TT’s 2013-14 Predictions: Villa to surprise

Date published: Thursday 8th August 2013 12:52

Premier League top six: 1 Man City, 2 Chelsea, 3 Man Utd, 4 Arsenal, 5 Tottenham, 6 Liverpool.

Manchester City have assembled a formidable four-pronged forward line and the midfield additions of Fernandinho and Jesus Navas put them in the driving seat, in my opinion.

Chelsea, coached by Jose Mourinho, have a midfield packed with goals and much will depend on their pursuit of Wayne Rooney, but they will run City a very close second.

The champions Manchester United have yet to significantly bolster their squad and David Moyes will have to hit the ground running if they are to keep City and Chelsea in their sights.

Arsenal are in the hunt for a marquee signing, but Arsene Wenger will have them in the shake-up regardless and they look set to edge out Tottenham into fourth spot, despite the arrival at White Hart Lane of Roberto Soldado.

Gareth Bale’s proposed exit would be a blow, but would give the club some financial muscle ready for the January window and they could make a big splash in the transfer market to lift their squad.

And finally Liverpool will clinch a top-six spot with or without Luis Suarez.

Premier League surprise package: Aston Villa

Keeping hold of hitman Christian Benteke has been a massive fillip for Villa boss Paul Lambert and he is capable of firing Villa into European contention.

It took Lambert time to get his men to gel last season, but this term we might well see his youngsters firing all on cylinders from the off and they are a 22/1 shot to sneak into the top six.

Premier League bottom three: 20th Crystal Palace, 19th Hull, 18th Fulham.

Palace and Hull are the obvious candidates to return to the Championship at the first turn of asking and they might both be short of quality in with the big boys. Fulham finished seven points away from the drop zone last season and haven’t strengthened really this summer and if their home form desserts them they could be in for a season of struggle.

Premier League top-scorer: Robin van Persie

He is the bookies’ favourite and it’s hard to see past the Dutchman, who bagged 26 league goals last season. The league’s top gun usually comes from one of the big clubs and although United won’t have it all their own way this season there’s no doubt they will be challenging.

Aston Villa hot-shot Christian Benteke is a player I like and he would be my each-way punt at 18/1.

First Premier League manager to be sacked: Paolo Di Canio

It’s only a matter of time before Di Canio starts falling out with the players and hierarchy at the Stadium of Light and his Black Cats revolution could be over very soon.

Premier League Fantasy Football captain: Robin van Persie

He topped the goalscoring charts last season and grabbed 10 assists and he’ll be hard to overhaul again this term.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea

Almost impossible to pick a winner so early in the season, but Jose Mourinho will surely return to the Bridge with a trophy and the FA Cup could be the one.

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

The Germans were a powerful outfit on their way to European glory last season and the addition of Pep Guardiola as coach can only see them improve. They look rock-solid 7/2 favourites to me.

Championship top two: 1 QPR 2 Reading

The Championship might be a bit more predictable this season and I expect two of the top three in the betting – QPR and Reading – to make their Premier League pedigree tell.

Championship top-scorer: Adam Le Fondre

After scoring 12 goals in a struggling side in the top flight last season I think ‘Alfie’ could well tear it up in the second tier goalscoring stakes.

By Matt Briggs. Follow him on Twitter at @MattPBriggs

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TT’s 2013-14 Predictions: Villa to surprise

Date published: Thursday 8th August 2013 12:52

Premier League top six: 1 Man City, 2 Chelsea, 3 Man Utd, 4 Arsenal, 5 Tottenham, 6 Liverpool.

Manchester City have assembled a formidable four-pronged forward line and the midfield additions of Fernandinho and Jesus Navas put them in the driving seat, in my opinion.

Chelsea, coached by Jose Mourinho, have a midfield packed with goals and much will depend on their pursuit of Wayne Rooney, but they will run City a very close second.

The champions Manchester United have yet to significantly bolster their squad and David Moyes will have to hit the ground running if they are to keep City and Chelsea in their sights.

Arsenal are in the hunt for a marquee signing, but Arsene Wenger will have them in the shake-up regardless and they look set to edge out Tottenham into fourth spot, despite the arrival at White Hart Lane of Roberto Soldado.

Gareth Bale’s proposed exit would be a blow, but would give the club some financial muscle ready for the January window and they could make a big splash in the transfer market to lift their squad.

And finally Liverpool will clinch a top-six spot with or without Luis Suarez.

Premier League surprise package: Aston Villa

Keeping hold of hitman Christian Benteke has been a massive fillip for Villa boss Paul Lambert and he is capable of firing Villa into European contention.

It took Lambert time to get his men to gel last season, but this term we might well see his youngsters firing all on cylinders from the off and they are a 22/1 shot to sneak into the top six.

Premier League bottom three: 20th Crystal Palace, 19th Hull, 18th Fulham.

Palace and Hull are the obvious candidates to return to the Championship at the first turn of asking and they might both be short of quality in with the big boys. Fulham finished seven points away from the drop zone last season and haven’t strengthened really this summer and if their home form desserts them they could be in for a season of struggle.

Premier League top-scorer: Robin van Persie

He is the bookies’ favourite and it’s hard to see past the Dutchman, who bagged 26 league goals last season. The league’s top gun usually comes from one of the big clubs and although United won’t have it all their own way this season there’s no doubt they will be challenging.

Aston Villa hot-shot Christian Benteke is a player I like and he would be my each-way punt at 18/1.

First Premier League manager to be sacked: Paolo Di Canio

It’s only a matter of time before Di Canio starts falling out with the players and hierarchy at the Stadium of Light and his Black Cats revolution could be over very soon.

Premier League Fantasy Football captain: Robin van Persie

He topped the goalscoring charts last season and grabbed 10 assists and he’ll be hard to overhaul again this term.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea

Almost impossible to pick a winner so early in the season, but Jose Mourinho will surely return to the Bridge with a trophy and the FA Cup could be the one.

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

The Germans were a powerful outfit on their way to European glory last season and the addition of Pep Guardiola as coach can only see them improve. They look rock-solid 7/2 favourites to me.

Championship top two: 1 QPR 2 Reading

The Championship might be a bit more predictable this season and I expect two of the top three in the betting – QPR and Reading – to make their Premier League pedigree tell.

Championship top-scorer: Adam Le Fondre

After scoring 12 goals in a struggling side in the top flight last season I think ‘Alfie’ could well tear it up in the second tier goalscoring stakes.

By Matt Briggs. Follow him on Twitter at @MattPBriggs

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Comments