5) Diego Costa will disappoint: While Diego Costa is a solid striker and had an incredible season in 2013/14, it was his first season truly doing that well. A quick glance at his previous seasons will show a much lower goal return. He was also out of form during the World Cup and it has yet to be seen if he will fully recover from the injury at the end of last season.
4) Tottenham will look much better but it won’t be enough to crack the Top 5: Pochettino is a great manager. That much cannot be argued. The problem with Spurs, however, is that this will be the fourth system of play in three seasons, being played by players that weren’t picked by the manager. While there is quality in the team, I just don’t see them as having improved enough to truly compete for a Champions League spot.
3) Manchester City will win the Premier League but look unimpressive: Manchester City have the best squad in the Premier League and they have the ability to play several different styles. Last season, they ran a close race with Liverpool for the title and eventually won out. I can see this happening again, with Chelsea replacing Liverpool in the equation, and Manchester City just squeaking out the win. They’ll be more consistent this year, but there will be games where they just look bad.
2) Arsenal will get 4th. Again: Now, some followers of the EPL will look at this claim and sarcastically remark “Ooo, he’s so brave, picking Arsenal to get fourth”. First of all, why do you have to hate? It’s not nice. But more importantly, many people are predicting Arsenal will challenge for the title this season. I’m not convinced. Yes, they picked up Alexis Sanchez and he’s a quality player, putting it lightly, but does he really bring anything to the table that Arsenal lacked? They still need a top class keeper, centerback, and defensive midfielder. This summer is just like last summer when Arsenal signed Ozil. Great player. Didn’t bring anything to the team that they didn’t already have to an extent.
1) Manchester United will be lucky to make 5th: Just like I’m not convinced by people claiming Arsenal will challenge for the title, I’m not convinced that Manchester United will challenge for Top 4. At all. They have a better manager that will use the players they have better, but aside for that they haven’t addressed any of the issues they had. They are still weak in central midfield and extremely weak in central defense, which is even more worrying when you consider they look set to play three at the back.
5) A lower league team will be in a Capital One Cup or FA Cup Final: We’ve seen teams in the lower half of the EPL table be in the FA Cup Final, now is the time for a lower league team to be there and potentially shock the world.
4) English teams will struggle in Champions League: Don’t know if that’s completely shocking but I don’t see them doing well either.
3) Barcelona and Liverpool will be drawn into the same group in Champions League: The planets need to align so Luis Suarez comes back to Anfield. Make it happen UEFA!
2) Alan Pardew keeps his job at the end of the season: Pardew is still cashing in on the big contract that it’s still too much for Newcastle to pay to get rid of him.
1) Jose Mourinho will be fired before New Years: Going off the trophy drought last year, if Chelsea starts off in a bad run, Abromovich may blame Mourinho.
5) Manchester United will finish outside the Top 4 once again: The competition for Champions League places in the EPL is as fierce as it has been for a long, long time. There are basically seven teams contending for four spots. Aside from dumping David Moyes for King Louis, what has Manchester United added to make you think they can surpass Tottenham, Everton, AND one of the top four? They’ve been talking a big game in the transfer market, but aside from Luke Shaw, nothing has happened. Man Utd just can’t walk out on the field with their new manager and make the top four in their sleep. This isn’t Fergie’s league anymore, and United are going to find that out once again.
4) Southampton will be relegated: The Saints have been a feel-good story since their return to the top flight with a number of very talented, young players to build a great foundation. But a summer firesale of those players have left us wondering whether they’ll even have 11 players to field this weekend. Nobody in European soccer lost more than Southampton this summer, and they will pay for it dearly.
3) Burnley will come close to matching Derby County’s historic lows: In the 2007-2008 season, Derby County tallied a record low 11 points in the Premier League. Burnley might not reach that milestone, but they will come close. The side won a surprise automatic promotion from the Championship last year and has added very little in the summer. They’re taking a cautious approach to try to stay economically smart and hang on for dear life in the relegation scrap. That’s the strategy of a team that knows they’re likely to go back down immediately.
2) No English teams will get past the Champions League quarterfinals: After a period of English dominance, it’s been a dry spell for EPL teams in the Champions League. That will continue this season. Manchester City haven’t proven they can compete on that level while this Liverpool team is completely untested. Arsenal hasn’t made it out of the Round of 16 since 2010. Chelsea were extremely fortunate to get as far as they did last year. The rest of Europe hasn’t just caught up to England, they’ve passed them by.
1) Daniel Sturridge will lead the league in scoring, Liverpool will lead the league in goals: This isn’t a wild prediction necessarily, but conventional wisdom says Liverpool’s attack will suffer greatly without Luis Suarez. Let’s not forget that this team has quite a bit of experience playing without him. And while Suarez scored 31 goals last season, Daniel Sturridge was #2 in the EPL with 21 goals. Now as the main man of the attack, Sturridge will get an entire season’s worth of opportunities without another alpha beside him to take his own chances. (Although the SAS were a historic force, there were a number of times Sturridge was left begging on the doorstep while Suarez went on his own.) Liverpool should still be an offensive force with Sturridge, Sterling, Coutinho, Lallana, Gerrard, Markovic, and *hopefully* another top signing. Their high-powered attack will still be an irresistible force.
5) All three promoted clubs get relegated: We’ve seen most of the promoted clubs struggle to stay up in the last few years, but looking at the squads for all three of the newcomer (QPR, Burnley and Liecester City) it’s easy to see how these three are favored for the drop in 2014/15. Expect all three to battle to survive until the final moments of the season.
4) Harry Redknapp won’t make it through the season: It’s clear that Redknapp is close to retirement and many believe that he’ll get to see his own way out at QPR. However, should this team stumble quickly out of the gate there’s no way the ownership allow him to stay on at his own will. QPR needs to stay up if its to be financially successful in to the future and that’s why Redknapp won’t make it through the first half of the season.
3) Liverpool will make deepest Champions League run of any English team: Of the four teams from England in the Champions League I feel Liverpool are set up the best for a deep run in the Champions League. A lot will depend on the upcoming group draw, but I expect this squad to make a run to at least the quarterfinals.
2) Championship side wins the FA Cup: We’ve seen the lower division clubs have a few good runs in both the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. Let’s just say it’s time that those runs equal a bit win. There are some nice-looking sides in the Championship and if things fall right in the draws for them I see a club like Nottingham Forest, Watford or Sheffield Wednesday making a run.
1) Tottenham Hotspur will make the Champions League places: Last season was pure chaos in the club, but heading in to 2014/15 things are much calmer around the club and it appears that the pieces are there for a really attacking side. And easier schedule also sets up well for Spurs to take more full points against lower clubs, unlike last year.
So what are your thoughts? Do you have any shock predictions that you think are going to happen this season? Think any of ours are way off?