After the drama and excitement of the 2014 World Cup, club football returns to Europe and the English Premier League starts up this weekend. In this report we look at some of the favourites, dark horses and possible strugglers in this season’s Premier League. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and can read the transcript of the report (below) where you will also find explanations of key vocabulary (in bold). You can also try our online quiz.
Now, the holders Manchester City will be hoping to win their third title in four years and though they have strengthened in key areas it will probably be even harder to win than last year as their rivals have all notably improved. Chelsea finished third last time out but with new signings Filipe Luis and Diego Costa coming from Spanish title winners Atlético Madrid, and former Arsenal and Barcelona star Cesc Fàbregas joining, they look much stronger than last season and are many pundits’ favourites. Arsenal finished fourth last season but they will be more optimistic about their title chances after ending their long trophy drought with last season’s FA Cup win. They also have three World Cup winners in their side and have bought the mercurial talent of Chilean striker Alexis Sánchez from Barcelona. Last year’s runners-up Liverpool will face the new season without their goal-machine Luis Suárez which means that though they will be buoyed by a host of new signings they may have to make do with a Champions League spot.
Indeed, with only four places in the Champions League up for grabs, it may be tough for Liverpool to even get in to the top four this season. Manchester United have a new manager who will instill confidence, tactics and a winning mentality into the side. If they sign one or two more big names before the transfer window closes then who knows, they may even challenge for the title. Everton and Spurs both missed out last year on the top four but realistically in order to qualify for next season’s Champions League they’ll have to hope for other teams to slip up.
Last season was a real dog fight down at the bottom of the table with any three from ten teams that could have eventually gone down. Sunderland produced a miracle at the end and this, along with some nice signings in the close season, should be enough to see them survive. Local rivals West Brom and Aston Villa struggled last season and will face another hard slog this time round, while it could also be a long season for newly-promoted sides Burnley and Leicester. Three London clubs may also feature in the relegation scrap. West Ham have trouble scoring goals, Crystal Palace have just lost their inspirational manager, while Queens PR may still be scarred from their relegation of two years ago. Three to go down? Burnley, West Brom and Leicester.
So, what are your predictions for the 2014-15 season? Let us know by posting your predictions below.
notably improved: Much improved (notably=in a clear way)
last time out: Last season
trophy drought: A long time without winning a title/competition
mercurial talent: A wonderfully skillful player
they will be buoyed by: They will feel better about
host of: Lots of
to make do with: To be satisfied with
up for grabs: To be played for
instill confidence: To give them confidence
to slip up: To make a mistake
dog fight: A tough fight; a scrap
the close season: The off season, when teams do not play
hard slog: A tough time; a hard battle
relegation scrap: relegation fight
be scarred: Have negative feelings from before
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