Premier League 2014/15 Season Preview: Part Two – The Full Predicted Table Is Revealed

By Mark Young.
You have already seen the first half of the Offside Rule’s Premier League Predictions. Now find out what Mark, Lynsey, Hayley and Kait have to say on the fortunes of Manchester United, Newcastle, Southampton and more!
 
Manchester United: 3rd- A second new era in as many years beckons at Old Trafford as Louis Van Gaal takes charge for the new season. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have been signed and a new system tried out. With new players expected to sign and a front three of Mata, Rooney and Van Persie, a title challenge may be too much to ask for, but a Champions League return and a cup run is not.

Lynsey Predicts… 3rd/4th- A new manager, a new captain, a new formation – it’s all change at Old Trafford. But is it too much all at once? There’ll certainly be a marked improvement on last season under Louis van Gaal (that wasn’t going to be difficult to predict), but challenging for the title is going to be where they come undone. With the news that big money signing Luke Shaw will be missing for the first month and with other defensive question marks I expect United to be battling it out for third spot with Arsenal rather than with Man City and Chelsea for the title. No Champions League football will see them secure a top four finish at the expense of Liverpool. I predict they’ll finish in third or fourth.

Smiling Dutchmen: Can Van Gaal and Van Persie propel United back into the the title contention this season?

Smiling Dutchmen: Can Van Gaal and Van Persie propel United back into the the title contention this season?

Newcastle United: 8th –  The Magpies have had an impressive summer in the transfer market with Alan Pardew making some shrewd signings. Riviere and Cabella look especially exciting. Add that to the craft of Siem De Jong and the Geordies look a solid enough bet for a top half finish at least.

Kait Predicts… Mid-table finish- If Geordie Shore had been allowed to film their entire last series at Newcastle United last season it would have made for a much more enticing 42 minutes. It’s time to get back to the football, though, fans and club alike. There have been numerous signings this summer. Although Remy Cabella looks the most exciting, expect another gem or two to emerge. I like the potential of Jack Colback and Emmanuel Rivière. The loss of two fans last month who were heading out to support their team in New Zealand provides a stark reminder of the balance this club needs to readdress. With the right focus, Newcastle will earn a respectable mid-table finish.

Alan Pardew will be delighted to have put the controversy and failure behind him, with some shrewd acquisitions from the Continent

Alan Pardew will be delighted to have put the controversy and failure of last season behind him, with some shrewd acquisitions from the Continent

Queens Park Rangers: 17th- Harry Redknapp’s charges always looked like they should have done better in the Premier League last time around, but this time survival has to be priority number one for the R’s. Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker are superb signings for the Loftus Road club and with the lethal Charlie Austin up front they should have enough goals in them to stay up.

Hayley McQueen Predicts… 13th/14th- A big clear-out was much needed and it has happened with solid additions, particularly in defence. A comfortable season ahead with Harry Redknapp, Joe Jordan and the  newly appointed Glenn Hoddle will help steer Rangers to somewhere around a 13th or 14th-place finish. And hopefully with some good football to boot. There is now a healthy balance of experienced youth and new signings. With reshaping and lessons learnt from the last campaign in the Premier League, this time round proceedings are set to be much smoother.

Marquee Signing: Ferdinand's experience and on-field leadership will be essential in QPR's Premier League survival

Marquee Signing: Ferdinand’s experience and on-field leadership will be essential in QPR’s Premier League survival

Southampton: 12th- From the outside Southampton’s summer has looked disastrous, but the constant calm of Ronald Koeman should give Saints fans hope that another solid season is on the cards. Tadic and Pelle are shrewd buys and keeping hold of Jay Rodriguez is key. More signings will be on the way and Koeman will have a comfortable first season, despite it not looking likely right now.

Lynsey Predicts… 12th – The bare bones that Liverpool have left at Southampton are going to need extra calcium if they’re to try and match their eighth-place finish last season. That nutrition needs to come in the form of extra signings before the transfer window closes. As it stands I can’t see Saints finishing in the top half of the table. With sides like Hull, Crystal Palace and Stoke set to take more points than last time out I fear Southampton may be one of the sides to surrender. Fraser Forster is a good acquisition but more are needed. I predict a 12th place finish.

Southampton will do well to replicate their achievements of last season, after the well documented upheaval on and off the field

Southampton will do well to replicate their achievements of last season, after some well documented upheaval around club, involving both senior management and playing staff

Stoke: 9th- The job Mark Hughes is doing at Stoke is quite impressive. They are playing good football and he is getting the best out of players like Arnautovic and Odemwingie. This season he has added Bojan and Mame Diouf to that front line. The former Man United man has some sway with players and there shouldn’t be any reason to believe Hughes and Stoke won’t continue to be successful.

Kait Predicts… 8th- Sometimes the perfect two halves of a relationship have a way of finding each other. Mark Hughes, the man who let his ego walk him out of Fulham and who indulged too heavily at QPR, needed the grounding that Stoke provided. Stoke needed a firm hand and some flair in their play. And thus the love affair began. I can only see an improvement on last season’s best-ever top flight finish. If integrated well, 23-year-old ex-Barcelona man Bojan could be the coup of the summer. Other signings have provided further strength and experience and if the talent of Marko Arnautovic, already a season in, can be harnessed, I predict at least an eighth-place finish.

But can he do it on a cold, wet, Tuesday night at Stoke? We are about to find out!

But can he do it on a cold, wet, Tuesday night at Stoke? We are about to find out!

Sunderland: 10th- Sunderland finished last season in impressive fashion and Gus Poyet will be hoping that the momentum from that will carry over into this season. Jack Rodwell could prove to be an astute bit of business. Mid-table finish for the Black Cats this term.

Hayley Predicts… Mid-table finish –  If Jack Rodwell stays fit and Adam Johnson is on form, both will be hugely important. I know the players enjoy having Gus Poyet as a manager and I think that relationship is key. They can build on the momentum from the end of last season when they battled their way out of relegation with some big results under Poyet including Man Utd, City & Chelsea.  

They still need some pace up top and Poyet must add to the squad before the window closes. The owners must give him the money and freedom to act. There is, though, stability in the squad and I like that Sunderland have so many British players who compliment the healthy smattering of Poyet’s foreign picks. A mid-table finish for me.

Miracle Maker: Gus Poyet declared it would take a miracle to keep Sunderland in the top flight last season - a miracle that he duly delivered

Miracle Maker: Gus Poyet declared it would take a miracle to keep Sunderland in the top flight last season – a miracle that he duly delivered

Swansea: 15th- Gary Monk is taking charge of his first full season in charge of the Swans and it looks as though it could be a tough one as so many teams around them have improved. If Bony stays and he strikes a fruitful partnership with Gomis then there should be enough goals in the team for survival.

Lynsey Predicts…Relegation Candidates- With no Ben Davies and Michel Vorm I wonder whether Swansea might prove to be the whipping boys for a few of the top sides this season. Lukasz Fabianski is yet to convince me as a number one and despite the creative flair Swansea possess Garry Monk is going to have to steady up his defence when facing names like Diego Costa, Robin van Persie and Daniel Sturridge. With or without Wilfried Bony I can see Swansea in a fight for survival with Aston Villa and West Brom. For the record: if I was to call it now I’d say Burnley, Leicester and the Welsh outfit will go down.

Danger Man: Swansea will do well to hang on to Wilfried Bony who has been linked with moves to some of Europe's biggest clubs this summer

Danger Man: Swansea will do well to hang on to Wilfried Bony who has been linked with moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer

 Tottenham: 5th- If everything falls into place for Spurs this season then a top four challenge could well be within their reach. Soldado, Lamela and Eriksen look as if they could take the league by storm, especially the first two – who failed to show anything that made them high-value purchases last summer. A successful first season for Pochettino is the prediction with Lamela gaining some high praise along the way.

Kait Predicts…6th/7th- Spurs are one of the teams I’ll be watching closely this season. Can new manager Mauricio Pochettino successfully transition his brand of football on a team too oft disjointed last term? After the ins and outs of their last three managers Spurs fans deserve some loyalty from Daniel Levy. Let the new man in charge do his job and the team will thrive. Pochettino’s quick, attacking style will delight fans. It’s time to get back to what Spurs know best. Expect much more from key signings last season, Erik Lamela in particular.  They’ll fight it out with Everton for sixth or seventh place.

Taking the Plaudits: After a successful season at Southampton, Pochettino will now look unlock the potential of Erik Lamela at White Hart Lane

Taking the Plaudits: After a successful season at Southampton, Pochettino will now attempt to unlock the potential of Erik Lamela at White Hart Lane

West Brom: 19th- The last year has been a confusing one for a club that is seen as relatively sensible. The sacking of Steve Clarke and the appointments of Pepe Mel and now Alan Irvine have left a few heads being scratched. Lescott is a good signing but the squad doesn’t look as strong as those around them and neither does Irvine.

Kait Predicts…15th- If West Brom were a middle-aged man I’d have bought them a fast car and exchanged the Marks and Spencer flannels for something a bit less, well, grey, this pre-season. At least the perfectly nice, but completely uninspiring Pepe Mel has departed. I’m unconvinced how strong Alan Irvine will be, particularly when he has to adapt to a club philosophy that needs to reassert itself. The arrival of Nigerian striker Brown Ideye should at least bring more goals. They’ll stay safe, but not by much. 15th place finish.

West Brom will depend on club record signing Brown Ideye to provide goals, a player who manager Alan Irvine admitted he'd never seen play before

West Brom will depend on club record signing Brown Ideye to provide goals, a player who manager Alan Irvine admitted he’d never seen play before

West Ham: 11th- Another season will surely bring more criticism for Sam Allardyce but he has worked the transfer window well and despite more injuries for Andy Carroll, Allardyce should see the Hammers clear this season. Carl Jenkinson, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate have all been brought in and that probably won’t be the end of it.
Hayley Predicts…Staying up by the skin if their teeth- Sam Allardyce needs a good start to the season fans to keep faith in him and he knows he is under pressure. West Ham worry me this season, too many good players underachieved last term. They need to step up. It’s a real shame Andy Carroll is yet again starting the season injured, however, with a key signings this summer in Enner Valencia, Mauro Zarate, Cheikhou Kouyate & Aaron Cresswell to name a few, West Ham should be better equipped to stay away from the relegation zone. They’ll stay safe, but not by much.
Sam Allardyce's job this season is not an enviable one, but the man that claimed he could manage Madrid should be up to the task

Sam Allardyce’s job this season is not an enviable one, but the man that claimed he could manage Madrid should be up to the task

Here in summary is Mark Young’s predicted Premier League Standings:
1. Man City
2. Chelsea
3. Man Utd
4. Arsenal
5. Tottenham
6. Liverpool
7. Everton
8. Newcastle
9. Stoke
10. Sunderland
11. West Ham
12. Southampton
13. Hull City
14. Crystal Palace
15. Swansea
16. Burnley
17. QPR
18. Aston Villa
19. West Brom
20. Leicester City
 Do you agree with the Offside Rule’s pre-season predictions? 
Read more from Mark Young here!

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