As I await my last feature to voice for Premier League Preview, it’s good to see my pre-season title tips Man City and Spurs going well. I still believe that Spurs will push City come May, especially if the Wembley hoodoo they appeared to crush in the Champions League against Dortmund, stays crushed. City are full of goals but there are cracks at the back and Spurs have the best defence of the two. Man United are the popular choice but Stoke proved they are fallible and Paul Pogba’s absence until the end of October could knock them out of their stride.
As for the bottom, I’ve already thrown doubt on my own suggestion that Swansea will drop this season. They look dogged under Paul Clement despite a defeat last time out. I think Roy Hodgson is a sensible and pragmatic choice for Crystal Palace and he will help them escape the bottom three. Despite good recent results, I still think Brighton and Newcastle will struggle and surely West Ham’s lowly league position is temporary given the talent they have in their squad.
Watford have been the biggest surprise. Marrying 15 different nationalities is no mean feat and a home game with City could be illuminating. Still unbeaten they have players like Will Hughes still to make an appearance in the Premier League.
One prediction that looks a bit wayward at this stage but one I’m sticking to…. Leicester City will finish above Arsenal. I know it doesn’t look good now, but Craig Shakespeare’s Foxes have met a lot of top sides so far and they are in a false position. They have the feeling they had under Ranieri I feel, and I have faith. My faith in Arsenal’s lack of leaders, lack of driving force in midfield and porous defence is less robust. We’ll see.