Ah, the season start is right around the corner. After a strange summer which saw the NBA playoffs run into the Euros, into the offseason, into the Olympics, my schedule is all off. But have no doubts about it, the 2012-13 Premiership season is about to get under way.
Your intrepid editors are here to try to make some sense out of what is going to happen league-wide this season. So we took a stab at predicting the Sky 6, and just who's going down. Here's the predictions you can make fun of in eight months:
1. Manchester City- The only guy they've added is Jack Rodwell, who is barely even going to play for them. They're still by far the best team in the league.
2. Manchester United- Shinji Kagawa with a healthy Vidic, Anderson, and Cleverly means that the Red Devils stay top-2.
3. Chelsea- I hate to do this, because this is one of the worst built, redundant sides I've ever seen. But the talent level is huge, and they get a guaranteed Champions League place.
4. Tottenham Hotspur- Andre Villas-Boas told me that he's going to get a striker. I guess I'm taking the Gaffer at his word.
5. Arsenal- This is all contingent on Alex Song and RVP departing. But if they somehow stay... yikes.
6. Newcastle United- Those magnificent Magpies. Goals should pour out of the Northeast, but I just don't think their defense can match last season's performance.
18. Queens Park Rangers- Some fun attacking options but not enough solidity in defense and midfield.
19. Norwich City- I like Chris Hughton, but not sure he has the players to match last season's performance. The curse of second season syndrome strikes again.
20. Southampton- Rickie Lambert, celebrate! But this Saints defense can't hang with the big boys of the Premiership.
1. Manchester City - They haven't gone backwards, while United and Arsenal haven't improved enough.
2. Chelsea - Their center of midfield isn't terrific, but Hazard, Marin and Oscar will be enough to get them into the top four comfortably.
3. Manchester United - They didn't do anything to address their center of midfield and Rio Ferdinand is a year older. They'll need huge improvements from Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley to compete for a title.
5. Liverpool - I'm skeptical about Brendan Rodgers, but I'm not skeptical about Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Fabio Borini. They've improved.
18. Stoke City - Just because. Wanks.
19. Swansea City - With Rogers and Allen gone, the bottom falls out.
20. Wigan Athletic - They keep escaping and I think Martinez is a good manager, but there is zero doubt in my mind that this is the least talented team in the league.
Relegation was tough, I don't think there's a single truly crap team probably 10-12 teams have chance to get relegated.
1. Manchester City- Still the best team in the league. Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and any one of their 9,000 strikers makes them the best through the middle and the best team in the middle is usually the best in the league.
2. Manchester United- I still can't quite make sense of the Shinji Kagawa signing or their refusal to sign the central midfielder that he needs, but I have given up doubting Sir Alex.
3. Chelsea- You can go on and on about their need for a striker and I will go on and on about their five midfielders that I think can all score 15 this season.
4. Arsenal- Robin van Persie is still a Gunner. That is all.
5. Tottenham Hotspur- WE STILL NEED A STRIKER.
6. Newcastle- Liverpool will be good in a couple years when Brendan Rodgers sorts through Kenny's mess, but that is still a ways off and the Magpies were no joke last year. They will be right back in it this year.
18. Swansea- No Rodgers, no Joe Allen, no Gylfi Sigurdsson, no Premier League.
19. Reading- They are going to ask a lot of their Championship players and that rarely ends well.
20. Southampton- Have a nice year.
1. Manchester City - They have all the talent in the world and now they have the experience of having won the league. I don't care what Mancini says. They're the favorites.
2. Manchester United - If United add Robin Van Persie, then all bets are off, but Sir Alex still has a good team. They probably need more help in the center of midfield, but they have enough talent to make up for it.
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