As the new season approaches, I asked a selection of journalists and media figures for their predictions for the top four for the 2012-13 Premier League campaign. Here is what they said:
Oliver Kay, Chief Football Correspondent for The Times newspaper: I would be staggered if City, United and Chelsea aren’t in the top four. Beyond that, Spurs could either be brilliant or disappointing, Newcastle will struggle to repeat what they did last year and it looks far too early for Liverpool to re-emerge. I’ll say Arsenal to finish fourth behind City, United and Chelsea. (You didn’t really want those top three in the right order yet, did you?)
Rob Dawson, Football writer covering Man City and Man United for the Manchester Evening News: 1) City 2) United 3) Chelsea 4) Arsenal
Ian Ladyman, Northern Football correspondent for the Daily Mail: Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal
Iain Macintosh, Football writer for The New Paper and others: I can’t predict anything, I’m useless. For what it’s worth, City, United, Arsenal and Chelsea with a late burst from new manager Pep Guardiola.
Daniel Taylor, Chief football writer for the Guardian and Observer: I’m struggling a little. That’s not sitting on the fence. I just don’t think you can make a solid prediction until the transfer window closes. For the Guardian, I went 1) City 2) United 3) Chelsea 4) Arsenal but then you look at United’s injury problems last season, the fact Vidic is back and they might have Van Persie too . . which would give them the footballer-of-the-year and his runner-up in the same team, with 68 goals between them last season. So basically I’ll go for the four I have already selected, but if you look in the small print it says I can change my mind on September 1.
Mike Keegan, Sports News Correspondent for the Manchester Evening News: 1. City 2. United 3. Arsenal 4. Chelsea
James Ducker, Northern Football Correspondent of The Times newspaper: If United get Robin Van Persie and Nemanja Vidic shows signs of a full recovery, I think they could reclaim the title with City finishing a close second (sorry), Chelsea third and Arsenal fourth, but it will be interesting to see what the final few weeks of the transfer window throw up first.
Alistair Mann, Match of the Day and CityTV commentator: While I couldn’t predict the order in which they’ll finish, I would be staggered if City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal aren’t the top four.
Jamie Jackson, Manchester football correspondent for the Guardian and Observer: City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea
Chris Cohen, Presenter and producer for Sky, ESPN and more: I’m biased, obviously, but I really think Chelsea have a good chance this season. I’m going to go for the very biased: 1) Chelsea 2) United 3) City 4) Arsenal
Gabriele Marcotti, writer and pundit for The Times, Corriere dello Sport, ESPN and more: Not sure. How about City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal? But the end of the transfer window could change a lot of things.
Editor’s note: All answers were given before Manchester United agreed a deal to sign Robin Van Persie.