Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2014 Contents LONDON---A team-by-team guide to the
new Premier League season, which begins
on Saturday. Last season s position in
Arsene Wenger s side ended a nine-year
trophy drought by winning the FA Cup in
May. Wenger hopes his squad, bolstered by
the summer addition of Alexis Sanchez from
Barcelona and with record-signing Mesut
Ozil settled, can now last the distance in the
Premier League title race. The Gunners, who
haven t won the championship since 2004,
spent much of last season on top only to
Key player: Forward Alexis Sanchez.
ASTON VILLA (15th) Manager Paul
Lambert was ham-
strung by lack of
investment from an
owner, Randy Lerner,
who is trying to sell
up, and troubled by
backroom issues last
season. But Lambert
has the nucleus of a
After returning to the Premier League after
five years in the second tier, Burnley s season
will hinge on whether strikers Danny Ings
and Sam Vokes can cut it in the top flight.
Expect Sean Dyche s well-drilled side to trou-
ble visiting sides at the least.
Key player: Striker Danny Ings.
Despite playing down Chelsea s credentials
last season, Jose Mourinho would have won
the league last season if not for slip-ups
against teams the Blues should have beaten
when it mattered. The striker issue has been
addressed with the purchase of Diego Costa
from Atletico Madrid, while former Arsenal
captain Cesc Fabregas will bring some
dynamism to midfield.
Key player: Striker Diego Costa.
CRYSTAL PALACE (11th)
Tony Pulis was named manager of the
year for keeping Palace in the Premier League.
However, his second season in charge is likely
to be even more of a challenge.
Key player: Midfielder Mile Jedinak.
Former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez
showed he could make the step up when
succeeding David Moyes last year, although
he was unable to take Everton back into the
top four. A fifth-place finish, though, was
a good starting point. Turning Romelu
Lukaku s loan from Chelsea into a permanent,
club-record 28 million-pound ($47 million)
transfer was an early summer statement of
intent, while Ross Barkley is quickly devel-
Key player: Striker Romelu Lukaku.
eld disputes over the club s name, Hull
maintained its top-flight status and reached
the FA Cup final, falling short against Arsenal.
New challenges lie ahead in the Europa
League and the squad will have to dig deep
to avoid being dragged into a relegation bat-
tle.Key player: Midfielder Tom Huddlestone.
Leicester dominated the Championship
to win the title, but it will prove a different
challenge back in the Premier League after
a decade away. Much will depend on whether
David Nugent can keep scoring goals.
Key player: Striker David Nugent.
Despite the big hole left by the departure
of striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Liverpool
was quick to bolster a squad which fell just
short in the title race last season. A trio of
Southampton players was signed: defender
Dejan Lovren, midfielder Adam Lallana and
striker Rickie Lambert. But with a Champions
League campaign to cope with this season,
another sustained title challenge may just
be beyond Brendan Rodgers side. There
should be less controversy, though, without
Key player: Striker Daniel Sturridge
MANCHESTER CITY (1st)
After winning a second Premier League
title in three years, City has reinforced the
squad in a low-key manner. With Yaya Toure
in midfield and Sergio Aguero up front,
Manuel Pellegrini may be celebrating a second
successive league title in May. Advancing
further in the Champions League is also a
Key player: Midfielder Yaya Toure.
MANCHESTER UNITED (7th)
After a dismal season under David Moyes,
Louis van Gaal will have to be an instant
success, fresh from leading the Netherlands
to third place at the World Cup. The min-
imum target is returning United to the Cham-
pions League. A season out of Europe should
help the team focus on domestic priorities.
A few new signings, including defender Luke
Monday, August 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera, should provide
Key player: Striker Wayne Rooney.
Alan Pardew will be hoping to stay out of the lime-
light this season after his ban for head-butting a rival
team s player. If the new recruits, including midfielder
Remy Cabella, settle quickly a top-half finish should
be the minimum expected.
Key player: Winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS (promoted)
Harry Redknapp returned QPR to the top flight at
the first opportunity to safeguard the club s financial
predicament, but only via the playoffs. QPR owner
Tony Fernandes again sanctioned the signing of a vet-
eran player from a leading team---defender Rio Fer-
dinand from Manchester United.
Key player: Centre back Rio Ferdinand.
After the high of an eighth-place finish came the
exodus of players and manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Ronald Koeman s reign could quickly turn into a rel-
egation battle if midfielder Dusan Tadic and striker
Graziano Pelle don t quickly adapt to England.
Key player: Striker Jay Rodriguez.
Many expected Stoke to struggle last season following
the departure of Tony Pulis, but Mark Hughes new-
look side secured a top-half finish. With some prom-
ising additions, including forward Bojan Krkic, Stoke
should again stay out of trouble.
Key player: Forward Peter Odemwingie.
After coming so close to relegation last season,
Sunderland will hope to avoid such drama again. Much
will depend on whether Connor Wickham can find
his scoring touch again. Manager Gus Poyet will be
determined to get more consistency to move up the
Key player: Striker Connor Wickham.
Garry Monk s mid-season appointment to succeed
Michael Laudrup was vindicated as Swansea pulled
out of danger. Despite a few decent additions, including
goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from Arsenal, the new
season could be severely testing.
Key player: Defender Ashley Williams.
After going through two managers last season, Tot-
tenham turned to Mauricio Pochettino, hoping he
can bring the brand of attacking football he instilled
at Southampton. The target is Champions League
qualification, but the squad could be stretched again
by the demands of the Europa League.
Key player: Midfielder Christian Eriksen.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (17th)
After just avoiding relegation under Pepe Mel, West
Brom s next appointment took everyone by surprise.
Alan Irvine, who was running Everton s academy, has
been given his first top flight management role. Will
the gamble pay off?
Key player: Attacker Stephane Sessegnon.
WEST HAM (13th)
To stay in charge, Sam Allardyce will have to ensure
last season s inconsistencies aren t repeated and the
football is more exciting. Former England striker Teddy
Sheringham was hired as a coach to turn disappointing
home draws into wins. Fans weren t satisfied with
the mid-table finish. The signing of Ecuador World
Cup star Enner Valencia came just as forward Andy
Carroll was ruled out again through injury.
Key player: Forward Enner Valencia.
Team by team guide to the Premier League season
Aston Villa's manager
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