Le Tissier's picks

United will fall just short this year, says Le Tissier

Last Updated: 13/08/09 11:21am

Le Tisser: backing Owen

The Premier League season is just around the corner - and once again Soccer Saturday will guide you through all of the twists and turns.

Jeff Stelling and the boys will be on your screens every Saturday to talk you through one of the most intriguing seasons in the history of the Premier League and there are plenty of questions to be answered.

Will Manchester United hold onto their title in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo or will there be another name on the Premier League trophy in May? Can Manchester City gatecrash the top four or will we see a surprise name in contention for the Champions League spots?

Who will be scrapping it out at the bottom? Which player will bag the most goals? Which summer transfer deals will provide the best value and which signings will we be laughing at by the end of the campaign?

We asked the stars of Soccer Saturday to gaze into their crystal balls and give us their views on what we can expect in 2009/10 - as well as letting us know what they've been up to on their summer holidays.

Matt Le Tissier is the latest to step up to the plate and you can read his thoughts below...

CHAMPIONS - Chelsea
Chelsea, because they gained the psychological advantage by winning the Community Shield. Now for the real reason, which is quite simply that Manchester United will miss Cristiano Ronaldo.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOTS - Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal
United will come second, they'll come up just a little bit short this year, but they'll still be too strong for Liverpool and Arsenal. The loss of Xabi Alonso will be a huge blow for Liverpool, he was extremely close to being their best player last season so to lose him is a massive blow.

FIFTH - Man City
If Man City miss out on fifth they'll consider that a massive disappointment I would have thought after the dough that's been shelled out. I think it'll be close for fifth, Aston Villa will be there or thereabouts, Spurs have strengthened significantly and Everton can't be ruled out. But I'll stick my neck out and say Man City.

SURPRISE PACKAGE - Tottenham
I think Spurs might shake things up a little bit. Considering they spent most of last season fighting relegation, I think they'll run Man City really close for fifth this year.

GOING DOWN - Burnley, Hull, Birmingham
Burnley, Hull and Birmingham. I'm yet to be convinced by the quality of Birmingham's signings. At Southampton we once shelled out our second biggest transfer fee on an Ecuadorian centre forward and he... wasn't the best.

GOLDEN BOOT - Fernando Torres
If Fernando Torres stays fit all season it will be very tough to beat him. However, I also think if Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka play every game one of them will be right up there as well. That's the problem with predicting the golden boot, a large part of it comes down to who stays fit and who doesn't get rotated too much. I'll go with Torres.

BEST BUY - Michael Owen
This may surprise a few but I think Michael Owen is a snip on a free transfer. If he can play half the games this season and nick 15 goals, that'll be a fantastic bit of business. I would think Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney will start together, but you know United's forward line - Ferguson always mixes it up a bit. I don't think Ferguson has the same strength in depth as last season so Owen has a huge role to play.

BONKERS BUY - Darren Bent
This one didn't take place but I think £40 million for Franck Ribery would have been a barking buy. I don't think he's worth that kind of dough. But as for one that actually did happen, Sunderland spending all that money on Darren Bent.

HOW HAS YOUR PRE-SEASON TRAINING GONE
My pre-season was very average, I could probably do with losing a few stone before the season starts!