With the summer transfer window finally over making predictions for the 2013-14 Premier League season is much more realistic. With the number of changes made with several teams it means that some teams have become better while others have not been able to strengthen.
With the season already under way there have been some hints of what is to come, but there have been enough changes made with many teams that week 4 is the true start to the season. The first international break is over, but more importantly, the 2013 summer transfer window has closed.
Top Four Prediction:
1. Manchester United
3. Manchester City
4. Tottenham Hotspur
The top (and middle) of the table will be extremely competitive this season. There are more than the typical four teams that will be competing for the Champions League places.
United are still the team to beat. They may not have made the changes they wanted to make, but they were still able to keep the team that won the EPL last season while also adding another midfielder to depth chart.
Chelsea and Manchester City have made several positive changes, but still have areas of weakness. Chelsea is missing a top notch, world class striker while City has shown they can be beaten and will leak goals without Vincent Kompany to command the back line.
I still think that Tottenham had probably the best summer transfer window and brought in some excellent signings. This will not be an easy season for any team at the top, but I think they have what it takes to push for Champions League.
Middle of the Table Prediction:
8. West Ham United
9. Aston Villa
Liverpool and Arsenal will definitely be in the mix for a top four finish. Liverpool look strong and when Luis Suarez returns they will have the attacking edge they need really get going. Liverpool is still one of those teams just on the cusp and I’m very tempted to pick them for top four, but they do still have some questions marks. Will they be able to continue to play the same possession game all season, even with Suarez? Liverpool is probably the biggest dark horse of all the teams in the league and really could be a team finishing anywhere in the top eight. They do still have a young team and lack some depth in midfield and defense. Their high pressing, possession based strategy will require a high amount of mental stamina all season which could lead to mistakes and negative results.
Arsenal made the biggest splash in the summer transfer window by landing Mesut Ozil. His signing will provide Arsenal with an attacking edge that could propel them. However, this signing did not address their areas of weakness, namely a strong ball winning midfielder, quality defenders, and a quality goal keeper. Ozil’s addition could make the strikers they have much better and thus eliminate the need for a world class forward.
Everton also had themselves an excellent transfer window. This combined with the use of youngsters Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley means that Everton has become a rejuvenated team. They do have question marks at the back, especially with Tim Howard making mistakes. Adding Romelu Lukaku on loan was a genius move and means that they now have a quality striker.
The middle of the 2013-14 EPL Table will be very competitive with teams like West Ham United, Aston Villa, Southampton, Norwich City, and Swansea City vying for places.
19. Crystal Palace
20. Hull City
Very little has changed at the bottom of the 2013-14 Premier League table. I do believe that there will be other teams that could struggle at the bottom including Stoke City and Cardiff City. I do feel that teams like Newcastle United, Cardiff and Stoke will be safe, but West Brom is a team that could have problems and get sucked in if they aren’t careful.
The Black Cats are going to struggle this season, but they should be able to just survive. They have made the most changes of any team in the EPL and it will take time for them to gel. It remains to be seen as to whether they will be able to and whether Paulo Di Canio will even last the season.
Fulham have been rather languid over the past year. They managed to scrape by last season without getting caught in too much of a relegation battle. This had more to do with their start to last season as well as being surrounded by worse teams. I think this will be the season that they get sucked down.
Crystal Palace has made a lot of changes in an attempt to stay up in the Premier League, but I do think this is a team that is preparing more for next season and being able to make a return than a team that will actually survive.
Hull City has not started the season well and have done more to bolster their midfield and defense, but little to help out in the attacking third. This is going to really hurt them now, but should be helpful in returning next season to try again.