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2006/7 English Premier League Preview

The English Premier League kicks off this weekend and once again everyone is hoping for the best for their team. This time last year I was quite excited about the new season after the previous season's Baggies 'great escape' and this year I will just be following the action closely because the Premiership is such an interesting league.

Whilst last year it was a question of whether Chelsea could defend their title or not this time its a question of whether they can win three titles in a row and how far they will be pushed should they do that. I think they can but the gap won't be that big anymore.

Chelsea have done well in bringing in Andriy Shevchenko because he will probably finish off most of the chances that the star studded team will create but the other teams have now wisened up to their play and hence it won't be as easy this time around. I think their biggest challengers are going to be Liverpool. Over the last two seasons Rafael Benitez has built up a very good side centred around Steven Gerrard and also Xabi Alonso and its now a question of time before they win the title.

Turning to Manchested United, I think they can finish in the top four. They won't be able to replace Ruud van Nistelrooy and have to rely on Louis Saha and Wayne Rooney for goals. Michael Carrick, well, he is a good player and was very good for Spurs last season but still I don't think he will make a big a difference for Man U, at least for this season.

I think we will now see Tottenham finish in the top four this season after missing out narrowly last season to Arsenal which will mean that Arsenal will be outside the top four according to my prediction. I still think that Arsenal are too reliant on just one player, Thiery Henry, and while the purchase of Tomas Rosicky was good I think they will find it difficult to fight for honours this year. Maybe Arsene Wenger will be prove me wrong.

Before looking at who I think will be relegated let me take a look at the teams I think could be the surprise packages. I think Portsmouth, Blackburn, West Ham and Newcastle could be the teams to take everybody by surprise. I would have said Aston Villa if I knew what's going to happen with the proposed purchase of Villa but if the Villa find new owners and Martin O'Neill is able to make a few purchases then they could finish in the top six but as it is now they are relegation candidates to me.

Its usual that the three promoted sides are relegation candidates but I think Reading should do well and survive the chop just like Wigan did last season but I am afraid I don't see Sheffield United and Watford surviving. The team to join them could be one of Wigan,Fulham, Middlesbrough and as I said before Villa. While Wigan did very well last season I can't see them repeat that same feat this season and for Boro before Steve McLaren left they were on a slide and inexperienced Gareth Southgate may not be able to stop that slide.

I think Man City, Everton, Charlton and Bolton should be able to stay clear of relegation. For me, I am just hoping to top my BBC Challenge Lawro local league and for the first round it looks difficult already!

John Carter-Dams
Weston, it's a shame that we can't see your beloved team West Brom in the top league.

I think you should support West Ham given that
A) your name is WESTon
B) WEST Brom is simliar to WEST Ham

What do you think?

Interesting idea John, and not a bad one either.
I like West Ham for the fact that when West Brom and West Ham are in the same league and its the beginning of the season like now then West Brom will start above West Ham on zero points.
Seriously, I will be following the Hammers with great interest and I more likely to tip them to win in Lawro and I actually think they are going to have a great season.

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