This weekend sees the opening games in this season’s English Premiership, with the whole twenty teams heading into what will be, for every single one of them, a concerted plunge into the cauldron of vibrant competition.
As to which team will eventually walk away with the elusive pennant is, of necessity, up for grabs, but you can expect that the usual suspects will be sniffing around at the business end of affairs.
The prime aspirants this year are again likely to be, the two Manchester teams, plus Arsenal, Chelsea, and maybe good old Tottenham, although, since “Happy Harry’s” departure last season, the Spurs football bubble seems to have lost the most of its verve. Will Redknapp make a return to management during the new season?
Well, if this happens, you can be very sure that it will be entirely on his own terms, and don’t be in the least surprised if he takes a job out of England for a while.
The way things are shaping up with the national team over there, it looks highly unlikely that Mr. Redknapp will ever be offered the England job, either now, or in the future.
The newcomers to the Premiership, Southampton, West Ham, and Reading,
will obviously take a few games to settle in, but, of the three, West Ham,with their progressive attitude towards good football in general, look to have the best prospects of getting into the swing a little bit quicker than the other two.
What kind of actions have these three teams taken in preparation for the mammoth task of competing, and surviving, in the toughest league in the world?
Well, beginning with the Hammers, they have signed a decent player from Marseilles, Alou Diarra, who should be an excellent acquisition, and are also favourite in the market to sign Wolves player Matt Jarvis, for a reported bid of 10 million.
This price would be a club record in buying, as their previous highest was 7 millon plus for Dean Ashton a few years back. People do tend to forget that West Ham are mainly a selling club, and have always been so.
Reading, according to the stats, have signed Chris Gunter, and a striker named Pogerbnyak, now, theres a mouthful for a commentator, and are still searching the markets to improve their panel. Southampton have clinched three decent signings in Podolski, Giroud, and Cazorla, and have been in negotiations with some others who are on the available lists.
So, it looks like these three clubs are in the market for more signings if they come on market. Coming to this weekend, our first betting quartet is obviously given with more hope than confidence, but, as we have to puck out sometime, I would, for the early part of the season anyway, recommend a Yankee Bet on the four.
My two homes are Arsenal, who, at home, should be too good for Sunderland, and West Ham, who could kick off with a win against Aston Villa.
My two away choices are, on Saturday, Liverpool to start with a win against West Brom, and on Sunday, Chelsea, to overcome their hoodoo team, Wigan.
Two Homes: Arsenal and West Ham. Two aways: Liverpool and Chelsea.