Stan Collymore predicts Premier League table for 2015/16 season.



As we approach the 2015-16 season, former Liverpool and Aston Villa attacker Stan Collymore predicts the Premier League table for the new campaign.

He reckons the top 5 would remain the same, with Liverpool in 5th position, Louis van Gaal's United in 4th, Arsenal 3rd, City 2nd and the champions Chelsea at the top of the table.

Regarding Brendan Rodgers' side who have been active in the transfer window, he told the Daily Mirror: "Brendan Rodgers must be relieved that he does not have either the Luis Suarez or Sterling sagas hanging over him.

"Both of those issues have rocked the boat and, as a consequence, the manager has been under pressure.

"He needs some help. Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren all need to produce in their second season. They were the sticks that critics used to beat Rodgers with last term.

"However, there is a bright spot on the horizon with the arrival of Christian Benteke.

"He will score goals, but it may take time. Liverpool will bring the footballer out in him and, trust me, he has good feet and a little magic. If the support cast adapt to their roles, I think the Kop may have a new striking hero."

On Manchester United, he said: "I would love to list Manchester United as realistic title challengers. But Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal all have settled first XIs to take into the crucial first 10 matches of the season.

"Can Louis van Gaal say that?

"Forward Memphis Depay excites me, and Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger add much-needed variety to a non-existent midfield – but can United trade punch for punch with their three other rivals?

"I don’t think so.

"I do believe, however, that there will be an improvement over 38 games. Van Gaal will be more attuned to striking the right balance between pragmatism and the ‘United’ way of playing.

"But this term he has the added pressure of playing in the Champions League. It will be another 12 months before United are proper challengers will finish in fourth place"

On Arsenal, who smashed Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday to retain the Community Shield, Collymore explained: "It happens every year, doesn’t it? There’s an exciting pre-season victory and the arrival of an experienced practitioner like Petr Cech who could make the difference.

"When that is married to a style that every neutral wants to see, then it is equally easy to fathom why Arsenal are the average-bloke-in-the-pub’s choice to win the Premier League.

"Sorry. I just don’t see it. The Gunners were 12 goals shy of Man City last term. Without the addition of a main striker, I can still see Arsenal coming up short.

"I don’t see the consistency and ability to take maximum points against City and Chelsea – which will cost them."

As for the Citizen's, who stuttered last term, finishing in second place, the former England international believes they will remain in 2nd place.

"I was tempted to join the Arsenal bandwagon by suggesting that the Gunners will be Chelsea’s main rivals. But I have to go with City," the 44-year-old said.

"The arrival of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph will add freshness and vibrancy to a squad who should have done much better last term.

"A lot will rest on the shoulders of Vincent Kompany, who looked out of sorts after the World Cup.

"If the Belgium defender is back to his best, then Manuel Pellegrini’s men will pose a real challenge to Chelsea.

"If they don’t, then there will be a vacancy at the Etihad in May."

And as for Jose Mourinho's side, he added: "Jose Mourinho does not do one-season wonders. He expects – and demands – three titles out of four. I think he will get his second.

"So far, the reigning champions have not had a blockbuster transfer window.

"Their main emphasis will be on the fitness of Diego Costa and the supporting role of Radamel Falcao.

"However, where Chelsea score is that they have the best defensive unit in the Premier League.

"I would not be surprised if they conceded fewer goals this season than they did in their last."

Thinkfootballideas [@Thinkfballideas].


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