EPL Preview: The Non European top halfers

Back again for round 3 of the preview. Just 24 hours to go till the greatest league in the world is back. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here

WEST BROM

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Last Season: 11th in the Premier League

Feelings: Roy Hodgson started last season in the dugout at Anfield. This season he faces a completely different prospect as he begins his first full season as West Brom Manager. He will undoubtedly be happy with the progress made and the loan signing of Ben Foster will be a good one for the Baggies. Roy Hodgson is a good manager at a small club and a small manager at a  good club, this means he will fit in well as West Brom manager and we may see them slowly start to emaninate his performance with Fulham. I think we could see a top 10 finish for Roy’s Boys!

Ins: Billy Jones (free from Preston), Gareth McAuley (free from Ipswich), Ben Foster (loan from Birmingham), Zoltan Gera (free from Fulham), Marton Fulop (free from Ipswich Town), Shane Long (£6.5m from Reading).

Outs: Marcus Haber, Dean Kiely (released), Abdoulaye Méîté (free to Dijon), Ryan Allsop (undisc to Millwall), Borja Valero (undiscl. to Villarreal), Scott Carson (£2m to Bursaspor), Gianni Zuiverloon (free to Mallorca), Boaz Myhill (loan to Birmingham), Giles Barnes (free to Doncaster).

First 5 Fixtures and Expectations

Man Utd (h) – 0 points

Chelsea (a) – 0 points

Stoke (h) – 3 points

Norwich (a) – 3 points

Swansea (a) – 3 points

Total expected – 9 points

NEWCASTLE

Manager: Alan Pardew

Last Season: 11th in the Premier League

Feelings: Who knows whats going on at Newcastle United football club. They sold their star striker in January, didnt replace him. They sold their captain and inspiration leader and have replaced him with unproven players (Demba Ba excluded) and they have a hate relationship with their new captain and arguably their best player last year. They have also lost their left back. Mike Ashley is making a crap load of money on the transfer market as he is spending none of what he has earned. Times are tough at Newcastle and with an average manager in Pardew (Average is being nice) I cant see Newcastle making the top 10. Embarrasment to fall below Sunderland is what I can see for the Geordies. Are they too good to go down? Well we said that a few years back if you recall and you all know how that ended!

Ins: Mehdi Abeid (undisc from Lens), Yohan Cabaye (£4.4m from Lille), Demba Ba (nominal from West Ham), Sylvain Marveaux (free from Rennes), Gabriel Obertan (£3m from Manchester United).

Outs: Kevin Nolan (£2.65m to West Ham), Sol Campbell, Shefki Kuqi (released), Patrick McLaughlin (free to York City), Ben Tozer (free to Northampton), Daniel Leadbitter (free to Torquay United), Kazenga LuaLua (loan to Brighton), Michael Richardson (loan to Leyton Orient), Wayne Routledge (£2m to Swansea), James Tavernier (loan to Carlisle), Phil Airey (loan to Hibs), Xisco (loan to Deportivo La Coruna), Jose Enrique (£5million to Liverpool).

First 5 Fixtures and Expectations

Arsenal (h) – 1 point

Sunderland (a) – 1 point

Fulham (h) – 3 point

QPR (a) – 3 points

Aston Villa (a) – 1 point

Total expected – 9 points

FULHAM

Manager: Martin Jol

Last Season: 8th in the premier league

Feelings: The strangest thing about Fulham has nothing to do with football at all. The strangest thing about Fulham is the Statue of Michael Jackson that they erected outside the stadium. It makes you look at the club and wonder if that was why Mark Hughes left. That being said, if it was the reason he left, they should erect a replica around Arsenal to make sure he never goest there. You see, I dont like Mark Hughes, I do however rate their new manager very highly. Martin Jol is a fantastic manager who took the North London C team (Tottenham) to consecutive 5th places in the premier league before being sacrimoniously dumped. Fulham under his stewardship will be a difficult team to beat and really can probably look towards a European place with the Dutchman in control.

Ins:Dan Burn (undisc. from Darlington), Csaba Somogyi (free agent), John Arne Riise (£2.3m from Roma), Marcel Gecov (£700,000 from Slovan Liberec), Pajtim Kasami (£3.5m from Palermo).

Outs: Diomansy Kamara (free to Eskisehirspor), Kagisho Dikgacoi (£600,000 to Crystal Palace), John Pantsil (free to Leicester City), Zoltan Gera (free to West Brom), Edward Johnson, Matthew Saunders (all released), Jonathan Greening (£600,000 to Nottingham Forest), David Stockdale (loan to Ipswich).

First 5 Fixtures and Expectations

Aston Villa (h) – 3 points

Wolves (a) – 1 point

Newcastle (a) – 1 point

Blackburn (h) – 3 points

Man City (h) – 1 point

Expectation – 9 points

EVERTON

Manager: David Moyes

Last Season: 7th in the Premier League

Feelings: David Moyes is entering his tenth season at Everton. He is now the longest serving manager in the league behind Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. Credit to him, he has done a great job at Everton, guiding them to top 7 finishes consecutively. You do wonder what might have been had they qualified for the Group stages in 2004 and made a regular habit of it. You see, Everton are not a strong financial club, and while they do function within their means quite well, they simply dont have the clout that the top 6 have. I really wish the Man City bosses had rather spent their money at Goodison. That being said, if Everton for once start a season on form, we could well witness a battle between the top 7 and not the top 6. Their could also be three great derby games played with league meaning (North London, Manchester and Merseyside). Come on you Blues. Make 2012 your year. And beat Tottenham.

Ins:

Outs:Iain Turner (free to Preston), Hope Akpan (free to Crawley), Kieran Agard (free to Yeovil), Luke Dobie (free to Middlesbrough), James Vaughan (£2m to Norwich).

First 5 Fixtures and Expectations

Tottenham (a) – 1 point

QPR (h) – 3 points

Blackburn (a) – 1 point

Aston Villa (h) – 3 points

Wigan (h) – 3 points

Expectation – 11 points

LIVERPOOL

Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Last Season: 6th in the Premier League

Feelings: Well, if they were Arsenal, they would be lambasted in the media for the money they have spent. 20 million for Stewart Downing? Seriously? Until yesterday they hadnt strengthened their defense at all and I dont know why people think they are going to mount a serious title challenge this year. Dalglish is building a team around 35 million man Andy Caroll when quite honestly, the man most hated on the African continent, Luis Suarez is the better of the two quite comfortably. Expect them to finish in 5th. At the end of the season you can feel free to come to me so that I can say, I told you so!

Ins: Jordan Henderson (£16m from Sunderland), Charlie Adam (£7million from Blackpool), Alex Doni (free from Roma), Stewart Downing (£20m from Aston Villa), Jose Enrique (£5million from Newcastle).

Outs: Paul Konchesky (£1.5m to Leicester City), Jason Banton, Deale Chamberlain, Douglas Cooper, Sean Highdale, Steven Irwin, Nikola Saric (all released), Stephen Darby (season loan to Rochdale), Gerardo Bruna (nominal to Blackpool), Peter Gulacsi (loan to Hull City), Martin Hansen (loan to Bradford), Milan Jovanovic (£700,000 to Anderlecht), Tom Ince (undiscl. to Blackpool).

First 5 Fixtures and Expectations

Sunderland (h) – 3 points (better watch out for beach balls)

Arsenal (a) – 1 point

Bolton (h) – 3 points

Stoke City (a) – 3 points

Tottenham (a) – 1 point

Expectation – 11 points

Tomorrow will be the last of the previews. Keep it real! Jabu

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