A fan's guide to 2013-14 English Premier League season
As fans gear up for a brand new English Premier League season, the fact that most of the top clubs will be under new management makes this season all the more exciting. Here’s a possible prediction of how the season will unfold:
Predicted position: 1st
Why: The Jose Mourinho factor. With some of the best attackers like Eden Hazard and Juan Mata in the squad, Chelsea are a threat going forward. And with David Luiz and John Terry in defence, they look solid at the back too. A quality striker like a certain Wayne Rooney can stamp Chelsea to even greater heights.
Club: Manchester City
Predicted position: 2nd
Why: Manuel Pellegrini is a good manager but has never tried his luck in EPL. The way he handles the pressure of the league and English media will be the difference. They may have lost Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli but have replaced them with Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic. However, new signing Fernandinho would be the one to watch out for.
Club: Manchester United
Predicted position: 3rd
Why: David Moyes did brilliantly at Everton but at United he faces the daunting task of replacing one of the greatest managers of the game. Having not bought any of their targets, they don’t look like they will get a big signing this year and with the Rooney situation getting uglier every passing day, there is too much backroom drama at United.
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Predicted position: 4th
Why: It looks like Real Madrid’s interest in Gareth Bale is waning and this could be great news for Spurs. They have made some good signings like Soldado and Paulinho already. This is the year Spurs will easily edge out bitter rivals Arsenal.
Predicted position: 5th
Why: Arsene Wenger made promises again this year of big names coming to Arsenal but like every year they seem hallow. Luis Suarez looks like he will stay at Liverpool and that means Arsenal will continue to be mediocre.
Predicted position: 6th
Why: Suarez is key for Liverpool this season. If he stays they can mount a decent challenge with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge helping Suarez. Brendan Rogers has the quality to pull the club out of the rut they are in.
Predicted position: 7th
Why: With the signing of Wilfried Bony, Swansea will be a great team to watch. With him in the team, last year’s breakout performer, Michu, can perform better.
Predicted position: 8th
Why: Roberto Martinez replaced Moyes and if he can keep Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, he can push the club to a decent finish. Young players like John Stones and Ross Barkley are the ones to look out for!
Club: Aston Villa
Predicted position: 9th
Why: They had a dreadful season last year but Paul Lambert’s greatest coup has been to retain striker Christian Benteke. They can really push for a 9th place finish with their young squad.
Club: West Ham United
Predicted position: 10th
Why: Any Carroll’s move is a great deal for the Hammers. With the signing of Stuart Downing, they might find a good balance in their team.
Predicted position: 11th
Why: With the signing of Victor Wanyama, Southampton might have found the missing piece in the puzzle. With the likes of Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, they look like they will have a decent second season in the top flight.
Club: West Bromwich Albion
Predicted position: 12th
Why: West Brom will miss Romelu Lukaku who was such a force last season. They bought Nicolas Anelka and we know for a fact that the Frenchman likes to play in this league.
Club: Newcastle United
Predicted position: 13th
Why: Anything is possible at St James’ Park this season. Alan Pardew is a decent manager and has a good squad at disposal but they may not push for a Europa League spot like they did a couple of years back. However, one can’t really see them battling for relegation either.
Predicted position: 14th
Why: Fulham will rely on Dimitar Berbatov who can turn the game around in a matter of seconds with his unorthodox ways.
Club: Stoke City
Predicted position: 15th
Why: While Mark Hughes messed up at QPR, he is expected to perform better at Stoke who are a balanced side.
Club: Norwich City
Predicted position: 16th
Why: Norwich have bought the likes of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper who can bang in the goals.
Predicted position: 17th
Why: Just like last season, Sunderland might pull the rabbit out of the hat and avoid relegation.
Club: Cardiff City
Predicted position: 18th
Why: Craig Bellamy knows his way around the EPL but this isn’t 2009 and he and his fellow Welshmen will struggle in the big league. Cardiff signed Steven Caulker who is a good talent but that still may not change the inevitable.
Club: Crystal Palace
Predicted position: 19th
Why: Without Wilfred Zaha, Palace does not have the skills to stay in the top flight for more than a season.
Club: Hull City
Predicted position: 20th
Why: With no known signings, Hull doesn’t seem up for the task this season.