So the start of the new season has come around (super fast for us as we’ve been so busy) and as is usual at this time of year everyone is having their say for the predictions. Thanks to Paul Boyham we have decided to write this article for AnfieldIndex.com and some of their friends! So we’ve had all of the predictions and here is the overall table for the predictions by those, which will be followed by their thoughts.
- All but one of the guys believe MCFC will win the title! Resounding.
- MUFC are shoe-ins for the CL as are CFC as well as Arsenal will do it, 50% Liverpool and only 1 out 8 went for Spurs.
- Relegation – I was quite surprised with four of the guys going for WBA, half went for Wigan, half for Reading, and half for Southampton too. Norwich got a mention as have Stoke!
- Cazorla and Sahin may be team mates next year, or will they? That’s the question but they are the main mentions as well as Borini and Diarra from West Ham.
- Everyone had a different surprise package and I think Brendan Rodgers may shock a few in the game as a young manager with clear ideals. We shall see.
Onto thoughts on their predictions (those that provided them!):
Gags Tandon prediction: Real Madrid
Would have gone for Barca had Pep stayed but I think they may have a transitional year (although I hope not!) and Mourinho’s Madrid look to from strength to strength.
Paul Boyham prediction: Real Madrid
As much as I hate him, I can see Mourinho winning it at Real Madrid.
Chris Vermeulen prediction: Barcelona
League: I think this year’s Champions League will be one of the closest we’ve seen. City will be looking to push on after a disappointing run last season. With the money PSG spent, they’ll be hell bent on winning the CL this year too. The usual customers Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern and co will also be there or there abouts. I think it’ll come down to the draw and who gets the easy ride. (Editor: Barca chosen in the end!)
Jack Watson prediction: Barcelona
Hard to look past them, to be honest. They’ve changed manager but only by name – he will still continue the philosophy and tactics that Pep Guardiola used. Granted, he might tweak a couple of things but their overall quality will shine through, as it so often does.
Andrew Beasley prediction: Real Madrid
Whilst Barcelona are always the obvious choice, they will be keen to reclaim their La Liga crown, and their new manager is a bit of an unknown quantity. As much as it pains me to say it, I think the Special Mouth may take Old Big Ears for the third time as Real Madrid win it this year.
Craig Tennant prediction: Barcelona
David Villa returning will give them more goals. Real Madrid will obviously be challenging. The addition of Modric will be a boost for them in midfield, but I think it’ll be Barca’s year.
Ash Langley: Real Madrid
Think they’re overdue another euro cup, been stronger every year under the special one, think he’ll get them a record 10th win this season.
Nick Collins: Real Madrid
Because it is 3rd time lucky for Mourinho and Madrid!
Matt Kenny: Real Madrid
As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, Jose Mourinho is a manager who knows how to win Europe’s top prize better than just about anyone and he rarely leaves a job without achieving his goals. Madrid have gotten better and better since he took over and having snatched the Title from Barcelona last season, he will want to lift the Champions League this season. They have the squad to do it and if they focus their attentions on the competition then I can see them going all the way.
Premier League Champions:
Gags Tandon prediction: Manchester City
Carlos Tevez won it them last year and judging on some pre-season form if he ticks this year City will fly away with it regardless of van Persie and co at United.
Paul Boyham prediction: Manchester City
Manchester City. Chelsea should challenge but will mess about with their manager and try and get Pep every 5 minutes. United will be close despite not having a great midfield.
Chris Vermeulen prediction: Manchester City
Don’t think anyone has what it takes to take the crown from City.
Jack Watson prediction: Manchester City
Their triumph last season cannot be underestimated. It was hugely significant, not just for last season’s outcome, but for coming seasons. Mancini will strengthen again this summer and Blue Moon will be sung victoriously come May 2013 – it won’t be as close as last season, though.
Andrew Beasley prediction: Manchester City
It’s hard to look past Manchester City, isn’t it? They might have left it very late last season, but they were deservedly champions based on the season as a whole. Not sure where Jack Rodwell fits into their team though.
Craig Tennant prediction: Manchester City
I think it’ll be close again between Man City and Man U. Man City will have matured and learnt from last season’s mistakes. The pressure got to some of their players – David Silva’s and other’s form dropped when it mattered. I believe we’ll see a much improved Balotelli. Euro 2012 will have helped Balotelli grow up and we’ll see a change in his attitude. Van Persie will give Man U goals, but Man City will be stronger than they were last season.
Ash Langley: Manchester City
Heart says Liverpool, head says anything is possible! city again this season, wont be as close as last season tho.
Nick Collins: Arsenal
Arsenal to win the league, cause they got rid of dead beat Van Persie.
Matt Kenny: Manchester City
City have had the best squad in the league for a few seasons now and for most it was only a matter of time until they became Champions. The only thing that seemed to stand between them and the Title was the fact they’d never done it before, whereas rivals United had won it countless times and knew exactly how to win games in the end-of-season run-in.
But having lifted the trophy last season City now know they can get the job done and unless they have a horrific amount of injuries I can’t see anyone stopping them. Their spine of Hart, Kompany, Yaya Toure, Silva and Aguero is a match for any club in the world.
Premier League Top 4
Gags Tandon Prediction: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, LIVERPOOL
Honestly feel we’ll pip Arsenal to fourth. They seem to be in a little bit of a phase where they’re going to have to re-structure and I can see that costing them especially with the majority of their players being new up top and then the loss of van Persie and impending loss of Song and Walcott.
Paul Boyham Prediction: MAN UTD, CHELSEA, MAN CITY, LIVERPOOL
We should be expected to put in a good challenge for 4th place but I think we’ll ultimately miss out. Arsenal look weaker than last year with Van Persie gone – I think Giroud will flop, Podolski and Carzola will do OK, not great – and Tottenham are in a similar position to us. I predict Tottenham to just get it ahead of us though.
Chris Vermeulen Prediction: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, LIVERPOOL
Top 4 will be close again, especially with some question marks surrounding some contenders. City and United are the obvious ones to include. Chelsea might have spent a truck load of money this summer, but ultimately their manager will hold them back. Spurs for me won’t make it, 2 days before the season starts and they only have Defoe upfront? Don’t think Vilas-Boas will hack it just quite yet. Arsenal have just lost their talisman striker, and although they’ve done the business to replace him, I think they might fall short. Meanwhile Liverpool might take advantage of the question marks over Spurs and Arsenal. Brendan Rodgers talks the talk and has made solid moves in the window so far. Liverpool are still being linked with Dempsey and possibly Walcott, but I think getting Sahin on loan might be the deal to push the Reds into the top 4.
Jack Watson Prediction: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, ARSENAL
Manchester United will push City but fall in late-April. With RVP partnering Rooney, they’re sure to score even more goals but that fragile defence is still a worry. Chelsea will have a new manager by Easter as last season was a complete fluke under Roberto Di Matteo. He resorted to the old ‘Drogba’ tactics and that won’t work with Torres surrounded by Mata, Hazard and Oscar. They’ll do well but will seize third with a new manager. And Arsenal will (just) pip Liverpool to fourth, in my opinion. I hope I’m wrong but Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski are two superb signings by Wenger.
Andrew Beasley Prediction: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, ARSENAL
Again, no real surprises there. Despite what I’ve said above though, I think Arsenal could grow as a team in response to van Persie leaving, and despite a jammy Champions League win, I still think there’s question marks over Di Matteo; after all, his league performance was worse than Andre Villas-Boas’.
Craig Tennant Prediction: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, ARSENAL
Even though Arsenal have lost Van Persie, and possibly Song, they always find seem to find form and will again scrape 4th place. Chelsea have improved their squad. Tottenham will struggle with the loss of Modric. Liverpool aren’t ready to challenge for champions league places again, but we will finish 5th – 6th.
Ash Langley: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, ARSENAL, LIVERPOOL
Nick Collins: ARSENAL, CHELSEA, MAN UTD, LIVERPOOL
Another Tevez saga in the offing causes City to go off the rails. Challengers up their game to force City down!
Matt Kenny: MAN CITY, MAN UTD, CHELSEA, ARSENAL
As much confidence as I have in both our players and Rodgers, I still think top four would be a massive ask and this season I see it being more about us just getting closer to the top four positions than having to finish in them.
Every season people write-off United but they always seem to be competing for the title with a few games to go and having signed Kagawa and van Persie, I see them doing the same this year.
Chelsea have also strengthened with the signings of Eden Hazard and Oscar, and barring Di Matteo having an AVB-esque reign, I see them comfortably finishing in third position.
While many expect Arsenal to struggle without RVP, I think they’ll be just fine and having made the shrewd signings of Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla, I see them having goals throughout the team instead of relying on one player to score. They will encounter some problems but Wenger knows how to finish in the top four and I can’t see him failing to do it this season.
Gags Tandon Prediction: WIGAN, SOUTHAMPTON, READING
Times up for Wigan and Martinez this season I feel – especially if they end up losing Moses to Chelsea (big rumours about this one). Southampton and Reading don’t seem strong enough at the moment regardless of the fact that Gaston Ramirez may sign for Southampton! I don’t think one man will save them unfortunately!
Paul Boyham Prediction: READING, WEST BROM, NORWICH
I’d like Steve Clarke to do well at West Brom (after the opening day, of course…) but just can’t see it. I don’t think Chris Hughton will do well at Norwich either. The other spot could be Reading, who look the weakest of the promoted teams.
Chris Vermeulen Prediction: WIGAN, WEST BROM, SAINTS / READING
I think Wigan will finally go down this season, don’t think we’ll see those five weeks of greatness this season. West Brom, I like Steve Clarke but I’m not convinced that he’ll keep them up. Reading or Saints for the final pick, although I would love West Ham to go straight back downtoo.
Jack Watson Prediction: SOUTHAMPTON, WIGA, WEST BROM
Out of the three promoted sides, I’d say Southampton are more likely to struggle. Wigan surely can’t keep up with their regular surge in form – it’s ridiculous. And West Brom just aren’t strong enough. I can see Steve Clarke losing his job this season.
Andrew Beasley Prediction: READING, SOUTHAMPTON, NORWICH
Of the promoted teams, Big Sam’s ale house football should ensure that the Hammers stay up, but I think Reading and Southampton might struggle; the Saints were a League One side about twelve months ago, so this may prove a step too far. As for the third relegation slot…it’d be lovely to see Stoke’s rugby team go down, but I suspect it might be Norwich.
Craig Tennant Prediction: STOKE, WEST BROM, NORWICH
Stoke are a controversial choice but they really struggled mid to late last season. It seems like clubs are getting wise to them and are handling their physicality better. They haven’t invested this summer and are going to struggle for goals. West Brom and Norwich are going to struggle after losing their managers. Say what you want about Hodgson, he turns bottom 5 clubs into middle table teams. It’s a big ask for Steve Clarke to continue in the same form.
Ash Langley: WIGAN, QPR, EVERTON
Don’t think Wigan have another miraculous recovery in them, a season is 38 games not just the 10 at the end, their 10 fans at the ground every week need putting out of their misery. QPR, poor for long spells last season, don’t think they have the quality to stay up, wouldn’t surprise me if they parted company with their manager en route to the championship. Everton, bit of wishful thinking here but not too much, the last 10yrs of errm …success under Moyes has to end sometime, they cant go no further, mid to bottom table finish at best.
Nick Collins: READING, SWANSEA, EVERTON
Reading do not have a good enough squad, Swansea will have second season syndrome and falter without Rodgers – Everton will crumble.
Matt Kenny: STOKE, NORWICH, READING
Stoke may shock some, but anyone who watched them last season will know they are far from the side that used to be a match for even the best of teams. Pulis refuses to change his style and as every season passes, teams become more able to combat their physical game. That coupled with small squad low on quality is why I see them finishing in the bottom three this season.
The other two choices are relatively straightforward. Norwich did brilliantly to finish mid-table last season, but with Lambert gone and Holt believing his own hype, I can’t see them having the same luck under Chris Hughton.
As for Reading, I just see them as having the squad least capable of staying in the league out of the three promoted teams.The other two choices are relatively straightforward. Norwich did brilliantly to finish mid-table last season, but with Lambert gone and Holt believing his own hype, I can’t see them having the same luck under Chris Hughton.
Player to Watch This Season
Gotta feeling it’ll be Santi Cazorla to burst on the scene. I think he’s a ‘triffic’ little player. Hopefully he doesn’t do too well to propel Arsenal.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Alou Diarra at West Ham. He was at Liverpool years ago and the rumour was that he never actually even got to Melwood; just spent year after year out on loan. He’s now got 44 caps for France, has captained his country and has popped up at West Ham for £2.5m.
If Liverpool pull it off, I think Nuri Sahin would be the player to watch. What a coup that will be for a club who, supposedly, can’t attract high calibre players. To add to that I think Borini looks like he’s got something special about him, might just be what the Reds lacked last season. Santi Cazorla might be the bright light for the Gunners this season after Van Persie opted for a move to United.
This was really, really tough to choose. Out of Santi Cazorla, Sahin, Luis Suarez and Shinji Kagawa, I thought Sahin just edged it. Coming in on loan from Real Madrid after struggling to make the starting XI is a perfect chance to put his name back in the gleaming lights of European football. A beautiful footballer who has an eye for a pass and an exceptional shot will be a stunning signing if Liverpool can get hold of him. I nearly picked Cazorla as he’s an exceptional talent – a true bargain for Arsenal.
As I hadn’t heard of him before Thursday, I’ll be keeping an eye on Oussama Assaidi to see if he’s any good or not! Seriously though, I have a sneaking suspicion that David Silva will be crowned player of the season in 9 months time.
Balotelli. I think he’ll be much improved this season and will be more prepared to work for the team
Ash Langley: David Silva
Was quality last season, he’ll be even better this season – a joy to watch.
Nick Collins: Steven Gerrard
Injury free season will lead to a glut of goals!
Matt Kenny: Luis Suarez
It could be my Liverpool bias shining through, but when I think of truly exceptional attackers in the Premier League I cannot name a single one that I would swap for Luis Suarez.
While he was generally very good last season, he was dogged by controversy and often lacked end product to finish off his brilliant build-up play. This season however he has a clean slate, a system that suits him and a lot more support in attack. I expect him to score at least 20 league goals and wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of them are wonder-goals.
Best Value Transfer Signing
Gags Tandon: Fabio Borini
Fabio Borini at £10m will give value to Liverpool. Hopefully he continues his form from Roma because that will ensure a great first year for him.
Paul Boyham: Steven Naismith
Everton’s stealing of Steven Naismith from Rangers will take some beating for value.
Chris Vermeulen: Santi Cazorla
This summer has seen a lot of money spent on some pretty big players. I think if Cazorla will be a steal at £13million. Any of the players Swansea signed for bargains, especially Michu. And you have to mention the loan deal for Sahin.
Again, tough as there has been some shrewd business this summer. As the ‘Player to Watch’ was pipped by Sahin, I’ll give this one to Cazorla. Really excited to see how he’ll play this season. A splendid talent.
Andrew Beasley: Fabio Borini
It’s kind of impossible to answer this at this point. For instance, if United sign van Persie for £24m, and he scores 30 goals as they win the league and Champions League, then that’s fantastic value (albeit a horrible thought). Closer to home, hopefully Fabio Borini can fire in the goals that Liverpool so sorely lacked last season. He scored every 122 minutes in Serie A last season, which equates to 28 goals if he played every minute of the season. Fingers crossed he hits the ground running (and scoring).
Craig Tennant: Alou Diarra
Alou Diarra. £2m for a French international is incredible value. He might be 31 and struggled with Marseille last season, but he is a quality DM and was impressive in Euro 2012.
Ash Langley: Gaston Ramirez
Surprised many by joinin s’hampton, fee much less than what was bein quoted for bigger teams, will be a big player for saints, quality isnt in doubt the big boys will be watchin closely circling, ready to pounce if he does well.
Nick Collins: van Persie
And I don’t mean best value for Man Utd – I mean best value for Arsenal. To sell a player in their last year of contract, who’s been injury ravaged for the majority of his playing career – and to get £24m for him is sheer GENIUS.
Matt Kenny: Junior Hoillet
QPR have done a lot of good business this summer, but by far their best signing has to be Hoilett on a free transfer. Seven goals and seven assists last season for a very poor Blackburn team is a great total and his pace, trickery and eye for goal could help Rangers to push for a midtable finish.
Surprise Package this Season
Brendan Rodgers – I know, I know it’s supposed to be players but I think a lot of supporters from the Premier League are laughing behind our backs. None of them are slightly worried about Liverpool nor do they want to educate themselves about Brendan’s style of play. I hope Brendan educates the other fans when they come to Fortress Anfield and get obliterated!
I don’t think Stoke will do anywhere near as badly as many are predicting. They’ll concentrate on the league and get to 9th/10th. Sunderland will fight their way to a decent position too.
Reading. They’ve been impressing in the Championship for the last few seasons and narrowly missed out on promotion last summer. They might end up in a relegation dog fight, but they’ll take a few big scalps with them should they go down.
If they can keep hold of Dempsey, or replace him with a goal scorer then they’ll do well. Hard to predict anything outside the top 6/7 but I think Fulham could finish in an impressive 8th. (Editor: He’s refusing to play for them now! Not much hope of this!)
I have a feeling that Aston Villa will do better than people expect; not anything crazy like a top four finish, but they can be around the Europa League qualification spots. They have a mostly young side with a year of experience under their belts, and a good manager in Paul Lambert.
QPR. Mark Hughes has had time to mould them into the team that he wants. I think they’ll be a good mid-table team this season.
Ash Langley: Chelsea
For the wrong reasons, think di Matteo’s negative approach will see chelsea struggle, might have fluked a champs lge playin anti football but league form was less than stellar towards the end, every chance they wont be in champs lge next season, an roberto will be out of a job.
Nick Collins: Southampton
The reasoning is because Ricky Lambert (Scouser) will score a bag-full!
Matt Kenny: QPR
As I said in my previous prediction, I believe QPR have added well to a decent squad this summer and with a full pre-season under Hughes’ management I think they can do much this time out. I expect them to be nowhere near the relegation zone at the end of the season.
Looking forward to in 2011/2012?
I am really looking forward to us playing some glorious football, a fortress Anfield and a better record in the league. Another cup run – and maybe European success this year would be good but it may be a little too much to ask to do that as well as get fourth. I look forward to my side proving the doubters wrong this time!
I’m not as optimistic as most people are about our new ‘project’ so I’ll have to say something else. I’m keen to see how Wigan and Fulham build on how they were doing things last year. I’ll also be looking at how Swansea do, for obvious reasons.
I’m looking forward to see how this new look Liverpool will do against the big teams. I think we’ve seen in the last week that Liverpool will dominate the smaller teams and control those games, but we’ve been untested against teams like City and United. The first few weeks of our season will be interesting to say the least.
An impressive season for Liverpool with the woodwork never crossing our paths – I’ve had enough of it!Other than that, I’d like to see Laudrup do well at Swansea City, Liverpool to finish in the top four and hopefully just as much excitement as last season.
Luis Suárez being allowed by the FA to play in every game, and if he’s deemed guilty of something, actually being proven to be guilty of it.
Chelsea. They have added some very promising players. I’ve heard so much about Hazard and it will be good to see what he’s really capable of. We could finally see the return of Torres. He won’t have to share the limelight with Drogba and Euro 2012 will give him more confidence. The pace Chelsea have added to their squad will also help him.
Most looking forward to seeing Liverpool play some proper football for a change an get back in the champs league!
Looking forward to seeing Liverpool FC adapt to their new manager and the return of the REAL “Pass N’ Move!”
Most of all I’m looking forward to Liverpool’s new style of play and hopefully a much better campaign than last season. I expect Suarez to be a phenomenon this campaign so I’m already excited about all the great goals he will score. Away from Liverpool I’m looking forward to seeing if Swansea can continue to excel under new management.