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Supercoach's Super Preview: Part 1

by The Supercoach on Aug 13, 2011

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Can you feel that? That’s right, the new English (I refuse to call it the Barclay’s) Premier League season is about to begin. “But what does that mean for the Supercoach?” I hear you ask. Well avid readers, it means that I will become increasingly sleep deprived while my emotions and social interactions will be determined by Arsenal’s latest result.

Mrs Supercoach has been warned.

As the Premier League Season approaches, I thought it might be useful to prepare a season preview. So who will win? Who will go down? Read on to find out.

Champions

Picking a winner this year has been especially difficult, but I’m going to have to go with Chelsea. The players seem to have responded very positively to the new boss in Andre Villas-Boas, who I believe will reward starting spots to those who deserve them, not those that cost 50 million pounds in the previous transfer window.

They have the best back four in the competition and solidity in the middle of the park, even with Essien injured. Jon Mikel Obi is a player who gets an unwarranted amount of criticism, while defences still aren’t able to deal with Didier Drogba.

This is the last year that the Chelsea old guard can realistically challenge before a major squad overhaul, so I’m tipping them to win the league.

Champions League spots

On paper, you would have to say that Manchester City has one of, if not the strongest squads in the Premier League. Vincent Kompany is probably one the most underrated centre backs in the league and I would go so far as to argue that will would be stronger without Carlos Tevez.

They have what I believe to be the best midfield three in the competition in Nigel de Jong, Yaya Toure and David Silva. And if they manage to sign Samir Nasir then they’ll have even more options in the middle of the park.

The only reason that I’m predicting them to finish second is because I think that Roberto Mancini is too cautious. To win the league you have to go out and win games, especially those against other top teams and I see Man City getting too many draws.

There has been a lot of speculation about Manchester United and the chase for Wesley Sneijder. I think that Sneijder is a great player, but that he doesn’t have the attributes to succeed in England. If you ask me, the whole thing stinks of Juan Sebastian Veron; good in Italy, not in England. Let’s not forget, Sneijder didn’t make it in Spain for a reason.

While they have the best wingers in England, the middle of midfield is a massive concern. Anderson is too inconsistent and doesn’t have much composure; Carrick has never done enough while Cleverley can’t be relied on to play 50 games this year. Man United are my tip for the FA Cup.

I still think that Wayne Rooney is the answer in the middle of the park with Berbatov partnering Hernandez up front. Berbatov is the closest player to Bergkamp I’ve seen since the great man’s retirement. He’s a player that is super smart on the pitch who needs smart players to play with him.

The reason that Berbatov looked so good at Tottenham was because he was playing with Keane, who was always there to link up with him, get the flick-ons and go through the line. For me Hernandez and Berbatov would be the best attacking partnership in the league and it would allow Rooney to tear around the midfield, making tackles and then hitting the edge of the area from deep.

Unfortunately, for Manchester United fans, I can’t see it happening, so they’ll finish third.

King Kenny has made what I believe to be some good signings up at Anfield and Liverpool should finish in fourth spot. Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll are a good combination of speed, trickery and power while (dare I say it) Raul Meireles is better behind the strikers than one Steven Gerrard. While Gerrard is dynamic, Meireles is the man with the better passing game and vision.

Charlie Adam looks a steal for 9 million pound and while he’s got a great left peg and set piece delivery, I’m not convinced he should start. Instead, I see their best midfield being Lucas and Gerrard behind Meireles.

For all the good work that has been done in the transfer window and the fantastic Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher is starting to show his age, Daniel Agger can’t seem to shake his injury concerns, and there are still unanswered questions at full back, which will hold them back.


Supercoach will be back tomorrow with his predictions for the Europa League and relegation spots.