LOOKING AHEAD With the EPL-2009-2010 around the corner here’s a detailed review of the teams. P. ANKIT JAIN
Manchester United: Having equalled Liverpool’s record of 18league titles, the Reds of Manchester will be looking to march on to the 19th without Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez at their disposal. Valencia, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen come into the squad attempting to their fullest to fill the void left by CR7 and Tevez. Closer inspection reveals that the midfield is one area where there is scope for improvement this season, as many pundits believe, that despite having an ordinary midfield United managed to sweep the title three times in a row, with Liverpool pushing them to the edge last season. Defending has been marginally abysmal but Van der Sar’s injury puts goalkeeping now in a quagmire. Rooney will play a more central role and that can be a menace as his form for England in that position has been exceptional of late.
Liverpool: Liverpool’s long lasting wait for the most coveted title could end this season. The Torres-Gerrard partnership proved to be decisive last season and this season their alliance could dethrone the monotonous victor Manchester United and pip them to the 19th title. But After Xabi Alonso bid adieu, Liverpool look weak and Benitez’s immediate acquisition of midfielder Aquilani for €20 million might make matters worse if the Italian fails to perform on the English soil. Liverpool will still push on and will have enough ammunition to take United head on for the Holy Grail.
Chelsea: Here’s a club with a new manager Carlo Ancleotti ,a new system of football and a rejuvenated side that look most likely to hold the silverware at the end of this season. John terry’s deferred allegiance to the club and Ancelotti’s great sense of humour has had positive impact on the club. Yuri Zirkhov could displace Ashley Cole, as the Russian left back has bonded well with his new colleagues at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti,Frank Lampard ,Terry and Didier Drogba will be instrumental in this campaign if they are to win the title.
My Predictions: Chelsea to win the league; Liverpool and Mancheted United -2nd and 3rd. Arsenal to finish fourth. Manchester City /Everton/Tottenham to contend for the 5th spot.
P. Ankit Jain is a IIIrd year B.com student of Loyola ollege, Chennai
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