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09 Aug 2017 12:21:47
With the league starting in just over 48 hours it’s time to look at the title contenders (note, I’m not including Liverpool as I’m going to write a more in-depth post on us and I am including Everton because everyone loves Ed25).

Chelsea were a bit of a surprise package last year, Conte took a group of players and got them playing cohesively and efficiently and it brought Chelsea the title, I expect this year to be harder though. Summer activity has focussed on replacing unwanted players and whilst this suggests that Conte’s squad now matches his style better I’m not convinced that it’s actually improved. Come May Chelsea will be in the hunt but they’re not favourites.

On their day Spurs were the best team in the league last season but a thin squad meant it wasn’t their day enough. I don’t think Walker leaving will hurt the team but the lack of any incoming players will. Spurs may be very busy in the last week of the transfer window but whilst they may find bargains this strategy is risky at best. I think Spurs may have missed their window for a title and their battle this season will be for a top four finish.

There’s little doubt that Guardiola has the finest array of talent available in the Premier League but the question is can he bring the consistency needed to lift the title? The fact that his transfer activity has been very focussed suggests that Guardiola has a clear plan which bodes well for City’s aspirations and if the team does gel then the title is City’s to lose.

Arsenal remind me of Liverpool in the 90s, every summer a new player is identified as the last piece of the puzzle that will return the club to glory, it never turned out that way for us and I can’t see it working for them either. Lacazette will score goals but I’m not convinced he’s an elite level striker and if Sanchez does leave (Arsenal would be crazy to allow his contract to run down) then I can’t see them getting top four.

I was really surprised how badly Utd did last year, Mourinho and that squad should have done better than sixth. Goals were a clear problem for them but, whilst I think Lukaku is a very sensible signing, he won’t create scoring opportunities, he will just put away those presented to him. Matic may release Pogba allowing him to cause havoc but Mourinho is searching for more attacking options and Utd’s success may depend on who he can bring in, regardless finishing outside the top 4 would be a disaster.

Have Everton made the same mistakes Tottenham and Liverpool made before them? Bale and Suarez left for a lot of money which improved the squad but not the first team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Rooney revival but the loss of Lukaku and Barkley will hurt. Top 6 may be achievable but there isn’t the quality for top 4 (sorry Ed25).

My prediction (with Liverpool removed) :

Agree4 Disagree0

09 Aug 2017 12:37:25
I think united have, unfortunately, bought well.

Matic will provide cover and allow, as you say, Pogba to get forward more.

Mikitarian (that's as close as I'm going to get) i think will be more effective, and combined with Herrera, Mata, Pogba, Fellaini and Martial they will be dangerous.

They are my dark horses. Keep De Gea and back 4 strengthened by Lindelof and i can see them winning plenty of games 1-0.

09 Aug 2017 12:44:06
Agree with AggerDo, sadly.

09 Aug 2017 12:45:57
Their midfield is ominously strong. I think they will be difficult to beat.

09 Aug 2017 13:11:13
From the little I have seen, Linderof looks a liability.

09 Aug 2017 13:19:35
Utd won't win it they are draw merchants or park the bus team as others say! Zlatan and Fellini where their star players last year they are starting all over again this year! City will win it and Jesus will be the player of the year!
Wembley will mess spurs up!
Arsenal will be back in the hunt!
Chelski will feel the loss of costa they could melt!
As for us it's all about staying fit id play the kids in the cups concentrate on cl and the league! Hopefully a few more faces in!

09 Aug 2017 13:41:18
We can only hope Nick!

09 Aug 2017 13:42:28
We should factor in Mourinho too I feel. He is no longer top dog in the managerial circle so I think his bruised ego may cost them points.

09 Aug 2017 14:02:20
I think united have bought incredibly poorly, matic in his day was a very good player but hasn't played much football for a while, everybody talks about 'letting pogba get forward' what does that mean? He's never did much when he hs got forward, united will play the same as und LVG side ways passes very slow then punt it long and hope for the best. United then got rid of one of the best strikers in the world for lukaku who requires 10 chances to score one, Everton from that deal have done very well. United have bought the Swedish lovren. So basically united I think will miss out on top 4 again, Chelsea are pushing out a top class striker proven in the premier league for morata who although looks good, will take time to adapt. Arsenal may sneak in to the top 4 not due to their talent but due to others for all the money spent not necessarily strengthening. Tottenham will depend on the Wembley effect. Everton if lookman goes will miss the pace. City as mentioned have the most talented squad but will they gel? It's hard to keep a large group of egotistical footballers happy, just look at YAYA. Liverpool if they kept Coutinho we would be top 2 I have no doubt, if he is not replaced and he leave I don't think it's as bad as people think we have players to slot in and do a good job, perhaps not the same job but a good enough one. I would like us to sign a striker if Coutinho goes and see what happens dropping firmino back. I think it will be another close run fight but I don't see why everybody has all this faith in united they really aren't all that. obvioysoy just my opinion but I'd like to hear others.

09 Aug 2017 15:03:16
I think

Man City have spent a fortune but have yet to find their feet under Pep in the PL. tough to call but think top 3 with shout at the title of Pep can adapt and gel the team

Man Utd continues to look like a bunch of expensive individuals who have never met, sprinkled with a few players who are stealing a living as footballers (fellaini) . Add in the fact Mourinho looks on the verge of going into a 6 month sulk at any moment and I think they will struggle again

Chelsea are a machine and Conte will keep them efficient but not sure how Morata will adapt to the PL. Think they have a shot at top 2 and will be challenging again

Tottenham are tough - to me they had the best back 5 by a mile but selling walker won't help and I still remain to be convinced by them somehow. I think it's the lack of depth and they rely too much on Kane. Think they'll just make top 4 though

Arsenal I think will struggle for top 4 again. I think their midfield is inconsistent, Sanchez unsettled and while I like Lacazette, I expect he will need time to adapt to PL

Everton - sorry Ed25 but just don't see it. maybe when all your youngsters mature a bit more but losing Lukaku is going to hurt and Rooney is past it

Liverpool I thought was in with a decent shout if we could get a couple of top FBs, a top CB and winger and keep our players. Unfortunately Robertson is still a question mark for me, VVD is up in the air and Coutinho may yet leave. Salah is a very astute piece of business though and if Sturridge remains fit we could be a surprise package as our attack looks lethal. I think we could still make top 4 if Coutinho goes, but would depend on injuries. If he stays, we manage to get VVD in and the squad remains fit I would say we could be challenging.

My prediction
Man city
Man Utd

09 Aug 2017 15:44:55
Matic was world class yesterday. He is an excellent player. People are so biased they just can't accept any non liverpool players. It's such shame! He won the league with a piss poor fabregas at Chelsea!
Liverpool without Coutinho is like athletes running all over without knowing what and where to go!

09 Aug 2017 19:19:57
My prefiction



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