Premier League Review 2014/15: November/December

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Happy New Year everyone! Sorry for a pause in my posting, I hope you’ve all had a good Christmas! The Premier League has just past the half way point and I thought I’d continue my season ‘review’ after the positive reception last time.

I’ll be looking how my pre-season predictions compare with the current table at this mid-point, and consider if each clubs league position matches the expectations.

You can find the pre-season predictions here

August, September and October review here

Hopefully the layout isn’t too confusing! Basically the number in brackets is the difference between the current position and my pre-season predictions. For example I predicted Leicester City to finish 13th, they’re currently sitting bottom at 20th (that’ll soon change!) so there is a difference of -7.

Let me know what your thoughts on the Premier League are so far!

Premier League

1st (+0): Chelsea – Well Chelsea are still top but their position is no longer as secure as it was back in October. Man City are now level on points but I still believe the squad that Mourinho has is the strongest of the two. I highly doubt we’ll see another ‘Liverpool’, a club which dramatically rises up this second half. They’re almost in a league of their own.

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Leicester City 0 – 1 Man City

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The most in-form team vs the most out of form…

I must admit, it’s been a pretty depressing few weeks football wise. I’ve been tempted to write a blog post about these woes but reached the conclusion that it wouldn’t be either uplifting or a particularly interesting read for you! Do let me know if you want me to breakdown into an emotional mess, I’d be happy to oblige…

Anyway, having just finished for Christmas with an assessment free holiday awaiting, I was feeling particularly happy and cheerful coming into the match. Whether the players were the feeling the same is another matter. Sitting at the bottom of the table with a growing gap from safety, this was a game nobody was expecting us to get anything out of, yet a game that would only make our situation worse if we lost again.

Without a win in the last ten games – thanks Burnley for that last-minute equalizer – Man City were the last team desired that could have arrived at the King Power to help us achieve our third win of the season. It’s a tough league sure but Burnley, West Brom and Sunderland home games aside, it’s been an unforgiving run of fixtures that haven’t helped our situation. Plus bad luck, that’s always an easy scapegoat.

Having found possession a difficulty in the last match against Aston Villa, Pearson changed the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1. This was a move that I had been calling for and seemed logical. Keeping the wingers is an essential part of our play so I’m relieved there was no diamond of central midfielders again either. Vardy was the lone striker, Hamer came in for the injured Schmeichel and Drinkwater and King were brought in to form the midfield three with Cambiasso.

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Man City v Chelsea preview, the two title favourites

The title favourites Manchester City and Chelsea will be looking to prove their worth this Sunday where they will be facing each other for the first time this season. The two clubs whose spending power has helped them climb to the position they are in now has been unmatched in recent years, although City’s fierce rivals United have been investing very heavily this summer. For Chelsea, this is their first real challenge after maintaining a 100% winning start, while Manchester City who have already beaten Liverpool and gained a point at Arsenal will be eager to reduce the five point gap after a shock home defeat to Stoke.

Transfer Business 

Chelsea have had one of the best transfer windows this summer for me, with a net spend of just £13.1m thanks to the big money sales of Lukaku and Luiz. The two stand-out recruits, Costa and Fabregas, have both got off to an incredible start, with Diego solving the striker problem that has been troubling Chelsea since, well, Drogba left!

City have also enjoyed a pretty shrewd window with a net spend of £24m. The team which won the league last season has remained almost entirely intact, with the only surprise being the exit of Negredo on deadline day, leaving on a season long loan to Valencia. Last season City boasted the highest goals scored with 102, and the second best defensive record with just 37 goals conceded, after Chelsea (27). Despite this, Pellegrini has splashed £32m on the Porto centre-back Mangala, making him the most expensive defender in British football, in an attempt to improve his team further.

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