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The Skysports.com team have been putting their collective heads on the block ahead of the 2008/09 season to predict who they think is going to light up the Premier League campaign and who is going to have a dim old time of things.
Last season's crystal ball gazing provided a mixture of Mystic Meg accuracy and the misguided forecasting of a £1-a-pop psychic on Blackpool front.
Peter O'Rourke deserves credit for picking out that Roque Santa Cruz would be the buy of the season, but Alex Dunn is still smarting from tipping Fernando Torres to be the biggest flop - you'd think for £20-odd million, you'd get more than 33 goals!
So, without further ado, here are skysports.com's predictions for you to deride at your leisure. Feel free to add your comments at the foot of the article.
h5>Title winner: Chelsea will be a like wounded animal this season after missing out on the title and Champions League to Manchester United last term and they will be determined to make amends this year. Luiz Felipe Scolari will get the best out of Chelsea's star-studded squad and they will pip United to the crown.
united for the title, best buy is yet to come id say berbatov if he joins united, or maybe deco! biggest flop will be robbie keanes move to liverpool he'es past his best and with an 18 to 20 million price tag liverpool have taken a huge risk, they could have got someone much better for much cheaper! player of the year ronaldo again id say you watch when he's back he''ll yet again set the premier league alight and andy gray despite buzzing off steven gerrard or any arsenal player will have to say take a bow son! young player of the year will be Anderson or nani 2 players for have great potenial and have learnt from thier mistakes, id also have to throw in lucas as he looks promising! going down i might say stoke west brom and everton! top scorer rooney, one to watch- deco! wouldent know whos coming up!
Posted 17:11 20th August 2008
Title winner: Chelsea ;-) Going down: Stoke, Hull, Bolton/Fulham/West Brom Coming up: Queens Park Rangers Best buy: Bosingwa- Biggest flop: Johnson and Elmander Player of Year: Ballack or Cristiano Ronaldo Youngster to watch: Nasri / Jonas Top scorer: Drogba / Fernando Torres / Adebayor Fantasy League must have: Frank Lampard / Ronaldo / Fabregas / Modric Dark horses: Liverpool but draws along the way... are going to hurt them
Posted 11:52 18th August 2008
dave milner obviously has no idea about football.............keegan to be the flop???i admit we mite nt b side a big club anymore n we mitent have a gr8 season but a better 1 than last season anyway.keegans buys have been smart unlike previous managers who threw money at any kind of players.IN KEEGAN WE TRUST........sunderland to be the top team in the north east?laughable idea considering your top buy...diouf?wouldnt get into are side any day of the week and yet keane would take any of our starting 11 for his side.arsenal for d title,hull stoke and another certain red and white striped team for d drop..............toon finish in the top half
Posted 20:20 13th August 2008
How the pundits can write so much rubbish about Fulham is beyond me. I am the first to be critical of my team because I believe impartiality is a rare commodity in today¿s game. If Fulham managed to survive last season with one 1.5 players providing the goods, there is no way in hell we will be in the relegation battle for the following reasons; firstly we have a superb keeper in Schwarzer who commands the back four well - something Niemi and Warner could only dream of doing. Secondly our defense plays as a unit and has pace in Konchseky and Paintsil. Thirdly our midfield is arguably top half quality in class with delivery from Davies and Gera and not to mention Bullards set plays. Maybe the pundits were sleeping when Bullard hit the bar three times, tested the keeper 3 times and scored twice from the 12 direct free-kicks last season, oh yeah and set up our season saving goal!!! Fourthly we have two of the most eager and pacy forwards in the Premiership who after all the negativity will prove their worth and investment by netting 25 goals between them, just see if they don¿t.... And lastly we have a manager who advocates attractive passing football, how on earth can we be branded as playing dour midfield football? Sir, you are deluded........!
Posted 13:54 13th August 2008
I believe that Manchester United will make it three in a row this coming year, due to the fact that they cannot get rid of that winning bug! Although Chelsea and the other contenders have very very good squads, they don't have that winning taste in their mouths which Man Utd have enjoyed so much of. Condition to another world class striker arrving at the theatre of dreams, then the success of last year can be definately be improved on. As far as the "top 4" is concerned, i cannot honestly see any one apart from Tottenham breaking into this illustrious group of big contenders. The signings Juande has made have been impressive, and the possibility of Arshavin arriving then things can only improve greatly for Spurs. The clubs to go down is a hard one to predict but I would say Stoke are the ones for me to be struggling the most to keep up all season. Hull have made some decent signings and West Brom play a brand of football suited to the Premiership, but its hard to see past those 3 to yoyo back to the Championship. Best Player: Torres will shine again in the Premiership and with the addition on Robbie Keane, then the goals will flow at Anfield.
Posted 12:27 13th August 2008
Big season on the cards here expect Man Utd to go close again and Chelea and Arsenal to scrap it out for 2/3! Cups will be dominated by big 4 but Carling cup could see a shock - Sunderland a good bet! Keegan to be biggest flop and quit by December
Posted 12:05 13th August 2008
i might be biased but best buy: danny guthrie for 2.5 million he will dazzle in centre midfield as bartons replacement! and come on newcastle might not challenge for europe but a top ten finish isnt realistic we have owens martins given n'zogbia some of the top flights best talent in some ways its a good thing. . .people are underestimating us! P.S. please post this as im sick of only seeing anti-newcastle comments!
Posted 11:47 13th August 2008
Chelsea to win the title, Scolari is a proven winner and with quality additions (Deco, Bosingwa) think they will be just too strong for Utd. Any pundit who says this is Liverpool's year is living in dreamland! Hull, Stoke and Bolton down with Blackburn, West Brom struggling. Birmingham (definitely), Coventry, Ipswich, QPR and Sheff Utd candidates going up. Best buy probably Modric although Diouf at 3 mill is a bargain. Biggest flop Keith Andrews if Blackburn get him at 2 million for a 28 year old whos used to league 2 standard awful business! Tevez and Torres should have great seasons but I'll go for Drogba who should have at least 1 more big season in him. Carlos Vela the youngster to watch a superstar in the making. Drogba top scorer as his goals will win title for Chelsea. Dark horse Spurs as they have squad to challenge for top 4 but keep your on Sunderland top half and good cup run.
Posted 01:27 13th August 2008
Only 1 pundit (obviously a shrewd customer) suggested Bristol City for promotion. Now lets see, who came 4th last season only to be pipped at the post ? Another season in the Championship, more experience and dont worry, the hunger is still there. Oh, and we have Nicky Maynard.
Posted 23:08 12th August 2008
I can also see the doubts over zamora and johnson up front for fulham, as i am harbouring those same doubts, but for James Pearson to say - With the Cottagers' dour brand of football and lack of creativity in midfield...is an outrage. We are a football playing team, with great passing and moving capabilities. To attack our midfield is ludicrous! To attack our defence our attack is better, because you can definetely make a case, but our midfield is very strong and creative, and i would like to suggest to Mr Pearson that he should publicly retract his words before he eats them.
Posted 20:16 12th August 2008
I can understand where a lot of the bad vibes are coming from with regards to signing Johnson and Zamora, but I highly doubt Fulham will be in the same position as they were last year. Schwarzer, Stoor and Gera are all good signings, and so long as we keep Bullard, I would expect us to achieve a decent mid-table finish. I wouldn't be surprised to see the new strikeforce spring a surprise or two, in particular Zamora, who looks impressive from the pre-season friendlies. The combination of the hardworking Bullard, the playmaker Gera and the consistently accurate Davies will produce anything but a 'dour' midfield as one of your critics suggests. Below us will be Hull, Stoke, Wigan, and Bolton; the latter two have done little to truly strengthen their already mediocre squads.
Posted 18:35 12th August 2008
I think Southampton will surprise a few people and go up via the playoffs. They have an excellent young squad who have had a good pre season and didn't deserve to lose to Cardiff in their opening game. Sunderland will be dark horses in the prem and finish as top north east club above Boro and the high hopers in black and white who think that they are a big club because they finished 2nd a few years ago. Only big thing about Newcastle is Mark Viduka.
Posted 18:01 12th August 2008
Title winner: I can see Chelsea winning the league this year as they have a world class manager and a refreshed team. However i think Man Utd and Liverpool will push them to May. Going down:I think that Stoke, Bolton, and Wigan will struggle with the demands of the premier league this year. Going Up:I think that Birmingham are shoe ins for promotion,and I think wolves are also major contenders,but i back Ipswich town to have a great chance at promotion, if they can better their away form this season. Best buy:For me it is Luka Modric,he has exceptional vision and a great pass to match,expect him to be the instigator of everything good at Spurs this season. Biggest flop:Without a doubt Andy Johnson,£10.5m for a player who can't hit a cows rear end with a banjo. They may as well have signed me. Player of Year: I think that it will go to Michael Ballack this season, his end of season form was scintillating ina word, and i expect him to follow it, although i think Torres and Fabregas will push him hard. Youngster to watch: Danny Sturridge is a future England international, he is one of them class acts that you see once in a blue moon.With Jo at the olympics, Vassell out injured, expect him to stake a strong claim for a first team role. Top scorer: I think that Fernando Torres, Ronaldo, and if fit, Valeri Bojinov, i rate him extremely highly. Fantasy League must have: I think it has to be Ronaldo,he is a superb talent capable of ripping defences apart, although i wouldn't want him to do well! I also think Martin Skrtel will be a great acquisition this year.Dark Horses: Sunderland,I think their new signings could pave the way for great things,i think they may just win the League cup. I also expect Hull to shock everyone, despite not having Fraizer Campbell.I believe they have a great spirit, and a never say die attitude, and I highly rate Peter Halmosi, it is just a matter of whether he can cut it in the premier league...
Posted 17:35 12th August 2008
I must agree with Peter O' Rourke, Chelsea are likely to come back as a wounded Lion, and already having that insatiable hunger for success, they are seemingly the Team to take the title. Last season, Chelsea was among the most unsettled team. A world class manager was sacked, and a local manager brought in, subsequently, while some main players was on duty in their national team for the African cup, others was injured while others was just returning from injury. Consequently there was this unstableness of players. Drogba acting nonchalantly, the sad death of Mrs Lampard. John Terry gettin in and out of Injury etal... upon all these set backs, I still can't believe how we still pushed Arsenal and most especially Man Utd who played unbelieveably and Lightened the League. Narrowly missing out in two major trophies. Now the team is settled, and there is an excellently 'togetherness which has never been seen before among some members of the squad' (J.Terry, chelsea TV). In addition having a Legendary manager oin the person of Scolari is like adding salt to the wound, and I think Chelsea will be very fierce and all attack, from defence to attack. I see Anelka, Drogba, Dos Santos and even Shevy,been in different mood this season And I will say it is a 'EXPECT NO MERCY' from the Blues.
Posted 16:30 12th August 2008
Title winner: Manchester United Although Sir Alex hasn't invested in the first team, the double winning team have a number of young players who have another year's experience under their belts. Going down: Birmingham's front line of Phillips, Bent, Jerome, O'Connor and McFadden with supply from McSheffrey and Larsson will prove to be too strong for the Championship. I expect them to lead from start to finish with Reading taking the second spot and QPR from the play-offs ahead of Derby, Wolves and Bristol City. Best buy: Has got to me Luka Modric - one of the stars of Euro 2008 and Ramos has set the standard for bringing world class players to The Lane. Biggest flop: Elmander - £10m for a player with no proven track record ? - You must be joking. Player of Year: Ronaldo is a class of his own and expect him to carry on his superb form from last season once fit. Youngster to watch: Carlos Vela has been scintilating in pre season and looks a real gem of a player who can play wide on either flank or in attack. Could break into the first team following the sale of Hleb and Flamini. Top scorer: Fernando Torres will build on the success of his first season in the Premiership and lead the goalscoring charts. Fantasy League must have: Has to be Ronaldo for the number of goals, assists and match winning performances. Dark Horses: Spurs. They have quality in every position with strength in depth and have signed world class players in the form of Modric, Dos Santos and Gomes and Bentley will provide the ammunition for Berbatov and Bent. If they do bring in Arshavin and another striker, they have the quality to break into the top four and beyond.
Posted 16:08 12th August 2008
Some predictions a little bit biased i think, but i'm not surprised. As a Spurs fan i'm very excited about the new season and refuse to Spurs' fortunes this season. I will say that i expect good things from Pompey with Crouch and Defoe. I also think Hull will go down with Stoke and Middlesbrough, sorry to any Boro fans just taking a bold prediction because i wish all young english managers the best. Chelsea to nick the title.
Posted 15:24 12th August 2008
why do you all think bolton will go down!!! last season was a one off!! to much change in to sort a time!!! we have two great keepers,good defence and strong midfield. we may find scoring goals hard but we will be hard too beat!!! come on super whites!!!! top ten this season
Posted 15:05 12th August 2008
i agree with the prediction of hull being dark horses, i think they have bought wisely adding PL experience with players like Boateng and players with class such as Geovanni. They also have a lot of spirit to do well, after all the succsesive promotions (just look how that propelled Wigan) and players in the team who have already been there in Windass and Barmby, plus Phil Brown knows what it takes to survive after his time with bolton.
Posted 14:21 12th August 2008
Some good comments there chaps. However, I have to disagree with anyone who thinks Liverpool can win the league. They don't have anywhere near enough depth to challenge Chelsea or Man United. For example if a Man United winger gets injured they bring in Nani, Chelsea; Joe Cole, Malouda, SWP, Kalou and so on; Liverpool have Benayoun and Pennant and a very raw Babel. Arsenal will entertain as ever but won't get close to Man United or Chelsea, either of them to win the league. Promoted 3 to go down, probably by the time September comes.
Posted 13:56 12th August 2008
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