Looking forward to a new season of English football. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the tech guy from the cable/internet company out till tomorrow afternoon. So all the EPL players will be tucked in their beds by the time I catch up on the action.
Usually I dislike sports punditry, but even I can’t resist wondering about what a new season of athletic competition will bring. So with some guesswork and hopefulness, here are my bottom-to-top predictions: 20 Watford, 19 Leicester, 18 Sunderland, 17 Norwich, 16 Bournemouth, 15 Newcastle, 14 West Ham, 13 West Brom, 12 Villa, 11 Stoke, 10 Palace, 9 Everton, 8 Southampton, 7 Liverpool, 6 Swansea, 5 Spurs, 4 Man City, 3 Man Utd, 2 Chelsea, 1 Arsenal.
20, 19, 15, and 14 because of new management of which commentators seem to be doubtful. 17 and 16 because of good management and just that I’d like to see a few promoted teams stay up. 12 and 10 also because of good management in place for a whole season. 9 because I don’t think all the problems are solved for the young miss’s 2nd favorite team. 11 and 8 because of new pressure when a team overachieves the first time. 6 ahead of 7 not just because of personal loyalty, but because I would expect a team that gave away so many points from late goals to have matured even without important player acquisitions. 4 because I’ve yet to be convinced that team can manage all its money wisely. No idea why I picked 3, because without stellar goalkeeping that team would have been mid-table last season. 2 and 1 because it seems hard to repeat as champions and these are the only two teams with a realistic chance to top the table in May.
The overall spread of teams: 1 and 2 close at the top; 3 through 7 close to each other but 15-25 points behind the leaders; another bunch at 8 through 12 just around 50 points; 13-16 above relegation pretty comfortably by the end of April; 17-19 struggling for 17th; 20 in the deep basement.