We’ve already picked out our title contenders & our top goalscorers, but it’s time to explore the copious amounts of other markets available to peruse before the season gets underway. The excitement gets cranked up with every day that passes as we get closer to kick-off, here are some of our football tips for the 2015-16 campaign.
Top 10 Finish
The usual protagonists lead the market for a top 10 finish, but I have my doubts over Everton and West Ham, which leaves someone to fight it out with Swansea, Southampton and Stoke. One side that have purchased cleverly over the summer break are Crystal Palace. The South London club’s marquee signing has to be Yoann Cabaye, the former Newcastle man joined for around £12m and will team up with Mile Jedinak and James McArthur in a sensational midfield trio. They also have the skill and craft of Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon along with Wilfried Zaha. They’ve added a little bite up front with Patrick Bamford who has an eye for goal, he can join Glenn Murray & Dwight Gayle who have both shown they can cut it at this level. Alex McCarthy is a decent addition in goal and Scott Dann can lead his side from the back. It looks good for Palace under Alan Pardew, who has shown what he can do with a decent squad at his disposal. They will surely be too good for many of the bottom half teams and have the squad depth to rotate during fixture congestion. They also have no Europa League to contend with, which could be an advantage on Southampton.
Top Promoted Team
It’s going to be close between the 3 promoted teams this season as I think they all stand an equal chance of survival, but for me, the difference is the management. Quiqe Flores hasn’t had a lot of time to bed in at Watford and he may find it difficult to gel his squad from the start. There’s no doubt they have plenty of talent, but the Hornets always look fragile at the back. They have signed Vydra permanently and he took a while to adapt to the Premier League at West Brom whilst a lot of the other additions are new to the Premier League. Eddie Howe and Alex Neil are both superb bosses and it will be close between the two. The fight and belief that Alex Neil instils in his players could make the difference, this coupled with a raucous home following could just edge it for the Canaries. I like Bournemouth, I think they will have a good season, but the previous experience of a number of the Norwich players may make them a little more savvy this season. Alex Neil has told Sky Sports News, he won’t be satisfied with 17th place and I think the Scot can lead his side higher than that.
Leicester pulled off the great escape last season In style! They were cut adrift at the bottom for much of the season and it looked like they were dead and buried until a late surge saved their bacon. But, the questions is – How much of that was down to Nigel Pearson? The former Middlesbrough player may not be universally popular, particularly with journalists, but he got his side fighting and playing for one another in the second half of the season. My worry for the Foxes is that without him at the helm, can they do it again? They haven’t altered their squad much and without the belief and the togetherness instilled by Pearson, it could be too much for them to survive once more. Claudio Ranieri is a decent manager, he’s proved it in the Premier League before, but he is a completely different character and it may not work on all of his players.
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