Thursday, January 20, 2022

2008/09 Premier League Predictions: Places 1-10 (Part II)

1 – Chelsea

Having lost the Champions League Final on penalties and been pipped to the Premiership title by just two points, Chelsea were the ultimate bridesmaid last season.
After a summer to lick their wounds, the Blues will come back stronger in 08/09.

With Luiz Felipe Scolari now at the helm and having captured Deco and Jose Bosingwa this summer, Chelsea have what it takes to beat United to the league title this time around.

The Stamford Bridge club have achieved a massive victory in maintaining Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, even if its only for another year. Time in which to win a league title.

2 – Manchester United

United are likely to be without Ronaldo for August and September, meaning their star winger will miss trips to Liverpool (13 Sept) and Chelsea (21 Sept). Two games that could well be make or break to United’s season.

Even when he’s not playing, the Portuguese star is bound to be the key topic of conversation. Can he possibly deliver as greatly as he did last campaign? Will he still have the desire to achieve with United, having seen his dream move to Madrid deteriorate?

Following last season’s Champions League and Premiership double success, Fergie’’s men start the new campaign firm favourites to win the league again. But Chelsea have what it takes to win the crucial head-to-head clashes between the two heavyweights this time around, meaning United will have to settle for a close second place finish.

3 – Liverpool

The pressure will be on for Rafa Benitez to see his Liverpool side close the gap on the top two this season having finished eleven points behind United and nine points off Chelsea in 07/08.

The signing of Robbie Keane will prove crucial in running both clubs closer in the title chase and possibly breaking the top two stranglehold before long.

United and Chelsea still boast stronger line-ups and strength in depth and for that reason , Liverpool will have to make to with third spot this season with the promise of better to come.

Success in the Champions League or domestic cups is a strong possibility.

4 – Arsenal

Having lost Thierry Henry last summer, many foresaw the wheels coming off the Arsenal wagon. With Arsene Wenger at the helm though, those people should have thought twice.

On song, Arsenal still play the most attractive, free-flowing football in the division. But that’s not to say the Gunners always personify the beautiful game. Cesc Fabregas had a massive downturn in form at the back end of last campaign and William Gallas’ displays of petulance brought widespread condemnation.

Samir Nasri should prove a more than adequate replacement for the overrated Aleksandr Hleb, while Aaron Ramsey is a great buy for the future.

Had Arsenal the funds to compete in the transfer market with Chelsea and United, then one wonders what team Arsene Wenger would be capable of putting together. That’s for the Emirates dreamers to speculate, as they finish off the title charge again this season.

5 – Tottenham

Having been strongly tipped to break into the top four last season, Tottenham flattered to deceive with a mid-table finish.

But with Juande Ramos in charge for his first full season at White Hart Lane, such disappointment won’t be repeated. Boasting players such as Heurelho Gomes, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King, David Bentley, Luka Modric and Giovani dos Santos, Spurs have the strongest squad outside the top four.

While Robbie Keane (and possibly Dimitar Berbatov’s) departure from N17 was a big blow for Spurs, they have personal elsewhere on the pitch to compensate for this.

6 – Portsmouth

In Defoe and Crouch, Portsmouth have the best strike force outside of the top four. Having won the FA Cup last season, the pair can fire Pompey to becoming a member of the top six in English football.

Due to lack of strength in depth at Fratton Park, Harry Redknapp may find it difficult to juggle his players to fulfil the commitments of playing European football and competing in the league. Priority is therefore likely to be given to their domestic campaign.

Home form must be improved upon last season to make a top six finish a reality.

7 – Aston Villa

Having been plagued with the Gareth Barry, will he, won the go to Liverpool saga all summer, Aston Villa will just be looking forward to getting on with playing.

The amount of English players in Martin O’Neill’s side is highly pleasing to see and Luke Young, Steven Sidwell and Nicky Shorey should complement their squad well.

Ashley Young was one of the league’s best players last season and Gabriel Agbonlahor has the ability to net more goals than he did last campaign.

Like Portsmouth, Villa are very much a club going in the right direction.

8 – Blackburn Rovers

The loss of David Bentley to Tottenham will prove highly significant, given the supply he provided the likes of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy last season.

Paul Ince has everything to prove as a manager and his signings of Robbie Fowler and Carlos Villanueva don’t look particularly wise moves on paper. That said, Paul Robinson could prove a highly shrewd investment if he can recover his form and confidence.

With goals harder to come by at Ewood Park this season, Blackburn will yet again miss out on UEFA Cup qualification.

9 – Everton

With the departure of Andy Johnson and the lack of transfer activity in the summer, the Toffees are set to lose their grip on the Premiership’s top six this campaign.

While there is quality across the pitch in the likes of Yobo, Lescott, Arteta, Neville and Cahill, the lack of a recognised front pairing will be their undoing this campaign.

Yakubu will need to improve his hall of 13 league goals from last season, while David Moyes will need to identify a new striking partner.

10 – Fulham

The west Londoners have been busy in this summer’s transfer window and have the players capable of becoming this season’s surprise success story.

Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora should form a prolific partnership upfront, boosted by the supply of Zoltan Gera, Simon Davies, Danny Murphy and Jimmy Bullard.

Defensively they don’t look so impressive but it was attacking endeavour that brought Fulham so much success in the second part of the last campaign.

Craven Cottage will be an enjoyable place watch high scoring, end-to-end football this season.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Greeves


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Van Basten
Van Basten
13 years ago

The top four sounds right to me unless Arsenal come in with at least 2 more solid signings of players with experience.

Watch out for Newcastle though, I think they will surprise many….

tapiwa
tapiwa
13 years ago

i am a bit biassed on this one because i am a blues follower so yeah i couldnt agree with you more.with the mid-field featuring lampsy,essein,deco and ballack and drogba as the finisher its just too good to be a dream.but i am worried about man u those guys are trully devils.arsenal nah hhhh.liverpool its just that at times they make love to lady luck.
i wonder what mourinho has got to say about your predictions

love aka thedrog

tapiwa
tapiwa
13 years ago

i am a bit biassed on this one because i am a blues follower so yeah i couldnt agree with you more.with the mid-field featuring lampsy,essein,deco and ballack and drogba as the finisher its just too good to be a dream.but i am worried about man u those guys are trully devils.arsenal nah hhhh.liverpool its just that at times they make love to lady luck.
i wonder what mourinho has got to say about your predictions

love
aka thedrog

Mexy unn
Mexy unn
13 years ago

I dont think dat any other team will break into d top 4.But i see toffees and spurs setting tough challenges to d top 4

maroses
maroses
13 years ago

I’m a ManU fun and I’ve got no comment on the predictions. I’ll only say D Red devils do less talking and more action. We’ll C…

tapiwa
tapiwa
13 years ago

hope you all heard the weekend results chelsea was on fire and man you ha ha ha cant help but laugh at those devils who cant even kick the ball.
and chelsea dont stop keep going wonder whast the score could have been had the drog been there umm

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