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TEAMtalk Predictions: Abbi Summers
Published : 09 Aug 2011 07:12:00Rss feed
Abbi Summers thinks Liverpool will go fourth and is backing Arsenal to end their silverware drought in the latest TEAMtalk season preview. With the Football League and SPL campaigns having started and the Premier League season kicking off this weekend, TEAMtalk's team of writers are once again turning soothsayers as they consider the potential success stories and tales of woe in 2011/12. It's our second week of predictions and now it's the turn of guest writer, and avid Tottenham fan, Abbi Summers to take centre stage. Your opinions count too, so let us know your thoughts on her selections by using the Comments area below... Premier League top six: Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal. Last season we saw United take the title without their usual style which we have seen them have in previous seasons. They will miss the experience of Scholes, van der Sar and Neville but the signing of Ashley Young could potentially give them the bit of flare they lacked last campaign. Chelsea will be on the hunt to regain the title after they finished last season with no trophies. Despite Andre Villas-Boas winning the league with Porto, he may need time to adjust to the style of the Premier League, however I have no doubt Chelsea will be fired up to keep United on their toes all the way to the finish line. City will continue to flourish under Roberto Mancini and with Sergio Aguero on board they will cement a successive third-placed finish. Liverpool have already begun their revival under 'King Kenny' and will regain the sacred fourth spot. They have been given new life under Dalglish, who will be hoping to see key signings Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing provide the ammunition for dynamic strike pair Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez. Spurs and Arsenal will battle it out for fifth place and Harry Redknapp's troops may pip the Gunners in what could be Arsene Wenger's last season in charge. However, if they can keep Thomas Vermaelen and Robin van Persie fully fit they may yet oust their capital rivals. Premier League bottom three: Wigan, Norwich, Swansea. Despite avoiding the drop last season, I think the Latics will drop out this season. Having lost their best player Charles N'Zogbia they'll miss his pace, goals and creativity and can't see them pulling off another great escape. Norwich and Swansea will struggle to cope with the harsh reality of the Premier League. I have a feeling they will end up going straight back to the Championship - but could take a few scalps on the way. Wolves, QPR and Blackburn will also be floating around the drop zone. Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero. I'm tipping Aguero to set the Premier League alight. He could well start alongside his fellow Argentinean Carlos Tevez and I reckon he'll score goals for fun. First Premier League manager to be sacked: Neil Warnock. Before the R's had even wrapped their heads around the thought of the Premier League, there were already rumours of a surprise exit for the manager. If QPR don't begin their season on the right foot, it could be a quick farewell for former Sheffield Untied boss. FA Cup winners: Chelsea. Andre Villas-Boas will be going all out to win his first trophy with Chelsea. Carling Cup winners: Arsenal. Arsenal will be desperate to make amends for their disastrous cup final last season where they lost out on their first trophy in six years. Wenger could well take this competition very seriously in a bid to end his silverware drought. Champions League winners: Barcelona They are unbeatable, they can only improve under Pep Guardiola and with the likes of Messi, Alves, Iniesta, Xavi and new boy Alexis Sanchez in the side it's unlikely they will falter. They will keep hold of the Champions League trophy for the foreseeable future. Europa League winners: Schalke 04. After such an impressive run in the Champions league last season, I wouldn't be surprised if they won the Europa League. They proved that they have the skills and quality to go far in Europe and I believe they will be front runners for the trophy having drawn HJK Helsinki in the play-off round. Championship top six: West Ham, Reading, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham, Leicester, Blackpool. West Ham will come straight back up under Sam Allardyce. Key signing Kevin Nolan will be crucial in boosting the team and showing them that they belong in the Premier league. If the Hammers manage to hold on to Scott Parker I will have no doubt that they will be back with the best next season. After missing out on promotion last campaign, Reading will be back in the frame and will this time receive automatic promotion. Nottingham Forest, Leicester, Birmingham and Blackpool will fill the play-off spots. Birmingham have lost a hatful of players but Chris Hughton's experience will steer them through, while Forest will prosper under Steve McClaren and will probably finish third. Sven Goran-Erikson has made crucial signings already for the Foxes and I believe they could also push for third. Hopefully Ian Holloway will still keep the 'breath of fresh air' in his Blackpool side - and his capture of Kevin Phillips will keep them near the top of the table. Championship top-scorer: Craig Mackail-Smith. The Scottish striker scored 27 goals with Peterborough last season and this term he will be a key figure in Brighton's battle for promotion. Championship bottom three: Watford, Peterborough, Doncaster. Watford have already lost key players such as Buckley, Graham and Cowie - and will really miss Graham's goals. This division is tougher than it has ever been and I see a season of struggle for the Posh and Donny. First Championship manager to be sacked: Darren Ferguson. Ferguson has a history of poor relationships with the board and his managerial track record is not fantastic. He could be the first manager to face the chopping board. SPL champions: Rangers. Ally Mcoist has learnt from the best under the wing of Walter Smith and will be sure to keep Rangers at the top of the SPL. SPL top-scorer: Nikica Jelavic After a successful season in Scotland, I'm backing him to top the charts. League One champions: Huddersfield Town. The Terriers managed an impressive third-placed finish last season but will get automatic promotion this year. League One top-scorer: Bradley Wright-Phillips. The striker scored 21 goals at Charlton and Plymouth Argyle last season and has the potential to be a powerhouse in the box. League Two champions: Shrewsbury Town. They placed in fourth spot last season and the Shrews are likely to tame most of their opponents and push for the title this time. League Two top-scorer: Adam Le Fondre. The striker scored 24 goals last campaign and will improve that this season to finish in top spot.
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