Football predictions

It’s a mugs game, but after last year’s reasonable success, I’ll stick my neck out again – although I’d emphasise that I’m much less confident of the predictions this year! Numbers in brackets are to notes at the end.

1. Chelsea (1)
2. ManU (2)
3. Man City (3)
4. Arsenal (4)
5. Liverpool (5)
6. Spurs
7. Everton
8. Villa (6)
9. Birmingham
10. Sunderland
11. Stoke
12. Fulham
13. Blackburn (7)
14. WHam
15. Wolves
16. Newcastle
17. Bolton
18. WBA (8)
19. Wigan
20. Blackpool (9)

(1) For the simple reason that I think Chelsea are significantly stronger than last year, injuries to Essien permitting.
(2) At some point the wheels on ManU will come off, but I’ve been tempted to write them off on many occasions before, and SAF keeps on doing the business. He’ll do it again this year. I think SAF is, quite possibly, the greatest football manager ever.
(3) They’ll take time to settle, but I think this year they will become a bit of a flat-track bully who will come unstuck against the top two. Next year may be different…
(4) If Arsenal sign a decent goalkeeper they will do better.
(5) Roy will get them organised, and I think he will get the best out of Joe Cole (what a muppet!)
(6) Don’t see much between these next three, notwithstanding MO’N leaving, but if Spurs get a better striker on board then they will make a better go at staying in the top four.
(7) Similarly, not much between these next five, too good to go down, not good enough to go up (and I don’t think Mark Hughes – who I think is good – will be able to better Roy’s achievements at Fulham. It’ll all be good experience for him though.)
(8) Relegation contenders – I’d far rather Bolton go down than WBA but sadly they’re more likely to be higher up.
(9) The bottom two. I expect Martinez to be sacked before Christmas, and I don’t expect that to help.