The Severn Sport 2015/16 Season Preview

Here at Severn Sport we have been mulling over the new season. Going over the teams with a fine tooth comb to see who we fancy to succeed and fail this season. Once again, Penno failed to join the chat so has missed out once again but here we have the thoughts of myself, Kelsey and Yatesey.

Butler Kelsey Yatesey
Premier League

Van Gaal is a major factor in United’s resurgence


It will realistically only be between two teams. Chelsea and my pick Manchester United. The signings of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin have sured up a midfield that already boasts the talents of Carrick, Herrera and Blind. All they need to do to challenge for the Champions League and compete amongst the very elite is sign a new striker to replace RVP and a new centre back to partner to always improving Chris Smalling. Man Utd. Their resurgence under LVG will continue for the Red Devils who have signed very well this summer. I expect them to be fighting with Chelsea for the top spot and back United to come out on top. I’m backing 13 times winners Manchester United. I feel the big Dutch man in charge is finally starting to stamp his mark on the squad, spending plenty in the process. The early arrival of Memphis, complimented with Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger in the middle has made United look solid once again. At this moment they have signed better than the rest and for reasonable money.
Relegation Candidate

Bournemouth are the tip for relegation for both Matt and Kelsey


There is but only team I can foresee being subject to relegation this year. It is but of course the latest team subject to the totally true curse of Sam Allardyce. It is of course this season’s destiny that West Ham will go down. Just like Bolton, Blackburn and Newcastle before them they will succumb to the inevitable and keep the tradition alive. Relegation is a tough choice for me but unfortunately I have to go with Bournemouth. Frankly their squad is lacking of real Premier League experience in most areas and I can only see them struggling. I’m going to say that it will be at least one of the newly promoted teams and I think its nailed on for Bournemouth to go down. Eddie Howe is trying to get some experience with Federici, Boruc and Distin but they latter doesn’t fill me with confidence of staying once they go down. However all three of the promoted teams to go back down is 20/1 with some bookies so they is something not to ignore.
Surprise Package This one was an easy observation to make. All you need to do is follow the transfers. The team who have laid down the marker with big transfers for small money. Quite simply the one team who has done that is Crystal Palace. Alan Pardew is getting his side ride for battle in quite a way. Cabaye and Bamford add to an already strong squad. My surprise package is Stoke City. Butler got them spot on last year for their successive top 10 finish and following some decent signings and having the likes of Bojan back I can seriously see Stoke finishing in the European places this term. My team to watch is Crystal Palace. They’re embarking on their third season in the Premier League and they come on leaps and bounds since gaining promotion. With the signings of Cabaye from PSG and Bamford from Chelsea they look like a real deal that even David Dickinson would be proud of.
Top Signing There are a few stand out signings this window, which at this early stage is quite unique for the Premier League. But for me the one key transfer is Petr Cech to Arsenal. A great keeper can win you 10+ points a season and Petr Cech is a great keeper. A component Arsenal have been missing for a while. The last 6 weeks has seen some unreal signings taking place, thus making this choice one of the hardest but I have to go with Aleksander Mitrovic. This guy has goals in his DNA and Steve McClaren has the pedigree to get him firing straight away. James Milner to Liverpool. A good deal for Liverpool as the versatile Milner arrives on a free transfer. He may be a good short term fix for the vacated central midfield as left by Gerrard. The hardworking Englishman will quietly go about his business and can prove to be a quality signing.
Player To Watch

Nathan Redmond is onto bigger and better things whether its with or without Norwich


The best player of England’s disappointing u21 tournament Nathan Redmond is the player to watch. The best player in the Norwich side and without being harsh to the Canaries a player who will move on should they go straight back down. A proper baller. Two words. Raheem Sterling. The player the world has been talking about all summer will be the interest of everyone. The fee alone for someone of his age will raise expectations. This was a tough one for me but I’m going with Patrick Bamford. The Chelsea man signed a new contract following his deal to join Palace on loan, showing just how highly Chelsea rate him. If he brings his Boro form to Selhurst Park then the Eagles will soar up the league.
This may excite the likes of Yatesey but my winner is Wolves. They have kept a lot of the squad together and have a forward like Benik Afobe leading from the front. Expect big things. I picked Derby to win it last year and despite them narrowly missing out completely last year I am sticking with them this year. Derby County. Simple. Surely they can do it this time around! They have signed so well in Bent, Ince and Weimann just to name three!
Team for Promotion My team for promotion is Burnley. As long as Sean Dyche stays at Turf Moor the Clarets can become the new West Brom, yo-yoing up and down the top two divisions for the next few years. Hull City shouldn’t have been relegated so they are my pick to go straight back up. Should be just too strong for the other contenders. Middlesborough are my team for promotion which will please part time Boro fan Penno. With the signing of Downing returning to the Riverside they will go even closer this time round.
Team to watch/struggle

Matt tips Reading to have a season of struggle after a poor end to last year’s campaign


My team to watch this year is the team I CORRECTLY predicted to gain promotion to the Championship last year, MK Dons. I’m a big fan of what Karl Robinson is doing over there and they improve year in year out to be a decent little outfit. Blackburn Rovers are one of the teams to look at this season. If they can keep the likes Gestede and Rhodes fit and fresh they can really push for the play offs. Reading are the ones who I think will struggle this year. They finished disappointingly last year (albeit whilst on a cup run) and will struggle to turn it around. They still need to seriously improve their squad or the worst will happen.
League One
The stand out team are Sheffield United but the stand out teams aren’t always the one who do the best. For me a team like Millwall will win it. The squad was probably too good to go down last year so I’d expect good things. This is another tough one but realistically I think Sheffield United should have too much quality for the rest of the division and should storm into the Championship as winners. I picked them last year and I am expectant of them against this term. Sheffield United have the class and experience to win it but only if they hold their nerve on a cold Tuesday night in Colchester.
Team for Promotion The team who missed out last year in the play offs Swindon Town will be there or there abouts come May so I’d seriously expect them to go up this time around. Peterborough could do well this season and I do expect them to be in the promotion mix once again after a pretty poor showing last year. Millwall are my team for promotion, to bounce right back to the Championship. They only just went down last season but I think Neil Harris as a permanent fixture will give them stability.
Team to watch/struggle The team to watch for me are Wigan. Quite simply they can go one way or the other, they can storm to the title or they can sink into football league infamy. Only time will tell but it is nervy times ahead for the team from the DW. A few times may struggle in League One this year and none more so than Blackpool. The diabolical way in which the club is being run has affected on-pitch performances before and I expect it to do so this year. The league new boys Burton Albion under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink have strengthened more over the summer to compete in League One. Jimmy has turned Albion into one of the most up and coming teams in the football league and should continue.
League Two

Once again both Matt and Kelsey pick the same as they tip Wycombe for the League Two crown.


For League Two I fancy a fairly outside chance to win it. I’m torn between Plymouth and the Cobblers. I’m going with Northampton. Why not? The Cobblers have what it takes. I’m sticking my neck out here and saying that Wycombe will win the league. They finished strong last year and if they continue where they finished they should romp home. Wycombe have got to win it this year! Up with the top three for most of last season they lost out in the playoffs. They have strengthened well and comparing with the other teams in the league they are clearly the best looking outfit.
Team for promotion My team for promotion isn’t even going to be Wycombe as I think they may struggle to repeat last year. I’m looking at Plymouth who ended the season so well last year. I expect Oxford United to be about there this coming season with the quality they have in the squad. They might just be ready this time around. I feel that Portsmouth have improved enough over the summer so far to turn their fortunes around. With the likes of McGurk being added to the squad they are more capable.
Team to watch/struggle

Ryan tips Teddy Sheringham to be as big of a success as a manager as he was as a player


My team to watch is the Teddy Sheringham led Stevenage. If he can even repeat half of what he achieved in his playing days then Stevenage can have an amazing year. Last season we saw Hartlepool as good as relegated by Christmas but somehow they managed to pull it out of the bag and stay up. They are the ones to watch this season as they can go either way, only time will tell. The team to struggle for me are Newport County. With the departure of Les Scadding as chairman they have been forced to tighten the purse strings. Only time will tell if it will be a long season for the Welsh club.
Champions League The cycle of winners is coming back round to England sooner rather than later. However due to the signing of Vidal in the week I can see Bayern Munich being successful once again. The best club competition in the world hardly ever throws up surprises anymore. You’d rarely see the Portos and Valencias of this world making the final. This season I can see Chelsea bringing home the trophy, albeit dependant on the draws. The Champions League will be won by Chelsea. England are due another winner and Jose knows how to do it.
Europa League This hurts me to say this but, my winner of the Europa League is Liverpool. If their signings settle and take it seriously the the Europa is there for the taking. Borussia Dortmund will win it. They have a good looking squad and can mount a serious challenge. West Ham! Nahhh. Borussia Dortmund are the strongest looking squad in the tournament.
FA Cup

I smell an Arsenal hattrick. I really do. The Gunners have a habit of making history and what a way to do it once again. Fans will worship at the feet of Arsene Wenger if they win it again. The FA Cup is difficult to predict as the big teams only usually “really care” once they get to the Semi Finals. So for me it would be nice to see Southampton win it. But they will need to balance their squads due to the extra stretch of the Europa League taking its toll around the New Year. This is always difficult to predict. For no reason whatsoever I think the winners will be Tottenham Hotspur they don’t really have much else to play for.
League Cup Manchester United will banish and bury those memories of that MK Dons trip last year to win this cup, hopefully on their way to bigger and better things. The Capital One Cup is a chance for the lesser teams to shine and this year I think it wlll be a team like Newcastle winning it. The Toon have signed well and have a great chance at silverware this year. Again difficult to predict. The usual suspects will be around there including one of the big teams, so for that reason I think Manchester City will win it.

Ryan and Matt tip Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to go from strength to strength this season


Jimmy Floyd will taste his second piece of silverware in two seasons once Burton Albion lift the JPT at Wembley. I got it spot on with Bristol City last year and I hope my pick of Bradford City can do me proud this year. A team that should be in the mix for the title should bring home the trophy. This one you can have a bit of a punt/use skill to predict. My educated guess goes to Burton Albion as Jimmy Flloyd is King.
Local Team to Watch My team to watch locally is Cheltenham Town. Quite simply, they need to be watched as they are at a crossroads. They will either go up or they will be that team that football forget and people will ask “whatever happened to…” Locally I can see Cirencester Town achieving the most. With the signing of ex Gloucester City forward Charlie Griffin they have a man who can score goals. The Centurions could mount a serious play off push. I can only really see Forest Green doing anything locally. They’ve got the money, to spend on the better players around and will be looking to push on from their playoff defeat.

Ryan Butler