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So here we go again, as Whitesnake once screamed, a new Premiership season about to bury those wonderful Olympic memories in a soggy summer. And already it's off to an exciting start with the somewhat surprise move of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United, surely their City neighbors the better option for trophies and wages? Maybe Manchester City expect him to pay tax or something and so the contract not suitable. Either way it is the big signing that keep United in the mix after a disastrous share issue in New York didn't produce the revenue they need to pay the bills if the team don't win again this season. Manchester United's Empire is showing signs of dry rot and could crumble one day. But even as a United fan that last seconds City winner against QPR was amazing and great for football. It gets boring winning every year. But the transfer window isn't closed and the big clubs are buying again...
The Champions: Manchester City
Star Man - Tevez
If Tevez had warmed up in that match City would have won the league by April. They are capable of doing an unbeaten season and I expect them to go close this year. They will win the league by at least 5 points. Their squad is huge and money no object, doing a Chelsea and set to reign for the next five years. The bet of the season is Manchester City at 16-1 to win the handicap betting. It's priced on them getting 89pts last year and they are sure to get more points this year as Tevez will fly and Toure not whipped off to the African Nations. No team with a handicap is going to pass their 90 points plus score in 2013.
Manchester United: 2nd
Star Man - Van Persie
Van Persie is exactly the sort of signing that earns 5 points in the Premier league. When United failed to sign players like Gascoigne and Alan Shearer it hurt the club. United, though, are still light on a world class midfielder and need to buy to win the title, the Japanese guy there just for shirt sales, like all of United's other Asian signings. The hopeless Ji Sung Park has gone and Cleverly fit and ready to take his spot but oldies like Scholes and Giggs wont win titles now. We wanted needed Snyder but he wanted a free house and 220,000 a week in the deal. Welbeck can move into midfield but you do wonder what Hernandez makes of the RVP transfer. Defensively United also need improvements, Vidic injury prone the brave way he plays and Ferdinand over the hill, the reason why United didn't win the title last season and why they wont this year.
Star man - Mata
Abramovich has achieved his goal with that Champions League win and you do wonder if his interest with Chelsea wanes as the world cup in Russia nears. They will always finish a minimum third with the squad they have but is that enough for the Russian? Torres has to deliver this season with Drogba gone and Lampard fully utilized alongside new boys Oscar and Hazard, Frank still the best English attacking midfielder in the country.
It's hard to predict 4th as Arsenal without Van Persie are an unknown quantity. Old brown nose Bob Wilson is talking up the new era but you just can't see Podolski being the man to fill such huge boots. Liverpool could again flop under the inexperienced Brendan Rogers and Spurs could be bottom by December with Vilas Boas, two teams in need of leadership and quick to turn on those leaders. The way Spurs gave up when Harry looked nailed on for England shocked many and if they do a Chelsea with AVB then why would it be any different? I presume Spurs dumped Harry because he wanted England money but maybe it was because of a lot of the court trail stuff was suppressed and there is lots more dirt out there on him that could hurt the club.
I think the top three will be well clear this year and Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal will drop closer to Newcastle and Everton. Again, Liverpool's fans are like Newcastle's in that they will quickly turn on the manager and so scupper their chances. You can't rule out Harry being boss of Liverpool by Christmas. In fact I think Newcastle will get fourth under the excellent Pardew. They don't have to improve much as the other teams will simply come back to them. If they can keep Cisse and Ba as a partnership then why not? Arsenal needs to buy before the 31st deadline to reassure the fans; the board and the other players or they will become Spurs. Everton with Jelovic will again be pushing for top five but never enough at Goodison Park for the Champions League, David Moyes beginning to rust there.
Star - Cisse
Star Man - Arteta
Star man - Jelovic
Star Man - Larsson
Star Man - Suarez
Summer signings of top six clubs
* Manchester City: Jack Rodwell £12m
* Manchester United: Robin van Persie £24m, Shinji Kagawa £12m, Nick Powell £3m
* Arsenal: Olivier Giroud £13m*, Santi Cazorla £12m*, Lukas Podolski £11m*
* Tottenham: Gylfi Sigurdsson £8m*, Jan Vertonghen £8m*
* Newcastle: Gael Bigirimana undisclosed, Romain Amalfitano free, Curtis Good undisclosed, Vurnon Anita £6.7m*
* Chelsea: Eden Hazard £32m*, Oscar £25m, Marko Marin £7m*, Thorgan Hazard £1m
The mid table boys will be the usual suspects of Fulham, Sunderland and Stoke with Tottenham dumped in there when AVB fails, outside chances of the Europa Cup, if they want it. I think West Brom can join that group as an established Premier League team this season as they have lots of good young lads coming through.
12th West Brom
New boys West Ham will be good enough to steer clear of it after a slow start but Reading and Southampton right in it as they find their feet, Ricky Lambert of the Saints the big name striker from the Championship. Aston Villa have fallen out of love with the Premiership and will also be in the mix for the drop. Swansea without Brendan Rodgers and lots of their top lads wanting to leave could be a headless chicken and you have to again put Norwich in their when they sell Holt, QPR also in there big time. Wigan seems to get it going just at the last and so the great survivors but without Victor Moses you worry. Neil Adkins of Southampton is the bookies favorite to be sacked first.
13th West Ham
Van Persie and Rooney will split 40 goals so not for me so it has to be Aguero or Tevez. Maybe Torres will prosper with new boys Hazard and Oscar in the mix at Chelsea but you can't see it.
Aguero/Man City double at 12-1 is a great bet.
Man City 16-1 in the handicap
Newcastle to win a Cup!
Man City for the Champions League Final.