Pre-Season Previews – Part 1

Pre-Season Previews – Part 1
August 14, 2013 Chris Rowland

By Chris Rowland, Jon Rushton, Alex Tate and Gary Wilson.

We asked several of TTT’s writers, contributors and top posters to dust off their crystal balls and give their thoughts on a number of questions about the coming season. This is the first instalment of their responses.

Where will the Reds finish?

Alex Tate (Tattva): With the transfer window open, there is potential for future activity to sway this. Realistically the Top 6. I believe those teams that are likely to finish higher than us, Chelsea Man City Man Yoo Spurs and the Gooners, are all better prepared for the season ahead as things stand. But it don’t feel it will take much to make those teams cautious if our start is good. We continuously improved throughout the season in 2012/13 and feel the upward trajectory will continue but perhaps not enough to to break into the CL places.

Jon Rushton: I’m going to stick my finger in the air, and say 5th. Man Utd (even with Moyes), Chelsea and City are unassailable – whilst Arsenal, regardless of the Suarez situation, no longer seem to sell their best players and are nailed on for 70 points which I think will be just beyond us. There is no reason to expect a dip, as Arsene Wenger has been so consistent in his top four finishes. But, I am optimistic, and think if you look at the end of last season and our performances in pre-season (this was written before the Celtic result) along with the ability that Mignolet, Aspas and Alberto appear to hold on first impressions – then there’s no reason we can’t get close to 70 points and substantially improve our PL tally from last season. I expect a close run push for 4th spot – but I think the experience of Arsenal will just beat out the plucky contenders of Liverpool and Spurs (who will both go close).

Chris Rowland: This is the hardest season for ages to predict, with only one of the teams that finished above us still having the same manager. Even at this most optimistic time of the season, it’s hard to make a case for us finishing above City, Utd and Chelsea. And you can’t really assess the relative strength of everybody’s squads until that transfer window’s fat lady has sung!

I’ll say we’ll finish above Everton – just – and one of Spurs and Arsenal, and that nobody else will storm through from below. So that leaves us – fifth, in the much-coveted EL position!

Gary Wilson (Garythespud): 5th or 6th.

How many points will the Reds finish with?

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