With the 2010/11 Premier League starting later today, it is high time I posted my thoughts and predictions for the upcoming football season.
Premier League Predictions 2010/11
Not taking any notice of last weeks Community Shield result, but I think Manchester United will finish above Chelsea this season. And that probably would make them Premier League champions.
I think Man Utd will be far stronger up front this season. They have added Javier Hernandez to the strikers, to go along with Rooney, Owen and Berbatov.
I thought that Fergie didn't use his strikers very well last season. As a result he didn't get the best out of Owen or Berbatov.
He acknowledged that he under used Owen. So with the little man likely to get more chances this time round, I see more confidence and more goals from him this year.
As for Berbatov, now in his 3rd year at the club, I think he will kick on and have a better season this year.
Such was the limited chances in his 1st year at the club with Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez ahead of him, this could almost be classed as being only Berba's 2nd season at the club.
He looked nervous last year, and like he was lacking in confidence. I don't see a repeat of that this year.
He is too good a player to not come good at some time, and with him retiring from international football he has proved to Fergie that he is serious about succeeding at Old Trafford.
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Can Giggs and Scholes last another season?
My main concerns about United are the legs of Giggs and Scholes. Michael Carrick needs to have a better season to compensate for this.
And hopefully for United and England, Owen Hargreaves can finally overcome his injury problems and return to full fitness.
Even if United doesn't win the league, I still find it hard to see Chelsea doing it.
I find Ancelotti's transfer policy this summer very strange. A lot of experienced players have left and not really being replaced.
If there is a crop of youngsters coming through then they have kept it very quiet. It remains to be seen if they will sign anyone before transfer deadline.
Ancelotti would appear to be putting a lot of faith in Salomon Kalou, and that must be a risky move.
I believe a lot depends on how fit they can keep Michael Essien. I the stays fit he could well drive Chelsea on to a successful season. While if he gets injured there is no real replacement and they could struggle.
As it stands, a lay of Chelsea looks value to me and is currently 2.92 on Betfair.
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2010/11 Premier League Top 4 Predictions
Along with United to win the league, I am going for Chelsea to finish in the top 4. Along with Arsenal and Liverpool.
I think both Arsenal and Liverpool will be a lot stronger this year. Either could well push United for the title as well.
Onto Manchester City, and I think their squad will take a while to settle down. And manager, Roberto Mancini could possibly gone by Christmas.
Of the other challengers, and Spurs haven't really strengthened. So I don't really see any improvement for them in the league.
They are virtually assured of getting to the Champions League group stages. So I see Harry's team getting slightly distracted and finishing 5th or 6th in the league.
My top 6 is :-
2010/11 Relegation Betting
At the bottom, I suppose like everyone else in the country, I see Blackpool as a dead cert for relgation.
Then I have Newcastle, West Brom, Wolves and Wigan also in the bottom 5 (in no particular order).
I really feel Wigan could go this year. Any side that ships goals like they did last season is going to struggle. And how are they going to cope without Titus?
They have a manager who likes to play football on the deck, and that is also not always the best formula for a side at the bottom.
A best price of 9/4 on them going down seems a bit short though. It might be worth keeping an eye on this one and get on them when they hit a bit of form. I feel 4 or 5/1 would be a good price.
West Brom are evens for the drop, and it's hard to see them staying up. Although I can see them taking it to the end of the season. Wolves need to build on last year, but I'm not so sure they will.
And I can't see Newcastle doing much either. The only problem with backing them is if Hughton gets the sack early on and they manage to attract a top manager and give him money to spend in January.
As is stands though, I can see them being in the mix come the end of the season.
My bottom 5 is:-