Pendle Premier League Preview 2014/15 – Part 3

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 | by Erika | No Comments

Welcome to part 3 of the Pendle Sportswear Premier League preview blog. In this post we will be looking at the prospects for Liverpool, Man City, Man United & Newcastle. Let us know what you think by commenting on twitter and facebook

 liverpoolLiverpool

Players In – Emre Can (£10 mill), Adam Lallana (£25 mill), Rickie Lambert (£4 mill), Lazar Markovic (£20 mill), Dejan Lovren (£20 mill), Divock Origi (£10 mill), Javier Manquillo (loan)

Players Out – Luis Alberto (loan), Iago Aspas (loan), Luis Suarez (undisclosed), Andre Wisdom (loan)

Liverpool’s expectations going into last season were to try and break back into the top four, no one would’ve predicted the season they’d have. Finishing second in the league and fighting all the way to the final day. The big question is can they repeat that feat or even beat it?

Selling Luis Suarez looked inevitable after Barcelona came knocking. After the biting incident involving Giorgio Chiellini, some thought the transfer would be dead in the water, but Barcelona overlooked the extensive ban he received and still proceeded with the transfer. Who can blame them, despite the controversy, Suarez is one of the best finishers in the game. A fee of around £75 million is rumoured to be what was paid.

What will losing a player of that class mean for Liverpool? Spurs found it tough last season when they sold Gareth Bale and  Liverpool could be in the same boat. Signing Rickie Lambert seems a decent enough deal, they needed a new striker with or without Suarez, but they may still need more backup in that area otherwise Daniel Sturridge will have a lot of responsibility placed on him. Adam Lallana has been brought in for a hefty £25 million, he will add to their squad but he won’t make up for the loss of Suarez, equally Lazar Markovic and Emre Can for a combined £30 million help to increase the options that Rodgers will have to choose from, it will be interesting to see how they adapt and perform in the Premier League.

The signing of Dejan Lovren seems astute, he was one of a host of good players in the Southampton side last season and it’s no surprise that he has moved on to a bigger club.

The worry for Liverpool is that they will do what Spurs did last season and drop down the league after selling their best player, and unless they sign another world class striker that is likely to happen. Like Tottenham last season Liverpool have spent a lot of money on new players and so far have brought in 6 new signings for nearly £90 million, and if they keep this up they will end up being this season’s Spurs. Critics remain unconvinced they have brought in players that will improve on last season, they have however increased the options available in their squad as they will have more games this season due to European commitments, something they didn’t have to worry about last season.

Pendle Prediction – 5th Place.

  man cityManchester City

Players In – Willy Caballero (£6 mill), Fernando (£12 mill), Bacary Sagna (free), Bruno Zuculini (£1.5 mill).

Players Out – Gareth Barry (free), Joleon Lescott (free), Costel Pantilimon (free), Jack Rodwell (£10 mill)

Last season Man City were pushed all the way to the final day by Liverpool and most of the way by Chelsea, but came out on top and won their second Premier League title. Most of the talk over the summer was about whether Yaya Toure was going to stay around or leave, and after a couple of weeks of questions it seems he is now set to stay at the club, which will come as some relief to Man City fans as he is one of the clubs biggest and best players.

The signings of Fernando from Porto, Willy Caballero from Malaga and Bacary Sagna from Arsenal will all add to the size of the squad and mean that they will be able to look at fighting on all fronts this season and maybe challenge more for the Champions League. Eliaquim Mangala is also set to sign from Porto for £32 million and if that one goes through, I can’t see many teams beating them this season. Steven Jovetic will be hopeful he has overcome his injury plagued first season and add to the already impressive attacking line that Man city have. Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott and Costel Pantilimon have all moved on after becoming surplus to requirements at the club, but that is unlikely to be the last of the players leaving, with the signing on Sagna and the potential signing of Mangala it’s looking likely that Micah Richards will be leaving the club with a host of Premiership clubs interested in the English defender, and with the signing of Fernando, surely Javi Garcia days are numbered at the Premier League Champions.

With the signings that Manuel Pellegrini has already made and the signing of Mangala looking imminent,  City are unlikely to be doing much more in the transfer window this summer, the only place I think they may still look at is another centre back, but that would only be to replace Martin Demichelis if they choose to do so.

The current squad look strong enough to win back to back titles and really be a force in all competitions this season.

Pendle Prediction – 1st Place.

  man utdManchester United

Players In – Ander Herrera (£29 mill), Luke Shaw (£27 mill), Vanja Milinkovic (undisclosed)

Players Out – Ryan Giggs (retired), Jack Barmby (free), Bebe (£2.4 mill), Alexander Buttner (£5.6 mill), Patrice Evra (£1.2 mill), Rio Ferdinand (released), Federico Macheda (free), Nemanja Vidic (free).

After the worst season in the clubs Premiership history, Man Utd have employed Louis Van Gaal as their new manager. Van Gaal has been tasked with getting the club back to the top of the table where they were when Sir Alex Ferguson retired after the disappointing season they had under the leadership of David Moyes. He joins the club with a wealth of experience, 3 league titles with Ajax, 2 with Barcelona and a Champions League win, and a single title at both AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich, Van Gaal also guided the Netherlands to third place in this year’s FIFA World Cup. A lot will be expected of Van Gaal this season but the bonus for him is things couldn’t possibly get any worse than last season.

Ryan Giggs has retired after 24 seasons at the club but has stayed on as Van Gaal’s assistant manager, he could prove to be important in the dressing room this season.

There have been a few other big name departures from the club this summer, Rio Ferdinand has been released and subsequently joined QPR, Nemanja Vidic has joined Inter Milan on a free, while Patrice Evra as gone to Juventus for £1.2 million. Alexander Buttner has also left the club this summer and has been replaced by the young England star Luke Shaw, a lot will be expected of him coming to the club for such a big price, and the signing of Ander Herrera for nearly £30 million is a big statement of what Man Utd want to do this season.

The loss of both experienced centre backs will be a worry for United fans as at the moment they have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling or Johnny Evans as their only options at the back.

One of the things that was lacking from the United team under Moyes was the must win attitude that Ferguson pumped into his teams, as well as the fear factor of visiting Old Trafford which they didn’t seem to have under Moyes, but with Van Gaal in charge that is likely to return and United will once again be a major force in the Premier League.

Going forward United have a lot of fire power, and with the addition of Ander Herrera they should  be strong. At the back they seem to be lacking, they are yet to replace Vidic or Ferdinand and they are going to need to sort that out before the start of the season, They have already missed out on former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen but Daley Blind, who played for Van Gaal in the World Cup, is another target.

If they can find a suitable addition to their defensive ranks they will surely be in the top four.

Pendle Prediction – 4th Place.

 

 newcastle Newcastle United

Players In – Remy Caballa (undisclosed), Jack Colback (free), Siem De Jong (undisclosed), Daryl Janmaat (undisclosed), Ayoze Perez (undisclosed), Emmanuel Riviere (£5 mill), Facundo Ferreyra (loan), Karl Darlow (undisclosed), Jamaal Lascelles (undisclosed).

Players Out – Shola Ameobi (released), Dan Gosling (undisclosed), Mathieu Debuchy (£12 mill), Sylvain Marveaux (loan), Conor Newton (undisclosed), James Tavernier (undisclosed).

Newcastle endured a mixed season last season, losing their opening game 4-0 to Man City was not the way anyone wants to start but turned it around and finished the first half of the season in 8th place with a chance of European qualification. However, 13 loses in 19 games in the second half of the season saw them drop to 10th and they were lucky not to finish lower.

Newcastle have once again this year made a few signings in the hope that they can move up the table, Remy Caballa looks a good signing for them he is sure to add to the forward line and score some much needed goals, Jack Colback from bitter rivals Sunderland should also prove an astute piece of business, he is a solid central midfielder that will help the club when Cheick Tiote gets his usual suspensions throughout the season.

Daryl Janmaat has been brought in to replace Mathieu Debuchy who joined Arsenal this summer, the Dutch right back played in all five of Holland’s games in the World Cup.

Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere have also been added to the strike force which has been lacking in recent years, and with top scorer Loic Remy returning to QPR this summer they needed someone to replace his goals. There are still players in the squad that Newcastle will want to get off their wage bill, I think the days are numbered for players like Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan, even Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa could all be show the door this summer after not performing last season.

This season could be a difficult one for Newcastle if their new signings fail once again, but a mid-table finish is likely to be what they will get. The new signings that have been brought in are good quality additions but they may need to reduce the amount of players on their books to make sure no unrest in the dressing room developments which is always a possibility with so many players not playing week in week out.

Pendle Prediction – 8th Place.

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