29 July 2015
The battle to be crowned Barclay’s Premier League Champions 2015/16
With just over two weeks to go until the start of the Premier League season, we are taking a look at the teams to give an insight into the challenges they face to knock Chelsea off the top spot, although not that I want them to be, given I am a Chelsea fan. With the season starting a little earlier than usual this year, teams are currently travelling the world for pre-season tournaments in an attempt to get their stars match fit. We have outlined the top four teams and we believe will be competing to be crowned English Champions: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
The current English Premier League Champions ran away with the league last year, playing fantastic football and in particular Andre Schurrle’s goal against Burnley which exemplified stunning football. However, in the second half of the season Jose Mourinho tightened things up at the back as he looked to bring the Premier League title back to the capital after five years of absence. Chelsea so far have been relatively quiet in the transfer market with the acquisition of Radamel Falcao, Asmir Begovic, Nathan and of a couple of new young talents. Compared to usual and their competitors summer spending has been relatively low. Chelsea already have a fantastic squad and with a couple of young players pushing through from their European Champion Youth Team including Ruben Lotus-Cheek Chelsea will be fighting fit to keep their title of English Champions.
Star Player – Eden Hazard
Star Signing – Radamal Falcao
League Finish – 1st
Manchester City FC
Man City will be looking to put a stronger challenge to their opponents than they did in a disappointing season last year. Man City ended the season trophy-less and after being level with Chelsea at Christmas, it looked like they had finally started to click after a sluggish start to the season. As the season continued, the battle to defend their reign at the top of the English leagues started to fade and with a surprising loss to Man Utd, which saw their arch rivals leap frog them in the league. However looking towards the start of the new season, Man City will feel stronger with their acquisition of former Liverpool player and £49m man – Raheem Sterling. They will be looking to him to create more opportunities and hopefully create a formidable relationship with Sergio Aguero.
Star Player – Sergio Aguero
Star Signing – Raheem Sterling
League Finish – 4th
Arsenal will look back at last season and think it was a success, without ever really challenging for the title. With another successful FA Cup run, retaining the trophy led to Arsene Wenger making individual history by winning this prestigious tournament for the sixth time in his managerial career! Looking back at the start of the season, Arsenal had a very sluggish start and by October they were already trailing 12 points behind Chelsea. If it was not for the ‘signing of the season’ Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal could have easily been in the bottom half of the table before Christmas. However, focusing on their football after Christmas, usually the part of the season that sees a demise in results for Arsenal, but 4 wins out of 6 in February brought new life into the team. Injuries to midfielders saw a new young talent come through the ranks in Francis Coquelin and he had a fantastic game alongside Santi Cazorla in midfield when they beat Man City. Arsene will be hoping he can carry the momentum from the end of last season into the start of the new season. With new signing Petr Cech, this solves a big headache for Arsene, who has struggled over the years to find a world class keeper. John Terry said that Petr will easily bring Arsenal an extra 10-15 points next season, but do they have enough to be fighting for the title amongst the likes of Chelsea and Man City, I believe so if they are able to get another striker to back up Oliver Giroud.
Star Player – Alexis Sanchez
Star Signing – Petr Cech
League Finish – 2nd
Manchester United FC
Man Utd will look back on last year as a transition year, with a new manager and a few new faces in the team, including their big summer signing Angel Di Maria. Though compared to years before under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, many fans may have seen this as a disappointing season. At least they made it into the top four, qualifying for the Champions League, which would have definitely been Van Gaal’s first and main priority before the season begun. Looking back, they had the worst start possible, losing their opening game to Swansea, which was the first time they had lost an opening match since 1972. After the first 5 games of the season, Man Utd found themselves in the bottom half of the table sitting in 12th, definitely not the start Van Gaal would have wanted. However, at the back end of November Man Utd started to find some form, beating Arsenal 2-1 at home and then 3-0 over Liverpool in December. Man Utd carried on this form throughout the season, swapping positions from 3rd and 4th until the end of the season. Van Gaal might have been slightly disappointed with the performances of Di Maria, who showed lots of promise at the start of season and found himself on the bench nearing the end. Looking ahead, Van Gaal has been very busy in the transfer market bringing in a new forward, in terms of PSV Eindhoven Ace; Memphis Depay, along with Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Bayern Munich’s World Cup winner Bastien Schweinsteiger. These signings will help strengthen a midfield which at times last season lacked strength. If this team is able to gel quickly and get off to a good start, they could be a real force when it comes to the business end of the season.
Star Player – Wayne Rooney
Star Signing – Bastian Schweinsteiger
League Finish – 3rd
For many sports fan, Saturday 8th August cannot come around quick enough; it brings the start of the new football season. Let’s see if these predictions are right when May 2016 comes around!
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