Kammy's PL picks
The Premier League season is upon us. Soccer Saturday's Chris Kamara gives us his tips.
Last Updated: 15/08/08 10:14am
It's a dangerous game, making pre-season predictions. But with just days to go before the big kick-off in the Premier League, the Soccer Saturday gang have gallantly agreed to put their necks - and their credibility - on the line.
Who will lift the Premier League trophy in May? Which manager has made the shrewdest buy? Who is most likely to do a Derby?
And which member of the panel has been hogging the sun-loungers all summer?
Read on as the finest pundits on the box use their encyclopaedic football knowledge to predict the new season's stars, strugglers and stragglers, as well as give each other some gentle ribbing!
Chris Kamara returns to your screens for Soccer Saturday this weekend and he gave us his top tips for the new campaign.
Under normal circumstances I'd say Manchester United no problem, but it's hard to tell because we just don't know how Luiz Felipe Scolari is going to react. We don't know what style he's going to adopt and how evident he's going to be at Chelsea, much like we didn't know what impact Jose Mourinho was going to have in his first season. Scolari says he's going to go one better than Jose, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I'd say it's between the two of them and we're just going to have to wait and see.
Champions League spots
It will be hard for anybody to break into the top four and I think we'll see the same teams in the Champions League spots. Manchester United and Chelsea will be the top two with Liverpool third, the signing of Robbie Keane will be a very good one for them. I think Arsenal's lack of buying rules them out of the title race, but I can't see Portsmouth or Spurs finishing ahead of them this season.
Fit for fifth
I think it's between Portsmouth and Spurs. I like the fact that Harry improves his team every season and that's a difficult thing for a manager to achieve. Last year they did great, but he hasn't sat back and stuck with the players who did well for him, he's added to it. Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe didn't play well in the Community Shield, but is an improvement on what they had last year.
Afonso Alves will be the surprise of the Premier League this year. He's won the golden boot in Holland and was Middlesbrough's second top scorer even though he didn't play in that many games last season. Like 90 per cent of the foreign players who come into this country, he'll take a season to settle. He's only been here since January and I think he'll do well this season.
I think every team has a fantastic chance of survival when they start the season. I didn't tip relegation sides last year and I'm glad I didn't because I wouldn't have expected Birmingham to go down and Reading's relegation was a surprise. Only Derby was a bit of a foregone conclusion after a month of the season. It's too early to be writing any of the teams off and it's one market I'm not going to be sticking my neck out on.
Fernando Torres is a shoe-in. Cristiano Ronaldo won't score as many goals as he did last season, that's for certain, Emmanuel Adebayor won't score as many goals and Didier Drogba may have to share the goals with Nicolas Anelka at Chelsea. So I feel Torres is a certainty because he'll play much more at the start of this season. You can get about 4/1 on him at the bookies and you'll have to wait a season, but you'll collect on that one
I'm looking forward to seeing Deco in the Premier League because he'll change Chelsea from a defensive side to an offensive side. Under Mourinho and Avram Grant they've always played with a holding midfield player, but if they play Deco alongside Frank Lampard or Michael Ballack then it will make them a much more offensive outfit which could be quite exciting.
The one that baffled me was Kevin Phillips leaving West Brom for the sake of a two-year deal. The thing about Phillips is that he wants to play and West Brom should have given him the deal. If by January he was struggling to score goals, they could have easily offloaded him because all the sides in the Championship know he'll score goals at that level. Saying that, it will prove to be Birmingham City's gain
Soccer Saturday summer slacker
That's easy - it's Stelling of course. He's the fattest of the lot and every time you look at him it's like you're watching in widescreen. I saw him falling off the stage on Sky Sports News earlier this week because he's so fat!