Who will win the English Premier League?

Vincent Kompany of Manchester City lifts the Barclays Premier League 2013/14 trophy

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014/2015 English Premier League Season is upon us, with action kicking off on Saturday, and the chase for the title is as wide open as it has been in ages.

Defending champions Manchester City will be seen as strong candidates to repeat, but with teams like Chelsea and Arsenal bolstering their rosters, the repeat will be far from easy for the team on the Blue side of Manchester.

The general consensus is that there is a group of seven stacked teams that will take up the top third of the Premier League standings, and while they aren’t considered title contenders, Everton and Tottenham will be expected to make things difficult for the other teams in the title conversation.

Just how the top teams in English will shake out is also tough to predict heading into the season because teams are not done tweaking their rosters and making big moves. Whether it’s Liverpool’s chase of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Arsenal’s quest for Sami Khedira, or Manchester United’s hunt for a left back like Marco Rojo and Daley Blind, the title challengers aren’t quite done stockpiling talent.

Based on where things stand heading into the opening weekend, here is how we see the top seven shaking out in the English Premier League (as well as a poll for you to vote on who you see winning the EPL title this year):

PROJECTED ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE STANDINGS

(As voted on by SBI Editorial Staff)

7. TOTTENHAM

New manager Mauricio Pocchettino should help instill an improved set-up at Spurs, but a lack of high-profile signings will make closing the gap on the league’s top teams difficult.

6. EVERTON

Roberto Martinez enjoyed an outstanding summer, securing the services of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku when it seemed unlikely either would return. Throw in the additions of Gareth Barry, Muhamed Besic and Christian Atsu, and the Toffees have the quality to break into the top four if the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United stumble.

5. MANCHESTER UNITED

There are plenty of defensive concerns heading into the new season for new manager Louis Van Gaal, but it’s tough to bet against the Dutch master, who has already put his imprint on the team. Spaniard Ander Herrera should provide a boost to the midfield, while Robin van Persie’s ability to stay healthy will once again be key to United’s chances. United is still on the hunt for some big-ticket transfers, such as Angel DiMaria and Daley Blind, so any big buys late in the window could help push them up this list, or at least ward off Liverpool and Everton for fourth place.

4. LIVERPOOL

The Reds came so close to a title last season, but after selling their best player to Barcelona this summer it’s tough to see them mounting such a challenge again. Brendan Rogers raided Southampton for talent, bringing in Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, as well as highly-regarded Lazar Markovic from Benfica and Alberto Moreno from Atletico. Depth won’t be an issue, but the championship will be a tough ask. That said, a top three finish is well within Liverpool’s grasp if Rodgers can blend in the new faces and find someone to pick up the goal-scoring slack left by Suarez’s departure.

3. MANCHESTER CITY

Boasting more depth than any team in the league, City had a relatively quiet summer by their standards, adding Bacary Sagna and goalkeeper Willy Caballero, while also taking on Frank Lampard on loan. Will that be enough to hold off title challenges from Chelsea and Arsenal? Don’t be so sure. Sergio Aguero’s health will be key once again, but we can see City slipping up as Pellegrini struggles with finding minutes for his deep squad.

2. ARSENAL

Remember when Arsenal didn’t make big buys anymore? For a second straight summer, Arsene Wenger opened up the wallet to land a major signing, this time around landing Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. The Gunners aren’t done spending apparently, with reports linking them to a major play for Paris St. Germain striker Edinson Cavani, as well as a bid for Sami Khedira.

Arsenal has already boosted its defense by adding Mathieu Debuchy and young defender Calum Chambers. If Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey can stay healthy, and if the Gunners add one more major attacking weapon, the Gunners could very well make a serious push for the title.

1. CHELSEA

Chelsea desperately needed a reliable striker after suffering through some frustrating times last season. Enter Diego Costa, the former Atletico Madrid sniper who has already shown he’s ready to make the most of the service he should receive from Chelsea’s midfield. A midfield bolstered by the addition of Cesc Fabregas.

With Thibault Courtois looking ready to take over for Petr Cech, Chelsea’s defense should be a tough unit once again, though you wonder if the depth is there in the back-line to mount a serious push in both the Premier League title race and Champions League race.  The addition of Filipe Luis should help on that front.

—————-

Now it’s your turn. Who do you see winning the English Premier League? Cast your vote here:

 

  • Manchester City
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • Arsenal
  • Manchester United
  • Everton
  • Tottenham

Who did you vote for? What do you think of our projected Top Seven? Who do you think we are overrating? Who do you think we are underestimating?

Share your thoughts below.

 

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Who will win the English Premier League?

  1. Drewbles says:

    I’m betting on a team that wears either red or blue.

  2. DCGooner says:

    It’s the Gunners year, I can feel it. No bias here…

    • Increase0 says:

      That’s my hope. Its prolly wrong but a man can dream.

    • michael f. sbi mafia original says:

      never. man utd all the way. leave it to the liberal press to let the truth get in the way of a good story!

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I think picking Arsenal second behind Chelsea is a fair and reasonable forecast.

    Nonetheless, I think it’s wrong. I think the Gunners take it. I also think Liverpool falls out of the top four and that Everton leapfrogs them

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Everton spent a lot of money, just to maintain what they had last year. They haven’t improved a whole lot (while all the CL teams and United have been spending on new players). I’m guessing they come back down to earth, especially being involved in Europe again. But maybe they can get into Champions League by winning Europa.

  4. AMPhibian says:

    I think it’s pretty obviously between Chelsea and Arsenal, considering the talent those great coaches have, but who knows, it could get pretty interesting for a few of the other teams, with a couple good signings.

    Chelsea takes it by 9 points.

    • Luke says:

      I really don’t know how any of you think Arsenal are going to win the EPL??? Have you seen there defense?
      Chelsea yes but Man City is the team to beat.

  5. Artie says:

    The lack of even a token “Other” option in this poll, conceding there is no possible way any other team could win the league, underscores what life without a salary cap is like. And just think–this is one of the *more* competitive leagues in Europe.

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      I was trying to figure out why they went down to 7. There is ZERO chance that Everton or Tottenham win.

    • Lar says:

      A salary cap would weaken the quality of the league. The kind of salary cap MLS fans want would give every EPL team an equal shot at the title. NO ONE wants a league like that.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    I believe it will come down to a 3 horse race between Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Man. City may hang in the first half or third of the season.

    I think at the end it will between Chelsea and Liverpool.

  7. blokhin says:

    the EPL is so competitive, blah, blah, blah is the opening every freaking year, yet the same 4 or 5 teams finish in the top four… who cares?

    • Luke says:

      You mean teams like Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton? Teams like them that are alway TOP5?

      • JC says:

        Last year was an off year. If you look at the last 5 years, last year had Liverpool and Everton make the top 5 and 11/12 had Newcastle make the top 5. Those are the only teams to finish top 5 other than Man City (all 5 years), Arsenal (all 5 years), Chelsea (all but 11/12), Man U (all but last year), and Tottenham (all but last year). So, yeah, typically the same teams finish in the top 5.

        Also, you can pretty much put your money on Man U, Man City, or Chelsea to win the league as they are the only three teams to win a title in the past 10 years. Arsenal is the last team outside of them to win and that was 11 and 13 seasons ago. And if you look at the entirety of the history of the EPL from when it was formed in 1992 (yes, I know there was a top flight before that, but the EPL era is when the big money got consolidated into the top tier) only 5 teams have won, with Blackburn in 94/95 being the only team not named Arsenal, Man U, Man City, or Chelsea to win.

        Heck, since that 94/95 season even the top 3 are fairly consistent. In the first 3 years of the EPL you had Man U (3x), Aston Villa (1x), Norwich (1x), Blackburn (2x), Newcastle (1x), and Nottingham Forrest (1x) finish in the top 3. Since then, except for 99/00 when Leeds (!!) finished third, only Man U, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, and Man City have finished in the top 3. So as much as people say it is competitive, if you look at the numbers over the past two decades, it really isn’t.

    • Kevin_H says:

      I think that sentiment is in comparison to other top leagues, where there is even more certainty who will win or be in close contention. It’s all relative.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      but isnt a top 3 or 4 better than Bayern (practically) every year, or Real v. Barca (practically) every year?

    • Lar says:

      It’s more competitive than the NBA, a league with a salary cap. Before the NBA season started we knew it would either come down to the Heat or Spurs.

  8. Ian says:

    Come on your Toffees! Top four is within reach. I can feel it.

  9. PD in Philly says:

    Both my heart and my head believe this is the year everyone break the top 5, as long as Man U and Liverpool struggle early.

    I think City will repeat, because Chelsea is not as good as everyone wants them to be.

  10. dude1 says:

    Diego Costa will not make Chelsea champions. I loath Man City, but they’re the smart choice. Incredible talent at every position, and their bench could probably compete with just about any team in the EPL.

    Think Liverpool falls below Everton, Man U, Arsenal, Chelse, Man City. For me, Man Uvs. Everton will probably be the most exciting race for 4th. Tottenham just don’t impress me, squad won’t seriously challenge.

  11. SBI TroII says:

    I gotta say, I’m quite impressed with the SBI staff’s projection and agree with the comments so far. I too love Arsenal’s chances this year as they get Ramsey, Walcott, and Sanchez all into the mix this season.

    However, Chelsea look downright scary this year. Adding Cortous, Felipe Luis, Fabregas, and Costa to gives them an incredible squad with improvement at every level of their team. Hazard, Oscar, Schürrle, Willian, and Salah are all young and have room to grow.

    Man City can lose focus and seem disinterested at times and Aguero missing time will cost them points at the end.

  12. DR7_Liverpool_ says:

    love all the Liverpool doubters again before the season starts! excited to see my boys in red rise to the occasion again and flourish under BR. Though there is no true way to replace Luis, our system is set up for fast paced attacking football, and hopefully the goalscoring burden can be shared our attacking options.

    Though all the teams mentioned above bolstered their options, this season will once again will be hard to predict. Arsenal certainly picked up desperately needed firepower with Sanchez, Along with Chelsea acquiring Costa, those two clubs definitely strengthened where was needed. I feel the top four teams will be the same ones as last year but in different order.

  13. Jacknut says:

    Sunderland will win the treble, with Altidore scoring 40 goals.

    • Citronomics says:

      Here we go. I’ll bite cause I’m a LFC fan. How bout a slight adjustment. Sunderland with 40 (+ a few more) points to stay up. Jozy bags 6 goals and 8 assists in league play and enjoys his footie.

  14. Ga1actic0 says:

    Blue moon you saw me standing alone…. MCFC for the win

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Toure was just a monster in the epl last year? Can he do it again? If so, the blue side of Manchester could repeat?

  15. Andy says:

    With 7 teams competing for 4 champions leagues spots, the EPL is the most competitive league in Europe. Add in that any one of 4-5 teams could win the league and that just adds to that competitiveness.

    It’s not as if the NFL or NBA are wide open with every team being competitors for the league title.

  16. Nate Dollars says:

    either chelsea or man city. but all we’ll hear about is man u.

    • Citronomics says:

      And the obligatory 1+ minute of extra extra time can’t save Man Poo in the BPL opener.

  17. The Zimmer says:

    Arsenal couldn’t even beat the Red Bulls lol how are they gonna win the Prem League??