Thursday, August 14, 2014

New EPL Season

The World Cup is just over and already the English Premier League (EPL) is going to start. With the new season upon us, here’s my yearly preview and prediction of the EPL!

Arsenal- Yes, this is a long shot but with the Gunners comfortably beating champions Manchester City 3-0 at Wembley for their first Community Shield since 2005 and with manager Arsene Wenger, as per normal, buying smartly in the off-season, I have a feeling this is their year. Alexis Sanchez is a world-class forward and the signings of Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy will shore up the backline. They probably will need another ball-winner in the middle of the park but overall, this has the look of a very good team. I like their chances.

Manchester City has once again spent big in the transfer market with Eliaquim Mangala arriving from Porto for £32m. Outside him, they also picked up a pair of intriguing free transfers in Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard. However questions remain on how happy Yaya Toure is in Manchester and the form (or lack of) of goalkepper Joe Hart. Manager Manuel Pellegrini's side will once again challenge for the title but I think they will come up short this year.

Surprise of the Season
Sunderland- Manager Gus Poyet managed a miracle last season by escaping relegation. With former manager Paolo di Canio no longer a factor and the inclusion of Jack Rodwell, I expect Sunderland to be mid-table (at least) this season. I mean they escaped last season by beating Chelsea and Manchester United! Surely a team like that should be safe from relegation right?

Disappointment of the Season
Southampton- Saints’ fans are in for a disappointing season. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is gone and although Ronald Koeman is a more than able replacement, the gutting of the team is something not even Koeman can do anything about. 8 first-team players have been sold to various clubs and replacements had been short in coming. I’m not sure Southampton can be considered a relegation candidate but they will be probably be somewhere down there near the bottom. After last season’s great run, that has to be a disappointment for their fans.

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