Saturday, August 08, 2009

Predictions for United and the season ahead...

Seeing as the new season is just around the corner now seems as good a time as any to make a few predictions. Following a summer of low-profile signings United are unquestionably much weaker than they were last season having lost Ronaldo and Tevez. Everyone is asking where the goals will come from, Ferguson has responded by demanding the whole team scores more goals between them, but it's safe to say that many fans and neutrals alike do not share the manager's confidence.

Predictions:

United
Premier League: 3rd
Champions League: Group stage.

I expect the Red Devils to have a good start in league and we could head the table in the early weeks of the season, but I do not see this squad scoring enough goals. The best United can hope for is to win either the FA Cup or the Carling Cup.

Liverpool
Premier League: 2nd
Champions League: Quarter-final

Like him, or more likely loathe him from a United perspective, the Liverpool manager has been doing a good job. However, the loss of Alonso could affect the Merseyside Reds this season because whenever Gerrard was missing through injury the Spaniard ensured the skipper was not missed. If Gerrard and Torres can remain fit they will push Chelsea all the way in the title race.

Chelsea
Premier League: 1st
Champions League: Semi-final

Chelsea are the strongest of all the accepted top four having kept hold of their big star names. Do not expect the West London club to have it all their own way from the start to what is likely to be another close run finish. The jury will be out on Ancelotti, but I think he will do well and go on to secure his first Premier League title. The best hope for Chelsea's challengers is that their new Italian manager takes time to settle in early doors, but the former AC Milan coach has bags of experience and I expect him to come through.


Arsenal
Premier League: 4th
Champions League: Group stage

Of all the leading manager's Arsene Wenger is under the most pressure. Arsenal haven't won a trophy since 2005 and that is a long time for the Gunners. Like Ferguson, Arsene Wenger has seen some of his better players sold, and just like his opposite number at Old Trafford he has been unable to replace them like for like.

Manchester City
Premier League: 5th
With the danger of upsetting many United fans, I can see City doing something they've not done since 1976, that is win a trophy.

Champions League: Barcelona
FA Cup: Liverpool
Carling Cup: Man City

Finally, for those of you who love your football check out the launch of The Season, the Guardian’s ultimate guide to the new football season, its free with the paper on Monday 10 August. As well as providing you with essential team-by-team information, The Season, also offers readers some off-the-wall and interesting critiques on the football league's top teams. This all comes in a handy guide size, small enough to take to the terraces, but large enough to satisfy your appetite for endless stats and rumours.


Highlights include:


Manchester United without Ronaldo
Manchester City’s prospects after spending almost £100m in the summer
Rafael Benitez, Liverpool’s history and their need for the title
Foreign players' experiences in England focusing on Wigan’s Roberto Martinez
World Cup qualifying clips and great World Cup clich├ęs
Newcastle's chances of getting out of a tough Championship
Carlo Ancelotti's Twitter page
The Michael Owen-style brochures you might have missed
The possible shift in power from the Premier League to La Liga
ESPN and the BBC’s involvement in showing live football
A funny look at the new and very complicated Europa League
Uefa's experiment with five referees per match

Also, Featured:
Premier League team-by-team guide and previews of the Championship/League
One/League Two and the Scottish Premier League

11 comments:

  1. seriously mate... did you copy your opionions from the press, the same press who every god forsaken year writes United off?

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  2. man u 3rd.u got to be joking..lol

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  3. So you honestly believe we will not get past the group stages? I Know Ronaldo is going to be a big miss but christ we have a brilliant squad. As we are one of the top seeds we will be in a relatively comfortable group.

    How you think Liverpool will finish ahead of us, i do not know. They have lost Alonso, who is a fabulous player and IMO was just as important to Liverpool as Steven Gerrard.

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  4. I would expect United to finish 2nd, provided the players stay fit and win as many games as they can, mostly direct confrontations between the big 4 and Citeh. Chelsea's squad looks impressive, and they have high chances of finishing top. I still think Fergie must buy at least one midfielder, they were really run ragged by Chelsea yesterday

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  5. Dinesh and Tony...

    Ah, the perils of making what could turn out to be foolish early predicitons. I will admit that following Sunday's display I'm more confident about the season ahead and you could all well be right and I'm the one that is wrong, but regarding the league the Times expert has also predicted a third place finish for United today so I'm not on my own :0).

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  6. Rite$H

    I must admit I only saw the yesterday's game on tv and that was very late last night. I've not had chance to look at the second half in depth yet, but yes it looked like United dominated the opening period and Chelse had the better of it in the second half. Central midfield did look weak in that second 45.

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  7. Ann,

    Arf, no, I have to tell you I've been really struggling to see where the goals will come from, that was until yesterday and that performance gave me a great deal more confidence about the challenges ahead.

    At times against Chelsea we looked like the United of old and by that I mean even before Ronaldo... I'm a big fan of 442 and always have been and it was refreshing to see Fergie adopt that formation against a side as strong as Chelsea.

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  8. There's no way we'll finish 3rd.

    Chelsea look strong but we've got the measure of them. Liverpool are one injury (Torres or Gerrard) away from being average.

    It'll be tough but we'll still be in the top 2.

    As for Europe I like the look of 7/1 for us to win it again.

    It's a big season for Rooney. Time for him to step up to the plate.

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  9. But journalists are usually against us winning the league. Its the same this year.

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  10. Smidelet,

    I agree it is time Rooney made the step up but in all honesty he's not really been helped where more goals are concerned when being sent to the flanks... hopefully that won't happen again too often.

    United could win the title, but so could Chelsea and maybe Liverpool too. At least we have at least three strong runners, it's better to have that rather just one...

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  11. Tony,

    Some journalists, not all of them. There's some like Alan Green who will almost always see United in a negative light - at least that is how I see him.

    One of the worst things about having to listen to United games on the radio as occasionally can happen is having to listen to ABU summarisers like Jimmy Armfield.

    Some of the tabloid hacks are the worst because they have to be sensationlist.

    I might add that the Daily Mirror's David McDonell is ok and seems to report the facts without sensation.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/david-mcdonnell/

    Regarding my own views on United, they are only my opinion and I could be hopelessly wrong. I was really impressed with the Reds first-half display at Wembley on Sunday and if they can keep on consistently reproducing that level of performance then we won't be far away next May.

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