English Premier League

Battle for 1st, 4th and Relegation

Every Premier League season generates great interest in the table for three reasons: The title race, final Champions League spot and relegation battle. The strength of the Premier League squads as they stand lend themselves to each of these races perfectly. To me, there are three tiers of Premier League teams, with each tier competing in one of the three races.

Title Race:

Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City.

I would not be surprised if it comes down to the last couple of fixtures to decide the title between these three.

Final Champions League Qualification:

Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham.

Everton and Tottenham will be very organized, strong squads with not quite enough firepower to hang with the big guns in the table. I think Sturridge and Sterling will be fantastic for Liverpool but ultimately, no one can replace the Suarez of last year – bites aside. Van Gaal seems confident with Manchester United and their meaningless preseason form.

Relegation Battle:

The other 13 teams.

None of the other 13 teams are strong enough to clearly separate themselves from the pack. Newcastle and Southampton each had promising runs to begin the season last year, which secured their safety. Southampton was gutted in the transfer window and Newcastle’s overhauled lineup is a work in progress. I expect this to be a wide open scramble to stay up in the Premier League.

Predictions:

Arsenal lead a majority of the season, but Chelsea Win Premier League title. Van Gaal’s Manchester United make a strong push to get fourth place and get back into the Champions League. Southampton and West Brom seem like great candidates to go down, but in the end, Burnley, QPR, and Crystal Palace will be relegated.

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