Di's Premier League Predictions 2012/13
Premier League 2011/12 was a season full of shocks, thrills and spills, from first day to the very last moments of the last day, that have further cemented the league’s label as the most exciting competition in Europe.
2012/13 has a lot to live up to but with the transfer market in full swing and so much to offer at both ends of the table, this campaign promises to be yet another exciting one. Here are my Premier League predictions for the coming season.
Top Goalscorer – Wayne Rooney
There will be a number of candidates and usual suspects loitering around the 30 goals a season mark. I suspect good seasons from the likes of Van Persie – considering he stays in the country – Suarez and the two Manchester City frontmen, Tevez and Aguero. However, I expect that Rooney will be raring to go following the heartbreak of losing the Championship to their bitterest rivals in the dying embers of the last day.
He barely had a chance to work up a sweat during the Euros; it merely served as a pre preseason so he should return with bags of energy and enthusiasm to get himself that golden boot and his team that golden crown.
Premier League Winners – Manchester City
United will once again run the ‘noisy neighbours’ close whilst Chelsea, even with all the investment, will still fall somewhat surprisingly short.
It’s difficult to see past City who now have the experience needed to sustain their challenge and actually cross the finishing line. This season they will be able to push on and may find it a little more straightforward second time around.
Things seem to be a fine balancing act for most of the top teams as they fiddle with their starting eleven, searching for that perfect formula that shows little weakness. Manchester City have it far easier than the rest as their entire squad is bursting with talent. Furthermore, they have the added luxury of being able to buy their way out of trouble if there are any weaknesses in the integrity of Mancini’s systems, so they will be the team to overcome.
Champion’s League Qualifiers – Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool
The top three may be of no real surprise to many but people will figure a bias on my part – being a Liverpool fan – for suggesting that the Anfield outfit will break into the top four.
Spurs and Arsenal have, over the preceding seasons, earned the right to be included amongst the elite yet there has commonly been that single element that has elevated them: in this case it has been the forms of key players as with Van Persie and Modric this year. The respective teams stand to lose these players and the absences will leave detrimental gaps that will take time to fill, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, Liverpool were extremely unlucky to end up with their poor points tally; they dominated many matches, only lacking a cutting edge and a four leaf clover. I have to feel they will not be as unfortunate this season and the goals will return. If they do, Liverpool’s period of underachievement could be drawing to an end.
Who Will Be Relegated? – Reading, Southampton and Swansea City
Each one of my choices seem a little controversial – especially considering none of the promoted sides from last season went back down.
Reading generally play good football under McDermott so we can expect them to give it a right go. They did, nevertheless, score the least amount of goals of any of the teams in the top five of the Championship whilst almost conceding as many as them too which could suggest that they will have difficulty closing out games in a superior league.
Maybe if Reading had a Rickie Lambert then they could cause many upsets. Unfortunately, Southampton are the team that do but that doesn’t mean that they will be free scoring. Lambert, for all his endeavour, lacks the experience of Premiership football that has seen so many lower league stars fall short. Players like do Prado and Lallana will have to provide that creative spark whilst remaining under the radar otherwise opponents will nullify the threat and capitalise.
If Joe Allen remained at the club, then this paragraph would have a different look to it. As it is, he is now a Liverpool man and the futures of several of their other major players – namely Ashley Williams and Scott Sinclair – look far from certain. It is vital that Laudrup maintains the footballing philosophy left there by the likes of Sousa, Martinez and Rodgers but, principally, he needs to find another ball controller of the Allen ilk or they will struggle.
image: © nasmac