Sunday, December 28, 2014

See the teams we thought would win the Premier League as at August

I remember this special report I wrote for a website on August 12th 2014. It sought to take a look at the possible winners of the Barclays Premier League for the 2014/2015 season. As we have come to see, some teams have lived up to expectations and some have slumped big time. Enjoy football lovers.

The English premiership league has changed from what it was five or four years ago, it has changed from simple and basic to dynamic and completely unpredictable. From the possible breakout stars to indomitable shot stoppers, beastly defenders, silky passers and goal monsters there is always something big to talk about every match day. This season will dish out more than we could eat last season and the real question on everyone's lips will be "which team will win the league"? And that question is the most valid question to ask at this time. There are four teams that could steal the title away this season and any of them has a strong claim to it. We present you the strongest contenders for the Premier league this season.

Arsenal, after 8 years without a trophy have somehow found themselves as favorites to win the premier league this season. They ended last season as F.A cup champions and started the new season by out playing and disseminating Manchester City-the league champions. Sadly they ended up coming fourth last season after topping the league for 128 days. Arsenal only conceded 1 goal 14 times, meaning that in 31 games last season, Arsenal conceded just 14 goals. Thus, for a large part of the season, Arsenal conceded about 0.5 goals per game. The troubling thing is Arsenal conceded 27 goals in the remaining 7 games. Conceding 22 goals against the other teams in the top five, 20 of those on away games against City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton. Arsenal are known as a big team that knows how to dispatch the lower table teams and they have shown that every season. Their problem is however against the bigger teams and it seems its more of a psychologic one than that of quality of man power. They seem to have shrugged off the former with their win against MAnchester City, let's just hope its permanent. Marquee signings have increased their belief in themselves as Ozil and Sanchez have brought instant success to a team that seemed to lack a leader.
Debuchy and Chambers have also joined the team improving their defensive department and making it stronger than it was last season, though the Koscielny and Mertersacker partnership that kept 17 clean sheets would surely be retained and prefered by Wenger when the season resumes.
Arsenal played a total of 38 matches in the Premier League last season with 24 wins, 7 draws and 7 loses. Scoring a paltry 68 goals and letting in a whooping 41. Arsene Wenger has bolstered the two deficient parts of the team recalling Campbell and splashing £35m on Sanchez. Debuchy and Chambers are also ample replacements for the departed Sagna and Vermalean. Arsenal's highest goal scorer was Giroud last season with 16 goals. The other attackers scored 18 goals. Not a really strong number for a team that wants to win the league. Sanchez alone scored 19 goals and assisted 10 goals for Barcelona last season, that is how good a player he is. With Ozil supplying the passes and Ramsey storming forward from midfield and scoring anytime he likes, it seems like they have almost the perfect attacking balance to score more this season. Wenger has done excellently well in the transfer market like he did last season all he has to do is keep their star man Ramsey fit and that's all, his team is good enough. But bearing in mind Arsenal's inconsistencies we are going to wait with weighted breaths to see if Arsenal can really win the premier league.

Chelsea has one of the greatest managers in world football at the helm of affairs and his impact will surely be felt in the premier league this season. Chelsea came third last season, scoring 71 goals and conceding just 27 goals in the process with 25 wins 7 draws and 6 loses. They also had the most clean sheets in the league (18) and have improved their squad with the best players money can buy. Courtois is back and he expects to be the first choice goal stopper with how his quality has shown through with Athletico Madrid. The battle for the no 1 spot is going to be extremely fierce this season as Peter Chec is already one of the great shot stoppers football has ever seen. Courtois helped Athletico Madrid win the La liga last season with amazing reflex saves and jaw dropping dives but is that enough to usurp Chec? We will have to wait to find out. Filipe Luis joins the team from Athletico Madrid also after a season of unblighted defending prowess. The ever dependable veteran, Frank Lampard has left the stamford bridge but Chelsea have brought in another impeccable player. Cesc Fabregas. He has slotted in seamlessly, being a very technical player he will provide goals as well as assists aplenty for them. Diego Costa has also been brought in to be the new arrow head for this Chelsea team, and after his displays last season for Athletico and his playing style that fits the Premier league, its safe to say he will bag over 20 goals this season (a number that only great strikers reach in the premier league). Drogba the legend has come back to the bridge for another term and there are more questions about if he can still cut it at top level than there are of how many goals he'll score against Arsenal. Jose Mourinho sold Lukaku and David Luis for £78m and bought Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Cesc Fabregas and Didier Drogba for just £75m. Terrific?? That's what we thought too. If the likes of Hazard, Oscar, Didier and Matic come through this term, nothing will stop Chelsea from winning the Premier league. Jose Mourinho's teams always come through in his second seasons and with the strength of the team, Chelsea might be the team to lift the trophy at the end of the day.

Manchester City

I doubt if there is a stronger, more expensive and fearful team than Manchester city in the world and they showed that even with their inconsistencies and blunders, they are still too good not to win the premier league. Pellegrini's team won 27 games last season while drawing 5 and losing 6. They scored a whooping 102 goals and conceded 37. A little too much and Pellegrini knows he will have to sign a decent defender. He has remedied that by acquiring Mangala for a hefty £32m. The 3-0 humiliation in the hands of Arsenal made that sooner rather than later. The striking department that scored 102 goals remains intact, what more can you ask of a team? Manchester city would always be favourites to lift the premier league trophy every season. Aguero might not be fully fit now but they have an Edin Dzeko that can hold the fort till he gets back. He scored 16 goals in 28 appearances last season, and most were off the bench. They still have David silva who assisted 9 times and scored 7 from midfield and also the fulcrum of the team, Yaya Toure, the highest goal scorer for the team last season with 20 goals and 9 assists, these two midfielders can change the outcome of a match single-handedly and they are still at city. With supporting casts of Nasri, Jesus Navas, Negredo and Jovetic, City are ready and rearing to go. Their captain Kompany will probably partner with Mangala and will be hoping to create a partnership that can ship in lesser goals this term. Fernandinho, Lampard and Sagna have also been brought in to strengthen an already solid team. They secured the league by just two points and it doesn't seem likely for that to happen again this season, teams around them have gotten stronger and have spent wisely. The horror show Caballero put up for us shows their goal keeping department might need a little tweaking too. Pellegrini still has time to do this but the squad might still not be able to win the league this term. The other teams are stronger and much more motivated.


Liverpool might look like favorites but the truth is, they aren't. Suarez is gone. When a player that scored 31 goals and created 12 leaves. It will be really hard to replace him. And a Rickie Lambert that scored just 13 goals in 37 games last season even though he played ten games more than Suarez doesn't look like a worthy replacement. They won 26 games last season, drew 6 and lost 6 scoring 101 goals in the process. And Suarez was involved in whooping 43 of those goals. They have also recruited Adam Lallana a very good player that scored 9 goals and created 5 last season, as well as Dejan Lovren, Lazar Markovich, Emre Can , Origi (back on loan to Lille) and Javier Manquillo. Lallana, Lambert and Markovich are good players but they can't reproduce what Suarez did. Spurs will tell them that from experience. Balloteli has arrived and its left to see what he can do. Sturridge and Gerrard would have to do more than they did last season if they want to even get into the top four and its left to see if Rodgers can do his magic again. They shipped in 50 goals in the back last season and they have signed players to stop that trend but Gerrards 13 assists will have to increase and Sturridge might have to form a new partnership that will allow him score more than 21 goals if they want to get anywhere near the crown.

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