On the 18th August, the Premier League is back. The best league in the world returns with new players, managers and newly promoted teams ready to scrap it out. With the amazing finale at the end of last season as Manchester City snatched the title from their rivals United, this campaign is sure to bring just as much excitement. That being said, here’s my prediction for the Premier League top five in the 2012-2013 season.
- Champions: Manchester United
With Sir Alex’s side narrowly missing out on the title last year to their bitterest rivals, United will surely be looking to improve on their first season without a major trophy since 2006. The arrival of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell will certainly help a midfield that struggled last season, whilst Sir Alex will also hope Tom Cleverly and Anderson can avoid the injuries that have plagued their careers so far. Furthermore, the addition of Robin van Persie will add another goal threat to the Red Devils, reducing pressure on Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck that hampered them last campaign.
United have an uncanny tendency to come back after a disappointing season and with the pressure now on the blue half of Manchester, I think Sir Alex’s men can pull it off
- Runner up: Manchester City
City’s talent is undeniable and despite only adding Jack Rodwell this summer, their squad possesses incredible strength in depth. I predict a much-improved Champions League campaign for City, certainly progressing into the latter stages of the competition, with Carlos Tevez revitalizing the City attack. Yet it is extremely difficult to retain a Premier League title, especially when considering the pressure on City to repeat. Mancini’s men have a very high chance of winning a trophy next season, yet for me the Premier League won’t be that trophy
- Third place: Chelsea
The Blues will try and qualify for the Champions League in an easier fashion in 2012/2013. Roberto di Matteo has been given a vote of confidence from the Chelsea ownership, or as much confidence as Abramovich can instil. Adding Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar will certainly aid a Chelsea attack designed around Fernando Torres, yet such a system must be given a time to succeed in the Premier League.
Speaking of Torres, watch out for the Spaniard this year – something tells me the Fernando Torres we all knew for Liverpool might just make a return. Yet in short, Chelsea are going through a transition phase despite their Champions League success. Although they will certainly improve on last year, don’t expect the Premier League title to return to Stamford Bridge next May.
- 4th Place: Arsenal
What a mixed bag for Arsenal this summer. Adding Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla looking incredibly promising for Gunners fans, yet such optimism was significantly deflated when van Persie’s move to Manchester United was confirmed. That being said, despite losing their main goal source I would expect Arsenal to keep their place in the Champions League. Partially because the off season acquisitions are still top class players, whilst the return of Jack Wilshere and the pace of Theo Walcott will also help. Yet partially, it has to be said that other teams are a little off the pace of the Gunners this summer.
- 5th place: Liverpool/Spurs
As a Liverpool fan, I have to be optimistic and support my team, yet at the same time I’m going to sit on the fence a little. The Reds have looked impressive in the preseason with Brendan Rodgers passing philosophy proving popular at Anfield. Hopefully, if the former Swans boss brings in a couple of other acquisitions (Christian Tello or Gaston Ramirez to name but two) and Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez gel, Liverpool could have a serious chance at knocking on the door of the Champions League after last season 8th place finish. Yet the goals are what is crucial, with the pressure on Borini and Suarez this year.
With regards to goals, the same applies for Tottenham. Spurs would be a dead cert for fifth in my book, with Newcastle 7th (behind the Reds I hope). Yet it is their lack of strikers that must be alarmingly for Spurs fans this summer. AVB has yet to arrange a deal for Adebayor or any other striker, with Jermain Defoe the only recognizing forward in the first team squad.
Furthermore, Luka Modric’s proposed move to Real Madrid could prove costly for the North London side -Gylfi Sigurdsson is a shrewd acquisition yet whether he can fill Modric’s shoes is a difficult question to answer. Hopefully their defence should be be more solid with Vertonghen arriving from Ajax, yet the lack of a noticeable goal threat is what worries me about Spurs. Daniel Levy owes the fans a big transfer.
- Chasing Pack:
Newcastle United – The Magpies will certainly be up towards the European spots, perhaps even pushing for a Champions League place. After an impressive campaign last year, Alan Pardew has done relatively little in the transfer market this summer that might hinder his side.
Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will certainly be the focal points of the Geordie attack, with Cabaye, Tiote and Ben Arfa all providing the guile in the midfield. Yet Newcastle’s strength in depth is non-existent and with the return to Europe this season, fatigue or even injury might prevent them from pushing for a Champions League spot.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience