Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pre-Season Predictions

Lots of transfers, big drama, and three months later, it's time for another Barclay's Premier League season to begin. But not before I present my preseason picks. I will also provide my Pick for promoted teams in next campaign.

This may seem to be a little out of the ordinary, but let me continue with some narrative to the predictions. Arsenal and Chelsea will be the only contenders to the title alongside City. however, the gap between first and third may likely result in a dismissal of Jose Mourinho from the Blues. Arsenal, meanwhile, have spent more money but not on a striker in the pre-season. By the end of the summer transfer window, Arsenal will (finally) get that striker they need in case of emergency. But I feel the Gunners will remain mostly silent in the winter window and that will cost them at some point.

Liverpool's eighth place finish is rather easy to explain. While they did a lot of shopping this summer, including two of Southampton's main facets, they will not completely replace all of Luis Suarez's goals. But in turn, at least they won't have to worry about his pitch discipline problems. Since Tony Pulis took over managerial duties last campaign, Crystal palace have been one of the most competitive non-Champions League contending competitors. Selhurst Park has become a place with an eerie aura around the ground when the visitors arrive.

Leicester has a similar situation at home as they earned 102 points in the Championship last season to grab the first promotion spot. They won't be a pushover on the road either. United are going to have to deal with their noisy neighbors in the blue half of Manchester. However, Louis van Gaal's arrival is to be welcomed as the Red Devils can see themselves at the top even by next season. While Saints are losing players left and right, they still have time to regroup, but it needs to be sooner rather than later. Southampton cannot afford to lose some of the games I have picked them to win, otherwise it may just as well be the to get relegated.

Arrows indicate the winner and "D" indicates a draw

That should cover the main talking points. The above table breaks down the league schedule. I have based these predictions on transfer rumors, form against opponents, and form at each venue (with the exception of the promoted teams). While I am making predictions, there is one more bit of business to tend to. My picks or promotion are: 1 Notts Forest, 2 Brighton/Hove Albion, and 4 Blackburn. Next time, we'll look at Arsenal's first Premier League tilt of the 2014-15 season at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace as well as the other fixtures in Week One. Until then, bye for now.


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