As I said in an earlier article, it remains very much a two horse race for me. Arsenal and Liverpool haven’t made any inroads into the gap with Chelsea and Manchester United and though Manchester City are trying, they still don’t have the proven pedigree. The hunger of missing out last season will drive Manchester United on I believe and they’d be my tip for the top. Chelsea will push them close and City will nip into third, especially if they can find a 20+ a season striker.
Spain: 1. Barcelona 2. Real Madrid 3. Atletico Madrid
It’s hard to see Real making any real inroads into Barcelona’s dominance. The Catalan’s will be bolstered by replacing an ageing and out of sorts Henry with the younger, dangerous David Villa and they look to be even stronger this season. With the midfield hub of Iniesta and Xavi running things I can’t see next season’s title race being as close as this. Atletico I think will sneak into third ahead of Sevilla and Valencia, who I feel will struggle to replace the loss of the two Davids, Villa and Silva.
Italy: 1. AS Roma 2. Inter 3. AC Milan
I think this is the year of change in Serie A. After five years dominance, Inter’s reign will end narrowly as Claudio Ranieri’s Roma may just have enough to give veteran striker Francesco Totti one final hurrah before he draws a close on his career. AC Milan will flatter to deceive under new coach Massimiliano Allegri and the fact that both AC and Juve both have somewhat ageing squads will hinder the progress of both sides next season, in my humble view!
Germany: 1. Bayern Munich 2.Wolfsburg 3.Werder Bremen
Louis Van Gaal’s Bayern look the strong and classy outfit in the Bundesliga once again and despite rumours of unhappy players or imminent departures, they still look to be the class act in this league and should win the title once again. Steve McLaren I think will settle well at Wolfsburg and put them into contention and if Bremen can hang onto Mesut Oezil and perhaps ally him with a freescoring striker, then Bremen I think have the ability to snatch third place ahead of Hamburg and Schalke.
France: 1.Lyon 2.Marseille 3.Lille
Last season the French league was arguably the most open and keenly contested in Europe. Several sides were in with a realistic chance over the last few months of the season before Marseille under Didier Deschamps triumphed. Bordeaux will be hit by the loss of Laurent Blanc to the national team and I think Lille will be stronger, especially with the impressive Gervinho still in their ranks, but for champions, this is the season I think Lyon’s financial strength will once again pay dividends.
And now, all we have to do is sit back and enjoy nine months of glorious football and see how inaccurate my predictions are come May!