After a long arduous summer the Premier League is back. The first day of the season is always one full of optimism as each team starts with a clean slate and dream of success over the next nine months. But where will they finish? I have put my neck on the line here and gone for my predictions:
1st) Man United
Despite the loss of Ronaldo I still feel it's a safe bet that United possess enough quality to life the title once again. Carlo Ancelotti should inspire Chelsea to second but I feel the budget troubles at Arsenal and Liverpool will scupper their title charge.
Europa League spots
7th) Man City
Controversial but I still feel there is a way to go before the oil millions make their mark on Man City. I still feel the club is unbalanced and boss Mark Hughes is a bad run away from the sack. Everton will perform well again but their small squad will struggle to cope with the extra games in Europe. I expect Martin O’Neil to strengthen his Villa squad before the deadline and should secure 5th. Harry Redknapp will ensure Spurs don't make a similar start to last year and should be a comfortable 8th.
9th) West Ham
I expect around three or four points will separate these teams. But the tactical nous of Hodgson and Zola should see Fulham and West Ham secure a top ten finish. Sunderland have been spending big this year and the goals of Darren Bent alone should see them home comfortably. The North-West trio of Bolton, Wigan and Blackburn should gain enough home points to keep them clear of trouble.
Stoke surprised everyone last season and comfortably stayed up. I feel they will be found out to a certain extent this year but still have enough, especially at home, to secure safety. Premier League newboys Wolves and Burnley will look to take this opportunity with both hands. The standard of teams at the bottom of the Premier League is not what it was and I feel the pair can spring a surprise and stay up.
Sorry Hull, Pompey and Brum fans but I predict relegation this year. Pompey have sold nearly all their best players and the uncertainty surrounding the club will have a negative affect on performances. Hull were in freefall last year and despite the summer break I feel that poor run will continue. Alex McLeish did really well to bring Birmingham up at the first attempt but I just feel there aren’t enough goals in the side to keep them up. However my relegation tips last year proved wildly inaccurate so there is hope for you guys yet!
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to add your comments below.