2015-16 Premier League Preview #1

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The start of the new Premier League season is just three days away, so after looking ahead to League Two, League One and the Championship, it’s time to get the Premier League previews started. Unlike last year, I’m going to be doing four of them – with five teams in each. Going alphabetically, that means this first preview features Arsenal, Aston Villa, newly promoted Bournemouth, reigning champions Chelsea and Crystal Palace. Let’s get going…

Arsenal

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  • Last Season: 3rd
  • Most Goals: Alexis Sanchez (16)
  • Most Assists: Santi Cazorla (11)
  • Stadium: Emirates Stadium (60,432)
  • Nickname: The Gunners

Transfers (as of 4th August)

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In: Petr Cech (Chelsea, £10m), Donyell Malen (Ajax, free)

Out: Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray, £1.8m), Ryo Miyaichi (St Pauli, free), Abou Diaby (released), Carl Jenkinson (West Ham, loan), Yaya Sanogo (Ajax, loan), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich, loan), George Dobson (West Ham, undisclosed), Wojciech Szczesny (AS Roma, loan), Chuba Akpom (Hull City, loan)

Manager – Arsene Wenger

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Having been in charge of Arsenal for nearly 19 years, Arsene Wenger is the longest serving manager in the entire Football League, having been in charge double the amount of time his nearest rival has. In that time, he has won 15 major honours, but has not lifted the Premier League trophy since the invincibles season in 2003-04. He will want that to change and is slowly building a side capable of doing just that.

Star Player – Alexis Sanchez

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Following his £35 million move from Barcelona last summer, Alexis Sanchez set the Premier League alight with his South American flare and made Arsenal look even more exciting going forward. After getting 16 goals and eight assists in the league, he earned himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year and a nomination for Player of the Year. This summer he scored the winning spot-kick as Chile won the Copa America final on penalties.

One to Watch – Hector Bellerin

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With Mathieu Debuchy ruled out for the majority of last season with first an ankle and then shoulder injury, it fell on young Hector Bellerin to fill in at right-back. Boy did the 20 year old take his chance. His pace and trickery wowed the Emirates crowd whilst he also chipped in with two goals and one assist in the league. It will be interesting to see whether the Spaniard still starts when Debuchy is fully fit.

Betting Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power as of 3rd August)

  • Arsenal to win the league – 4/1
  • Arsenal to win the FA Cup – 13/2
  • Alexis Sanchez to finish as the league’s top scorer – 20/1

Fan’s View – Gav from She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (@SheWore)

1. Which player is a ‘one to watch’ at Arsenal this season?

Alexis Sanchez will prove he’s the best player in the league, again.

2. Are you happy with the club’s transfer activity so far?

No. We need another Def Mid and a quality striker. It’s good to see some of the fringe players shipped out quickly tho.

3. Best away ground to visit in the league?

It’s the last season for West Ham at Upton Park,  I have been there more than any other away ground and it will be sorely missed.

4. If Arsene Wenger doesn’t win a trophy this season, do you think he should get sacked?

It’s not about winning trophies, it’s about improving and not making the same mistakes year on year. Personally I think we had the best of him a long time ago. I would hate to see him sacked, he will never get sacked, I just hope he doesn’t leave it too long before he knows it’s time to sit on the board and start over seeing the next manager.

5. Do you think you are finally ready to fight for the title once again?

No, we finished off the season strongly without really beating any of the other top clubs in that run, but currently we are 2 or 3 players short of winning the title. We will be closer than last season but just not close enough.

6. Predicted Arsenal finish?

3rd

My Prediction

What Arsenal need is a season of consistency. There needs to be no starting off brilliantly before trailing off or getting a good run together when it’ too late. The arrival of the experienced Petr Cech, with four Premier League medals, will help that no end. If they can avoid injuries to key players and perhaps sign another holding midfielder to support Francis Coquelin, then they can really push for a first title in 12 years. 2nd


Aston Villa

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  • Last Season: 17th
  • Most Goals: Christian Benteke (13)
  • Most Assists: Leandro Bacuna (5)
  • Stadium: Villa Park (42, 682)
  • Nickname: The Villans

Transfers (as of 4th August)

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In: Jordan Amavi (Nice, £10m), Idrissa Gueye (Lille, £9m), Jordan Veretout (Nantes, £7m), Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers, £6m) Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, £2.5m), Micah Richards (Manchester City, free), Jordan Ayew (Lorient, £8.5m), Jose Angel Crespo (Cordoba, £500,000)

Out: Christian Benteke (Liverpool, £32,5m), Fabian Delph (Manchester City, £8m), Andreas Weimann (Derby County, £2.75m), Yacouba Sylla (Rennes, undisclosed), Matthew Lowton (Burnley, undisclosed), Darren Bent (Derby County, free), Shay Given (Stoke City, free), Enda Stevens (Portsmouth, free), Graham Burke (Notts County, free), Chris Herd (released), Shay Given (Stoke, free) 

Manager – Tim Sherwood

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Tim Sherwood may not be as great a manager as he thinks he is, but the 46 year old did do a relatively good job of turning Aston Villa’s fortunes around last season. He saved them from relegation and took them to the FA Cup Final, neither of which seemed possible under Paul Lambert. Sherwood was pretty much powerless to stop the departures of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke, but has spent the money on foreign talent which he hopes can make a big impact.

Star Player – Jordan Ayew

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With the departure of Christian Benteke, there is even more pressure on new signing Jordan Ayew to step up and be Villa’s new talisman. He may not be as strong and target-man like as the Belgian, but Ayew is quick and skillful, which is why Sherwood splashed £9 million on him. With French club Lorient last season, the 23 year old scored 12 times and got five assists and a similar impact is needed at Villa Park. His both Andre also moved to the Premier League this summer – joining Swansea City.

One to Watch – Jack Grealish

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish

One of the best youngsters to come out of Villa’s academy in recent years, Jack Grealish was one of the star players in their fight for survival last season and the FA Cup run. With Delph gone, he now has to step up to be their main creative threat. The 19 year old only got one assist last season, so if that tally improves and if he chips in with a few goals himself, interest will be high in Grealish.

Betting Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power as of 3rd August)

  • Aston Villa to get relegated – 3/1
  • Aston Villa to finish in the bottom half – 1/6
  • Aston Villa to be the top Midlands club – 7/2

Fan’s View – Robert Lintott from 7500 to Holte (@7500toHolte)

1. Which player is a ‘one to watch’ at Aston Villa this season?

That’s a tough shout between Jordan Amavi and Jack Grealish. At the end of last season, Grealish was the name on everyone’s tongues, and for good reason. He’s a pacy, fearless, creative attacking midfielder with some of the best ball control I’ve seen in ages. He’s yet to score in the Premier League, but his youth record shows that he can, and it’s only a matter of time. There’s good reason that both Ireland and England are hoping he’ll play for them.

But then along came Amavi. He’s not necessarily more exciting than Grealish in the long-term, but he’s more of a polished product while still having tons of potential. From what we’ve seen of him in France with Nice (and what we’ve seen in preseason), he’s got the potential to be one of the best left backs in Europe. He’s defensively quite astute, knows how to get himself in the line of the ball for interceptions, and gets upfield as part of the attack as if he were a winger.

So you can’t go wrong watching either!

2. Are you happy with the club’s transfer activity so far?

Heavens yes! The past few summers have seen Villa spend £15 million or less for the entire summer. We’ve already spent well over £40 million now, and that £15 million mark could be met by picking two from the Jordans (Amavi, Ayew, and Veretout), Rudy Gestede, and Idrissa Gueye. The best part is that these look to be players who will serve two purposes: being immediate upgrades now and growing enough to be able to sell down the road and continue upgrading.

Selling Christian Benteke hurt, that’s undeniable, but his sale has largely funded this rebuild. The team may not have any one striker as good as Benteke but they’ve improved across the board by enough for this to be a success. The prospect of a better season and more sales leading to upgrades in the future is tantalizing.

3. Best away ground to visit in the league?

I’m from the US and thus haven’t made any visits. So I can’t say!

4. Do you think the losses of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph will sincerely affect the club?

Of course they do. Delph and Benteke have been our best two players for the past two years (Benteke for the past three). So that’s tough to move on from. But as I said above, the sale of Benteke (and the £8 million from Delph) has facilitated a rebuild that has, overall, made the club much better. So yes, the sales will definitely affect the club, but likely in a positive way. 

5. Who do you think will win the Premier League title and who will get relegated?

Manchester United ought to win this year. The improvements that they have been making (and the promise to let Wayne Rooney play where Wayne Rooney plays best) make me think they’ve got it. As for relegation, I’m never sure. I’ll say Sunderland and Leicester will get sucked down after their great escapes last year and then for the sake of irritating any Baggies reading this, West Brom join them.

6. Predicted Villa finish?

11th. And that will be a success. Anything that doesn’t have us worrying about relegation by the time April rolls around is a success.

My Prediction

Although Villa lost their two best players in Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke, they have brought in some very good talent to replace them. The squad might take time to gel, but once it does, the results could be emphatic. They ended 2014-15 poorly though and there’s no out and out goalscorer in squad. 14th


Bournemouth

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  • Last Season: 1st (in the Championship)
  • Most Goals: Callum Wilson (20)
  • Most Assists: Matt Ritchie (17)
  • Stadium: Dean Court (11,700)
  • Nickname: The Cherries

Transfers (as of 4th August)

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In: Tyrone Mings (Ipswich, £8m + Fraser loan), Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough, £3m), Max Gradel (St Etienne, undisclosed), Artur Boruc (Southampton, free), Josh King (Blackburn, free), Adam Federici (Reading, free), Sylvain Distin (Everton, free), Christian Atsu (Chelsea, loan), Filippo Costa (Chievo, loan) 

Out: Brett Pitman (Ipswich Town, undisclosed), Josh McQuoid (Luton Town, free), Ian Harte (released), Joe Partington (released), Mohamed Coulibaly (released), Miles Addison (released), Darryl Flahavan (released), Ryan Fraser (Ipswich Town, loan), Jayden Stockley (Portsmouth, loan)

Manager – Eddie Howe

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Now a firmly a legend on the South Coast, Eddie Howe took charge of Bournemouth for the second time when they were languishing near the bottom of League One in 2012. In the space of just under three years, the 37 year old has miraculously transformed them into a Premier League team – the first time in the Cherries’ history that they have reached this level.

Star Player – Matt Ritchie

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Matt Ritchie has two Premier League appearances to his name as a youngster with Portsmouth, but now he is ready to be the star of the show in Bournemouth’s top-flight team. He certainly was last year, grabbing 15 goals and 17 assists, meaning that in total he contributed to a third of the Cherries’ strikes. He is particularly important when it comes to set-pieces – often taking penalties, free-kicks and corners.

One to Watch – Christian Atsu

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When Christian Atsu signed for Chelsea from Porto in 2013, I don’t think he would have thought he would have spent the next two seasons on loan at Vitesse and Everton respectively. At Goodison Park last year, he started just one league game in a frustrating campaign for both him and the Toffees. The 23 year old won Player of the Tournament at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year though, so he’s clearly got a huge amount of talent and Bournemouth, who he has signed on loan for, could be the club where he shows it.

Betting Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power as of 3rd August)

  • Bournemouth to get relegated – 7/5
  • Bournemouth to finish in the bottom half – 1/25
  • Bournemouth to be bottom at Christmas – 4/1

Fan’s View – Peter Bell from Cherry Chimes (@PeterBell19)

1. Which player is a ‘one to watch’ at Bournemouth this season?

The player who I expect to make the most headlines for the Cherries is striker Callum Wilson. While he is known for scoring more than 20 goals in his last two seasons in League One and the Championship, he’ll soon show how good he is in the Premier League as well. I also believe that Steve Cook will be a central defender that many other teams will be envious of when they see how he plays out from the back. He’s also a tenacious tackler.

2. Are you happy with the club’s transfer activity so far?

I am fairly happy as the team has been together for some time now and all it needed was some more experience for taking on the top tier of English football. I am glad that the club has not spent loads of money on new signings and that there are a good number of free transfers in there. Tyrone Mings is obviously the big signing in terms of his record club fee of £8 million, but I’m very keen to see what Christian Atsu can do on the right side as the club already has some great wingers and he’ll have to be a bit special to get a starting place with Matt Ritchie’s form.

3. Was promotion a surprise last year, or were you expecting/aiming for it?

Once AFC Bournemouth played Brighton in early November last season I said to my friend that we’re going up and promptly put some money on the Cherries ending up being the Champions. I thought if the team could win tight games as they did against Brighton then they would be promotion candidates. So often in the past they would beat a team well and then lose a couple in a row, but not last season. A top six position was always a target after the previous season when the Cherries were 10th and fans new that Eddie Howe was aiming to be in closer contention to the front runners.

I felt a foolish with a couple of games to go with Watford sitting in the box seat. Still, there were plenty of signs along the road that suggested the team was good enough to be champions – the 8-0 thumping of Birmingham, top at Christmas, the most number of weeks on top of the league, 98 goals for, international call ups for Harry Arter and Matt Ritchie, 23 goals for Callum Wilson …, I could go on! And they did it eventually, even if it only happened in the final minutes of the last game at Charlton.

4. What one change would you make at your club?

That’s a really difficult one. Most of the fans’ dreams have already come true in reaching the Premier League. There’s not very much wrong with a club that has had three promotions in seven years. If I had to pick something though, I’d probably say I’d like to see more home grown players making it to the first team. The club has had its successes in this respect but players like Danny Ings don’t come along every day and holding on to them has always been difficult for a club of our size. Hopefully, that is starting to change now. We have some good young players like Baily Cargill, Harry Cornick, Sam Matthews and Josh Carmichael – the club is working hard to bring such players through.

5. Who do you think will win the Premier League title and who will get relegated?

Ah, that one puts me on the spot! Looking at last season’s performances and the completed transfers so far, I’m going for the bottom three being Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sunderland.

6. Predicted Bournemouth finish?

All I’ll say is the lowest position I think that AFC Bournemouth will come is 14th but if you say how high might they finish? That is another answer – maybe as high as 11th.

My Prediction

It’s difficult to say how well Bournemouth will do, as they could easily surprise us all but could just as easily really struggle and see the disadvantages of such a rapid rise. They’ve got some promising players in the squad such as Ritchie and last year’s top scorer Callum Wilson, but there’s also very little top flight experience. I’m going to say they’ll go straight back down but put up a very good fight in the process. 19th


Chelsea

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  • Last Season: 1st
  • Most Goals: Diego Costa (20)
  • Most Assists: Cesc Fabregas (18)
  • Stadium: Stamford Bridge (41,798)
  • Nickname: The Blues

Transfers (as of 4th August)

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In: Nathan (Atletico Paranaense, £4.5m), Radamel Falcao (Monaco, loan), Asmir Begovic (Stoke City, £8m)

Out: Petr Cech (Arsenal, £10m), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach, £5.8m), Josh McEachran (Brentford, £500,000), Gael Kakuta (Sevilla, undisclosed), Didier Drogba (released), Marco van Ginkel (Stoke City, loan), Christian Atsu (Bournemouth, loan), Mario Pasalic (Monaco, loan), Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Nathan (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Izzy Brown (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough, loan), Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palace, loan), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid, undisclosed)

Manager – Jose Mourinho

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There was no way that Jose Mourinho was going to let Chelsea finish last season without any silverware. After bringing in some big players in the summer, the Blues stormed to the title with 87 points and also won the League One Cup. Love him or hate him, the 52 year old is an excellent football manager and is now aiming for successive league trophies, a feat he also achieved ten years ago at Stamford Bridge.

Star Player – Eden Hazard

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After winning the Young Player of the Year award in 2013-14, Eden Hazard went one better last season and collected the Player of the Year award, being the most influential player in Chelsea’s surge to the title. The Belgian played all 38 games (even dental surgery before the final weekend couldn’t stop him), scored 14 goals and got nine assists. The £32 million that the Blues paid for him 2012 is beginning to look like a bargain, whilst Hazard is even being touted as a future Ballon D’Or winner.

One to Watch – Bertrand Traore

Chelsea's Bertrand Traore signs his contract at the Cobham Training Ground on 1st January 2014 in Cobham, England.

As you’ll see Denise from The Chelsea Blog repeat a bit a lower down, Bertrand Traore impressed on loan at Vitesse Arnhem last season with 17 goals in 36 games, making Jose Mourinho think that he may be ready for a shot in the first team. Traore might only be 19 years old, but big things are expected of him and after being given the number 14 shirt for the season (an undoubted upgrade from 37), there are suggestions we could be seeing a lot of him in the near future.

Betting Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power as of 3rd August)

  • Chelsea to win the title – 13/8
  • Chelsea to be the top London club – 2/5
  • Diego Costa to finish as the league’s top scorer – 6/1

Fan’s View – Denise from The Chelsea Blog (@TheChelseaBlog)

1. Which player is a ‘one to watch’ at Chelsea this season?

Bertrand Traoré. He’s a 19 year old winger turned centre-forward. Been on loan at Vitesse for 18 months and bagged 17 goals in 36 games. Chelsea have had interest from several clubs to take him for another 12 months but Jose’s said to be really keen on trying him out in the first team. Obviously we don’t need another centre forward and he’d be fourth choice as it stands now but he’d give us a wide option.

2. Are you happy with the club’s transfer activity so far?

Stones looks unlikely, so realistically, all we’ve done is replace Cech and Drogba. A very different window to a year ago when Mourinho had transfers sorted well before his rivals had even checked their bank balance. If you take into account the age and talent in the squad we’ve already got though, as well as FFP, you can see why Mourinho doesn’t feel the need to splash the cash.

3. Do you expect the title race to be a lot closer this season, if so why?

Last season, the competition was so poor we didn’t get above second gear from Christmas onwards and still won it comfortably. Those sort of seasons don’t come around often but the clubs around us had too much to do in the second half and couldn’t get their acts together for one reason or another.
Arsenal are Arsenal and as good as they might look early doors, they never have the stomach for a fight to the death. City will always have an awesome squad of players but probably too many to manage effectively. It’ll still be a lot tighter though and now that van Gaal has had enough time to settle in his seat, United will undoubtedly push us all the way.

4. Best away ground to visit in the league?

I havent been to them all but from those I have done, I like Goodison. Not a million miles from the pitch and it gives a decent atmosphere.

5. Which one player would you happily drive to another club?

To be honest, I couldn’t say there’s any players at Chelsea I’d happily drive to another club. I’m always of the opinion that as long as they’re in a Chelsea shirt then we should get behind them. There’s enough critics out there ready and willing to knock our players, without us joining in. Fortunately Felipe Luis sorted out his own transport though.

6. Predicted Chelsea finish?

I have to stay 1st but that’s just loyalty. Realistically, I’d never make a prediction in pre season because anything can happen in the Premier League – and usually does!

My Prediction

Although they haven’t splashed the cash like last summer, Chelsea still have a squad that makes them title favourites. They have class all over the pitch, and goals too, come from all areas. There’s competition for places in each position, meaning the players should always keep on their toes. This all points to the Blues lifting a successive Premier League trophy, but it definitely won’t be as easy as last season. 1st


Crystal Palace

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  • Last Season: 10th
  • Most Goals: Glenn Murray (7)
  • Most Assists: Jason Puncheon (7)
  • Stadium: Selhurst Park (26,255)
  • Nickname: The Eagles

Transfers (as of 4th August)

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In: Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint-Germain, £12.8m), Connor Wickham (Sunderland, £10m), Alex McCarthy (QPR, £3.5m), Patrick Bamford (Chelsea, loan)

Out: Kyle da Silva Notts County, free), Lewis Price (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Shola Ameobi (released), Owen Garvan (released), Peter Ramage (released), Stephen Dobbie (released), Jerome Thomas (released)

Manager – Alan Pardew

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17: Manager Alan Pardew of Crystal Palace acknowledges the fans during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on January 17, 2015 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

A player at Selhurst Park between 1987 and 1991, Alan Pardew returned to South London at the start of January and dramatically changed their fortunes around. The Eagles were in relegation trouble when he was appointed, but Pardew took them to a 10th place finish via wins over both Manchester City and Liverpool. If the season had started when the 54 year old took over, Palace would have finished sixth, and now he’s hoping to be the first manager who has lasted an entire season at the club since Dougie Freedman in 2011-12.

Star Player – Yohan Cabaye

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Moving from PSG to Crystal Palace isn’t normally a move that players make (sorry Eagles fans), and the fact that Yohan Cabaye has done just that so shows two things. That he made a mistake moving to France, and that Alan Pardew is aiming high this season. Whilst at Newcastle, Cabaye was the creative spark, scoring 18 goals and getting 10 assists in 93 games. It’s an impressive signing and one that could really take Palace places.

One to Watch – Patrick Bamford

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Alan Pardew has plenty of options to choose from when comes to strikers, one of which is Patrick Bamford, who is on a season long loan from Chelsea and keen to establish himself in the Premier League. The 21 year old has conquered the Championship, scoring 17 goals and winning the division’s Player of the Year award whilst at Middlesbrough last season and it will be exciting to see if he can perform just as well in the top flight.

Betting Odds (courtesy of Paddy Power as of 3rd August)

  • Crystal Palace to finish in the top half – 17/10
  • Crystal Palace to avoid relegation – 1/14
  • Crystal Palace to win the League Cup – 33/1

Fan’s View – Robert Sutherland from Five Year Plan Fanzine (@FYPFanzine)

1. Which player is a ‘one to watch’ at Crystal Palace this season?

We have a few youth players who might one day make the step up to the first team, but they all lack that crucial element that Premier League clubs seek – experience. So while Jake Gray, Sullay Kaikai and more should aim to get in the side in the coming years, they’ll likely spend the next season on loan. One player that has made an impression during pre-season is Christian Scales, who has impressed Alan Pardew when he has been played at left-back. He could well be an understudy to Pape Souare, a player we signed from Lille last season.

2. Are you happy with the club’s transfer activity so far?

Palace went into the summer with a focus on strengthening in quality rather than depth – and with the signing of goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, midfielder Yohan Cabaye and the likely recruitment of Connor Wickham, I’d say we’ve done that. Cabaye is the stand-out signing so far – the French midfielder is an excellent addition and will give us a great deal of quality in midfield. Steve Parish, one of the four owners, has said more are likely to come – so it could be an even better summer.

3. Which one ex player would you love to have back at Selhurst Park?

If I had a choice of any, I’d say Victor Moses. We sold him as a consequence of administration and it felt like his £4m move to Wigan was one that just happened too soon. He hasn’t really kicked on as much as we’d have liked him to, despite a decent spell with The Latics – and as can be the case for many young players, his subsequent move to Chelsea didn’t really turn out as well as he’d have liked. He’s got a chance this season but this could well be his last one – and if we sell Yannick Bolasie, it would be great to see him return to the club.

4. Best away ground to visit in the league?

I’m a big fan of traditional venues, so I’d automatically discount the meccano identikit ones – which doesn’t leave you with a great deal of choice! Goodison Park is a great venue – the Archibal Leitch-designed main stand looks great, despite it being built in 1926 – and it gives it a real identity. The stadium is also incredibly loud when things get going.

5. Who do you think will win the Premier League title and who will get relegated?

Winners?
Manchester City should win it. I’d argue that they didn’t last season because of a lack of managerial direction – and that could be the reason they won’t do so again this time round. But in terms of quality, they still have the best players – it’s a matter of getting them to player well together.
Relegated?
Watford – They’ve made so many changes – a new manager, almost an entire new team – all those changes could see them struggle. Palace suffered in our first season because we tried to do too much, too soon – which affected team spirit, an element of the game you can’t quantify with statistics or numbers. If they are to stay up, they have to hope that the side galvanizes quickly.
Leicester City – I don’t think Claudio Ranieri is the right manager for a side in Leicester’s position, and I’m not sure they’ve signed as well as a team facing a second season of Premier League football should have done.
Bournemouth – They have a good manager, but I’m not sure they have a good enough squad. They’re signing players with Premier League experience though, and others with the potential to do well, so it’ll be interesting to see if they prove me wrong.
6. Predicted Palace finish?

There’s a lot of talk of a mid-to-upper table finish for Palace, but I’d be happy if we just continue to avoid relegation! I think we’ll probably have a slightly tougher second season under Alan Pardew, so 15th place is a possibility.

My Prediction

With so many striking options, Palace should be a real threat going forward this season, whilst Yohan Cabaye could be really effective in the middle of the park. They are in no danger of going down, and Alan Pardew will guide them to another mid-table finish, but expect plenty more shock wins against the big boys. 11th


Part Two is being published later on today featuring Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. Let me know your opinions on my predictions and anything else you have read in part 1 of my Premier League previews. Many thanks to all the fan blogs that contributed and gave their views!

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