Thursday, 14 August 2014

Premier League 2014/15 Preview Part Two

Manchester United
After what was the worst season at Old Trafford in Premier League history Moyes is no longer. In steps Louis Van Gaal a proven big name and winner for a big club. Moyes was not out of his depth but it seemed the players never at any point looked like they were playing for him. So what does LVG have to do? First is get back into the top four, however the United squad has been ripped apart and there's a number of players he does not rate. The 3-5-2 formation is what he wants to go with, Mata, Rooney and RVP will all fit into that, but do United have a defence or midfield for that formation?

Key Man- Juan Mata, United desperately lack a creative midfielder so playing him in his best position behind the striker is a start. He has had an impressive pre season so he should have a much better season.



Newcastle United
The Toon simple stopped playing after January and if they didn't have such a good start they would have been in almighty trouble. Pardew was on the verge of being dismissed but the season ended just in time. He has brought in a heap of players most notably Jack Colback from rivals Sunderland. Pardew needs a good start or the Newcastle fans will tell him exactly what they think of him.

Key Man- Siem De Jong maybe they got the wrong brother last time but this De Jong came in from Ajax and will be the man to replace the goals which Remy put in last season.


QPR
The Play-off winners have vowed to make sure they bring in the 'right sort' of players this time as they returned to the Premier League. QPR have not gone for the big names which cost them so dearly last time. Caulker and Mutch from Cardiff are good young talents added to the likes of Barton, Austin and Faurlin Rangers should do much better. Rio Ferdinand coming in may be one of the best bits of business they did, a player who is more than capable in the 3-5-2 formation Redknapp will go with.


Key Man - Charlie Austin won pretty much every award going at QPR last year, top scorer and he has said he's ready for the Premier League. With Remy's future still a bit cloudy Austin is the main man for goals. Can the former brick layer do it in the big league?

Southampton

Liverpool took apart this side this summer but Ronald Koeman has managed to bring in some players though Pelle, Tadic and Forster so it's not so bad as it seems. However the massive turnaround of players and a new manager can go very wrong very quickly. They should be safe though, just.

Key Man- James Ward-Prowse as one of the few players that actually stayed at St Mary's he I feel will progress this season in the middle of the field.

Stoke City

A solid season for Mark Hughes' Stoke team last time out never in real trouble never looked like getting into Europe. He has added experience with the signing of Bardsley and Sidwell but the deal to get Bojan in may be transfer of the summer.

Key Man - Bojan, the question is asked about the stars from Europe can they do it on a wet Sunday in Stoke? This year we will get a small glimpse of that argument. He has had a good pre season and Stoke are waiting to see what the little man can do.

Sunderland

A strong end to the season saw the black cats safe especially the performances from Connor Wickham. The big money deal to bring in Jack Rodwell from Man City and Will Buckley will give energy to the midfield. The loss of Borini's goals will be hard to take as they have not brought another striker yet.

Key Man - Connor Wickham his end to the season kept them in this league, they have to keep hold of him this summer if not they are bang in trouble.

Swansea

Gary Monk took over the reins at the Liberty Stadium after Michael Laudrup was sacked, he saw out the season with a few bumps on the road. Bony proved a crucial buy as Michu didn't have the best of seasons. Gomis has come in this summer, he may be Bony replacement as some of the bigger clubs sniff around. The return of Sigurdsson will add to an already creative scoring midfield of Dyer, Routledge and Shelvey.

Key Man- Nathan Dyer, if the swans do lose Bony the winger who can chip in with goals will be called upon. He can be very hot and cold though. But for me he is one of the league's most under-rated players.

Tottenham
In the true Tottenham way they spent big last summer and fired a manager. They have to stick with one man and believe in his ideas. Pochettino is the next man on Spurs roulette he knows he needs a promising start or the cycle could start again. They won't get top 4 so top 6 and a cup run will be the road to go down. Europe I think if it's not Champions League for Spurs is just a distraction now. It will be interesting to see if he can get a game out of the forgotten man Erik Lamela.

Key Man- Christian Eriksen probably Tottenham's best purchase last summer the creative Danish international will be the lynch pin of the Spurs midfield.

WBA
Alan Irvine struck gold after leaving Everton's youth team set up for his first Premier League manager role. He already stated he had not seen new striker Ideye play live which gets the alarm bells ringing already. They don't have the best of squads and it could be a very difficult season for the Baggies.

Key Man- Saido Berahino should have more game time this season the under 21 England international scored 5 times last season, West Brom will need him to hit at least 10 this time round.

West Ham
The Hammers have done a lot of business this summer, Enner Valencia was a star at the World Cup and Mauro Zarate will add some much needed fire power up top with Carroll out for four months. Big Sam also added Cheikhou Kouyate, Carl Jenkinson & Aaron Cresswell to an already steady defence. It all will fall on how they start already the fans don't like Big Sam they never have, their patience well be tested to the max this year.

Key Man- Enner Valencia is a massive gamble off the back of the World Cup, big money was spent and he will have to hit the ground running.


So my picks:

Top Six

1. Chelsea  
2. Manchester City  
3. Arsenal  
4. Manchester United  
5. Liverpool  
6. Tottenham

Relegation:  

West Brom  
Sunderland  
Burnley

FA Cup: Manchester United
League Cup: Arsenal

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