The 2014-15 Premier League season kicks off on Saturday, August 16 which means that it is about time for my predictions and picks for this year’s competition.
Last year saw Manchester City win the title after benefitting from Liverpool’s slip-up and literal slip by their Premier League trophy-less captain Steven Gerrard. Only two points separated the two northwest clubs at 86 and 84 points while their London counterparts, Chelsea and Arsenal, finished with 82 and 79 points in third and fourth.
Much has been written about the rapid demise of Manchester United dropping from Premier League champions into mid-table mediocrity with a European-less seventh place finish. Their 74 points was a full 10 behind Liverpool and 12 behind Manchester City.
Everton pulled off a fantastic season with their fifth place finish while Tottenham were frustrating throughout the year before ending up in sixth.
So, where does that leave us for this season? All seven of the above mentioned teams are capable of challenging for a top four finish, but, once again, it will leave three teams out. Will this season bring another surprise like Southampton last year?
Here are my predictions for the 2014-15 Premier League season.
2. Manchester City
3. Manchester United
Chelsea and Manchester City have strengthened, but have done so without upsetting the balance of their squad. Manchester United will benefit from not having European soccer this year and should certainly push the top four, especially if they are able to bring in another 1-2 more signings in key areas.
Arsenal’s addition of Alexis Sanchez alone makes them contenders, but I still think the strength of the other top teams will see Arsenal finis fourth once again.
Five through Seven:
The loss of Luis Suarez is going to be a blow for Liverpool. However, even more than this is the fact that they will be playing in the Champions League. These added matches and travel mean that more of their players will need to adapt and I don’t think they have done enough to deal with it.
The same could be said of Everton and their increase in scheduling while Tottenham will benefit from not having European matches to deal with this season. Not to mention that their players should be able to play better with one another after having had a season together. Tottenham is also very well set up to push for a top four finish this season, particularly if the managerial expertise of Mauricio Pochettino pays off.
Rest of the Table:
8. Newcastle United
9. Swansea City
10. Stoke City
12. Crystal Palace
13. Queens Park Rangers
14. Hull City
16. Leicester City
17. Aston Villa
18. West Ham United
19. West Bromwich Albion
The dismantling of Southampton means that they could easily get sucked into a relegation battle all season long. West Ham has been bottom of the table fodder for several seasons now and this could be the season that sees them slip down.
West Bromwich Albion is another team that has been treading water for quite some time and I believe this is the point where their luck has run out. Burnley is my pick for the recently promoted teams to go down this season.
Other candidates for the drop include: Aston Villa, QPR, Sunderland, and Leicester City. Any one of these three could end up in the fight at the bottom and don’t forget that there always seems to be a team that starts out really poorly and just can’t find traction for the rest of the year.
Cup Tournament Picks:
Capital One Cup: Tottenham Hotspur
FA Cup: Manchester United
Champions League: Bayern Munich
The 2014/15 Premier League season is shaping up to be another exciting one and full of plenty of potential. I know that I am very excited for this season. Remember to keep coming back for my weekly predictions and analysis.
Enjoy and feel free to share your own predictions in the comments section below.