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(2015-16) Predictions For The Top 5 Leagues

With the footballing season just around the blocks, and transfers raining all over the clubs here are my predictions for the major leagues in the upcoming season.

  • Barclays English Premier League

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Arguably the best league in the world had an uncharacteristic tittle saga last season with Chelsea showing great defensive resolve in the second half, and with the start they had it was always their tittle to lose. This season promises to be different. Not many teams have been able to retain the Premier League in the past years (even the Invincibles failed to achieve it). So, It is going to be a mammoth task for Chelsea, but they surely have the team and the Manager for that.

Last year’s runner up City have got some additions in the attack, but until their defensive situation is managed it doesn’t look like they will be able to mount a title challenge. Manchester United and Liverpool have bought many players and only time will tell how they settle in the premier league. The team, which really looks like giving Chelsea the run for their money is Arsenal F.C. They had a very solid ending to the last season, having settled their goalkeeping woes with the signing of Petr Cech and they had a brilliant pre- season setting momentum for the season ahead.

So, In the premier league it looks like a close battle between Chelsea and Arsenal for the title, (could go up-till the last match week). I know I’d put my money on Arsenal. The remaining top 4 should also be a good battle between the Manchester Clubs and Liverpool.

  • Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (La Liga)

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Historically being a two horse race, La Liga has found their third “dark” horse in Atletico Madrid. This summer Atletico Madrid has done some serious business with players like Jackson Martinez, Luciano Vietto added to their ranks. The loss of Adra Turan with surely haunt him and other midfielders will have to step up to make up for his absence.

Last season’s winners Barcelona have made a couple of signings who will only be able to play the second half of the season. Though the strength of the team still lies in the front 3 south American superstars. They would expect to start off the new season where they ended the last, scoring goals at will. Barca’s newly appointed captain Andres Iniesta will have to take up the mentor role which Xavi and Puyol had tremendously done before him.

The third horse of this race has a newly appointed manager in the dressing room and the kind of season Los Bloncos have will very much depend on Rafa Benitez. He needs to settle up the playing roles and positions of his superstar players Ronaldo and Bale. The onus will be on Sergio Ramos to take up Casillas’s leader role to post some serious threat to Barcelona’s tittle.

La Liga promises to be a great neck to neck battle between the three giants of Spanish and European football. At this moment Barcelona tips away with the title for me due to the stability they have in their team. (Expect some big upsets form Sevilla FC after their spree of intelligent buys).

  •  The Bundesliga

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For the past three years Bayern Munich have been running away with the Bundesliga title, and it wouldn’t be too early to say that they are surely on track to make it four in a row. They have made some good transfers by replacing Bastian Schweinsteiger with the fiery Chilean Arturo Vidal, who’s widely regarded as one the best midfielders in the world over the last few years. They also added Brazilian Douglas Costa to provide more cover on the wings after both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben suffered injury-riddled campaigns. Basically, health is the only thing that can stop the Bayern machine from rolling onto yet another title. If they can finally get the likes of Robben, Ribery, David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara to play the full season, they should be virtually unstoppable.

The only other thing that can remotely come close to hindering Bayern in their aspirations is the surprise package of the last season Wolfsburg. They had a tremendous season scoring 72 goals only behind the champions Bayern who scored 80. The main goal of Wolfsburg now is to make sure the their instrumental playmaker Kevin De Bruyne stays in the squad.

Now coming from last year’s surprise to last year’s disappointment. Under their new coach Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund will be looking to dust off last season’s blues with a solid performance. The German core of Rues, Hummels and Gundogan have remained intact and will have to step up to their reputations.

Event though Bayern Munich looks very likely to retain their title, you never know with the game of football. A couple of injuries, a bad start and inspired performances from Wolfsburg could cause a big upset. May be Lord Bendtner could conjure up a miracle. It still is Bayern’s tittle to lose.

  • Serie A

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Going into the new Serie A season, it’s very easy to wonder if the Italian league is on the up. A Champions League final appearance of Juventus back in May showed that there’s still talent in the league, and this summer has seen the other sides strengthening significantly too. They’re closing in on the Premier League in the co-efficient table, looking to overtake them and regain their fourth Champions League spot.

Last season’s Champions Juventus have undergone a big change this summer. The side that guided them to the Champions League final has been torn apart, with some big stars moving on. They allowed Carlos Tevez to move back to Boca Juniors, while Arturo Vidal left for Bayern to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Andrea Pirlo also departed, heading for New York and MLS. They did respond in a pretty impressive way, signing the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Sami Khedira and Simone Zaza. Keeping hold of Paul Pogba will be key and they seem in no mood to let go of their star man, despite rumours of huge bids from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Man City.

That said, there’s little to inspire you to back anyone else. The transfer window may have hit Juve hard, but they’ve bounced back. Roma lost Andrea Bertolacci to AC Milan, and no other side have had a major addition since then.

Juventus have no serious competition when it comes to the Serie A title, although you can always expect a miracle.

  • Ligue 1

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The league where rich gets richer. Paris Saint-Germain after clinching their third title in a row have added more firepower in their team with the scoops of Benjamin Stambouli and Di Maria. The rest of the championship-winning team is relatively unchanged – Yohan Cabaye and Thiago Motta are the only notable departures.

Lyon caught almost everyone by surprise as they finished runners-up to PSG last season. They did so in large part because of the incredible goal-scoring exploits of striker Alexandre Lacazette. The 24-year old Frenchman had a breakout season with 27 goals to lead all of Ligue 1. Keeping him on board will be their priority

Monaco has been a hotbed of transfer activity this season. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, two key contributors last season, were both sold off for eight-figure sums, and the funds from their sales were then re-invested in a host of young, up-and-coming talent. Veteran midfielders Joao Moutinho and Jeremy Toulalan are still around, though, and will provide a solid foundation to help the growing youth movement in the club.

PSG is very much on course to make it four seasons in a row and it would have to take something special to overthrow the Parisians from power. The onus is on the likes of Lyon, Monaco, St. Etienne to take PSG’s throne.

A guest blog by  Pratik Jha, read his articles at Derailed douchebaggery

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