If you’re at all like me, you’ll be scouring all the football sites trying to find an advantage, a scrap of information, a piece of analysis that your friends and colleagues have missed out on. However, us friendly folk at Fantasy Football Addict enjoy sharing, so in case you missed the predictions from the Sky Sports pundits, here is our round up…
The Big Question – Who Will Win The Title?
Man City – Merson, Nicholas
Chelsea – Le Tissier
Man United – Thompson
With two picks for City, they edge the pundit vote but it’s pretty spread out. Merson and Nicholas both seem to think that City’s efficient transfer dealings this summer has put them in good stead and they fancy that to be the deciding factor. Whereas Le Tissier thinks that the return of Mourinho is massive for Chelsea and he’s backing the Special One to return to the Premier League with a bang.
Finishing things off, Phil Thompson is backing United to make it back-to-back titles. With United having not lost any players yet, he feels their experience of having been-there-done-that is going to play an important role this season. It’s clear that we’re sure to see one of the tightest contests for a while in 2013/14, which should add some extra spice to our fantasy football action.
The Top Four Champions League Spots
In contrast to the previous vote, the football pundits are pretty unanimous with all thinking that City, United and Chelsea will be in the top 4 and only Thompson having slight doubts over Arsenal joining them. Whether other teams can challenge this dominance will depend a lot on the final weeks of the transfer window. If Suarez and Bale stay at their respective clubs, they’re sure to have big seasons in the Fantasy Premier League and can make the difference when it comes to challenging for a Champions League spot come May.
Who Will Get Relegated?
As with the prediction above, all think that the promoted sides are most likely to struggle this season, with only Thompson (once again) predicting that Cardiff could survive the drop at the expense of Fulham. It’s always easiest picking the promoted sides, when comparing them to teams that managed to beat the drop last season but it’s not always right. There will always be surprises along the way and the odd star that shines from the Championship. Things will once again be tight at the bottom come the end of the season and they’ll always be more than just 3 sides battling it out.
The Surprise Package
This is where we see club loyalties coming through with Merson picking Arsenal and Le Tissier backing Southampton. Merse thinks that if Suarez signs, they’ll be in with a great shout for the title and we’ll have to agree. He also believes that Wilshere could have a big role to play, which we’ve already covered in out spotlight article. Le Tissier thinks that Southampton have made positive signings this summer, with Wanyama and Lovren strengthening their backline, which could prove the difference for them this season.
Nicholas and Thompson have both gone for Swansea with Laudrup building on his first season in charge of the Welsh club. Bony looks like a good signing given Swansea’s striking options last season and Thommo was particularly impressed with their performances against Malmo in the Europa League (4-0 & 0-0).
Sergio Aguero – Merson & Le Tissier
Robin Van Persie – Thompson
Luis Suarez or Edin Dzeko – Nicholas
It’s clear who Fantasy Premier League thinks is most likely to top the goals chart given his hefty pricetag of £14m and Thompson agrees. RVP was once again the difference in the Community Shield match and if Moyes has any hope of impressing this season, he’ll need to keep the deadly Dutchman fit all season.
One player who did struggle with injuries last season was Aguero and City fans can only wonder of what might have been if he had played more. Aguero (£11.0m) is obviously a top notch striker and if he gets considerable gametime in 2013/14, you can definitely expect him to be in the hunt for the golden boot.
Nicholas must’ve wanted to mix things up a little, going for Suarez who misses the first 6 games and Dzeko who has struggled to nail down a regular role at City. However, Suarez is another star of the Premier League and following his ban, he’ll be keen to make up for lost time. Also, Dzeko has impressed in pre-season and has spoken of the confidence that Pellegrini has given him.
The Signing of The Summer
Although, he doesn’t count as an official signing, Merson and Le Tissier both agree on the importance of Aston Villa managing to tie down Benteke on a new contract amongst frantic transfer gossip. Luckily for Villa fans, this is one transfer struggle that was solved relatively quickly and in their favour. At £9.0m, FPL also seem to think that the young Belgian is in for a big season, however, investors should be wary of Villa’s nightmare start to the season.
There’s further agreement amongst the pundits with Thompson and Nicholas both praising Cardiff’s capture of Caulker (£5.0m). We have to admit that we were a little surprised at this transfer too, given Spurs’ troubles at the back but it seems as though Caulker may have his eyes on a World Cup spot and to achieve this, he needs guaranteed regular football.
Additional mentions were reserved for Bony (£8.0m), Soldado (£9.5m) and Paulinho (£7.0m). All three look like strong players and it bodes well for Spurs fans that two of them were snapped up by Levy.
The Player to Watch
Once again we have a bit of agreement with Merson and Nicholas both backing Wilshere (£6.5m), who was unable to show his true potential last season. He’s supposed to be reaching full fitness and if he can show attacking returns, expect his price to shoot up. Following the young vibe, Thompson’s gone for Coutinho (£9.0m) who took no time to settle after arriving in the January transfer window. Rodgers has praised his understanding with Sturridge and he’ll be looking for the two of them to lead the way until the Suarez situation is resolved.
Le Tissier couldn’t make his mind up and chose a total of 6 players to watch. They include City new boys Jovetic and Negredo, who both signed for hefty pricetags and are expected to add much needed firepower in City’s bid to win back the title. In addition, Le Tissier suggests that the Chelsea trio of Oscar, Mata and Hazard will build on their impressive first season together and we agree that they’ll develop further under Mourinho. Finally, he’s gone with Fulham’s Berbatov who he calls a man after his own heart.
Young Player to Watch
Out of the future stars of the Premier League, Nicholas is following Thompson’s previous pick and has gone for Coutinho, whilst Merson thinks young full back Matt Lowton could snatch a spot in the England squad if he continues to develop. Another defender to have caught the attention of the Sky Sports pundits is Luke Shaw, with Le Tissier and Thompson both choosing him as their young player to watch.
That rounds up the predictions from the football pundits but in the lead up to Gameweek 1, we’ll be releasing an English squad showing the best Fantasy Premier League assets within the budget. So make sure you don’t miss out on our fantasy football tips, news and advice by returning soon or joining us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. By joining any of our social media channels you’ll be automatically entered into a monthly draw to WIN a detailed analysis of your fantasy premier league squad. Roll on, roll up, it’s time to get addicted once more!
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