The winners and losers of any season are often hard to predict, but it is always fun trying.
Freshly promoted to the Premier league this season are Leicester City, Burnley, and QPR. It has been a while since Leicester and Burnley have graced the top flight of English football, but QPR are making a swift return after just 1 year in the Championship – lets hope they make the most of this very precious opportunity.
Most teams who are promoted tend to struggle in their first year back, lack of money to buy quality players is a contributing factor, small squads require players to play far more games than the players in the bigger teams and the step up in class can catch many teams and managers by surprise. But the newly promoted teams can surprise many people, with a competent manager at the helm it is amazing what can be achieved on a limited budget – just look at Crystal Palace in 2013/14!
The new 2014/2015 will have many tales of glory and many tales of woe for us to follow over the coming months. Will Everton, Crystal Palace and Southampton (probably not given that they have sold all of their best players) continue to over achieve as they did last season, and will Newcastle, and Aston Villa continue to perform dismally? And how will the top of the table look come the end of the season? Last season gave us the most dramatic title race in years – Man Utd fell apart, Liverpool were resurgent, Man City were inconsistent, Chelsea became distracted and Arsenal leaked goals like a sieve.
This season presents us with an interesting conundrum, instead of the traditional ‘top 3’, we could be looking at the ‘top 5’ – Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea. With only 4 places in Europe up for grabs, things could get very interesting indeed.
So who will triumph, who will struggle, here are my predictions for the new season:
Premier League Champions: Chelsea
Runners Up: Arsenal
To be relegated:
Teams who will over perform (finish in the top half of the table): Sunderland, Hull, Stoke
Teams who under perform (finish in the bottom half of the table): West Ham, Newcastle, Southampton
FA Cup winners: Liverpool
Carling Cup winners: Everton
First manager to be fired: Alan Pardew (Newcastle)
Top Scorer: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Player of the Year: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)