Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Premier League 2012-2013 Preview

The Premier League gets underway on the 18th August 2012, I'm sure fans alike are excited at the sheer though of this although our visit to QPR on the opening day doesn't fill me with much hope with that voodoo hanging over us but we digress.

The Opening fixtures stand like this-

Arsenal v Sunderland
Everton v Manchester United(Monday)
Fulham v Norwich City
Manchester City v Southampton(Sunday)
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Reading v Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea(Sunday)
Some tough opening fixtures there for the likes of Southampton, Sunderland, Spurs and Wigan.
Here's my thoughts on how each club will do this season:
Arsenal - 
The Gunners could mount a successful bid at the title this season but it all depends on that man again RVP. Is his heart in the club or is he already thinking about leaving next summer or worse before then. Good signings in the form of Podolski and Giroud will be vital, Wenger needs them fit and firing come the season. With Wilshire and Diaby still struggling Arsenal still need another big signing in my opinion someone who can create although they have Ramsey and Song someone world class. With Walcott and AOC on the wings you can bet there's enough pace. Prediction-4th to 6th
Aston Villa - 
A tricky one here but with a new manager in the form of Paul Lambert who did really well at Norwich I think they could be on the up. Darren Bent missing most of last season will be fit and ready and they have brought in Karim El Ahmadi who is a decent tricky player they could have plenty of pace to worry sides. Although will sorely miss Petrov who is of course recovering from Cancer(The best wishes to him of course) Prediction - 9/10th
Chelsea - 
I think Chelsea could be the suprise package this season although losing Drogba is a huge loss bringing in Hazard and Marin so quickly shows they are keen to re-invest with some pace and guile, The signing of Oscar from Internacional is the key one for me. Looks promising at the Olympics and so young as well has all the attributes to succeed. Other top clubs really missed out on him. Need some more firepower up front I feel unless Torres and Sturridge can do it on their own which I don't doubt. In the market for 2 more signings apparently. Prediction- 1st/2nd
Everton - 
David Moyes I believe cannot take Everton any further without investment, he continually defies the odds each season to deliver them well in the top half but with only Pienarr and Naismith coming in and losing Tim Cahill is a big loss and needs to be addressed very quickily. Do they have enough firepower as well as some aging veterans isn't a good mix. Prediction - 10/11th
Fulham - 
Another Tricky one Martin Jol has brought in some players from the Bundesliga and of course Rodellega from Wigan but there's still a lack of the star factor at Craven Cottage. I think their season could depend on the pre-departure of Clint Dempsey to Liverpool if he goes they will really have a job on their hands to do well this season. Prediction - 13/14th
My opinion if all goes to plan with BR taking over they could re-establish themselves as a powerful force over the coming season, This season will be about building and developing a style to suit both manager and club. Lost 4 players including Kuyt, Maxi and Aurelio and just brought in Borini so far although talks to bring in Joe Allen and of course Clint Dempsey could really give them a push this season. Midfield really needs to play well and support Suarez and Borini this season because it wasn't defending that was their problem last season it was scoring. Prediction - 5th/6th
Man City-
Man City suprised everyone last season by lifting the Premier League but this season they have a slight problem in the fact that many teams have brought players in to contest them so the title race could be a little harder. They have plenty of quality players as it stands and look set to be up there again. Although lack of investment so far is irregular due to the fact with the fair play league coming in soon they won't be able to spent lots so expect some signings before the season. Prediction - 2/3/4th place
Manchester United-
You can bet your money on it that SAF will be determined even harder to win back the Premier League which they lost so cruelly last season. Really need investment to move forward with 6 departures this season including some vital experienced men there needs to be areas strengthened. Kagawa and Nick Powell have come in and looked impressive on their pre-season tour. I think more is needed in the middle alongside these players with Scholes and Giggs surely having only a season or two left in them. Looking scarce at the back heading into the season but surely will be addressed. Do they lack firepower is the question? Prediction- 1st
Newcastle United- 
I think this season will be a bit tough on Newcastle this season due to the fact everyone knows what they are about now and players like Ben Arfa and Cisse will not be underestimated. They were the suprise package last season but with teams slowly getting used to them where do they go from there and with the Europa League it's a hectic schedule. Squad Rotation being key, Haven't brought in much apart from youngsters so clearly looking to the future. Prediction- 6/7th
Norwich City-
Another one of the suprise packages last season although with their manager leaving and being replaced by Chris Houghton, I don't think it looks so positive this season in fairness. Strong at home and  not bad away. They have brought in players essentially from lower league sides which seems to be their ethos throughout the league so clearly aiming towards the future. Could be a long hard season for them. Prediction- 15/16th
Well the summer has been kind to them they have brought in players such as Andy Johnson, Park Ji Sung and Junior Hoilett who all have premier league experience so expect them to do very well this season although with the infamous Joey Barton in their ranks squad harmony will be key to a successful season. I expect a much better showing than last season. Prediction - 13/14th
Another club who has done plenty of arrivals this summer although varied they have plenty of promise although some lack experience which could be vital come the turning of the year when it gets a little harder. I still expect Reading to struggle though this season even with their players. It all depends on how they get off because all promoted teams need a good start so their heads won't go down. Prediction - 16/17/18th
As much as I like Southampton really think it could be a long ol season for these. Some promising youngsters in the form of Clyne and Rodriguez but do they have players who could really adapt at the top level. Alot depends on Hitman Ricky Lambert he's been able to do it down the years but some players can only do it against lower opposition so big season needed from him. Prediction - 18th
Stoke City-
Stoke only won 1 game since the turning of the year last season which clearly shows that their tactics of boring football is wearing off. I'm not knocking it if it works then why not but other teams are beginning to work them out now and it's getting harder for them to suprise teams. I think this could be the year that they go down although they have defied critics before so wouldn't be suprised if they did it again this year. Prediction - 19th
Sunderland have a top manager in the form of Martin O Neill and some very classy players like Mclean, Sessegnon and Larsson so would expect them in another season of mid table to top half contention. Can't see them doing any better than that they lack the complete squad to compete near the top half. Prediction- 10th
Swansea City-
Swansea as my team have undergone a transformation again this summer with another manager heading out after a successful season so in entered Michael Laudrup. A successful player no doubt, but his managerial career is yet to be decided so big season needed from the Swans. Managed to retain their squad although rumours linking them as expected. Brought in some defensive steel in Chico and some goalscorers and creators in midfield in Michu and De Guzman still need another striker to compete and provide competition. Same as last year i'm predicting. 10th
Tottenham Hotspur- 
Really think this is where Spurs finish in the top four again this season. They have a very strong squad and perhaps need another clinical finisher who could get 20 goals but other than that their squad seems settled bar Modric and they have quality all over the park so consistency is key under AVB. The signings of Sigurdsson and Vertoghen are pivotal and will play a key role under AVB i'm sure of it. Prediction - 4th
West Brom- 
Could be a long hard season for the Baggiest without Roy Hodgson. He really give them a style and a purpose last season but the squad has stayed the same and can be very predictable. I'm assuming with Steve Clark in charge it will be the same again this season. Can see them knicking results here and there but lack the consistency to climb the table. Prediction - 15th
West Ham-
West Ham will do well to stay up this season, They played alot of long ball in getting up under Big Sam but Stoke have found out that it isn't always successful they have brought in Andy Caroll on loan who fits this philosophy very well so this could be the club for him. Many signings with premier league experience including Jaaskelainen, Mccartney and Diame who can obviously do a job this season but I believe they have the quality and the set up to progress and stay in the league for years to come. Prediction- 14th
Wigan Athletic-
This will be the season that Wigan run out of time, They seem to have a poor season and rally themselves towards the home stretch when they really need it but the problem they have is that with teams getting stronger they won't let them have the run at them this time around. So expect a very long season as a Wigan fan and as last season proved the fans will be quick to tell you what they think when you are not performing. Prediction- 20th

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