FFC Predicts: Spurs for the Cup? Man United feel the Mourinho effect?

FFC favourite Jonnie Gorrie gives us his thoughts ahead of the new season ahead. And it’s fair to say he’s predicting a great season!

Well, almost…

As perhaps the most blockbuster Premier League of all time prepares to kick off, the excitement is at its most palpable.

Pep Guardiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have all arrived on these shores to restore that blockbuster feeling, exacerbated by the relative inactivity from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

While the circus in Manchester will rightly take centre stage, we are about to embark on the most lavish campaign of all time, giving an extra feeling of competitiveness to the division.

If the sense of unpredictability that served as such a sewing motif last time out is anything to go by, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

That being said, it’s time for some predictions.

Title Winners – Manchester United

Manchester United - Jose Mourinho Press Conference

The Red Devils finally have a squad worthy of their standing as a powerhouse of world football.

For the first time since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Old Trafford will once again live up to its name as the Theatre of Dreams.

Clearly, Jose Mourinho is under intense pressure to hit the ground running, but a team boasting the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be able to handle it.

Top Four

Manchester United
Manchester City
Arsenal
Liverpool

Mourinho’s old foe, Pep Guardiola, is likely to push the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ all the way throughout the campaign.

Still, the sheer extent of his monumental rebuild at the Etihad hints at more of a two-year project, rather than a quick fix.

As much as we lament Arsenal’s transfer dormancy, the Gunners boast a strong squad and have the nous to finish within the upper echelons.

Fourth spot will undoubtedly be a largely contested berth as a host of teams try to force their way into the Champions League, though Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool look well suited.

Despite the fact the Reds largely over paid for the likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, the pair perfectly fit Klopp’s philosophy and should see the attack flourish.

Three to go down

Hull City
Middlesbrough
Swansea City

Tipping Hull City to go down isn’t the most profound analysis as the Tigers take the mantle of the most underprepared team of all time in the build up for the season.

While Middlesbrough have been touted as transfer gurus after landing the likes of Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo, you get the feeling all is not right at the club.

Aitor Karanka’s strange dismissal and return hints at an uneasy feeling at the Riverside.

When the going gets tough, it’ll be interesting to see how the Spaniard reacts.

Meanwhile, Francesco Guidolin may have managed to steer the Swans to safety last time out, though their transfer activity leaves them somewhat bare.

FA Cup – Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino is the talk of the town at White Hart Lane after his stunning work last term, though the Argentine is yet to win anything in charge of the club.

Now in his third season, the former Southampton coach is under pressure to deliver some silverware, and having added extra depth to his squad, can afford to have a run at the cup.

Signing of the season – N’Golo Kante

No longer the hidden gem he was last year, N’Golo Kante is now a shining diamond.

Amid Manchester United’s eye watering chase of Paul Pogba, the Blues’ capture of the Leicester City title hero is the most sensible signing in a purely tactical sense in the window.

He’s exactly what they need.

Flop of the season – Alvaro Negredo

FW - Alvaro Negredo

The novelty of seeing a player of Alvaro Negredo’s landing at a newly promoted club has obviously sparked some interest.

However, the former Manchester City forward is a far cry from the striker we saw for six months at the Etihad and is entirely bereft of confidence following a series of glaring misses with Valencia.

Young Player of the season – Demarai Gray

Lost amid the Foxes’ fairytale last season, Demarai Gray will be called on upon by the champions an awful lot more this time around.

A hugely promising midfield talent, the counter-attacking play so prevalent at the King Power Stadium is ideal for him to flourish.

Top Scorer – Sergio Aguero

Fitness issues have dogged the Argentine, though the chances laid on a plate for him in Pep Guardiola side should see Aguero at his most lethal next term.

Surprise Package – Burnley

Sean Dyche

Many people are predicting Burnley to return to the Championship instantly after failing to sign any big names this summer.

Still, the Clarets are seasoned under Sean Dyche and will prove difficult to beat, while retaining goals in the team through Andre Gray.

Not that they’ll do a Leicester, of course.

 


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