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Final FOARcast – Top Six for ’17/’18 PL Season

11 of us put our heads together over the week and made our individual Top Six predictions for the upcoming season.

Here are the results and the combined FINAL FOARcast!


Some of the reasons and justifications listed below by Team:

 

LIVERPOOL



Hamir – Yes I believe this is the year when we end our misery and reign atop England again. Klopp knows what mistakes we made and now with or without Virgil and naby we’re ready to challenge and win. Our attack has never looked better under klopp and it’ll take us through.


Christian – training sessions and team planning pay off. The team showed a lot of improvements, tactically playing together as well as individually. Convincing performances by new players and several youngsters now – surprisingly – look ready for first team, providing a level of squad depth not expected after just 3 signings yet. Should Couts stay and VVD come, the title is us.


Eric – I put us on 2nd last year but I believe that keeping Coutinho and signing that certain center back puts us in the best possible option to win the league. Our depth has increased, the youngsters have shown they’re viable options and we’ll fancy the league the most over every other competition.


Shankar – Winning the title may be a little far fetched idea this season with our shaky defense but top 4 is ours to lose. My prediction for top 6 this year if we don’t sign VVD or Keita this Summer.


Ves – Yes, for once, I’m going to be optimistic enough to go out on a limb and say we will finally win the title. I honestly feel this team is now ready. The potential addition of Virgil van Dijk would only strengthen our team further. I think we have the best starting line-up in the league. We had the best starting line-up in the league last season too – it never lost a game. We suffered because of lack of Mane during the AFCON and to a lesser extent later in the season because of injury, but now with the addition of Salah and the backup option in Ryan Kent, we won’t lack pace in attack because one player is missing. Coutinho is staying for one more year, I have no doubts about it. With the “Magician” pulling the strings from midfield, Firmino’s workrate upfront, and the pace of Mane and Salah, we will be unstoppable. Van Dijk would certainly improve us defensively, but even without him, we should be able to outscore anyone.


Joe – I found this ranking difficult to do because the transfer window isn’t closed yet. But based on a theme that a consistent and settled approach will yield much fruit, I went for a Liverpool title-win. It remains to be seen if the squad can handle additional European competition and more importantly if they have learned to beat teams from the bottom half. I am hopeful they have…which means that I have to fancy us to take it and end years of hopeful misery with beyond ecstatic achievement.

CITY


Pranav – Fucking oil money has unfortunately made them a very formidable team. Very strong first XI with a good, deep squad.

Aamir – How can you not win the league when u have spent THAT much! And even though defense wins you titles but there will always be an exception for teams who have overwhelming riches upfront and City have plenty. Pep is a cheque book manager and he has spent heavily again but atleast he guarantees titles. Their attack just might drag them over the line.

Christian – buying sh…loads of top players do not guarantee a top team straight away, it will take time, with Pep’s unique style more difficult to implement. Furthermore, the pressure will be felt all over the place. Guardiola must deliver trophies, or he will be fired. Bad for him he had to replace the GK twice – if Ederson does not shine right away, there will be further trouble ahead.

Jason – great attack, but only Fernandinho as a proper midfielder, Kompany their best centre back is most often broken and they need to settle a new back 5.

CHELSEA


Hamir – The champions are a strong side but European football added it’ll be too much for conte and the blues so they will fall short of defending it and will not be in title contention by the time May arrives.



Aditya – Probably the luckiest team last season, managed with a paper thin squad and a good first XI, with almost no injuries. Morata is a brilliant addition while Bokayoko certainly looks to be quality. However, the bane of last season (lack of depth) has not much been resolved. Incoming Bokayoko, Morata and Rudiger have in turn seen Matic and Ake move on, with Costa seeming destined for the door as well. I believe the additional strain of Champions League is going to show on this squad and impact the league performance.


Eric – Chelsea have bought well and will add some serious bodies in the coming weeks still. Second best manager in the league, he’ll take them places.


Ves – Antonio Conte enters his second season. A year ago, he inherited a very complete squad and added/recycled some unexpected solutions (Moses, Alonso) and signed the centre-midfield sensation in N’golo Kante. Also, his methods seem to have caught many Premier League managers on their heels, and the title is rightfully theirs. This time around it will be different, they will be ready for him. Has he improved the squad? I don’t think so. Morata is a very good player, as good as Costa in my opinion if not better, but Costa’s filthy style was very important for their team last season, and he had developed a great partnership with Eden Hazard. Now Morata has to fill those filthy shoes. Let’s see how he does.

They’ve sold Matic and signed Tiemue Bakayoko of AS Monaco. Basically, they’ve replaced a proven Premier League player, a proven winner, with a talented youngster. We all know there are two ways in which that could go. Antonio Rudiger on the other hand is a very good addition to the back line that already seemed impeccable last season shielded by Kante. The acquisition of Willy Caballero on a free transfer to replace their backup keeper Asmir Begovic doesn’t seem relevant at all.

All in all, I think it will be impossible for them to replicate their league run from 2016/17, and I feel finishing third after a season like that won’t be a big deal, even though it will seem disappointing to their fans.

SPURS


Eric – Difficult season for Spurs. Playing at Wembley will cost them lots of points. Teams will find ways to deal with them. And so far they haven’t signed anything. Breakthrough season for Harry Winks though.


Aditya – A bold prediction, but not driven by my dislike for the other teams. They’ve kept their squad together (walker is replaceable), have had 2 seasons to gel, perform consistently and surely the rewards must come (ala Atletico Madrid and Dortmund). Add to the fact that they don’t/can’t focus on Europe (unlike the other big boys) and I think they should manage with a small squad. This is the last change saloon as I could see Kane and Alli moving on next season.


Aamir – Spurs came 2nd last term and kudos to Poch for getting so much out of a quality yet limited squad AGAIN. But with no addition to their squad yet again i cant help but think eventually their luck will run out. They might sign someone in August though but it still wont be enough and finally we may see Spurs drop out of top4. Everything will depend upon the fitness of Kane again. They have been lucky with injuries as well in the past couple of years.

SCUM



Keith – United… just hate them and Maureen and everything they stand for. Just for that reason I refuse to place them in the top 4. They will grind out results but they will also draw to many games and the style of play will ensure the crowed gets on their backs. Lukaku will not be the total answer and again it will take some time for all the new arrivals to gel.

Joe – One of the guiding themes I went with is “FUCK the scum”. Hence, I put them in fifth (but only in deference to that Oily Portuguese’s enviable second season record).


Pranav – United fell behind due to a bad start last season but still came close to top 4. Jose is smart enough not to let that happen. Although there squad has not improved significantly.

Eric – Mourinho’s new bus is dire, lacks any beauty but the quality of the players is enough to see of the lower half of the table teams. Pogba and Lukaku will turn up for those and get decent numbers.


Hamir – The scum will fall short of top 4 on the last day. Although they’ve spent a considerable amount surprise surprise but they are boring and Moaninho will spend his energy moaning and others will take advantage.

ARSENAL


Aditya – Poor old Arsenal, the whipping boys. Forever in the 4th place, never able to capitalize, and now with the competition, I can see it only getting worse. Lacazette is undoubtedly a good addition, however, with Giroud looking set to move on, lack of depth in the striking department (Welbeck is becoming their Sturridge) and likely departure of Sanchez, Arsenal certainly don’t seem to be on the up. However, the biggest issue with this club is Wenger, sucking the whole club into a spiraling downward vortex. A bad season and potentially last one for Wenger? I think so.

Aamir – Lacazette is a quality addition to the team and with Sanchez and Ozil already there, it might prove a deadly combo. But again its Arsenal and Wenger. They ll bottle the season like they always have at some stage of the season. Also uncertainity over Sanchez’ future will hover above their head throughout the season.

Ves – Wenger had a turbulent 2016/17 with a large number of the club supporters wanting him out, but he weathered it somehow, as is his well-known custom. Winning the FA Cup certainly helped. They’ve missed out on a Champions League spot for the first time in a very, very long while, and while they say Europa League doesn’t attract great players, they managed to sign Alexandre Lacazette. The former Lyon striker was wanted by many Liverpool supporters (including me at one point), and we must congratulate Wenger and Arsenal for managing to land him – all things considered. Kolasinac had a great pre-season and it seems he will make a difference for them, though I still consider him an average player overall. Not better than what they already had in Monreal and Gibbs. However, should Ozil and Sanchez stay put, it should be enough to get them over the line in the top-four race.

Eric – Arsenal has done an Arsenal window. Should’ve parted with Ozil and Sanchez and push on. But they won’t, so that’s that.

 

 

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