I’ve been looking forward to the new season for some time, as most of you probably have as well. The waiting game before a season sees pundits try to pitch their predictions and fans twiddle their thumbs trying to decide what’s a reasonable target for there side. I write this on the news that Van Persie has moved to Manchester United, a move I question, as the hype surrounding him could affect his game. I sense a poor season goal wise for the Dutch man. It does disappoint me, as I thought Arsenal did have a chance at the title, signing two of the best playmakers last European season in Carzola and Podolski surely should have persuaded Robin, the service he would have got would have been far superior to what he had been getting last season.

The title race shall be interesting with three sides in with a shout, Manchester City are the favourites in most people’s eyes, as they are in mine, should Tevez and Aguero continue on from last season and Balotelli bring in his euro 2012 form, City should be a force again. Chelsea cannot be ruled, Di Matteo seems to have put his stamp on the Chelsea side, signing players that suit his football, philosophy he had West Brom, allowing him to change from the ‘negative’ football he played during Chelsea’s champions league success. The main thing for Chelsea is to get he squad to gel, Hazard may be a great playmaker in Ligue 1 but can he make the grade in the premier league? Technically and the way the game is played is very different in France, but I’m sure with the confidence and skill Hazard has at a young age is enough to see him through. Manchester United will be hungry for a 20th title and Sir Alex has dipped into his pocket again to bring in Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie. The Nick Powell transfer did shock me, perhaps to soon for the youngster , who would have developed better at a Crewe side that has the potential for promotion. Powell will most probably spend his playing time with the under 21 side, which could be beneficial for his future with the United. Kagawa could work out as an excellent bit of business it’s just whether he can emulate his form he showed at Dortmund. If he can link up with RVP like he did Lewandowski, United could be a dangerous side.

La liga also kicks off on Saturday and it’s set to be another dominating season from the two elite clubs of Real and Barca. The Spanish season does bring out some interesting questions. Can Messi do better than last year? Will Tito Vilanova live up to Pep Guardiola? And, who will take the final two champions league spots? The title, in my opinion is going back to Madrid, the club from the capital are the worlds best side, both tactically and technically. An addition of Modric would bring an extra bit of help to Mourinho, allowing him to swap and change between Khedira, Ozil and Modric, allowing him to constantly change the system to suit his forwards and mostly Ronaldo. Vilonova has a real job on his hands, the system will stay cemented at Barca for some time and as the former assistant to Pep, I can’t see him changing it. David Villa will be welcomed back in the squad and should an extra dimension to Barca that they missed last year when he was out.

The Champions league spots could go anywhere, Atletico and Valencia are my tips. Although others would argue you can’t rule out Bilbao, but with the Bielsa saga earlier in the summer and now Llorente wanting out, it suggests that the Basque club could struggle this term. Atletico are a good bet for third due to the fact they’ve kept hold of the best out and out striker in the league in Falcao. Simeone can also fully focus on the league after coming in mid way last year, making the Europa a priority in a bid to win over the fans. Valencia should finish fourth, their new manager Pellegrino should be hungry to delve into his first managers position after learning the trade as an assistant to the man who brought the title to the Mestalla in 2002, Rafa Benitez. Report circulated early that Valencia had rejected a bid from Spurs over Soldado, which shows the club has ambition despite letting their euro star leave in Jordi Alba in a move that was too financially tempting. The third and fourth spots should go to these two clubs but you can’t rule out others, Malaga have to be counted due to their financial difficulty. But the likes Espanyol and Sevilla could successfully mount a challenge. Levante could have been counted in, but after they lost last seasons gem, Arouna Kone then the challenge is even harder.

Make sure you follow my blog throughout the season, as I’ll be regular giving my reactions to the footballing world. And you never know, I might stick some NFL in there as well.
Thanks for reading.

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