Friday, August 15, 2008

Premiership Punditry

So following my amazingly precise Euro prediction (which I sadly failed to capitalize monetarily) I am about to produce my punditry on my favorite championship of all - that's right, English Premier League.

How apt that I should start writing this while in the UK, albeit very briefly. The day I start this post (July 29) is the day Liverpool has announced Robbie Keane, therefore renouncing on Gareth Barry and possibly shaping our tactical strategy for the season.

That was also the day I caught up with my pal Ken, the cab driver, the avid Wycombe Wanderers fan. He's really upbeat about his team's chances in League Two (fourth division), perhaps they will finally climb to League One and face mighty (and Nasty) Leeds.

Honestly, I wish I could make as bold a prediction as last year, when I tipped the Reds to the title, but I do not feel I can. If anything, to set expectations low. And last week's match against Standard, at the amazing Liege stadium I visited last year my my friend Jan, was no exciter either.

If Rafa sticks to my preferred line-up of


Arbeloa-Carragher-Agger-Fabio Aurelio



, at home games, we will probably win precious points instead of the turgid draws last year against the likes of Birmingham. Switching to a 4-2-3-1 with Alonso in the middle for away games would also be shrewd.

Problem is, it is not too different from last year, is it? And especially given Chelsea adds a guy like Deco to its already preposterously strong midfield. I don't see this Chelsea playing so badly at Anfield as last year. I totally see Chelsea a cut above United now they have a top class coach.

My next favorite teams are Spurs. Their arguably best starting XI is salivating even for Arsenal/Liverpool standards:


-A. Hutton-Woodgate--L. King-G. Bale-

--------Huddlestone - Jenas----------

Bentley - Modric - Giovani dos Santos


Elsewhere, I see good things coming from Villa, Portsmouth, and Sunderland (again! last year I though Keane would be better) and not so much from Everton, Man City and Blackburn.

Anyway. No blogging punditry would be complete without a final table. Following last season's tradition (), here goes my list.

1. Chelsea
2. Liverpool
3. Manchester United
4. Tottenham Hotspur

5. Arsenal
6. Aston Villa
7. Portsmouth
8. Everton
9. Sunderland
10. West Ham

11. Manchester City
12. Newcastle
13. Blackburn
14. Middlesbrough
15. Fulham
16. West Brom
17. Wigan

18. Bolton
19. Stoke
20. Hull

FA Cup final: Man united x Aston Villa

League Cup: Chelsea (I mean, their reserve side is better than almost all other teams)

Champions League final: Chelsea x Inter Milan

Uefa Cup: Tottenham x Atletico Madrid (seriously, Atleti will fall from CL, now or later)

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