20. Norwich – They did really well to stay in the division last year but a leaky defence only seems to point towards relegation for the club.
19. Reading – Another side who don’t play unattractive or boring football, but also a club I don’t expect to see in the top flight next year. Reading could easily prove me wrong, but again I feel they’re another team whose defence will send them down.
18. Southampton – Though their ascent to the top division has been admirable, I simply think Southampton will not have enough to stay in the Premier League. They could very easily prove me wrong, and look like they’ve bought well, though their defence doesn’t quite look up to scratch. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do stay up.
17. Wigan – The Latics are seen as relegation candidates every season, though I think they’ll stay up as they are a stronger team than a number of their fellow Premiership clubs, and certainly know how to remain in the division.
16. QPR – Their big spending in the summer hasn’t helped lift the Hoops off the bottom of the table so far, but the players in their squad and the funds supplied by Tony Fernandes don’t send the message that they’re on the way down. Staying up two seasons in a row is always difficult, but QPR should do it, even if it is without under-pressure manager Mark Hughes.
15. Swansea – Brendan Rogers’ departure is a loss to the Swans, but their fortress at the Liberty and clever attacking players like Michu and Dyer should mean Swansea retain their Premier League status for another season.
14. Aston Villa – An unimpressive start to the season for Villa, and though they should pick up a bit, nothing more than a mid-table finish should be expected. A club with great history and some talented players, but this season won’t be ‘their season’.
13. West Brom – Steve Clarke has started well and organised his team properly, leading to the Baggies’ best start to a Premier League campaign in years. A comfortable mid-table finish looks certain for West Brom, barring some unforeseeable collapse.
12: Stoke – Too strong at home to go down. His method’s are criticised, but Tony Pulis will keep Stoke up yet again.
11. West Ham – Sam Allardyce is another manager who isn’t known for his slick style of football, but West Ham look a long way from relegation candidates. The Hammers’ effective, physical style of play is likely to see them claim a respectable mid-table finish on their return to the Premier League.
10. Sunderland – Martin O’Neill has created an organised, efficient team and brought in some very effective players. If Steven Fletcher can stay as prolific as he has been in his years so far in the Premier League, Sunderland look a good shout to get into the Top 10.
9. Newcastle – A fantastic season last year has rewarded Newcastle with European football for this campaign, but I can’t see them repeating the same feat again and I expect them to head towards a respectable top half finish.
8. Fulham – Despite losing Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele to Spurs this summer, Fulham have bought well and had a strong start to the season. With an impressive crop of skilful players such as Ruiz, Berbatov and even young Kerim Frei, complimented by the attacking tactics of Martin Jol, I see Fulham having a great season.
7. Liverpool – A dreadful start to the season hasn’t fairly reflected some of the performances of Brendan Rogers’ side, and Liverpool still should finish in the Europa League spots; I wouldn’t put it past them having a decent cup run either. A young team that is still adapting to a new style of football, the wins should start to come.
6. Everton – This Everton team looks stronger than ever, and though they won’t be able to hold their impressively high league position, I think they’ll pip local rivals Liverpool to the sixth spot, as there’s no issue of the squad needing time to gel.
5. Tottenham – Champions League football was cruelly taken away from Spurs after Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in May, and although Vertonghen and Dembele look like excellent signings, I don’t see them overhauling Arsenal to the fourth place spot. Spurs have a very talented squad and will have no trouble securing a Europa League spot.
4. Arsenal – They get into the top four every year, and I can’t see this one being an exception. The brilliance of Santi Cazorla and the improvement of the Gunners’ defence should see them become a more all-rounded team than last campaign, though without a striker as clinical as the departed Robin van Persie, I can’t see them mount a title challenge, at least for this season. Nonetheless, securing Champions League football would once again be an achievement for a club with a net profit.
3. Manchester United – Always up at the top, Manchester United are trophy competitors. I don’t think they’ll have the edge on City or Chelsea this year, but that’s not to say that they won’t show how they’ve won the league more times than any other club. Robin van Persie is sure to get a bucketload of goals, and it’s only due to that lack of another really top class defender and midfielder that I think they won’t finish in top spot.
2. Manchester City – Champions last year, everyone knows City will fight all season to win their second Premier League title in a row. The quality of players like Silva, Kompany, Toure and Tevez will show through, and despite a shakily erratic start to the Champions’ season, they look to be back on track now and chasing Chelsea’s lead down.
1. Chelsea – Manchester City have been backed as favourites for the title, but Chelsea have started phenomenally, and I think they’ll have enough to lift the trophy next May. The sublime Eden Hazard can only add to a squad that won the most prestigious club trophy last season, and he joins a Blues team which boasts Mata, Oscar and Torres in a lethal front four. They overcame their first real challenge at the Emirates recently, and I think this Chelsea will be able to retake the English crown from Manchester City.
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