Premiership Preview

Posted: 13.08.06 in Blogging

Wow! Only a week to go until the start of the Premiership season. So here are my predictions!

  1. Chelsea

    Over the summer, Chelsea have strengthened their team a lot in the weaker areas, particularly attacking wise. With Shevchenko, Kalou and Ballack, Chelsea will score more goals this season than last. My concern for Chelsea is that they still appear light in defence – perhaps this might be rectified with the signing of Cole.

    One to watch: Salomon Kalou

  2. Manchester United

    Much like last season, Manchester United will have been written off before the season has started. However, even despite a lack of signings, Manchester United will prove formidable underdogs. With an equal mix of experience and youth, The Devils will be a headache for Mourinho. The partnership between Carrick and Rooney will quell doubts of Ferguson’s sanity.

    One to watch: Kieran Richardson

  3. Liverpool

    Liverpool have made some good signings over the summer, with Bellamy and Pennant among them. Bellamy has already shown Liverpool supporters in pre-season friendlies what he has to offer the rest of the team; and Pennant has provided some much-needed width to the team. They still fall short of Chelsea and Manchester United.

    One to watch: Jermain Pennant

  4. Arsenal

    Arsenal could be a bit of a surprise package this season. Wenger has this ability to get rid of his best players but still field a winning team. Although they could be without Ashley Cole, Arsene’s youngsters will provide adequate cover. However, I doubt they will match last year’s European Cup run.

    One to watch: Robin Van Persie

  5. Newcastle United

    I think we could be the surprise package this season. Under new management, the promise of new faces and with a promising crop of young talent, provided that there is not a repeat of the injury crisis, this season could be promising for The Magpies. The dawn of a new era beyond Shearer might be better than anticipated.

    One to watch: James Milner

  6. Tottenham Hotspur

    Spurs will regroup having had a largely successful season last year. Despite losing Carrick, Martin Jol has retained most of last year’s squad which made themselves difficult opposition last year. I feel they still lack in options up front, but since their midfield has plenty of attack, there will not be any shortage of goals.

    One to watch: Michael Dawson

  7. Portsmouth

    Portsmouth have made some extraordinarily shrewd signings since last season – with David James in goal and Sol Campbell in defence. Pompey are continuously linked with top class players as the deadline approaches and will be a surprise package this season. Harry Redknapp has started a South Coast revolution.

    One to watch: Matthew Taylor

  8. West Ham United

    The Hammers remain an understated side, that is better regarded as a team of players than a set of individuals. Their good team spirit is their greatest attribute and last year’s FA Cup run is testament to that. It may be that their lack of big names will be their undoing, but they should not struggle this season.

    One to watch: Dean Ashton

  9. Bolton Wanderers

    Largely unchanged from last season, Bolton will know exactly how to play before the season has begun. Having already found their ‘winning formula’, their biggest concern will be maintaining form. With a small squad and having failed to make significant additions to their squad, teams will have learnt to how to restrict them.

    One to watch: Ricardo Gardner

  10. Manchester City

    Stuart Pearce has had a battle to keep the big names in his squad and to encourage new players to join. Having persuaded Joey Barton to stay and wrangle Dietmar Hamann from the clutches of Bolton Wanderers, I think there is enough for Manchester City to be suspended in mid-table, but this season won’t be nice to watch.

    One to watch: Stephen Ireland

  11. Wigan Athletic

    Having sold Bullard to Fulham and ringing in the changes, Paul Jewell might have been better leaving his squad alone over the summer. If any good has come from the changes he has made over close season, it would be that Wigan once again are a surprise package. They won’t be as good this season as last.

    One to watch: Denny Landzaat

  12. Sheffield United

    Neil Warnock knows how Premiership management works. Because he has such original ideas, his side will have a cutting edge over the other promoted teams. I hope that this cutting edge will make them as good as Wigan last season, but I don’t think they will break into the top half. You might say The Blades are cutting edge…

    One to watch: Phil Jagielka

  13. Blackburn Rovers

    Having lost all their firepower from last season, I don’t have much hope for Blackburn Rovers making an impression on the top half of the league. However, their pre-season game with New Zealand demonstrates that new signing and former FC Porto frontman Benni McCarthy is still a good striker.

    One to watch: Benni McCarthy

  14. Fulham

    Fulham now has one of the larger squads in the Premiership in response Coleman’s desire not to have a repeat of past injury crises. With some good signings over the summer, Fulham should see a little resurgence this year. This largely depends on them finding their form, which has eluded them in the past.

    One to watch: Jimmy Bullard

  15. Everton

    Since losing Wayne Rooney, Everton have lost their way a little. Despite having a good forward partnership of Andrew Johnson and James Beattie, their defence will let them down this season. I also feel that their midfield needs strengthening before the transfer window closes to ensure safety.

    One to watch: James Vaughan

  16. Aston Villa

    Despite a huge coup in securing Martin O’Neill as boss, the former Celtic boss has no time in which to construct his own squad. I get the impression that even despite O’Neill in charge, many of the first team do not want to be at the club. Only O’Neill’s astute management will keep them up this season.

    One to watch: Luke Moore

  17. Reading

    I think Reading will do enough this season to ensure we see them again next season. They have some quality in the side that might surprise some – perhaps myself included! Dave Kitson Steve Sidwell and Leroy Lita proved their worth last season – the question remains whether they can ply their trade in the top league.

    One to watch: Dave Kitson

  18. Charlton Athletic

    Having lost Alan Curbishley last term, Iain Dowie has made a scurry of signings. However, I feel that while some were shrewd, others have been made in haste. I will be interested to see how the new era of Charlton after Curbishley will shape up, but I fear that Charlton will struggle this season.

    One to watch: Darren Ambrose

  19. Middlesbrough

    It would be a mistake to install an untested manager with no management experience at the helm of a high flying Premiership club. After culling some of the team’s biggest names, Southgate has got his work cut out this season to keep the team out of the relegation zone. It will be a poor follow-up to last year’s UEFA Cup run.

    One to watch: Lee Cattermole

  20. Watford

    With a desire to keep things financially sound this year in case of relegation, Watford will probably succeed only in insuring and ensuring their downfall. Some players, like Chris Powell, have been introduced to share experience with a naive squad, but this won’t be enough to keep them out of the bottom three.

    One to watch: Darius Henderson

  1. weiran says:

    I don’t have as much confidence in Pennant as you do, he has yet to meet his potential, even though having many chances at Arsenal and Birmingham. He could be explosive if he does, but this may be his last chance.

    Also, add Hleb into the Arsenal watch list :).

  2. Steve says:

    Add Rosicky to the Arsenal watch list you mean.

    Watford will not be relegated, Wigan will go down with Reading and Middlesbrough.

  3. Steve says:

    Nah… everyone will be watching Rosicky anyway… I’m trying to prove a point!

    These players are ones that people generally wouldn’t bother noticing otherwise.

  4. dave says:

    Gan’t agree with the three teams that are going down.i reckon it will be Fulham,Reading and Watford.

    And as for West Ham finishing below Newcastle dream on.

  5. Steve says:

    We’ll see 😉

  6. dave says:

    Sorry i forgot that Sheff Utd had gone up,all of Chesterfield hope that they get relegated,so now my picks for relegation are Watford,Sheff Utd and Fulham.

  7. trancefixed says:

    Being a Man Utd fan. if you offer me 2nd place now, I’d take it. That might sound like herasy, but with Chelsea’s signings, an improving Liverpool and the fact Arsenal can’t have a season as bad as last one, 2nd place wont be a bad result.

    Overall your predictions look there or there abouts, but I doubt Middlesbrough will get relegated, even with Southgate in charge. Chris Coleman took over at Fulham with almost no experience and has done really well considoring the players they have.

  8. Steve says:

    The difference with Coleman is that he did his coaching badges before taking charge; Roeder was in charge of the youth setup at Newcastle United and was manager at West Ham United before taking up the mantle at the Newcastle United first team.

    I think Gareth Southgate would do a lot better if he had done the coaching badges first. That’s not to say he’s a bad manager or that he will make one – just one that is naive and inexperienced.

    And I think Manchester United will be a better unit this season than Liverpool. I also think that their youth setup is probably one of the best of the country. With ours (!).

  9. Will says:

    Good break down of the team.

  10. GeoffBrady says:

    […] the beginning of this season, I wrote my preview of how the Premiership the shape up by the end. Now that it’s finished, I have written a […]

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