Premier League Predictions 2013/14

The Nouse Sport team make their predictions for the coming Premier League season, which returns after yet another wonderful summer of sport

British sport fans have been treated to yet another vintage summer, with the Lions tour won and the Ashes retained our attention now turns to the Premier League season. Here, the Nouse Sport team make their predictions for the year ahead.

Dan Holland – Deputy Editor

Champions – Chelsea
The title race is a tough one to call, with last season’s top three all in something of a transitional phase. But while City overhaul their squad and United get used to having a new man in the dugout for the first time in almost 30 years, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea appear the most stable and would be my bet to take the trophy back to the Bridge. They have the best set of creative midfielders in the country and if they find a regular goalscorer up front – be that Rooney, Torres, or anyone else – they could be unstoppable.

Jose Mourinho is tipped to lead Chelsea to Premier League glory. Image: In Mou We Trust via flickr Creative Commons

Jose Mourinho is tipped to lead Chelsea to Premier League glory. Image: In Mou We Trust via flickr Creative Commons

Top Four – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal
It’s a familiar look to the top four. City and United will be there, though it will be interesting to see which of the new managers can finish higher – my money is on Pellegrini, for this year at least, thanks to some exciting summer spending so far. Arsenal seem like they are finally willing to spend big too (even if their negotiations have been largely fruitless so far), and Gareth Bale’s impending departure from Spurs will surely see their challenge for a top four spot encounter some familiar obstacles.

Bottom Three – Stoke, Crystal Palace, Hull
Of the three promoted sides, Cardiff seem the only ones likely to avoid the drop, though I expect all three will struggle more than in recent seasons. Hull and Palace will fight bravely, and the latter in particular will be fun to watch with Ian Holloway at the helm, but I don’t see them having the quality needed to survive. Stoke were dangerously close to the drop last year after a horrible second half of the season, and I’m not sure Mark Hughes’ functional brand of football is what the Potters need to halt their stagnation.

Top Scorer – Robin van Persie
I’m picking the Dutchman purely because I think United will be reliant on him to keep them near the top of the table. I don’t see David Moyes’ team having the same breadth of attacking options as Chelsea or City (especially if Wayne Rooney leaves), so RVP is likely to be even more crucial to their success than he was last season. If Rooney joins Chelsea then he will score goals for fun, as would Luis Suarez at Arsenal.

Watch out for… Sunderland
As a Black Cats fan, I must admit that Sunderland have barely been worth watching since the O’Neill revolution drew to a shuddering halt before the end of 2011/12. But after a comprehensive overhaul of the club from top to bottom this summer, that will surely change. Paolo Di Canio’s antics alone are worth switching the tele on for, and a raft of European imports led by Italian international Emanuele Giaccherini will freshen up what had become a languid and aimless playing style. It could be brilliant, or it could all go up in flames; but one thing is for sure – it won’t be boring.

George Barrett – Sports Editor

Champions – Chelsea
With the return of José Mourinho, Chelsea are the team to beat this year. The top three clubs of the Premier League all have changes in their management but only Mourinho has experienced success in the Premier League. If Chelsea add Wayne Rooney to their squad, it could be the missing ingredient up front that they so lacked last season. With the midfield axis of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, all with an extra year’s worth of experience in the bag, this is Chelsea’s year, though I don’t like to admit it.

Top Four – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal
No real change from last season. Arsenal will struggle again to make the top four and will be pushed by the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham, but none of those teams will be able to knock them off their perch. With Tottenham looking likely to lose Gareth Bale and Everton no longer being managed by David Moyes, the two teams most likely to take fourth place are severely handicapped at this stage. Manchester United and Manchester City will fight it out for second and third.

Bottom Three – Southampton, Hull, Crystal Palace
Southampton only just escaped last season, and they haven’t added anyone to their ranks who can carry them this season, so look set to return to the Championship. Palace have now lost Wilfried Zaha, who effectively took them into the Premier League, so they’ll head straight back down, whilst Hull’s fate will be similar.

Wayne Rooney is at the centre of transfer speculation. Image: Joscarfas via flickr Creative Commons

Wayne Rooney is at the center of transfer speculation. Image: Joscarfas via flickr Creative Commons

Top Scorer – Wayne Rooney
Should he join Chelsea, I can see Rooney topping the goal-scoring charts this season. Chelsea can provide the midfield platform that could take Rooney to the next level, even seeing him top his season best of 27. Some may argue that Robin Van Persie will again score the most goals, but United don’t look as if they will sign someone who would provide the assists for Van Persie that Rooney did last season.

Watch out for… Newcastle
After a very poor season last year, the pressure is on for Pardew to deliver. Having penned that lengthy contract after finishing in the European spots in 2012, the fans and the owner expect. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley (and his inexplicably chosen right hand man, Joe Kinnear) will be piling the pressure on Pardew, and with a couple of big names potentially leaving St James’, Pardew needs a marquee signing before the transfer window closes. If not, it could be a long wait until January.

Tom Fennelly – Deputy Sports Editor

Champions – Manchester City
A new manager and fresh striking investment in Negredo and Jovetic means City should provide a new danger to their opponents this season. Chelsea should, once again, shine under Mourinho, but it might take a season or two to get them back to championship-winning standard. As for Manchester United, van Persie will continue to provide goals but manager David Moyes has big boots to fill and he may not be able to fill them straight away. Alternatively, the title could be the most open shoot-out in the Premier League’s history in a race that could also include Spurs, the Gunners and Liverpool. Exciting.

Top Four – Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham
The title will be a shoot-out between super-rich City and the equally super-rich Chelsea, who are again under the reign of the Special One. Whilst Chelsea won’t make the cut this season, they certainly might in the next year or so. United will always be up there as Moyes settles into his new role. As for fourth place, it’s a shoot-out between Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. The (overly) optimistic Tottenham fan within me certainly wants the Lillywhites to break into the Champions League again, but Arsenal won’t give up their spot easily whilst Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool are slowly building a stable club and team that are capable of success.

Bottom Three – Hull, Crystal Palace, Cardiff
This one is hard to call, and I hate to disregard the three clubs that have just been promoted to England’s top-flight. However, Hull and Palace will struggle to bring in big enough players to bring about survival. Cardiff, as it happens, do have the resources to make a go of it but they don’t have the prowess to bring such players into the squad. Nevertheless, Cardiff, out of these three, are the most likely to survive. Should they do, I can see their spot being replaced by either Stoke (because I wouldn’t trust Mark Hughes with an ice cube, even if I wanted to melt it) or Southampton (because they’ll no longer be an underdog and because their manager looks like he’ll lash out at the next person who mispronounces his name. If I could spell it).

Top Scorer – Robin van Persie
I opted for the Dutch powerhouse of United because he is the player that I can see playing the most football for any team in the league. City have too many strikers to choose from and they could chop and change every week. And with Suarez and Bale being linked to moves abroad every eight minutes, I’d have to put my money on RVP – although if the two before-mentioned players stay then it could be a different story. And Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke could also another have a shout at claiming the Golden Boot this season.

Watch out for… Norwich
Chris Hughton has made some terrific signings so far in the transfer window, including the talented Gary Hooper (as a replacement for Grant Holt). Along with the arrivals of Martin Olsson, Nathan Redmond, Leroy Fer and Ricky van Wolfswinkel, the Canaries should provide some surprises this season. And if they can acquire the experienced Quagliarella from Juventus, alongside the tirade of players they’ve pinched off Leeds in the last year or two, they can expect a strong top-half finish.

Aaron Stennett – Deputy Sports Editor

Champions – Manchester City
By virtually all standards, Manchester City were hugely unimpressive last season. After the famous last-gasp victory to seize the Premier League crown away from their arch rivals Manchester United, neutrals and fans alike were greatly disappointed with their failure to make the run-in exciting. Under Pellegrini, whose reign at Malaga was hugely impressive, City are certainly better placed than United, who will need at least a year to adapt to the new Moyes regime, to clinch the title. Pellegrini has bought well, adding to a strong squad already at his fingertips. If, unlike Mancini, he can manage the egos and personalities brought on by such levels of competition for spots in the starting eleven, then City may be onto a winner here.

Top Four – Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham
Like Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, Mourinho and Chelsea are finally reunited. And as we know from the Libertines, whilst the combination lasts, it’s electrifying. Chelsea have looked the business on their pre-season tour, apart from a loss to Real Madrid, adding some strong signings to an already strong squad. If Mourinho can get Fernando Torres firing again, or replace him with someone vaguely capable of scoring, then I expect Chelsea to push City all the way this year. At United, Moyes will struggle initially to fill the gargantuan shoes of Sir Alex. With the Rooney saga hanging over his head, and a distinct lack of signings at this point, he already looks to be on the back foot, as the sports world watches to see Manchester United attempt to replace the irreplaceable. Tottenham, despite most likely losing Gareth Bale, will get the final spot. Solid signings, along with another mismanaged summer as far as Arsenal are concerned, will see Spurs finally pip their north London rivals to the post.

Manchester City will be looking for a new lease of life with Pellegrini. Image: Gilyo via flickr Creative Commons

Manchester City will be looking for a new lease of life with Pellegrini. Image: Gilyo via flickr Creative Commons

Bottom Three – Stoke, Crystal Palace, Hull
Fans all over the country will no doubt be sympathising with Stoke City at the moment. Their new manager, Mark Hughes, is highly skilled at screwing with the prospects of a team, regardless of their budget. He will no doubt conspire to do the same at Stoke. Hull, with their disgraceful route one football is an affront to the eyes of the neutral footballer, and is not what we want the expanding global viewership of the Premier League to see. The sooner Hull are relegated the better for everyone.

Top Scorer – Luis Suarez
Sadly for Manchester United, and to the horror of other fans elsewhere I’m sure, Robin van Persie will succumb to injury, as the darkest days of his Arsenal career come back to the fore. Suarez, granted he stays in the Premier League, and does not get himself banned for any more incidents, has the consistency and quality to fire his way to the Golden Boot. City new boy Negredo will be up there as well.

Watch out for…Swansea
Swansea did fabulously well to rotate their squad effectively, to stay within the top ten of the Premier League, in tandem with their successful cup run in the League Cup. Clinching the Cup means that Swansea will challenge in Europe this year. It will be intriguing to see how Swansea cope with the pressure maintaining their established status as a upper mid-league Premier League side, get past the group stages of Europe, whilst also attempting to defend their trophy. Undoubtedly Michael Laudrup’s squad will be stretched to its limits.

Jamie Summers

Champions – Chelsea
With all of the changes at the top clubs, the title race is difficult to call this season. For me, the favourites have to be Chelsea after the return of Jose Mourinho. A fit and in-form Fernando Torres, coupled with Romolu Lukaku and the possible arrival of Wayne Rooney make Chelsea a dangerous prospect. The Special One appears to have mellowed during his time away from West London, and his extra experience will be essential. The Blues held the record for the longest unbeaten home run in Premier League history during Mourinho’s first tenure, and we can expect the Premier League trophy to be returning to Stamford Bridge again during his second stint as manager.

Top Four – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal
Manchester City will challenge again this season. However, they are likely to fall short as Manuel Pellegrini begins his tenure at the Etihad. Manchester United will undoubtedly make the Champions League, but it’ll take time for David Moyes to settle in as United begin life without Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsenal are the only top four club not to change their manager, and that counts in their favour. A couple of big signings and they could challenge for the title. Tottenham are also well capable of challenging for a top-four finish, but only if they keep Gareth Bale, and manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Bottom Three – Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City
It’s rare that more than one of the promoted teams make a return to the Championship the following season, but that could change this season. Cardiff’s chairman has more money than sense, but could cost them by pressing the ‘panic’ button if they get into difficulty. Crystal Palace may cause some surprises, but probably lack the quality necessary to see them safe. I think Stoke will also be relegated, with their unattractive style of play and the management of Mark Hughes combining to see them drop. Hull could be in danger, but the experience of Steve Bruce should ultimately help them steer clear of the drop.

Top Scorer – Robin van Persie
United’s Dutch striker has been on fire for the last two seasons whilst at Arsenal and then Old Trafford and his superb form should continue in 2013/14. David Moyes has signalled that RVP will be number one for United this campaign, meaning he will get plenty of game time. Manchester City rotate strikers, meaning each player’s opportunities will be restricted. There is an excellent case to be made for Luis Suarez to be top scorer, especially if he moves to Arsenal, but will miss games through suspension. Otherwise, Fernando Torres, Rickie Lambert and Michu will all be near the top of the goalscoring charts.

Watch out for…Fulham
This was by far the hardest one to call, because there are a number of sides that could do surprisingly well. For me, the ones to watch are Fulham. Having been recently purchased by American businessman Shahid Khan, the Cottagers have made some key signings such as Sascha Riether, Fernando Amorabieta and Ange-Freddy Plumain. Under the reliable guidance of Martin Jol and with capacity increased by 5,000, there is an air of excited anticipation at Craven Cottage. Norwich could also do well having signed Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel, whilst I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Liverpool once again challenging for a Champions League spot.

6 comments

  1. Saints to get relegated? what are you smoking Barrett

    Reply Report

  2. 11 Aug ’13 at 11:40 am

    Jack Bradshaw

    Southampton to get relegated? ‘Haven’t added to their ranks’? They’ve signed Dejan Lovren and Victor Wanyama. They have a great, young squad and manager and comfortably avoided relegation last season. Please do some research before making embarrassing predictions.

    Reply Report

  3. Watch out for Aston Villa. Retained Benteke and Guzan, loads of new signings and beat Malaga 3-2 yesterday and scored 5 in the two friendlies before.

    Reply Report

  4. Newcastle will be prime relegation candidates, the unwashed Neanderthal sack of barcode scum that they are.

    Reply Report

  5. Oh come on! Saints to be relegated? They’ll be challenging WBA, Swansea & West Ham to a top half finish. Hull, Palace & Stoke to go down, Norwich will juuust survive with v.Wolfswinkel’s goals. Chelsea win the league with Utd close behind, City 3rd & Arsenal should pip Spuds to 4th. (Again)

    Reply Report

  6. Feed the pony. Giroud is the pony and he always scores.

    Reply Report

Leave a comment



Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.