Premier League Predictions/Preview 2011-2012

That's Torres saying hello to the bench.

Now that the U.S. – Mexico friendly is done and dusted, and Jürgenball has been put on display, we can concentrate on the impending return of the English Premier League. This season has the potential to be the most crowded at the top for decades. Squads haven’t necessarily become stronger, but big clubs have strengthened in areas they already have quality in, except United, of course.

United locked up the services of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, and De Gea this summer. Although De Gea was a necessary buy because of Edwin’s departure, Young and Jones are additions to already strong wing play and a stout defense. With Cleverley and Welbeck back from their loans, United have regained strength in the front, as if they needed more, and in the midfield. I’m tipping United for the title again. If their first team can stay healthy, there will be no stopping them. Sir Alex Ferguson has the tools and  the old master’s skill to make sure this happens.

Liverpool are a squad overflowing with young English talent at the moment. Carroll, Adam, Downing, and Henderson can all make impacts at Liverpool. Also, Liverpool have Meireles, Aquilani, Lucas, and even Christian Poulsen on the payroll. Many of these foreign players are on their way out it seems. Dalglish is interested in injecting English talent into the Liverpool squad at the expense of proven performers like Meireles and Aquilani. Whether this is a mistake or not is yet to be seen. Though I think this has the potential to be the mistake that keeps Liverpool out of the top four. Regardless, with a healthy Stevie G. a lot is possible. However, with all of the talent currently at Liverpool, I can finally say with or without SG8 I’m expecting a lot from this squad this season. I think my confused analysis of Liverpool is what a lot of people are feeling about this squad. It’s an unhealthy mix of anticipation and anxiety. Eek.

Arsenal are probably the most frustrating team in the league. I really don’t know what else to say. Anyway, it’s all already been said. Even as a supporter of the hated Chelsea FC, I support their style and most of the time hope it works.  They have no depth in the back. They’re dynamite up front, if RvP can stay healthy. They need help in center midfield. Yet, Arsene insists on buying players like Gervinho and Campbell who do not serve to fill these gaps. I feel bad for Arsenal supporters. You have the cash, but it’s not being used properly.

Chelsea have spent around £42m this summer. There has been no improvement in the first team squad. I don’t know whether I should write a strongly worded letter to Roman or find the nearest cuddly woodland creature and yell in its face, “WHY?! WHY IN THE HELL HAVE WE BOUGHT A 19 YEAR OLD SPANISH CENTER DEFENDER WHEN THE MOST PRESSING NEEDS ARE IN MIDFIELD?! MICHAEL ESSIEN IS CONSTANTLY ON A FUCKING STRETCHER. RAMIRES SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY ONE WITH THE SKILL AND WORK RATE TO MAKE AN IMPACT RIGHT NOW??!!??! WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT PASTORE?!” Chelsea desperately crave creativity in the midfield. Lampard isn’t going to provide it. Malouda is being pushed outside, even though he could be wonderful in center midfield. AVB sold the only other player with a decent left foot that doesn’t feel like cutting in from the right, Yuri Zhirkov. I understand the moves for Oriol, Lukaku, and Courtois are about depth, and that Yossi being healthy and a change in training methods may be enough to change the way Chelsea play. I’m really scared as a Chelsea supporter, and I hope AVB knows what he’s doing.

City have bought every striker ever. It’s official. They have all of them. Also, they got Clichy. I’m scawed.

Tottenham have not strengthened a squad that was easily dropped out of Champions League competition last season and fell short of the top four. Spurs will be participating in the Europa League in 2011-2012. Balancing both continental competition and the league will be another difficult task for Redknapp and Tottenham. Tottenham’s strength is in the back and in midfield, but they’ve been lacking up front. I feel if Pavlyuchenko stays and plays to his potential, Tottenham could make a serious push for the top four and in the Europa League. However, there are five other teams with stronger squads vying for those same spots, and we’re talking about Tottenham here. They never play to their potential.

There are too many teams to get into, but as you can tell I’m very excited. Newcastle have gotten substantially worse after losing Carroll, Nolan and putting Barton on a free in the past 8 months.  Sunderland have bought about 8 new players this summer to add the necessary depth to make a push for 5th. I’m excited to see where Fulham and Everton end up. I think Wigan and Wolves are going down.

Most of all, despite my club allegiance, I’m very excited about the return of QPR to the top flight. Swansea will be underdogs in almost every match this season. Norwich wear the most awful colors. I just want to see that happening.

Anyway, I’m pumped for this season! BRING ON SATURDAY! My end of season table. We all know that it gets pretty hard predicting between 10 and 17:

  1. Manchester United
  2. Manchester City
  3. Chelsea
  4. Liverpool
  5. Arsenal
  6. Tottenham Hotspur
  7. Sunderland
  8. Everton
  9. Stoke City
  10. Bolton Wanderers
  11. Aston Villa
  12. Fulham
  13. Blackburn Rovers
  14. West Bromwich Albion
  15. Newcastle
  16. Queens Park Rangers
  17. Swansea City
  18. Wigan Athletic
  19. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  20. Norwich City
Alright, let me know what I missed. It was a bunch. :)

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