Sunday, July 19, 2009

Premier League thoughts...

A look at the top 4...

With Christiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United without a solid replacement, the Reds are certainly vulnerable in the 09/10 Premier League table. Scholes, Carrick, and Giggs are still solid in midfield, but there is not a gamechanger anymore. Berbatov was good last year at striker, but he will need a fit Rooney and Owen to be the force he needs to be for ManU to retain their title.

Chelsea took a step backwords last year, even though they won the FA. They still have the best midfield in the world (Deco, Essien, Ballack, Lampard) and a good backline, but are not overwhelming at the forward spot. Anelka was good last year but Drogba battled lots of injuries. The youngster Scott Sinclair looked good yesterday, but at 20 is probably not ready to be a focal point of the club.

Liverpool look pretty solid and if they add Ashley Young they will be my pick to win the league this season. If not, they are still good enough to stay in the top 4 without much pressure. Gerrard is still in top form, and he has plenty of help up front with Kuyt and Torres.

Arsenal look the most vulnerable in the top 4, especially after losing Adebayor to Man City. They will be really young and need a strong season from veteran Robin Van Persie.

Look for Man City to be the biggest threat to the top 4 this season. While the clubs mentioned have some issues at the striker spot, City has plenty of great options. After adding Adebayor to join Robinho and Carlos Tevez, the top 3 strikers for City are better than any club. Steven Ireland really came on as a creative midfielder last season, and he played well alongside Wright-Phillips. If they add John Terry, City may even be a favorite to win a spot in the Champions League next season.

Tottenham are in the running for Ashley Young as well and could be in the mix after the dissapointment of last season. Pavlyuchenko is going to be a star and should be more comfortable in year 2.

Everton will again be very good but have some of the same fitness issues at forward as some of the top clubs. Saha, Vaughan, Yakubu all had injury issues last season as did midfielders Arteta and Cahill. When fit, this club is as good as any. But, with limited funds do not have the depth of some of the other top clubs. Look for them to battle for the top 4 early, then finish 5th or 6th.

Complete table predictions will be up in a few weeks, until then, GO ON USA!!

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