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Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Topsy-Turvy Table of the Premier League

The English Premier League teams are just over three quarters of the way through the season, and the race for top places is heating up. Also, the relegation battle is one of the closest in years. As a reminder, the top 4 qualify for the Champions League, 5th place goes to the Champions League playoff, and the bottom three are relegated to the second-tier Championship. Liverpool and Swansea still play on Monday and Chelsea and Leicester have a make-up game on April 29th.

My predictions are in the bold text...

1st Place: Chelsea-- sits at the top of table and appears to be breaking through after back-to-back 3rd place finishes. The power of Diego Costa, Eden Hazzard, as well as manager Jose Mourinho and many others should be enough to win the title. Maybe they don't lose again this season? Arsenal meets them in late April in a possible title-decider.

2nd, 3rd, 4th: Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd: Man City appears to be free falling and although they have strikers Aguero, Dzeko, and newcomer Wilfred Bony, the team just hasn't been as good as their hot start to the season. Manchester United has been consistently 3rd or 4th the whole season, but the fans crave more. Louis Van Gaal has been trying to find the perfect formation and I believe they should stick to four defenders, because otherwise they constantly get beat on defense.  I do think if Van Gaal continues with a 4-3-3, they can finish 2nd or 3rd. Arsenal is in great form right now in the league and with a bevy of talented midfielders (Ozil, Cazorla, Walcott, Ramsey, Coquelin, Sanchez) on the roster they should finish 2nd and challenge for 1st. I didn't even mention Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who should be returning to full health in a few weeks.

Battle for 5th: Southampton, Liverpool, Tottenham: A surprise at 4th much of the year, Ronald Koeman's Southampton side has fell down a bit in the standings. A tough and tactically minded side with a strong defensive core and goalkeeper, the "Saints" don't make a big money signing and rather focus on developing young players. NBC did a great documentary on this a few months back, I highly recommend it:

The Premier League is like any competition, there always teams that come out of the woodwork to have a good, maybe even great season.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog post! I mostly agree with your predictions for the premier league rankings. I think Chelsea will finish first, Arsenal will finish second, Manchester City will finish third, Liverpool will finish fourth, and Manchester United will finish in fifth place. Next season, I predict that Stoke City will be very high up in the league. They have Mark Hughes, the ex-Manchester City coach, as their new coach, and I think he is a very good coach. Stoke City also have Stephen Ireland and Bojan Krkic as new, and great players. Bojan Krkic is one of my favorite players. With these new additions to their team, I think they will have a great season next year.