Saturday, August 16, 2008

Premier League Preview

With all this Olympic excitement, I almost forgot that the EPL is back this weekend. It's about time - that three month off-season was interminable!

Last year's Premier League preview was one of the longest blog entries I've done in the past year, even though I'm pretty sure almost none of my readers care so it's the height of vanity-blogging. This year's preview will be short and sweet, with just the teams and no yakking!

The Big Four:
1. Manchester United
2. Arsenal
3. Chelsea
4. Liverpool

It's almost a cinch that these will be the top four clubs, so it's only a question of which order. I hate ManU, but they're so much better than everyone else, that it will be a huge disappointment if they don't three-peat.   

The UEFA Four:
5. Everton
6. Tottenham
7. Aston Villa
8. Portsmouth

The top four clubs that don't qualify for the Champions League qualify for the UEFA cup (European soccer's NIT tournament). These are my picks for the best non big-four clubs this season.  Portsmouth and Tottenham get in this year's UEFA by virtue of their respective victories in the FA Cup and League Cup.

The Drop Zone:
20. Stoke City
19. Hull City
18. Bolton

The three clubs that were promoted to the Premier League this year are West Bromich Albion, Hull City, and Stoke City (replacing Reading, Birmingham, and Derby County). The latter two teams aren't very good, so I'm picking them to go down, but I hope West Brom stays up (they're fun to watch and had a nice FA cup run), so I'm picking them to stay up. There are a bunch of teams (Fulham, Wigan, Sunderland, Bolton) who are constantly on the cusp, and I'm picking Bolton, mostly because I don't know how they stayed up last year.

I'm ready for some futbol!

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