Chelsea still overwhelming favourites

The business of making predictions is complicated enough without having to do it with half the season gone. Doing it now makes it appear like one has waited for the contest to take shape – some sort of prediction rigging.
Still as a matter of responsibility this is how the table will appear in May 2015, a combination of subjective opinion and inference.
Chelsea will be crowned champions after overcoming everyone by the sheer weight of quantity and quality.
From Thibaut Courtois, the indefatigable duo of John Terry and Gary Cahill through Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Hazard to Diego Costa they have the strongest spine in the Premiership and arguably in Europe. And all Jose Mourinho has been is consistent and he has never lost a title in which he has been top at Christmas.
A refusal to give up easily will carry Manchester City into second. They can match Chelsea man for man, but just don’t have the Blues dogged determination. Yaya Toure can be a champion but that is when he is interested. Kun Aguero has glass ankles and yet they need to be at their best to keep up with Chelsea. But the silver bullet environment of Europe maybe just what the doctor ordered for them and I feel this is a season in which they shall do well in the Champions league.
Manchester United will be guided to third by Louis Van Gaal. I believe his team will start to be solid as the season grows old, but it will be too late into the season to reel in the leading pack.

Bare minimum
And just like Liverpool last term, their absence in Europe will give them longer recovery periods between games. The thing though is that many inside Old Trafford will expect third as a bare minimum after the shambles of last season.
Southampton will carry the story of the season and break into the top four courtesy of Ronald Koeman’s ideology. This is football and the discussion can’t be about the early season form of a ‘dark horse’ but when you watch Southampton play it is with a purpose and fluidity that reveals a deep understanding of methods and the flexibility to deploy them as situations demand. Whether they sustain this year on year is a matter of conjecture.
Arsenal Liverpool and Tottenham will trip over each other so much that it is practically impossible for anyone but a prophet to predict in which order they will line up. Any one of them could end up in the Europa places for 201516 but it matters how they handle their current European campaigns a sure source of fatigue and injuries.
I expect West ham, Newcastle and Everton to fall away into their traditional bridesmaids demeanour withered by the twin burden of thin squads and conflicting form.
I also expect that Chelsea and Manchester City will be break away at the top due to the inconsistency of the chasing pack. Those two are too good for the premiership even as early as now. And this is the time for a disclaimer – gambling is a habit for which the discloser of the above information can’t be responsible. Enjoy the season and may 2015 come with all your expectations. Happy New Year.

banturakim@gmail.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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