With the 24th season of the Premier League finally here, this is our top 10.
10 CRYSTAL PALACE - Here is a team that finished 10th last season after a resurgence once Alan Pardew arrived. They also strengthened that midfield by bringing in French international Yohan Cabaye from PSG. Who will be reunited with Pardew again-(Newcastle 2011-2014) and they brought in the youngster from Chelsea on a season long loan Patrick Bamford who scored 17 goals last season and was named Championship Player of the Year. Quietly they addressed their needs without spending a lot of money. They will surprise a lot of teams this season if not prepared and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they challenged for that 6th spot.
9 SOUTHAMPTON - They had the 2nd best defense last season only Chelsea was better. The attack will be dangerous again with Wanyama and Graziano Pelle. Southampton’s defense will once again be superb as Ronald Koeman keeps them in the top 10 all season as they challenge for Europe again.
8 EVERTON -This team had to be the biggest enigma last year. Roberto Martinez managed to keep them mid table. But look at the talent on this roster and you scratch your head and say what’s the problem? After steady PL progression of 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th then 5th place,to finish 11th after their goal clearly was making Champions League. This is a make or break season for Roberto Martinez. They MUST improve on that 11th place finish. Top six or seven would be ideal. IF they lose Lukaku then it will be a very interesting season at Goodison Park
7 SWANSEA CITY - This has been one of the most consistant clubs since joining the EPL. They aren’t flashy, they just play fundamentally sound football, and a lot of that can be attributed to Gary Monk. In the midfield, the Swans will have a little different look but maybe a more dangerous one. Swansea acquired Andre Ayew from Marsaille and will bolster their attacking options. Swansea has nowhere to go but up from their eighth place finish and the highest point total achieved in their PL history. A lot obviously depends on the XI on the field, but with Garry Monk pulling strings, don’t be surprised if they challenge for a top 6 spot.
6 TOTTENHAM - Here is a club that continues to make strides towards the top 4. Harry Kane had a breakout season with 21 goals in 28 apps. Will Harry Kane match or exceed last years totals? If not who steps up? With all the additions on defense, Spurs are better. They have the talent. Mauricio Pochettino is one of the top managers and a perfect fit for this club. There is no reason not to think Spurs will be playing for Champions League
5 LIVERPOOL - This will be a pressure packed season for Brendan Rodgers. Perhaps his last if things don’t go as planned. Lacking the firepower they add James Milner, Danny Ings, Christian Benteke, and Firmino. With the talent they acquired this summer, it’s top 4 or bust. There is no reason why they shouldn’t have three players in double digit goals. I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will be watching this team closely.
4 MANCHESTER CITY -
Last year was a long season for Manuel Pellegrini and City. Talk of Pellegrini being sacked, a grueling Champions League road that ended at the hands of Barcelona. BUT still finished second. Midfield play needs to improve. Raheem Sterling needs to prove he is worth that big money. While Manchester City is clearly not the side it was even two years ago, with a proven goal scorer in Aguero, a top 4 finish is within reach. But they must remain healthy for the most part.
3 ARSENAL - With very few additions to a squad that quite frankly doesn’t need a whole lot of tinkering, including Petr Cech, and Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez giving the Gunners a 1-2 punch, Arsenal will once again be playing for a spot in Champions League, and perhaps more.
2 MANCHESTER UNITED - On defense, the backline should consist of Shaw, Jones, Smalling, and Mateo Darmian from Torino. They addressed the real issues with this club this summer. It’s clear they needed to get stronger in the midfield, so they get Morgan Schneiderlin, and Bastian Schweinstiger to go along with Michael Carrick and all of sudden they have one of the best midfields in the league. Andreas Pereira is another young exciting player to watch in that midfield. Between Rooney and Depay, once they get their chemistry together, I think this is a very dangerous team and will challenge for the title.
1 CHELSEA - Last season, everything went right for the Blues. They remained injury free for the most part, and lost only three times. On defense they return pretty much the same group that only conceded 32 goals. Up front, the attack will once again be led by Eden Hazard who scored 14 goals and assisted 9 times. They might have to overcome Diego Costa's hamstring issues this season but Jose Mourinho is a tactical mastermind and pulls all the right strings this year and Chelsea wins their second straight title.
Cheers to kickoff!!!