cheikhou Kouyate and promising youngster Aaron Cresswell.
Key Player – Enner Valencia
Prediction – 13th