I can’t look beyond Man City retaining their title. The pressure is off them to a certain degree with their first Premier League title in the bag, and that can only work in their favour. I expect them to make a couple of quality signings before the start of the season, which will only strengthen them. They’ve now got a chance to put a marker down and utterly dominate British football for years to come, so in some ways this is their biggest season.
Who will finish in the top four?
Man City, Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal. Chelsea will be City’s biggest threat. They’ve bought well but the only doubt is whether Di Matteo can produce as a full-time manager. It was surreal what he achieved last year as caretaker boss. I see fourth place being incredibly tight with Arsenal just ahead of Spurs and Newcastle.
And the bottom three…
Southampton are lacking that bit of quality, so I can see them going straight back down. I also think Reading will find it hard back in the Premier League. And I’m tipping Norwich to join the two newcomers in the relegation places, just edging out Aston Villa who I think will also struggle.
Which team is this year’s surprise package?
When I was at Blackburn, Mark Hughes kept the club up in his first season and the following year they qualified for Europe. Hughes kept QPR up last year and I can see him repeating what he did with Blackburn. He’s bought well over the summer and QPR will surprise a lot of people.
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be?
I would ban the rule that makes celebrating a goal by taking your shirt off or going into the crowd a bookable offence. It’s madness! The game would be nothing without fans, so let the players celebrate however they want and interact with the fans in a positive manner.
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