The English Premier League allows 4 teams to progress to the Champions League and as discussed yesterday the top 2 places will be filled by Chelsea and Manchester United so the 3rd and 4th places should be between Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.
In north London Arsene Wenger is surely living on borrowed time, one more year without a trophy (excluding the Emirates cup of course) and his stint at the gunners will surely be over. He has managed to retain the services of Cesc Fabregas out of sheer bloody mindedness but his captain’s statement said all it needed to. He has added Chamakh from Bordeaux who looks a shrewd acquisition but with a meagre goal record over his career he will not turn them into champions. There are still too many average players in Wenger’s squad who will be found out against the top sides. If he can add a Goalkeeper, a centre back, a world class defensive midfielder and a proven striker they would compete, unfortunately for the loyal Arsenal fans it looks like another disappointing season ahead.
So far this summer Spurs have only added one player which is almost unbelievable considering Harry Redknapp is their manager. There is no doubt that they will venture into the transfer market before the end of August, if they can add a couple of world class performers to their squad they will have a good chance of maintaining their champions league place. They possess a top keeper, a blend of youth and experience (although unfortunately always injured) at the back, a solid, yet creative and quick midfield and have some good strikers. If Redknapp can bring in a striker to compete with Defoe and Pavlyuchenko as well as another top class midfielder they can look forward to their first season in Europe’s elite competition.
Finally there is Manchester City, the new super power in terms of spending power in modern football. Roberto Mancini has assembled a squad that should compete for the title but there is one problem in this formula; they are not yet a team capable of challenging. It is the hardest prediction to make of them all this season as nobody is quite sure what team and formation he will settle on. Considering he has Barry, De Jong, Kompany, Toure and Vieira competing for the DMC role he will probably play 2 out of the 5. The addition of Silva along with Adam Johnson will certainly make them a creative team but much will depend on how quickly they can settle. With Tevez up front they will also score plenty. The question is whether they can win enough games on the bounce to create momentum to propel them to the top of the league. Having said that, I have a feeling they could be the best of the rest.
My top 5: