Premiership Warm-Up 2012-13

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Got any of your own predictions for the Premier League Season? Or players we have missed out on which could make or break a team's season? Comment below!

Last season's Premiership was one of the most exciting in recent history, only an injury time double from Manchester City prised the title away from the red half of Manchester, all three promoted teams survived and Aston Villa have finally seen and taken action on what England have fans have known for years; that Emile Heskey simply isn't good enough for the Premier League. 

This season is one that could well see the Blue and Red half battling in a two horse race but with Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool strengthening on and off the pitch. It's games between these six teams which will really decide the winners when May comes around. With the Premier League restarted this weekend I'm as excited as anyone to see it  back on our screens, these are my players who could be influential in deciding the outcome of the 21st season of the Premier League.

Ones to Watch

Rickie Lambert:

Following Grant Holt's undoubted success last season, weighing in with 15, a tally that Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres could only dream of. It is another striker who set the Championship alight in Southampton's promotion push that could well be an influential figure in their success or failure next season. They haven't invested so far in further striking reinforcements so much of the pressure will fall on Lambert to replicate his goalscoring touch on the big stage.

Grant Holt:

As a Norwich fan myself I was incredibly disappointed following my one man effort to get #GrantHoltForEngland trending that Holty decided to turn his back on Norwich in favour of a more lucrative deal elsewhere. He eventually came back realising that no other club would invest in a 31-year old and decided to extent his current deal. If Chris Hughton's plan of playing Norwich's number nine as a lone striker backfires with Holt not regularly finding the back of the net. Norwich could face some serious problems staying in the Premiership, with relatively unproven players providing the backup. However, if Holt carries on scoring he could be in line for a England call up and I'll be the first one tweeting and back on the Holt bandwagon.

Nemanjia Vidic:

Manchester United's title push may have ended victoriously if Vidic's knee injury had allowed him to take part in the end of season run in. Instead, he could just watch as Manchester City defeated United as the Serbian was restricted to just six Premier League appearances last season. If Sir Alex is to wrestle the title back it's his captain; Vidic, who could be a major factor.

Lukas Poldolski:

Robin Van Persie, enigmatic captain and goalscorer  has packed his bags and headed north to Manchester. With his contract running out and Arsene Wenger not delving deep enough into the transfer market to persuade RVP to sign a new deal, Poldolski looks like the man who has to fill the goalscoring boots.

Fernando Torres: 

With Drogba gone, no longer can Torres play a bit part and just score the occasional, yet sometimes incredibly important goal. This is the season as a lone striker with some of the best midfielders in the league supporting him (Lampard, Hazard and Mata) he has to live up to his goal scoring reputation and start becoming a 20 goal a season player again. He'll certainly have the ammunition, it's just a case of whether he can finish the chances and believe in his own undoubted ability . 

David De Gea:

De Gea had a torrid start to his Manchester United career. Several howlers overshadowed other man of the match performances and it wasn't until the end of the season he showed the form which persuaded Sir Alex to part with £17m for his services.  It was a last minute wonder save at Stamford Bridge which really turned his season around and if Manchester United are to retain the title a lot of the pressure will fall on the young Spaniard's shoulders.

Carlos Tevez:

Hated by both halves of Manchester and the vast majority of fans across the country for refusing to come on, coming back unfit and occasionally not even turning up for Manchester City training, only feeding the tabloid stereotype of  all footballers. It's not hard to see why Mancini lost patience and tried to offload; a quiet January forced Tevez to wallow in Manchester. It was only a poor run of form that made Mancini give Tevez a chance and he answered by scoring an important hat trick at Norwich to significantly boost the goal difference that proved crucial in Man City's efforts to win the title. A resurrected Tevez could prove to be deadly alongside Sergio Aguero.

Andy Carroll:

Andy Carroll's £35 million price tag weighed heavy upon him on Merseyside; a loan move to either the east end with West Ham or back to his native Tyneside with Newcastle looked likely until he vowed to fight for his place at Anfield. He will be looking to replicate his previous exploits which persuaded Liverpool to part with the British transfer record. Under little media pressure during the EUROs, he played with style, freedom and a swagger that just highlighted form is only temporary and showed glimpses of his previous best. 

 

Predictions

Putting my neck on the line here and I'm sure come May I'll be getting some comments telling me how wrong I was!  Personally I can't see beyond a Manchester top two; with Roberto Mancini being the boss celebrating come May. West Brom look weak but will just survive with Southampton, Swansea and Reading facing the relegation trap door.

 

1. Manchester City

2. Manchester United

3. Arsenal

4. Chelsea

 

5. Tottenham

6. Liverpool 

7. Newcastle

8. Sunderland

9. Everton

10. Aston Villa

11. West Ham

12. Stoke

13. Fulham

14. QPR

15. Norwich City 

16. Wigan

17. West Brom

 

18. Southampton

19. Swansea City

20. Reading 

 

Top Scorer: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Most Clean Sheets: David De Gea (Manchester United)

Most Assists: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

 

League Cup: Arsenal

Champions League: Real Madrid

F.A Cup: Manchester United

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