Pendle Premier League Preview 2014/15 – Part 1

Posted on: August 4th, 2014 | by Erika | No Comments

Welcome to the Pendle Sportswear Premier League Preview Blog . Over the next two weeks we will be looking at the comings and goings over the summer and assessing the prospects for each of the 20 Premier League clubs. Have Your Say – Let us know what you think will happen in the upcoming season and whether you agree with our predictions!

arsenalArsenal

Players In – Mathieu Debuchy (£12 mill), Alexis Sanchez (£30 mill), David Ospina (£3.2 mill), Calum Chambers (£12 mill)

Players Out – Carlos Vela (£12 mill), Bacary Sagna (free), Park Chu Young (released), Lukasz Fabianski (0), Nicklas Bentner (released), Johan Djourou (£2.5 mill)

For the past few years Arsenal have become known for buying youngsters and not really spending money on established players in the transfer windows, but for the second season in succession Wenger has spent big on one star player. Alexis Sanchez joins Arsenal from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £30 million, and Wenger will be hoping that he will be the player to bring success back to Arsenal. Winning the FA cup last season may have brought an end to the trophy drought at the Emirates but another 4th place finish isn’t what the fans were hoping for at the start of the season and they will certainly be expecting more next season.

With Bacary Sagna leaving to join Premier League champions Manchester City and back up keeper Fabianski leaving to join Swansea, Matheiu Debuchy and David Ospina have been brought in to fill the gaps. With a couple of seasons of premiership experience under his belt, Debuchy should prove to be a good bit of business by Wenger and after some impressive displays in the World Cup for Colombia, Ospina could take the number one spot from Szczesny if his impressive performances continue.

Arsenal’s season very much depends on two things, firstly if they can keep their players fit, Aaron Ramsey was a big loss for them in the latter parts of last season,  they will surely be in the top four.  Secondly, Wenger will need  Alexis Sanchez to adapt to Premiership life quickly, Mesut Ozil started well but didn’t really live up to his £42 million price tag, so if Sanchez does the same for Arsenal they might have to settle for 4th or lower this season, but if he can hit the ground running they may be challenging for the title.

Pendle Prediction – 3rd Place.

 

     astonvillaAston Villa

Players In – Joe Cole (free), Kieran Richardson (undisclosed), Philippe Senderos (free).

Players Out – Albrighton (free), Jordan Bowery (undisclosed), Nathan Delfouneso (released), Nicklas Helenius (loan), Yacouba Sylia (loan).

Aston Villa suffered a dreadful season last season and relegation to the Championship looked a possibility, finishing 15th wasn’t what the fans would’ve hoped for at the beginning of the season. This season may well prove to be much the same for Villa fans as the current crop of players look unlikely to improve on last season.

With Christian Benteke still out injured and likely to miss a big part of the opening half of the Premiership, it seems unlikely Agbonlahor, Weimann or Darren Bent will get the goals needed for Villa in his absence.

The signing of Joe Cole seems questionable, yes he is a good midfielder, yes he has played for England and various Premiership teams and yes he has a lot of experience, but at 32 years of age, surely they would’ve been better off keeping Marc Albrighton. He is younger, he has got more to offer going forward and will demand a lot less in wages than Cole will.

Kieran Richardson is a good signing, despite going down with Fulham last season, he was one of their better players, I think his experience will be vital for Villa to battle against relegation this season, and equally the signing of Senderos is the same.

For Villa to get back to the top half of the table, they are going to have to invest more  money and improve their whole squad. They have a handful of decent Premier League players but not enough to get them back up the table.

Holding on to Ron Vlaar could prove vital to their fortunes, if Villa were to lose him and weren’t able to replace him with someone with equal experience and quality they could be playing Championship football very soon.

Getting Christian Benteke back fit and scoring goals, will also be vital to their fortunes.

Pendle Prediction – 16th Place.

 

  burnley Burnley

Players In – Michael Kightly (undisclosed), Matt Gilks (free), Marvin Sordell (undisclosed), Matthew Taylor (free), Steven Reid (free), Lukas Jutkeiwicz (undisclosed).

Players Out – Joseph Mills (free), David Edgar (free), Junior Stanislas (free), Chris Baird (free).

Last season’s Championship runners up are returning to the Premiership for only their second season, and things could prove to be equally difficult second time around for the Clarets.

They will be looking to make Turf Moor a stronghold, possibly pulling off the odd surprise result at Turf Moor as was the case  in their first season in the Premiership when they beat Man Utd, Everton and Spurs and earned a point against Arsenal. It could be away from home where Burnley will struggle to earn many points.

The signings they have made this summer so far have been good additions to their squad but  on the whole the squad seems just a little too weak to compete in the top flight. It will be interesting to see how Sam Vokes and Danny Ings manage in the Premiership after scoring 20 and 21 goals respectively in the Championship last season – Burnley will certainly need these two to be on top form as they fight to stay in the division.

Burnley fans will be expecting a tough season and will just be enjoying life in the Premiership again. However,  if they can add a few more experienced Premier League players they may just stand a chance of surviving maybe they should dip further into the free transfer market to see who is available, or maybe look to some of the bigger teams for some loan deals. It seems unlikely that there will be three teams that finish below them at the end of the season.

Pendle Prediction – 20th Place.

  chelseaChelsea

Players In – Diego Costa (£32 mill), Cesc Fabregas (£30 mill), Filipe Luis (£15 mill), Didier Drogba (free).

Players Out – Demba Ba (£4.7 mill), Ashley Cole (released), Samuel Eto’o (released), Frank Lampard (released), David Luiz (£40-50 mill), Romelu Lukaku (£28 mill)

Chelsea have already made a statement of their intent for the new season, spending nearly £80 million on three new signings and bringing club legend Didier Drogba back to the club, Jose Mourinho is targeting a third Premier League title with Chelsea. After a poor season for Chelsea’s strikers, less than 20 goals between the three of Eto’o, Torres and Ba, Jose can’t rely on goals from midfield again this season and with the signing of Diego Costa, he will be hoping to sort that out. The former Atletico Madrid striker pipped Lionel Messi to second place in the top scorer stats in La Liga with 28 goals, could he finally be Chelsea’s main man and score the goals to secure a third title for Mourinho?

Signing Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona will fill the void left by Frank Lampard who leaves the club this summer after 13 years at the Bridge, and Filipe Luis, who also joins from Atletico Madrid will replace Ashley Cole who has swapped London for Rome.

Didier Drogba Returns to the London club after only 2 seasons away, in his last game for the club he scored the decisive penalty to secure a first Champions League Title for the blues and securing his place amongst the fans as the clubs greatest ever player. The big question is will the 36 year old play that often or is he going to be used to help Costa adapt to the English game?

Everyone will be expecting Chelsea to be fighting for the Title this season  but whether they win it or not is likely to depend on how quickly Costa adapts to the way Chelsea play and the English game. With Demba Ba, Eto’o and Lukaku all leaving this summer and talks of Torres potentially moving away from the club as well, they could be very light on strikers for the coming season so if Costa ends up being a first season flop like Soldado proved to be at  Spurs last season they will struggle to win the title this time around.

Selling David Luiz seems to be great business by Chelsea, quite what the Paris Saint Germain scouts saw in Luiz to make them pay £40 million (or £50 million depending on which report you read) for the player seems unclear but it is no surprise that Chelsea cashed in, they will surely be looking at adding another centre back to play alongside Cahill in the heart of the defence.

Another question for Mourinho will be who to play in goal this season? Petr Cech is currently the first choice and few keepers could challenge his position but with the returning Thibaut Courtois, will they look at replacing Cech with one of the best young keepers in the game, or will they continue with the ever solid Cech for another season, whoever they choose they will have a very good backup on the bench.

Pendle Prediction – 2nd Place.

 

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