Having finished the league without any honours, Liverpool will once again start their campaign in the hope that they will be able to challenge for the Premiership. Rafa’s primary target was to get Gareth Barry from Villa but the owners were not keen on shelling out 18 mil on him, instead they bought a proven striker in Robbie Keane. I seriously believe that Keane and Torres would be able to provide the goods upfront with Gerrard also contributing. But if you leave out these three and to some extent Mascherano the team is hardly any quality. With Gerrard not in the team they struggled against their Champions League qualifier opponent also.
Rafa Benitez is never known to make any sensible buys except for lets give it to him, Torres. But in Reina they have one of the best goal keepers in the league. And he has kept them in contention in a lot of matches, including their last competitive fixture. They have bought Philipp Degen (Borussia Dortmund – free), Andrea Dossena (Udinese – undisclosed), Vincent Lucas Weijl (AZ Alkmaar – undisclosed) Diego Cavalieri (Palmeiras – undisclosed) and David Ngog (PSG – £1.4m) other than Robbie Keane. But honestly how many of them will finally make us sit up and take notice, needs to be seen.
Prediction: Finish 4th
When you get beaten in the Champions League by some controversial penalty decisions and you finish 3rd in the league, you wonder if the team did very well despite some stars leaving the team and some very crucial injuries. Eduardo, Robin van Persie, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna were among the injured for most of the season and except for Eduardo and Rosicky everyone will be fit once again. Though at the start of the season the players on the injured list include Cesc Fabregas, Rosicky, Diaby and new signing Bischoff. the other one missing is the Olympian, Alex Song.
There has been many a comment passed on why Arsenal is not buying a defensive midfielder to replace Flamini and a central defender as cover for Toure or Gallas. Wenger probably believes that he has the back up for the defensive part and has made his intention clear in getting a holding midfielder before the next leg of the Champion’s League encounter with Twente FC. There are just three new signings – Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff – £5m), Samir Nasri (Marseille – £11m), Amaury Bischoff (Werder Bremen – undisclosed) of which Nasri is probably the only proven player, bouhg to replace Hleb. He has Carlos Vela back from loan who has experienced the La Liga last year. But Wenger will probably be thinking that Persie and Rosicky are back from injury and are like two new signings. Walcott’s biggest problem has been his inconsistency and he will get more starts than last year hopefully. Bendtner would be waiting in the wings to pounce on any let off from Ade or Persie. The team is strong once we buy a new holding midfielder and I cannot wait to see the match against West Brom though Fabregas is not starting.
Prediction: 2nd place in the League and probably Champions League winners 🙂
My team for this season
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Walcott New-signing Fabregas Rosicky