Monday, 10 August 2009

09/10 Predictions

Ok, I'll start with the Prem and work my way down.

Premier League
Winners - Chelsea
I like the fact that they've not chopped and changed their squad. I think the togetherness will show through and eventually take the title back to Stamford Bridge. The only problem I can foresee is the attitude of a few of the bigger players. Ballack and Drogba to name just 2. If Ancelotti can keep them from arguing between themselves as to who's turn it is to take a free kick I expect them to be lifting more silverware than the Community Shield come May.

Runners-Up - Man Utd
I doubt they'll be far behind by the end. They never are. The signing of Michael Owen is a very shrewd move on Alex Ferguson's behalf and the partnership down the flanks of Valencia and Nani could be vital in filling the void that Ronaldo's departure has left. Rooney undoubtedly has to have a good season as does Berbatov. It'll be interesting to see how many games the Bulgarian plays this time out.

Relegation - Burnley, Portsmouth and Hull City
It can only be good for the game to see teams like Hull promoted from the Championship and then romping their way into 3rd position in the Premier League after 10 games. The capitulation that followed almost produced one of the most surprising relegations of all time, eventually saved on the final day by another hugely suprising relegation in the form of Newcastle United. However, that final run of form is what leads me to believe that their stay of execution was just for the 1 season.
Burnley made a lot of people's season's when they beat Sheffield United in the play off final to win promotion last year. They fully deserved it however after a season that included 2 great cup runs and victories over Middlesbrough, Arsenal and Tottenham. Lest we forget, they were also just 2 minutes away from appearing against Manchester United in the Carling Cup final. Unfortunately, I just dont think they're going to be strong enough to stay up. That said, their fans will have a season to remember.
Portsmouth have done nothing but sell this summer. And throughout last season come to think of it! No club can afford to lose the likes of Lassanna Diarra, Jermaine Defoe, Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch and not suffer after effects. They need to dig deep in the coming days if they're to avoid what could be a torrid season for the Pompey faithful.

Winner - Newcastle United
A lot of arguing has ensued through talk of this subject. The Toon have sold a lot of players in order to slash the wage bill and prepare for life as a 2nd flight outfit but I think this might just be a kick in the right direction. There's no doubt that Newcastle aren't a Championship side. They lacked the stability to stay up last year and off field antics played a big part in taking them down, but as an overall club, they're too big for this league. The fan base is huge for this level and the sheer size of the stadium will cause some teams to freeze. Intimidation could win them a few vital games and help take them back to the big leagues.

Runners-Up - West Brom
Boring I know. I just found it difficult to look anywhere other than the team that yo-yo's between the 2 divisions. They're a very strong squad, good enough to get out of the Championship but without a serious injection of cash, probably not good enough to stay up once they get there. Another strong fan base though which can only act as a help in the right direction this season.

Play Off Winners - Derby County
Now, I appreciate a lot of people will see this as a strange choice but i have a good feeling about the Rams this season. Nigel Clough is a fantastic young manager with the right attitude to take the club forward. I expect a strong season culminating in Wembley Success.

Relegation - Scunthorpe, Blackpool and Barnsley
All 3 teams may manage to escape but it's difficult to see who they're going to finish above. I expect Swansea and Peterborough to be very strong having just been promoted from League One and with very few so called 'small teams' in the division this year, I fear for these three.

League One
Winners - Leeds United
They were favourites for promotion last season and fell at the play-off semi final hurdle. Despite losing Fabian Delph to Aston Villa in the summer, I dont envisage them making the same mistakes again. If they can hold onto Jermaine Beckford I see no reason why they wont win the league with some style.

Runners-Up - Charlton Athletic
A tough year brought the Addicks down to earth with a bump but I expect to see them bounce straight back up. They have plenty of talented youngsters and some experienced campaigners to boot giving them, in my mind, a good blend and a good chance of pushing Leeds for the title.

Play Off Winners - Southampton
Sticking my neck out here. Bookmakers say that Southampton are 10-1 for promotion and 22-1 to win the league. Whilst I dont see them battling for top spot I could see them sneaking 5th or 6th place and winning the play offs. Once again, fan base is a huge factor and with youth on their side, that 10 point deduction could soon be a distant memory.

Relegation - Swindon, Brighton, Exeter and Stockport
There's a fair few teams that will struggle to break away from the bottom bunch this year. Gillingham and Colchester have both had fantastic opening day wins but could easily find themselves in the mhyre at some point. Of the four choices above, Exeter City are the main team i'm not sure about. They've only got a small stadium with a small but loyal set of fans. That said, they have a good side and could easily finish the season in the top half, but on the flipside, they could easily start poorly and continue to struggle throughout. Swindon have sold good players and not replaced whilst Brighton and Stockport are bookies favourites for the drop.

League Two
Winners - Notts County
No one can ignore the transformation that's starting to take place at Meadow Lane. Sven Goran Eriksson joining the backroom staff and the immediate influx of players including Lee Hughes and Luke Rodgers shows that the club as a whole are going places. I dont expect County to lose many games this season and think its going to be the place to watch football in the lower leagues throughout the coming season.

Runners-Up - Lincoln City
The Imps have consistently pushed for promotion over the last few seasons and I see this as being a good year for them to make their move. They have a good set of players and a strong minded manager along with some of the most passionate fans in the division.

Promotion - Bradford City
A sleeping giant in a division they really should be above. Relegation from the premiership just 8 years ago destroyed the club and it really has taken a total overhaul from players to backroom staff to set the wheels rolling in the right direction again. I anticipate them having a good year and getting the promotion the club desires.

Play Off Winners - Burton Albion
Another neck pusher. Burton gained promotion to the football league last season by just 2 points on the final day having at one point had a lead of no fewer than 16. They've also started this season poorly with a 3-1 defeat at Shrewsbury but they have a new manager and a good young team with a new stadium. They're going places and I foresee a good season ahead.

Relegation - Barnet and Macclesfield
Both sides have flirted with the conference on numerous occasions and neither, to me, possess enough quality to edge away from the depths this year. I dont expect either to escape but if they do, you can bet it'll be by the skin of their teeth on the final day.

No comments:

Post a Comment