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I could say the rest of the premiership but in reality the premiership title looks set to be a two horse race between Manchester United and Chelsea. Liverpool have brought in some new faces and in particular Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid but I think they will lack the consistency required to chase for the title especially if they want to do reasonably well in cup competitions which has become their specialty.
Manchester United have made their intentions of retaining the title clear by bringing in Nani, Anderson, Owen Hargreaves and Carlos Tevez but after strengthening their midfield and strike-force only they must be happy with their defence where no new faces have been added.
Jose Mourinho's team has been strengthened in defence where midfielders like Michael Essien were used last season with the arrival Tal Ben Haim, Alex and also Glen Johnson has come back from loan. The rest of the team should be alright and Claudio Pizarro will provide competition for Andrey Shevchenko and Didier Drogba. If pre-season is anything to go by then Florent Malouda playing on the wing looks set to have the biggest impact of them all.
With the top two more or less decided, I think Liverpool will easily get third position without much competition because they have a stronger team than Arsenal who would have otherwise competed with them for that position. The Gunners lost their captain Thierry Henry and have brought in Eduardo da Silva but I think they needed more than just replacing their captain in the first place. I think they needed to add some more experienced players in their team to complement the exciting young talent in the team.
The Gunners will get competition from Tottenham Hotspurs mostly although I think West Ham, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Manchester City could be the teams to look out for. These four teams have brought in a number of new faces and are definitely stronger teams than what they were last season.
Since the takeover at Eastlands by Thaksin Shinawatra and the subsequent appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson as manager, Man City has seen a number of players arriving with the key players being Brazilians Elano and Geovanni. If Sven can get the team to gel quickly together I don't see why they cannot challenge for the European places.
I cannot also ignore Newcastle who have now added Mark Viduka and Alan Smith to their striking ranks. Now their strike force will also include Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Albert Luque and Shola Ameobi and with such a strike force they should be high up the league.
Everton and Blackburn will make the battle for the European places even more exciting. I have my doubts about Everton who haven't really strengthened their squad so far but I think they are going to get many points from Goodison Park and then get points here and there in their away matches.
I see Bolton, Aston Villa, Reading as the teams who are going to be safe from relegation but nothing much after that. Bolton have a new manager in Sammy Lee and this will be his first full season whilst Villa and Reading had good squads last season and they more or less maintained them even though Reading lost Steve Sidwell to Chelsea.
When I start talking about relegation, I start by looking at the promoted sides and of three promoted sides Derby County look the weakest and they haven't really gone and strengthened their team and I think they may find the going hard. Birmingham and Sunderland have brought in a number of new faces and I think Steve Bruce's team will finish above the Black Cats whether inside or outside the relegation zone.
I think they will be joined in the relegation fight by Wigan, Middlesborough and Fulham. These three hovered at the bottom last season and in the case of Wigan just survived relegation and Fulham have Liverpool to thank for as they fielded a weakened team as they prepared for the UEFA Champions League final.
I hope that its going to be another exciting season with lots of surprises.
If he can get Owen fit, then with Viduka that's a very experienced forward lineup and should score goals to achieve a top 6 finish. Cacapa should bring some steel in defence and so big Sam cannot complain. Newcastle for Europe!
Taking nothing away from Jose, Fergie looks like he has mastered how to deal with threat of Chelsea better than Jose. While Chelsea will still be a fighting machine, I doubt their ability to out score Man U, it remains to be seen whether the new players will be able to share the scoring responsibilities with Drobga...
The EPL has always provided nightmarish adaptation periods to players from outside, even Drobga took a while to get going and at one point the Chelsea fans were not happy with his lack of delivery, ....while the mid tier teams will provide some competition, most of them have still the old boring methods to use because the managers didn't change and some of them just recycled the same quality of players among themselves.
I expect Man City to play differently and challenge the establishment, and to some extent Portsmouth. Newcastle look good on paper but I have my doubts...big Sam likes safe consistency by being physical and defensive and not overly inspiring.....Arsenal will do slightly better than last year, but there is still the vulnerability due to lack of experience...Pool will be the same
Still cannot see how Arsenal can do better than last year but we will have to wait and see. They need to finish off the many chances they create and Adebayor was not up to the task and maybe the new guy Eduardo will fill in the void.