Chelsea on the other hand, are a difficult one to predict. Whilst they will no doubt be buoyed by their new commander in chief, and a young one at that, in André Villas-Boas, the Chelsea side is one that is certainly not getting any younger. The players of their modern ‘Golden’ side; John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Didier Drogba are, or will be the wrong side of thirty this season and whilst experience can garner points, fresh legs are key to the consistency of the side. In my opinion, Fernando Torres will not capture his goalscoring form of four years ago and will go the way of obscurity like Shevchenko before him.
A shame considering the sizable fee that the club paid for him in January and the fact that despite his critics, he is a genuinely good player just knocked by the perils of injury and post injury lack of confidence. The signing of young Oriol Romeu from Barcelona could prove to be the absolute bargain of the summer; being the Javier Hernandez of this transfer window, however the weight of this expectation on the shoulders of such a young player could prove to be too much for someone plying their trade in the English league for the first time. Therefore I can see Chelsea falling off the pace slightly this year and just being pipped to third by the Scousers, probably seeing Villas-Boas cruelly given the axe by the tyrannical Russian at the head of the club come June.
And so that leaves second, which pains me to say will probably be occupied by the blue half of Manchester. I won’t make no qualms about it; I dislike the way City operate, buying up all the best players and bossing the transfer market because they have more money than anybody else, however despite this I absolutely cannot argue that buying Sergio Aguero is almost certainly the best coup of the whole summer. As a person who has seen Aguero dazzling in La Liga, I know the young forward is certain to light up the Premier League for City, taking over from the mantle of Klingon-faced, Manchester-hating, all around well loved guy, Carlos Tevez. With the creative force behind him in Nigel De Jong and threats constantly throwing themselves in from either wing, the attacking force of City this season has the potential to be incredible; probably making a dent (but hopefully not too much of a dent) in Europe too.
The only drawback of this is City’s knack of being incredibly inconsistent at the best of times; whether this is remedied in 2011/2012, and the slumping of shoulders when things don’t go their own way is eradicated remains to be seen, but I can see City battling back and forth with United throughout the season for first, only to be beaten at the last hurdle thanks to Sir Aleck’s experience of title run-ins. Not to take anything away from City however, I know their fans can be jumpy at the slightest hint of negative press; they’ll obviously improve on last season’s performance with the bolstering of their attacking prowess and strengthening of their defence, however I simply do not see them as a title-winning squad just yet.
Final Predicted Top Six Standings:
1st Manchester United
2nd Manchester City
5th Tottenham Hotspur
Well there you have it, all personal opinion of course, but one that welcomes input from fans of the top six sides themselves. I’ll be looking at the relegation/mid table candidates in a later article, so fans of the other fourteen sides don’t worry, you’re not being overlooked at all.
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