Friday, August 18, 2006

EPL prediction time

A new EPL season is coming and even through this blog focuses on the US game, I do like to dabble in Europe. Here are my predictions for 2006-07.

1. Chelsea - the money has been spent and the talent is there. Still, Chelsea will not run away with it.

2. Liverpool - Jermaine Pennant is a great add. If the team stays healthy, they will keep the race for the top open till the last few weeks.

3. Arsenal - Their bench is not deep enough to make a go at the top, but they will handle those below.

4. Man U - I was toying with them up in third, but I just have a feeling their late season run will not be as strong this year. Maybe it's the over dependence on Wayne Rooney or maybe I'm just seeing mist and thinking it's a person.

5. Tottenham - Dimitar Berbatov should have a great season, but the team’s youth will prove too much to put them in reach of the top three.

6. New Castle - No Alan Shearer or Michael Owen will hurt this team. Slow out of the gate will sink your chance at the top five.

7. Blackburn - The pair of Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy should keep the team solid up top, but European play will take a small toll on league play.

8. West Ham - This is a team on the rise, but their current players equal mid-table.

9. Charlton Athletic - They have some great strength on the attack, but their midfield is going to cost them.

10. Everton - Tim Howard should give them a force in goal, but the team's fate will come down to Andrew Johnson and James Beattie. If Johnson can net 20 or so, Everton should be a top 10 team.

11. Aston Villa - Not much player action in the off-season, but if Randy Lerner buys, expect some good additions in January and a fun run to the end.

12. Manchester City - This team should come out good, but can they last all season? They lost Lee Croft and Willo Flood on the wings, but they do have Paul Dickov. I think they will have a bad spell late keeping them out of the top 10.

13. Bolton - I don't think the players are there to make the run. I struggled with this one. Their midfield is good, but I think their forwards are lacking.

14. Fulham - Every year Fulham finds a way not to drop, so this year should be about the same. They have a good first team, but once they go to the bench, they are empty. Overall, the defense should be enough to keep them up.

15. Middlesbrough - Taken over Steve McClaren's position will be something. There is a good team there, but I don't think Gareth Southgate will be able to get the team together quick enough to do more then stay away from the drop zone.

Thus we entire the drop zone
16. Portsmouth - They are always fighting to stay up and this year will be no different. Very few moves over the summer means the problems are still there. No goals make it hard to win.

17. Reading - It will come down to the last 15-minutes of the last game of the season, but Reading will just stay up. This is Bobby Convey's chance to cement himself as the great American hope.

18. Wigan - You only get one year as the surprise team and that year is done. Without Jimmy Bullard, their midfield will be lacking, thus they will be sent packing.

19. Sheffield United - They will be hard to beat, but they will be beaten. The class of player is not there to make a quick start or a long haul.

20. Watford - The fate of this team is on the feet of Marlon King. If he cannot make the goals happen, this team, for all its speed, will not stay up.

In the end, I think less then 10 points will separate the 16-20 spots.

Don't forget the US Soccer Carnival part IV.


Blogger Sara said...

Everton will finish above Charlton and West Ham for sure, and I seriously doubt Newcastle will finish 6th... Or I hope not, anyway!

12:44 PM  
Blogger twohundredpercent said...

Don't be fooled by United's demolition of Fulham yesterday. Fulham were wretched, and will need to improve massively if they're going to avoid wrestling the wooden spoon away from Watford. Curiously, the three promoted teams all put in decent performances yesterday, which suggests (to me, at least), that we might be in for an exciting season in the Premiership - at the bottom, of not at the top.

2:16 PM  

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