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Why The Premier League’s Top 4 Race Could Involve 6 Teams

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For a while, four clubs had a monopoly on the top four places in the Premier League.  Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal regularly made up the Champions League places until Spurs broke in during the 2009/10 season.  Last season Man City finished third, and this year it seems that 6 clubs could compete for a top four spot.  Here’s how they are all shaping up as the new season approaches:

Manchester United: Despite winning their 12th Premier League title last season, United have already made several changes to their squad.  Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar have all retired, Owen Hargreaves has left the club and several fringe players have been linked with moves away.  Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t been slow to bring in new faces, having spent over $40million to bring Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea to Manchester.  The club have also been linked with strikers and midfielders, and it seems unlikely that Sir Alex has finished spending yet.

Chelsea: Under Roman Abramovich, second place just isn’t good enough.  Although Chelsea challenged for the Premier League until the last few weeks of the season, Carlo Ancelotti was fired shortly after the season ended.  After much speculation, Chelsea chose Porto’s highly rated Andre Villas-Boas as their new manager.  At 33, Villas-Boas is younger than some of Chelsea’s key players, but arrives after a stunning season with Porto, winning the league, cup and Europa League.  Abramovic is likely to give his new manager plenty of money to spend as the club seeks to re-claim the Premier League title, and finally win the Champions League.

Manchester City: The 2010/11 campaign was historic for City.  They finished 3rd n the league, and won their first trophy for 35 years after winning the FA Cup.  They will play in the Champions League for the first time this season after qualifying automatically for the group stages.  Roberto Mancini has added Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic to his squad this week and Samir Nasri could follow.  Mancini’s only problem appears to be the future of his captain, Carlos Tevez.  Tevez has again asked for a transfer, and how he is replaced will be key to where City finish in the league this season.

Arsenal: Things have been going badly for Arsenal since the League Cup final.  After the shock defeat to Birmingham, their league form bottomed out, and they slumped to a 4th place finish and face a qualifying match to reach the Champions League group stages.  It seems unlikely that Arsene Wenger has enjoyed his summer so far, as Gael Clichy has already left the club and Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner have all been tipped to leave.  Wenger has yet to make any signings, and without doing so, Arsenal will struggle to keep their place in the top four.

Tottenham Hotspur: Despite a memorable debut in the Champions League, the 2010/11 campaign was something of a disappointment for Spurs.  A lack of goals compared to the top 4 clubs, coupled with too many draws, meant that they finished in 5th place.  There were positives for Harry Redknapp’s side, as Gareth Bale emerged as a star and summer signing Rafael Van Der Vaart added class to the midfield.  Brad Friedel is the only signing Redknapp has made this summer, and it appears he may have to sell players before he can buy.  Spurs need to add a top class striker, and also must keep playmaker Luka Modric if they are to return to the Champions League in 2012.

Liverpool: After the departure of Rafa Benitez last summer, the Liverpool board chose Roy Hodgson as his replacement.  Following a change of ownership and a poor form, Hodgson was replaced by Liverpool icon Kenny Dalglish.  This sparked a remarkable turnaround for the club (they eventually finished 6th), and Dalglish has been given money to spend to strengthen his squad.  Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll joined in January, Jordan Henderson arrived this summer and Charlie Adam will join in the next few days.  Liverpool still need a few more players to boost their squad, but if Dalglish gets it right, Liverpool could return to the top four.

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7 comments

  • Peter4Spurs says:

    I predict the following:
    1st Man C
    2nd Man U
    3rd Chelski
    4th Spurs (COYS)
    5th Arsenal
    6th Liverspuds

    Fa Cup Liverspuds, League Cup, QPR, CL Barca again with Chelski and Man U going out in the semi, MC quarters and Arsenal not making it beyond group.
    Europa Spurs to make the semis
    Going Down, Norwich, Wolves and Wigan

    Coming up, WHU, Forest and Birmingham

    Spurs will get two strikers and Crouch/Defoe will leave. Arsenal will struggle in the transfer market and have to carry on with a makeshift team. The first manager to go will be Steve Bruce after all the money spent will still see his side in the bottom most of the season.

    COYS 4Ever

  • Towson Tom says:

    Is it that Spurs broke in? Is it that Man C finished third or is is that LFC and Arsenal were not doing the business that allowed other clubs to take their place? I dont think Spurs or City improved that much but City might this coming season, but somehow I think the top 4 may well revert to the usual suspects although LFC have something to prove and Arsenal need to hold on to some of their players.

    • David Dougan says:

      Spurs definitely benefitted from Liverpool’s horrible 09/10 season. But I think Man City are a legitimate top 4 club now, I think the top three will be made up of Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City, and Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool will fight it out for fourth.

      Liverpool are in the best position of those three teams. They are definitely better now than they were a year ago, Spurs are about the same, and Arsenal are in big trouble unless Wenger spends major money.

  • Spurs i think will clinch 4th again if we seal a deal with a top striker. But if we fail in that bid we will fall down to about 6th. Harry me old chum get that top class striker now, get Levy to give you the cash to smash up the prem league.

  • I think Liverpool will be back strong as ever, the goons will be in and out in form. And that could be good for the Spurs and Liverpool. But my hope is that we get good results in our first four games, although a tough start in fixtures. You see it is a little bit of good luck along with skill and determination.

  • Tunde salam says:

    Less wait and see

  • I believe that manchester united, man. City and liverpool will be in a better position this season.

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