Football (soccer) fever

The World Cup sparks interest in the Premier League from viewers in the United States.

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Staff

Joseph Silver, Move Editor

Note: I will be calling soccer by it’s proper name of football from here on out in this blog.

Football fever has plagued the states since the national team’s stellar performance in the World Cup came to an abrupt end. Lucky for us, the boys across the pond are about to kick off their season.

The Premier League of England and Wales starts Sunday, and it features 110 players from the World Cup including champions Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, all from Arsenal, and Andre Schurrle from Chelsea.

Arguably the most competitive league in the world, the Premier League will give you all the action and drama you saw at the World Cup this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited for it’s start.

I love the sport. It’s more than just a game, it’s a brotherhood; a universal language for everyone in the world, connecting people with a common love (or hatred) toward a team. And there is a whole lot of both love and hate in the Premier League. I want to share my love for the sport and the league with you.

I’ve played football since I was four years old, although I don’t play competitively anymore. My whole family loves the game. My great-grandfather, Jimmy Roe, played for many amateur clubs around St. Louis, and even got called up to the national team in 1937. So football runs in my family.

I love watching beautiful football. I love watching the play build up, watching good defense, seeing a great pass, watching a great run, seeing smoke bombs in the stands, hearing the crowds chants even if it is only through a tv. I love watching the Premier League.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected] or tweet me (@joey_silver44).

PREDICTIONS:

1st – Manchester City – With the capability to play two complete and very competitive squads, I see Man City lifting the trophy in the end. With players like Stevan Jovetić, Sergio Agüero, Samir Nasri, Frank Lampard, and David Silva, there is no reason the City shouldn’t win.

2nd – Chelsea – A very strong side this year, I see the Blues getting second. Bringing in Diego Costa and Didier Drogba should tremendously help them win some games, assuming they don’t park the bus this year. Manager Jose Mourinho fits well at Chelsea, and brings the best out of his players.

3rd – Manchester United – After a very disappointing season last year under David Moyes, I think the Red Devils will finish third this year. Louis Van Gaal has brought in young Spaniard Ander Herrera to help bolster their midfield and 19-year-old wing back Luke Shaw. But after finishing seventh last season, United has lost many valuable players like Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, but with Van Gaal looking to clear out a few players like the walking tree, Marouane Fellaini, it’ll clear up space for more good signings.

4th – Everton – The Toffees have flourished under manager Roberto Martinez and finished in the Euro League spot last season. Everton have a very good midfield with a lot of potential and a lot of depth. Signing forward Romelu Lukaku was a huge success for Everton, and with midfielder Darron Gibson returning from injury, I see them getting a Champions League spot this season. American Tim Howard is backing them up in goal, and he was a huge part in Everton reaching fifth last season, posting 15 shutouts.

5th – Arsenal – I see the Gunners placing fifth this season. They have a tremendously strong team, but I think they lack the depth needed to compete in both Champions League and the Premier League. Arsene Wenger did a great job bringing in Alexis Sanchez, but he’s notorious for not spending much money on bringing players in.

6th – Tottenham Hotspur – The spurs have great depth in defense, and have a lot of good young players in the midfield. They are a top club in the Premier League and will be looking to break the top five this year.

7th – Liverpool – With the sale of stars forward Luis Suarez and goalkeeper Jose Reina, I think they’ll have a difficult time trying to replace them. Forward Daniel Sturridge had a breakout year with 21 goals in 29 appearances in the Premier League (35 goals in 49 appearances in all competition.) He and Suarez had a great relationship on the field, and with Suarez gone, I see a decline in Sturridge’s goal scoring this season. Also, Liverpool are in Champions League this year, and with that busy schedule, they’ll have a difficult time being competitive in both.

8th – Newcastle United – Newcastle have proved they can hang in with the top dogs and finish strong. They have quality depth in all aspects of the field and look to finish in a better position than last season.

9th – Stoke City – The potters also have some decent depth players to their squad, but will look to get the majority of their points from the bottom half of the table. I can see them getting a few points from the top half, but they’ll be lucky to draw them.

10th – Swansea – I think that the swans will be a force to reckon with this season. Finishing 12th last season, I see them improving even more this year.

11th –  Aston Villa – With backers Shay Given and Brad Guzan, I think Villa will do well this season. After a disappointing campaign last season, finishing in 15th, they’ll look to impress this season.

12th – Sunderland – The Black Cats have a great defense, and unless they get some more firepower up top, they won’t see many wins this season. It’ll be a defensive effort this year for them.

The rest of the league is too close to call in what place they’ll finish, so I will not predict them.