Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Time to stick your neck on the line...

Just four days to go now until the start of the new Premiership season and it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

How do you think the season will go and what will the Premiership table look like come the end of the 2006/2007 season?

Think you know the answer? Then why not leave us a comment with your prediction. At the end of the season, we'll see whose prediction was best using a simple scoring system: for every place in the table that your teams are incorrectly positioned, you score a point. The more points you accumulate, the worse your prediction was.

Example: Arsenal finish 2nd and you predicted them to finish 5th = you score three points, and so on.

Anyway, let's deal with that in nine months time. For now, here's my prediction for the 2006/2007 FA Premiership table...

1 Chelsea
2 Liverpool
3 Arsenal
4 Man United
5 Tottenham
6 Blackburn
7 Newcastle
8 Bolton
9 West Ham
10 Everton
11 Aston Villa
12 Charlton
13 Wigan
14 Portsmouth
15 Man City
16 Reading
17 Middlesbrough
18 Fulham
19 Sheff Utd
20 Watford

Not much that's controversial in the above, except that I've got Liverpool to finish second which I've no doubt some of you will disagree with. I think Aston Villa will improve on last season under Martin O'Neill but it's going to take some time to achieve and I think he'll have to spend lots of money wisely and fast in order to do it.

Smart and I were caught out last year (along with everyone else) by the surprisingly good performance of newly-promoted Wigan and West Ham, but I'm just as cautious this year as last. I think two of the new boys will go straight back down with only Reading capable of really causing any flicker of an upset.

Speaking of Wigan, I think their bubble will burst after several of their top players parted company with them, but meeting them on the way up should be Charlton and Portsmouth who may be slightly better than before after making some interesting additions to their squad.

I think Gareth Southgate will struggle badly in his first season as manager of Middlesbrough and Chris Coleman, too, could be set for a relegation battle judging by the squad he has. It's any wonder they finished 12th last year, but this time I don't think they'll be so lucky.

As for the top half of the table, I can't see it being much different to 2005/2006. The main difference for me will be the order of the top four as I've gone for Arsenal to take third place and Manchester United to finish fourth.

And Chelsea? Well they might not have things all their own way this season, but if you're looking to pick up at least one point in this prediction game you'd be a fool to put them anywhere other than top spot.


Smart said...

Heres mine, without any reasoning behind it!

1. Chelsea
2. Liverpool
3. Arsenal
4. Man Utd
5. Tottenham
6. Blackburn
7. Everton
8. Newcastle
9. Portsmouth
10. West Ham
11. Middlesborough
12. Bolton
13. Man City
14. Aston Villa
15. Wigan
16. Charlton
17. Reading
18. Fulham (R)
19. Sheff Utd (R)
20. Watford (R)

Chris said...

Portsmouth in ninth is an interesting choice. Why did you plump for that?

And you too have gone for Villa not doing anything spectacular. Your view coincides with mine?

What of Southgate? What leads you to think he'll improve on Boro's position last season?

Kedge said...

1 Chelsea
2 Liverpool
3 Man United
4 Tottenham
5 Arsenal
6 West Ham
7 Bolton
8 Blackburn
9 Newcastle
10 Aston Villa
11 Charlton
12 Everton
13 Wigan
14 Fulham
15 Man City
16 Reading
17 Portsmouth
18 Middlesbrough
19 Watford
20 Sheff Utd

Chris said...

Looks like you've gone more out on a limb than Smart and me, Kedge!

Arsenal as low as fifth, eh? And West Ham SIXTH?!? Well I for one will keep my fingers crossed you're right where that's concerned! Sixth place despite Dean Ashton being injued for three months?

Fulham 14th... hmmm... not sure about that! And Middlesbrough to get relegated! It's a fair possibility, but I think they'll just escape.

As long as Warnock gets relegated, I don't care actually!!!!

Smart said...

Well at least we all agree on Portsmouth! lol

To answer Chris' earlier question -well I for one think they will do well under 'Arry. Hes not the greatest manager, but he's no mug either, thats for sure.

I think he has strengthened the side quite well, and if they can sign another decent striker by the end of August then they will do well.

As for the likes of Spurs, West Ham and the other 'new' entrants to the UEFA cup, well I think the strength in squad depth will be critical to there premiership season. The further the clubs go, the lower down the league I think they will finish - take Middlesboro last season for example.

The question is, if you look at the Spurs and West Ham squads for example, do you see enough strength for both a european and domestic campaign should things go well on the continent?


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