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#1
Old 12-16-2009, 11:11 PM
£-4-£
Liverpool FC
 
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Question Which team will finish in the top 4 in the English Premier League?

Out of:

Arsenal
Aston Villa
Chelsea
Liverpool
Manchester City
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur


Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have had a monopoly over the Champion's League qualifying positions for many years now but that could soon change.

Breakdown of each team and why they may or may not make it:

Arsenal:
- Play the most attractive Football
- Have a great manager in Arsene Wenger
- Have world class players in; Fabregas, Van Persie, Arshavin, and I believe Sagna is world class right-back.
- Have a young squad, some of which is very inexperienced
- Their goalkeeper, Almunia, isn't very good
- Van Persie is injured and is unlikely to play for the rest of the season and their replacements are not good enough (Bendtner, Eduardo)
- Their defence hasn't look particularly solid this season
- They will lose key players in January to the African Cup of Nations (Eboue, Song, Diaby)
- They have had / have major injury problems

Aston Villa:
- Very good defensively this season
- Milner and Young are great wingers
- Dunne was a very shrewd signing for them who is playing the best Football of his life this season
- Agbonlahor is doing well this season
- They don't miss Barry at all
- Have beaten last years top 3 sides already; Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea
- Do not have any players recognised as being 'world class'
- Martin O'Neill is a great manager

Chelsea:
- Favourites to win the League, top with 40 pts.
- Best striking partnership in the league (Drogba, Anelka)
- Best striker in the world right now (Drogba - 13 goals already)
- Arguably the best centre-back in the England Captain, John Terry
- Anchelotti is doing a great job
- Have struggled in defending from set pieces this season
- World class player; Terry, A.Cole, Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Anelka. Other very good players include; Cech (used to be world class), Bosingwa, Ballack, J.Cole, Deco.
- Have already beat; Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, Tottenham.

Liverpool:

- Finished 2nd last season
- Lost a world class midfielder to Real Madrid (Xabi Alonso)
- Alonso's replacement, Alberto Aquilani who signed for £18m from Roma, has been injured and is now starting to regain his fitness, he looks pretty talented but can he fill the void left by Alonso's departure?
- Have arguably the best striker and best midfielder in the world, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard respectively.
- Defense has been poor this season.
- New right-back, Glen Johnson, signed for £10m + Peter Crouch ( = £17m.), looks good attacking but his defensive capabilities are questionable.
- Not enough depth in their squad
- Javier Mascherano may be on his way to Barcelona
- Do not have adequate back up for Torres who is injury prone
- Have had major injury concerns but their main team is now considered fully fit
- Club is in turmoil after only 3 wins in 16 games. Currently sit 6th with 27 points.
- Torres has scored 10 goals in 11 League games.
- David Ngog, their 20 year old French starlet, has enjoyed a lot of success this season, scoring 4 league goals, and 6 in all competitions.
- Need to do some serious business in the January transfer window
- World class players; Reina, Mascherano, Gerrard, Torres. Other solid players include; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Aquilani?, Benayoun.
- Have already lost to Chelsea, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Arsenal. But have beaten Manchester United. Drawn with Man City.

Manchester City
- Have billionaire owners who can afford any player
- Mark Hughes' managerial skills are in question
- Have plenty of attacking options
- Defense hasn't been too good despite spending over £40m on it in the summer
- Have drawn many games
- Shay Given is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment
- Bound to strengthen their squad in January
- World class players include; Given, Barry, Adebayor, Robinho. Other good players include; Lescott, Toure, Tevez, Santa Cruz.

Manchester United
- Current Champions
- Lost last season's world player of the year (Ronaldo) to Madrid for £80m. Replacement, Valencia, has settled well but obviously cannot fill Ronaldo's boots. Owen, Tevez's replacement, has settled well and has scored a few crucial goals (e.g. Vs. Man City).
- World's best defence? (Van der Sar, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra)
- Need a better right-back and left-winger (Giggs can't play every game)
- Aging team (Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Scholes, Giggs)
- But exciting young prospects (Macheda, Gibson, Evans)
- Rooney is scoring loads.
- Berbatov is over-rated and lazy, one of Ferguson's worst signings in recent years.
- The best manager of all time in Ferguson.
- Have had a lot of injuries
- World class players in; Van der Sar, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Giggs, Rooney. Other good players include; Scholes, Carrick, Owen, Valencia.
- Have lost to Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa already.

Tottenham Hotspur:
- Manager, Harry Redknapp, has done a great job
- Defoe is joint top scorer with 13.
- Have many attacking options; Defoe, Crouch, Keane, Pavyluchenko.
- Have generally defended well
- Have perhaps the most depth in their squad with players such as the above, and Krancjar, King, Modric, Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Bentley, Woodgate and Dawson.
- Pavyluchenko and Bentley look set to move on in January.
- Question marks over their Keeper, Gomes.
- Scored 9 past Wigan earlier this season, who beat Chelsea 3-1.
- Have already beaten; Man City and Liverpool.
- World class players in; Defoe, Keane. Have other good players in; Lennon, Dawson, King (when fit), Modric, Crouch.

I think it will be:

1st) Chelsea
_______________________
2nd) Manchester United
3rd) Arsenal
4th) Liverpool or Aston Villa
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

5th) Liverpool, Aston Villa or Tottenham
6th) Liverpool, Aston Villa or Tottenham
7th) Manchester City
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
8th) Sunderland
9th) Fulham
10th) Everton
11th) Birmingham City
12th) Stoke City
13th) Wigan Athletic
14th) Blackburn Rover
15th) Burnley
16th) West Ham United
17th) Portsmouth
____________________________
18th) Hull City
19th) Bolton Wanderers
20th) Wolverhampton Wanderers

Why?

Chelsea have strongest team and Drogba is on fire, I think they will see off Man Utd. Arsenal have lost Van Persie and I think as the season goes on they will miss him. Liverpool have had an awful campaign but I predict their 2nd half of the season to go much better (they usually finish seasons strongly), plus they will probably make a few signings in January, and as long as Torres and Gerrard are fit they can make the top 3 or 4, if not then they'll finish 5th or 6th. Aston Villa probably won't keep up the pace but will finish higher than Spurs and Man City. Man City have drawn too many games and are looking very vulnerable in defense. Tottenham, I believe, won't keep up their pace.
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#2
Old 12-16-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default

Chelsea and United will fill the top spots, it seems unlikely that anyone will unsettle them. Third spot will likely be Arsenal but it could as easily be Villa or Spurs, even City with a good string of results. Basically the season is wide open. I think it's unlikely that Liverpool will reach top four, but I do think they'll have a new manager by the end of the season.

I think that it's likely to be

1. Chelsea
2. Scum
3. Arse
4. Villa
5. Spurs
6. Man City
7. Liverpoop

But really any team in the 3rd to the 6th spot in this list could end up being in any of those positions pending a run of good results.

I'm not sure why you are questioning Mark Hughes' skills as a manager. His occasionally indifferent results are on a par with those of Alex Ferguson in his first few seasons in charge, it just takes time to develop your vision and your team.
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#3
Old 12-16-2009, 11:44 PM
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Chelsea
Man Utd
Arsenal
Spurs

I'm going with Spurs. They look better in attack then City and Villa IMO, and there back line looks the best as well when they're all fit but it's a pick em really because there isn't a lot between those 3 teams.

Spurs have dropped silly points at home to the likes of Stoke and Wolves, but you saw tonight that when they're firing on all cylinders, they're terrific to watch.
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