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Premier League 2013/14: Season preview

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The Premier League has seen the arrival of some huge stars in the world of football this summer, with a number of players swapping La Liga for England. 

Two of those players make the list on my top five summer signings. Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado arrive at Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur with fantastic goalscoring records for their previous clubs and with big ambitions of winning major honours with their new sides. Both men will no doubt have a huge influence in the league and we can expect goals and exciting football from them. 

Two more strikers have made this list despite not being known on a worldwide scale. Wilfried Bony for Swansea City and Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Norwich City will be the focus of attack for both teams and if they stay fit could well challenge other star strikers in the league for the Golden Boot. 

The final player to make the top five list is young German prospect Andre Schurrle. It's no secret that Chelsea have been following this player for some time and with an impressive campaign at Bayer Leverkusen last season, he finally got his move to the London club. Shurrle has a a respectable goal and assist tally and will no doubt fit into the Chelsea squad comfortably. 

Top 5 signings of the Summer:

1. Alvaro Negredo

2. Roberto Soldado

3. Wilfried Bony

4. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

5. Andre Schurrle

How will the promoted teams fare?

Every season there will be questions over the sides that are promoted from the Championship. This year we have three sides that have gone about their business quietly and comfortably. 

Crystal Palace could perhaps struggle the most. They haven't made any stand out signings as of yet and don't really have the cash to do so. However, with the hot-headed, ever honest Ian Holloway on the touchline, don't expect Crystal Palace to become lazy. The club could still pull off some shock results if they make their home ground a place to be feared. 

Hull City, or as the owner prefers them to be known, Hull City Tigers, will also struggle to establish themselves in the Premier League this season. The team has had some healthy additions with the arrivals of Danny Graham and Alan McGregor but the team sheet still doesn't look that threatening. Steve Bruce however, an experienced Premier League manager, could change that with his impressive management skills. 

The team most pundits expect to do well are Cardiff City. The Bluebirds are the wealthiest of the promoted teams and have the experienced head of Craig Bellamy to call upon in difficult times. The Welsh club will be looking to emulate the success of rivals Swansea City and make their home ground a fortress. Look out for Andreas Cornelius too.

Suprise package?

The suprise package this season will most likely be Swansea City again if they can build on the successes they had last season. 

The Welsh side need to focus and decide which competition is worth prioritising. Michael Laudrup's side might suffer the European football bug by getting carried away with the Europa League competition. Should the squad be hit by injuries during their travels and suffer the possibility of Thursday night football, Swansea could see their Premier League campaign dented. 

Another team that I will tip for surprise success this season is Norwich City. Chris Hughton has spent well and his acquisitions of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper could pay off immediatly. Both players have impressive records in terms of goals and if they can bring that form into the Premier League, Norwich could prove to be a troublesome force to deal with this season. 

Who's in danger?

The side that could be in danger this season is Stoke City. I feel that it's perhaps one season too many for The Potters who look weak across the field haven't brought in any recognisable names this summer and Mark Hughes's job looks to be a difficult one. 

Stoke need to hit the ground running this season if they want any sort of success from the campaign. It could be a long season if Stoke don't bring in some exciting transfers before the end of the window.

Top goalscorer?

The Golden Boot could go anywhere this season especially if Tottenham Hotspur manage to keep hold of Gareth Bale. 

With an impressive performance in the Community Shield for Manchester United however, I feel the Golden Boot will once go to Robin van Persie. The Dutchman is a goal scoring machine in the Premier League and he remains United's number one player and the go-to guy as we enter the new campaign. 

Young talent to look out for?

The young talent to look out for this season has to be Phillipe Coutinho of Liverpool. The Brazilian impressed the Kop crowd after being purchased at the beginning of the year in the January transfer window by Brendan Rogers. 

With the possibilty of Luis Suarez leaving the club this summer window, Liverpool will be looking at other players to step up and provide. Coutinho can certainly offer a lot on the pitch and with the Reds looking to push for a Champions League place, he will be an important asset throughout. 

Who will occupy the Top 4?

The top three places will be occupied by both Manchester City and Manchester United again this season and it's hard to see Chelsea drop outside that area whilst Jose Mourinho occupies the managers seat. The final space however is much harder to predict.

It all depends on who stays and who goes. Should Arsenal sign Luis Suarez, then Champions League football will be a certain for the Gunners. If they don't manage to bring in the Uruguayan though, it could be an entirely different story. 

As for Tottenham Hotspur, again its a case of ifs and buts. Should they keep their star man Gareth Bale then the fourth spot is a guarantee and perhaps Spurs could push the top three. 

However, if Bale goes the squad will look depleted. Bale is a big presence and the amount of points he gained for Spurs last season proved vital. Without his presence it's hard to see Spurs repeat that success. Liverpool have an outsiders chance, but only if they can keep hold of Luis Suarez.

Who will be Champions?

The Champions for the 2013/14 campaign is a tough prediction. With the uncertainty surrounding Manchester United and how they will fare without Sir Alex Ferguson, the reignition of Chelsea's love affair with former boss Jose Mourinho and the changes at Manchester City, it really is anyone's trophy. 

Manchester United can never be written off when it comes to the Premier League and so they will go into the campaign as favourites to regain the title despite the dramatic change in authority. The lack of depth in the squad however could prove costly and with the Wayne Rooney transfer saga still to be put to bed, United's season could be rocked. 

Chelsea have the influence of the "Special One" again and it will certainly be a confidence booster for players and fans alike. The league this time round however is a lot different from when Jose arrived at Stamford Bridge for the very first time.

The Blues were the only team with real money to splash at that time and competition other than Manchester United was unheard of. For a league success this season, Chelsea need to stay consistent and score plenty of goals. 

Manchester City though, have my vote for Champions come the end of the season. The side looks strong with the summer additions and if they can land a top quality centre back then they will prove very hard to beat.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini is approaching his first season in the Premier League but with the players he has adopted it won't be the most difficult managing position of his career.

If Manchester City can successfully balance their Champions League commitments and league campaign then it could be another stand-out year for the blue side of Manchester City.

Who will be relegated?

The relegation battle continues to thrill every year and it will be close again this season. I believe that one of the promoted sides will get the chop and any side that hasn't spent the cash will suffer this season. For relegation I'm tipping Crystal Palace, Stoke City and either Hull City or Fulham.

How will the table look in the end?

1. Manchester City

2. Chelsea

3. Manchester United

4. Arsenal 

5. Tottenham Hotspur

6. Liverpool

7. Swansea City

8. West Bromwich Albion

9. Everton

10. West Ham United

11. Newcastle United

12. Norwich City

13. Cardiff City

14. Southampton

15. Aston Villa

16. Sunderland

17. Fulham

18. Hull City

19. Stoke City

20. Crystal Palace

 

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Topics:
Manchester City
Premier League
Football
Chelsea
Wilfried Bony
Manchester United

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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