The Premier League rollercoaster is ready to start once again for the 2012/2013 season. Manchester will do battle, with Alex Ferguson keen for United to silence noisy neighbours City.
Re-built Chelsea will hope to build on Champions League glory. The signings of Hazard, Oscar and Marin will add more guile to the girt.
Expect the usual suspects such as Rooney, Silva and Mata to once again cause defences across the country nightmares.
This is my team to watch for the 2012/13 season, that didn’t feature so prominently last time round.
Adam Federici (Reading)
Ever present last season in Reading’s championship winning side. Federici was a massive part of the tightest defence in the league. Australian international Federici, kept 20 clean sheets in 46 matches. Federici will be much busier this season but the excellent shot stopper won’t disappoint.
Daniel Agger (Liverpool)
There is plenty of transfer talk surrounding Daniel Agger with Manchester City interested. Regardless of whether Agger is at Liverpool or City, expect a big season for the Danish defender. New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, will make Liverpool tight defensive and will encourage play to build from the back. Comfortable on the ball and strong in defensive, Agger will excel under Rodgers style. Liverpool on average only concedes 0.75 goals per game with Agger in the side. Expect clean sheets.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
After a shaky beginning to life in the Premier League, Koscielny has grown massively as player. Manager Arsene Wenger described his development as “absolutely exceptional”. Rewarded with a long term contract last month, Arsenal will look to Koscielny to be their rock at the back. Koscielny earned himself a place in the French squad for Euro 2012. Expect to see Koscielny’s pace and strength get Arsenal out of trouble on various occasions next season.
Make or break season for Brazilian full back Fabio. He has always been held in high regard at Old Trafford. Brother Rafael has broken through to the Manchester United first team and featured in Brazil Olympic team. Fabio has gone on loan to QPR to get much needed Premier League experience. With not much competition in the left back spot, Fabio will feature. A player rated so highly by Alex Ferguson will surely shine given the chance. If all goes to plan, Fabio could replace Patrice Evra in United’s side next season.
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Goal scoring midfielder Adam Lallana has been one of the biggest reasons for Southampton’s rise from League 1 to Premier League. Scoring 11 goals in 41 appearances was enough to be included in the Championship team of the year. Southampton will look to get the ball to England under 21 international Lallana, as often as possible. Don’t be surprised to see Lallana’s name on the scoresheet next season.
Shiniji Kagawa (Manchester United)
13 goals and eight assists in Borussia Dortmund’s league winning team was enough for Alex Ferguson to come calling. The Japanese playmaker could be just the man that United have been missing. In a midfield lacking creativity, Ferguson had to drag 37-year-old Paul Scholes out of retirement. Kagawa will provide Manchester United with much needed goals from midfield. Over a quarter of Dortmund’s goal last season involved Kagawa. If it is United that come out on top come May, expect Kagawa to be a nomination for player of the season.
Lucas Leiva (Liverpool)
The man missed so badly by Liverpool last season is back. The Brazilian was ruled out with cruciate ligament injury from the end of November. Back two months earlier than expected, Lucas had played a role in Liverpool pre season games. Scoring in the last friendly against Bayern Leverkusen will fill the midfielder with confidence. Lucas could be instrumental in Brendan Rodgers plans of playing attractive football. The Brazilian will thrive in Rodgers passing style play.
Gylfi Siguardsson (Tottenham)
After turning down Swansea and then Liverpool, Siguardsson made his move to Tottenham. Many said the move was money motivated but it was the perfect move for Icelandic star. Siguardsson is at his brilliant best in a free role behind the striker where he can pull the strings. Tottenham tend to play a 4-5-1 formation with a man in behind the striker. This is the role Siguardsson has been signed for. Not only will Siguardsson chip in with at least 10 goals he will set up numerous chances for others. A must have for your fantasy football dream team.
Moussa Dembele (Fulham)
Linked with the biggest clubs in the world such as Manchester United and Real Madrid during the summer. Fulham looked to have kept their prize asset. The 25-year-old will be the key man in Martin Jol’s side this season. Once Jol moved Dembele into central midfield, Fulham really got the best out of the Belgium star. Creative with an eye for goal, Dembele will hope to improve on his tally of 2 goals last season. Should Dembele improve his goal tally, the big clubs will come calling.
Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
Once regarded as the best striker in the world, Fernando Torres has had a tough 18 months since joining Chelsea. With Didier Drogba leaving Torres will be Chelsea’s main man. Torres has flourished in this role at both Athletico Madrid and Liverpool. Towards the end of last season, Torres looked sharper but the goals still didn’t really come. Chelsea has signed more creative players during the summer which Torres will benefit from. Torres will be back in the goals this season.
Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
Champions City hasn’t made the big name signings they would have liked this summer, with Jack Rodwell as the only arrival so far. Manchester City will feel like they have added a new player to their squad in Carlos Tevez. Missing nearly all of last season after that moment in Munich, Tevez is back and looking hungry. Noises coming from the City camp are saying Tevez has trained hard over the summer and he will be back to his best. Throw Carlos Tevez into the Premier League Champions line up and it’s hard to see anyone beating City this season.