Soccer Saturday expert says Saints can stay up, Villa will go down and Bojan can shine
Monday 11 August 2014 14:56, UK
The new Premier League season is just days away - and we've been asking the Soccer Saturday boys how they think it will pan out.
As ever, the likes of Paul Merson, Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas will join Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports News on Saturday afternoons throughout the campaign to cast their eye - and have their say - on proceedings.
But who do they think will be 2014/15 title winners? Which player will be top scorer? And which players should we be looking out for?
Here's Matt Le Tissier's predictions for the new season...
Matt: For me, it’s between Manchester City and Chelsea and I'm going to go for Manchester City to put up a much better defence of their title than the last time they won the league in 2012. The season after they did that they failed to push forwards, but I’m going to tip them to just edge out Mourinho’s men this time.
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Matt: I will say that Manchester United and Arsenal will join City and Chelsea in the top four. I get the feeling that Louis van Gaal will improve United after their problems last season and Arsenal should get closer to the leaders this time round.
Matt: You’re always looking at the promoted sides and I think that Burnley and Leicester will go down (although I think QPR will do better than people expect). My other team to go down would be Aston Villa – I just don't think they've bought well enough so far.
Matt: I was tempted to say Stoke because I think they will push on under Mark Hughes this season and I think Bojan could be an inspired signing. However, it’s easy to forget that they finished ninth last season and I can’t see them finishing much higher than that. Therefore, I'll go for QPR to do better than people think under Harry Redknapp.
Matt: I'd happily accept anything above 18th after the loss of half the team but hopefully Ronald Koeman can get the players to adapt to his methods quickly - so my most optimistic prediction will be 12th!
Matt: A lot depends on fitness, but you'd have to say that Sergio Aguero will be right up there in the Golden Boot race. With the likes of Yaya Toure, Jesus Navas and David Silva around then City will create a load of chances and he should be able to fill his boots - as long as he can avoid injury.
Matt: It might sound obvious, but I think Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal is a great signing. I think he will take Arsenal much closer to the top two than they were last season.
Matt: As I mentioned earlier, I reckon Bojan could turn out to be an inspired signing for Stoke City. If Mark Hughes finds a system to get the best out of him then I think he could have a big impact this season.
Matt: If he gets a regular starting berth then I think Calum Chambers will be a good young player to watch. I've seen plenty of him at Southampton and I know Arsene Wenger is already speaking highly of him.
Matt: My one wish for the season is for less controversy each week due to poor officiating!