Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Guide to the 2013/14 Premier League season

Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Premier League trophy following the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Premier League trophy following the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Arsenal
Arsenal
Will this be the year? It might be the season Arsenal spend serious money, but it not the one they win the title. Even the first ambition is proving problematic though retaining Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere at least breaks the selling trend. There’s quality in Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny while Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will be better for last years’ experience here. Yet there are doubts about the goalkeeping and Wilshere’s ability to stay fit while the pursuit of Luis Suarez underlines the absence of a title-winning forward.
MANAGER: Arsene Wenger
KEY SIGNINGS: Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre, free)
KILLER STAT: Arsenal have won the joint-most Premier League points in 2013 - 40, along with Manchester United.
LAST SEASON: 4th
PREDICTION: 4th
Andy Carroll
West Ham United
Still not everyone’s ‘cup of Rosy’ in east London but Sam Allardyce has overseen promotion followed by a top-ten top-flight finish so he must be doing quite a lot right. Signing Andy Carroll on a permanent basis, and adding Stewart Downing, gives a strong clue as to how the Hammers will play this year, but it is not all direct football by any means. Need to keep Carroll fit and Mohamed Diame interested as they count down to the Olympic Stadium. Could be the breakthrough year for Ravel Morrison.
MANAGER: Sam Allardyce
KEY SIGNINGS: Andy Carroll (Liverpool, £15m), Stewart Downing (Liverpool, £5m), Adrian (Real Betis, free), Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk, free).
KILLER STAT: Scored the fewest away goals in the Premier League last season, with just 11.
LAST SEASON: 10th
PREDICTION: 10th

With the Premier League finally ready to get underway after what seems like an eternity (it was only three months ago that we said goodbye to the 2012/13 Premier League), we take a look at how each shapes up to tackle the new season.

 

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