Chelsea. Yes, they’ve certainly had a week to forget (or, for the rest of us, to remember) but it’ll take a lot more than that to stop this Chelsea side. With all their players fit, they are still unbeatable in every area of the pitch, and although the strength in depth is not what it was, they’ll still be favourites to retain the League for one more year, at least.
United. Despite an impressive unbeaten run, and the promise of Rooney’s return, this United side still doesn’t seem good enough to win the title. I feel this year will be the same as last, in that the best chance of silverware is the Champions League, as the team play their best football on the big occasion against the best teams. The same is true in the League: expect great results against the top four rivals, and frustrating results against the lesser teams which will ultimately cost United the title.
Arsenal. Of course, had Fabregas been allowed to leave this summer, Arsenal probably wouldn’t be anywhere near the top four. He won’t be there forever, although Wenger is certainly capable of unearthing and developing a replacement, if given enough time… Arsenal will be the antithesis of United; they’ll drop points against their championship rivals, but will demolish everybody else. Of course, there have already been exceptions, notably the 3-0 win at City and the 3-2 defeat at home to West Brom. But I would expect such results to balance each other out, and a third-place finish, a few points behind United and Chelsea, seems a good bet.
City. No question now that City are title-challengers, however the money spent and the many star players brought in to bring City up to this level has brought huge pressure on Roberto Mancini, both to justify the club’s spending with results and the need to keep so many players happy. Adam Johnson is the latest to add his voice to those expressing discontent at a lack of first-team opportunities, and until dressing room harmony is established, and maintained, City’s title challenge will falter. United, they’d stand a very good chance of success!
This was my prediction at the start of the season, and despite the occasional 0-3-at-home-to-Sunderland-esque upset, I’m fairly confident that the table will look like this come May 22nd next year. Incidentally, it’s unlikely that the title will be decided on the final day, and with Chelsea, Arsenal and City all away, and United hosting what could be a must-win game for Blackpool, what odds could you get on the top four all losing their final game of the season? Might be worth a flutter…
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