Its a couple of weeks into the new season (EPL) and there are some early indications.
Chelsea has started off slowly, scraping up two 1-0 wins before demolishing West Brom yesterday. But that was quite expected. The thing is if they play as badly as they did against Arsenal, the title looks like a longshot. But with the money that they have spent their options have increased. They can play the usual 4-4-2 or play a 4-1-3-1-1 formation with Makelele doing the defensive midfielder’s role. Duff/Robben/Shaun-Wright/Joe Cole gives Mourinho a lot of options behind Drogba/Crespo/Gudjohnsen. Their forwards are the weakest link I think. Horno is a good buy at left back.
Arsenal has also had a quiet start other the Fulham match last night. But all said and done, sans Viera the midfield looks a bit suspect with Flamini as a second half option for Fabregas. Henry and Pires are still holding up the team; if they have a bad day, so does Arsenal. The good signs are that in form of Van Persie (who is proving to be quite a volatile player) and Hleb (who has fitted in immediately).
ManUtd is actually looking good after the league and UEFA qualifiers. Rooney and Nistelrooy looks to be a good pair up front with the former just playing behind the latter. Park has been quite energetic and gives Fergie more options along the flank. Ronaldo’s looking sharp as well. The defense looks more settled with the other Van in goal. Silvestre is still the weakest link i feel.
Last night’s qualifier was quite well played, given the state of the pitch. Was quite a professional display and Smithie has shown signs of playing the midfield role pretty well. Richardson sent a scorcher to the back of the net…I feel he is gonna be a regular on the left wing in a couple of seasons. Needs to add a lil’ more muscle and get more first team chances, which is why i felt another West Brom stint wouldn’t have done any harm this season (even for half a season).
Liverpool’s looking a ghost of the side that won the UEFA champions league last time around. Its become a Gerrard show…remember it was an Owen show before that…they rely too heavily on one player; though Alonso and Garcia are doing the part to shine as well. Forwards are a problem here too with Baros leaving, Cisse being a disappointment so far, Owen not looking likely to come back on a loan. Defense reserves is pretty thin too, a long season with injuries can end their hopes.
Newcastle is just rubbish right now…whome did they sell off?? Lets see…Lauren Robert, Bellamy, Viana…and no one seems to be excited to join them. What was Souness thinking????
The team to look out for this season would be West Ham. They have done well so far, beating the Pompies by 2 goals.
My prediction for relegation this season would be: Portsmouth, Wigan, Sunderland (they look a mess, and they were the champions last season!)
But again, its too early…we will look at this post around Christmas and figure out the realistic chances of the above three.