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Premier League preview

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Oxlade-Chamberlain JF-Expert Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Joined: May 26, 2009
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    The long wait is finally over for supporters as the Premier League returns for what promises to be an enthralling 2009/10 campaign.
    Old rivalries will continue, fresh challengers have the opportunity to upset the established order and new faces are on the scene eager to make an impact.
    Eighty-three days have passed since the curtain fell on the previous campaign, during which time there have been a number of big-name arrivals and departures, with the promise of more to come as the transfer window remains open.
    Once again, Sky Sports will be there to bring you all the best of the Premier League action with our unrivalled coverage of all 20 clubs.
    Chelsea have the honour of opening the new season as Hull City make the daunting trip to Stamford Bridge, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
    The Blues have yet another new manager - Italian tactician Carlo Ancelotti[​IMG] is the fifth man in the dug-out in less than two years - and remain major contenders for the crown despite a relatively quiet summer in the transfer market.
    Phil Brown,[​IMG] meanwhile, has been one of the busier managers and his negotiations are finally beginning to bear fruit after a number of high-profile rejections earlier in the summer.
    Brown watched his side slide inexorably down the table last term after a bright start and must ensure there is no hangover after his troops only avoided relegation on the very final day of the season.
    Champions Manchester United set the standard last term and remain the team to beat despite the exit of gifted Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo and the tireless Carlos Tevez[​IMG] as they aim for an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League crown.
    Birmingham have the unenviable task of being the first side to travel to Old Trafford, with Sunday's clash being screened live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1, and Alex McLeish's newly-promoted side must improve on their miserable record of no points and no goals from their previous five Premier League visits.

    Liverpool ran the Red Devils close before eventually falling just short, with their bid to end a 20-year wait for the English title taking them to Tottenham in another fixture which will be live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
    Rafa Benitez does not have the happiest recent memories of White Hart Lane,[​IMG] as the Reds' unbeaten start to the season was ended in North London last term, before Spurs triumphed in their Carling Cup fourth round encounter.
    Harry Redknapp has been reunited with England international Peter Crouch[​IMG] over the summer, with the giant striker up against one of his former clubs following his switch from Portsmouth.
    Burnley's adventure in the big-time begins with a testing trip to the Britannia Stadium to tackle Stoke, who defied the critics to end last season in 12th place, largely due to their impressive home form.
    Owen Coyle's Clarets demonstrated their abilities against England's elite with a number of notable scalps in the Carling Cup last term and will need to replicate those efforts on a weekly basis to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
    Molineux will be in full voice for Wolves' opening encounter against West Ham as Mick McCarthy's men return to the top division following last term's Championship title triumph.
    Sylvan Ebanks-Blake plundered 25 league goals for the Black Country outfit last term and, while he will find top-flight defences do not afford him as many opportunities, will be relied upon to provide the main attacking threat.
    Gianfranco Zola is working under new owners for the Hammers and has made it clear he wants to bring in striking reinforcements alongside Carlton Cole, who impressed for England against Holland in midweek, but reported moves for Eidur Gudjohnsen and Luca Toni are yet to materialise.
    Manchester City[​IMG] have had no problems making improvements to their forward line - hardly surprising given the finances at their disposal - and Mark Hughes' biggest headache ahead of his return to Blackburn will be who to select.
    Roque Santa Cruz will not feature against his former club due to injury, but that still leaves Hughes with Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robinho, Craig Bellamy and Benjani Mwaruwari at his disposal.
    Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, has invested some of the funds he received from the sale of Santa Cruz in Croatia international Nikola Kalinic, with Franco Di Santo arriving on loan from Chelsea, which should spare the Ewood Park faithful the sight of centre-back Chris Samba leading the line.


    Arsenal saw their squad plundered by Man City with Adebayor and Kolo Toure heading to Eastlands, but the duo's departures bolstered the Gunners' coffers to the tune of a reported £41million.
    However, the famously frugal Arsene Wenger is yet to bring in any reinforcements aside from Ajax centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, leading to fretting from the Emirates faithful ahead of their opening day trip to Everton.
    The Toffees have, so far, managed to spurn City's interest in Joleon Lescott, but with England international requesting a transfer, it remains to be seen how stubborn David Moyes[​IMG] will be in his determination to keep the former Wolves man.
    Aston Villa[​IMG] are another side who enter the season with their sights set on the top four as they prepare to host Wigan, although Martin O'Neill has made it clear that he believes Man City's summer spending will make them a force at the top of the table.
    Villa may struggle to replicate their impressive opening to last season with former captains Gareth Barry and Martin Laursen now departed, and Habib Beye, youngster Fabian Delph and the injured Stewart Downing the only new faces so far.
    The Latics find themselves at the start of a new chapter with highly-rated Roberto Martinez returning to the North West club, although key men Antonio Valencia[​IMG] and Lee Cattermole have been sold in the summer.
    Martinez filled the vacancy left by Steve Bruce's departure for Sunderland, with the new Black Cats boss returning to raid his former club for combative midfielder Cattermole ahead of the Wearsiders' opening day trip to Bolton.
    Sunderland were another side still flirting with relegation on the final day of last season and much more is expected of the North East outfit this term following Bruce's appointment and a number of major signings.
    Trotters counterpart Gary Megson has strengthened his defence, but Reebok Stadium supporters still strive to see more creativity and pace in attack alongside the ever-reliable Kevin Davies.
    Portsmouth have endured a summer of struggle on the South Coast and will need to put off-field concerns to one side as they play host to Fulham.
    Sulaiman Al Fahim's proposed takeover is still to be completed, while key men Crouch and Glen Johnson have departed for pastures new, although there is at least stability on the management front with the appointment of Paul Hart.
    Fulham, meanwhile, will have to contend with the added demands of Europa League football this term as Roy Hodgson's side look to build on their impressive seventh-placed finish last term.
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  2. Eqlypz

    Eqlypz JF-Expert Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Joined: May 24, 2009
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