Manchester City conquer Europe, United take the title back, AVB reinvents the dictionary - Jon Holmes concludes TEAMtalk's Predictions.
Premier League top six: Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle
"AGUEROOOOOOOO!" The hasty rewrite to the intro was my pressing concern while covering City's extraordinary 3-2 win over QPR on the final day of 2011/12, but I did take a moment just to savour the sheer craziness of the moment. Shaking my head, looking at the screen, saying 'unbelievable' over and over again like a deranged Chris Kamara... as an out-and-out neutral, I could enjoy it - and not just because I was a lone voice in tipping City to win the title this time last year (that sound you hear is me blowing my own trumpet; I'll stop now). Another Manchester battle royale looms large - this time, I'll plump for United to wrest the league crown, perhaps with Martin Tyler screaming "KAGAWAAAAAA!" instead - I think the Japan attacking midfielder is going to be a huge hit. Likewise Santi Cazorla at Arsenal, who can provide ammunition for Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski to allow the Gunners to forget all about you-know-who. Chelsea have so much creativity now but I'm not yet convinced Fernando Torres will be clinical enough and John Terry's fading powers suggest the defence may be vulnerable. Liverpool should do much better... so yes, my first real apology goes to Tottenham fans. With no Parker, Modric, or Adebayor, I'm concerned enough about your season start to have Newcastle edging you out of the top six. It mainly boils down to firepower at this moment in time; perhaps Daniel Levy will splash that imminent Modric cash on someone to help Jermain Defoe in that department before the transfer window closes. I am, however, looking forward to some new additions to the football lexicon courtesy of Andre Villas-Boas - "incentivates" was my favourite AVB buzzword last season.
Premier League bottom three: Wigan, Reading, Southampton
A friend of mine who's a Wigan fan loves the fact they get tipped to go down every year, so I hope that's a Latics consensus because here they are again. Victor Moses looks to be on his way and it's a big ask for Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone to get the goals to keep them up again. Brian McDermott needs to get more cash out of Anton Zingarevich before September. I like Saints' strikers but I fear they'll ship a lot of goals.
Leading Prem scorer: Robin van Persie - Manchester United
None of my colleagues have picked last season's 30-goal top scorer and while I don't think he'll get as many this time round, a tally in the low 20s can be enough for the Golden Boot and he shouldn't struggle too much to reach that.
First Prem manager to be sacked: Nigel Adkins - Southampton
As I wrote about Adkins a few months back - "you're allowed to be smooth when you back it up with substance" - and it's going to be considerably tougher for him to keep smiling this season. You'd fancy Nicola Cortese's Premier League ambitions far outgrow any loyalty to the man that took them there, making him vulnerable if they start poorly - and they have a relatively tough set of opening fixtures.
Biggest Prem flop: Michael Owen
Someone in the Premier League's going to gamble on him (and it's a hell of a gamble on his wages) but there's little to suggest they will get any sort of value for money out of those 32-year-old limbs. Memories of his whippersnapper days, burning trails through opposition defences, seem so far away now - we're left only with his tiresome Twitter bleatings. Time for a revival of his BBC show?
FA Cup winners: Chelsea
The Chelsea cup. A fifth win in seven seasons has to be on the cards, purely because none of the Blues' trophy rivals seem to take it as seriously any more.
Capital One Cup winners: Arsenal
Beaten finalists in 2011, beaten quarter-finalists to Man City last season... even with the kids out, the Gunners tend to go well in the League Cup.
Champions League winners: Manchester City
City are so upwardly mobile these days that with a league title now under their belts, they'll be wanting a European Cup to go with it - and as quickly as possible. Mancini's Champions League record at Inter was mediocre at best but City's resources are so impressive that a sustained push towards grabbing 'Old Big Ears' at Wembley and putting him in the Eastlands cabinet is worth a poke at a general 7/1.
Europa League winners: Lazio
You'd be wise to back Spanish and Portuguese clubs in this category but I rather like Lazio under new boss Vladimir Petkovic at 33/1. Fourth in Serie A last season, they were knocked out of the Europa League by eventual winners Atletico Madrid and could go further this time around.
Championship top six: Leicester, Bolton, Wolves, Cardiff, Birmingham, Nottingham Forest
Rule number 1 about Champo predicting: Don't back the favourite... so I've, er, backed the second favourite. Only consistency eluded the Foxes last season under Nigel Pearson - they're strong and competitive, and Asian Football Investments have put a lot of money into the club. Bolton have kept the majority of their players and there might be a feeling of 'let's do it for Fabrice' following the sad news that Muamba's had to retire. I'm surprised so many people have tipped Blackburn to do well - the club remains a shambles off the field and there's little to suggest Steve Kean will mastermind a promotion campaign.
Leading Championship scorer: Jermaine Beckford - Leicester
Only 15 goals last season in league and cup, but Beckford has had a good pre-season and looks sharp enough to fire the Foxes - especially with competition for places from Vardy, Futacs and Nugent.
League One champions: Swindon
Momentum matters in the lower leagues, along with investment and force of personality too - and Paolo di Canio's Swindon have got all three.
League Two champions: Chesterfield
The Spireites claimed this division two seasons ago and although their subsequent spell in League One was brief, they did win the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. A winning mentality remains under John Sheridan. My lot Plymouth Argyle are 8/1 for promotion, which isn't a bad shout considering we're strong defensively.
SPL top three: Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts
Can't they just give Celtic the trophy now?!
SPL top-scorer: Anthony Stokes - Celtic
Pretty much everyone else chose Gary Hooper. Variety is the spice of life.
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