Welcome back to the finest league in the footballing world, the English Premier League is back with a bang this weekend. After a hugely disappointing World Cup for most of the premier league stars (English players make up the bulk of that fact) the return of the domestic season is a welcome distraction. Chelsea will be looking to hold onto their league title but after last weekends defeat to Manchester United in the community shield they may have to work hard to retain their crown. The random fixture generator has thrown up some great opening day fixtures with four of the top 6 sides facing each other. A title decider on the first weekend? Only time will tell. Read on for our break down of the 2010/11 EPL Season.
This year represents the most open race for those top four champions league spots that we have ever seen. Pick any four from Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Spurs. Ok so Chelsea and Man Utd will most probably be in the top two, third at worst, so that only leaves two more spaces to be shared between four very competitive squads. Lets start with Man City, who haven’t they purchased this summer might be easier but they have added some top midfielders and strengthened their defence as well as keeping Adebayor, Tevez, Robinho (temporarily) and you can start to see a very strong squad. With rumours of James Milner and Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining soon they will be expecting to hit fourth spot as a minimum.
Liverpool have been very lucky to keep Torres and Gerrard as well as bringing in Roy Hodgson as manager and the free of Joe Cole, so expect a 100% improvement from them this season. Arsenal can also count themselves lucky for keeping Cesc Fabregas who will give them a real chance of competing this season. Then there is Tottenham Hotspur who under Harry Redknapp have punched well above their weight. Now the big time beckons, Tottenham will be quietly confident they can get in and around the big boys this season. A great season is in prospect and it is one we cant wait to get started.
For me, I have a bad feeling Man City will be top, then Chelsea, United and Liverpool. Neither Arsenal or Tottenham have made major signings so far and you just can’t tread water in this league – Joe
So mid table these days is really classed as 7th-14th and we can see Villa, Everton, Blackburn, Birmingham, Fulham, Bolton and Newcastle falling into this section. With Martin O’Neill walking out and Ashley Young and James Milner seemingly on their way out of Villa park this could be a tough season for the claret and blues. Everton should be in for a good season if they can keep their central pair of Arteta and Cahill fit but I don’t think they have the strength in depth to compete against the top six teams. Fulham will do well to maintain a decent mid-table finish after the loss of Roy Hodgson. An amazing run to the final of the Europa League should enable them to creep into the top half this year and we all know how good Mark Hughes is. Newcastle will be looking to consolidate their position in the EPL this year and hopefully they will be able to. They are to big a side to be out of the EPL in my opinion, but it wont be easy for them as they have failed to sign anyone of real quality, are we being too generous by placing them in the mid-table section?
I don’t think we are to far out here, but I expect West Ham (under Avram Grant and Sunderland to be in this mix… – Joe
Bottom half / Relegation
Unfortunately for Blackpool I cant see them staying up, simplesss. They will have a great season and provide away fans with a great excuse for a long weekend away sampling the bright lights of the Blackpool sea front but it is looking like a swift return to the Championship. West Brom will follow them, they never make the right signings that enables them to stay up and again they haven’t done this season. The last relegation spot is not so clear cut but we can see Wolves and Wigan struggling this year. No real quality in both squads so it may be a long hard season for these guys. West Ham, Sunderland and Stoke may just do enough to keep their heads above water.
The three going down have to be West Brom, Blackpool and Wolves for me. Those 3 just lack the quality of the other teams, and I am afraid in this league you need more than just hard work. – Joe
Agree/Disagree with our thoughts on this seasons EPL? Leave a comment below, on twitter, or on Facebook and let us know what you think.