2015/16 Premier League Season Preview
2015-16 Premier League Season Preview
So, we’re a mere day away from the grand return of the Barclays Premier League. Whilst other leagues are yet to kick off and others have already got a few games finished, the Premier League is yet to start and – for any of us – it’s the very pinnacle of the footballing season.
However, this season looks like it might be posing a bit of a different challenge to the competitors than previous seasons have – stagnation looks to be the aim of the game, with very little expected to change by many with regards to the makeup of the league compared to last season.
That said, we aren’t so convinced by that – here’s how we reckon the league may turn out as the season goes on.
We expect Chelsea to win the title again – we’ll make that claim now, hoping that it sticks!
They look in good nick from last year and have brought in a couple of interesting signings in Falcao and – soon – Baba Rahmann. Both players are talented figures and offer something a bit different to the Blues, making it easy for them to manage and prepare themselves for a whole variety of different tactics and styles. They might be a bit similar to last year and might not do very well in Europe, but they look the best equipped to run the domestic gauntlet and come out on top.
We also expect good seasons from Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Whilst Manchester City will probably get top four again due to the sheer propensity of their squad, we reckon that Liverpool will push the four clubs a lot closer in terms of getting into the fabled “Top Four”. What we don’t expect, though, is the Reds to make it – they will be best equipped for winning the Europa League, though, is the Champions League is their sole aim.
Arsenal have done alright in the transfer window with the addition of PetrCech in particular proving a strong buy. We’d be shocked if they don’t do well this year, and secure yet another year in the Champions League.
Swansea are a club we think could do really well this year, again. They’ve progressed so steadily and regularly make very mature decisions – we’d expect that to continue this year, although it may also be the year that they hit the glass ceiling.
On the other side of things, we don’t expect to see Tottenham or Southampton replicate their performances last year. Whilst Spurs fans might have been disappointed with last year, the development and change in Harry Kane was something to behold – personally, though, we have reservations about his overall quality as a footballer. It might be a season whereby his moves and his abilities have been worked out and sussed by managers and defences. Southampton is not so much “bad” but moreso we don’t expect them to find the same momentum as they did in 14-15.
We expect poor seasons from the likes of Sunderland, Newcastle, Villa and Everton, too. Whilst each club has made some good signings, none of them have made the quality of moves that may be required to help them bridge further up the table and really penetrate those European spots.
We expect that the top six will be very similar to last year, with perhaps a random contender making their way into the sixth spot – many of the clubs who you would typically expect to challenge have failed to strengthen and several of them are in a state of flux, too.
Whilst all three promoted teams are fairly weak in our opinion – despite the relatively heavy spending some of them have engaged in – we expect that this year could be the year for a few teams to really suffer that might not expect.
Norwich is our main pick from the three promoted teams to go down (despite having a huge amount of respect for young manager Alex Neill) we expect to see the end of West Ham and Sunderland, too. Sunderland have signed a raft of dodgy footballers in our opinion and manager Dick Advocaat is, without a doubt, one of the most overrated coaches in the top end of the game.
He won’t do well at Sunderland – who does? – and West Ham, we reckon, could be onto a bit of a loser with Bilic. The ex-player link has been majorly overplayed and his poor European campaign which is already over could be a potential precursor to what is to come.
Top Six: Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Swansea
Relegated: Sunderland, Norwich, West Ham