Premier League Preview: Part 2

For the first part of Hit Row Z’s Premier League Preview, click here.

So we’ve discussed who has had the best summer so far and the biggest stories of the transfer window – but let’s turn our attention to on the pitch issues. Which club do you think will be the surprise package this year?

Adam Widdrington: Given the signings they’ve made, I’d have to say Norwich City. Chris Hughton has been quietly going about his business almost under the radar as opposed to the very public Bale, Suarez, Rooney and Fabregas sagas.

Fer, van Wolfswinkel, Hooper and Redmond are all very shrewd buys, not to mention the permanent signing of Javier Garrido after an impressive season last year. I only expect them to better their very admirable 11th place finish in 2012/13.

James Bailey: I think Norwich will do well, and I’ve previously mentioned how well I think they’ve done their business in the transfer market. That said, I don’t think they’ll improve on their 11th place finish from last season.

Instead, my surprise package will be Lambert’s Villa. Let’s not forget they were a couple of games from relegation, but Lambert and the young guys managed to dig in and find the quality to pull away in the final weeks. The importance of retaining Benteke cannot be underestimated, and I think the promise the likes of Weiman, Westwood and others showed last season suggests a decent season is in the offing for the Villains.

Ben Harrison: I’m optimistic for Norwich too, but it’s Southampton for me. I think they were very impressive at times last season, and now Mauricio Pochettino has had a summer to drill the team with his methods, as well as add a bit of extra quality in the shape of Victor Wanyama, I think they could be on for a top 10 finish this season.

And following on from that, which player do you think will be the surprise package this year?

BH: It’s an extremely big season players across the league, given it’s a World Cup year. With that in mind, I think Andy Carroll will remind us why he was once heralded as England’s future number 9, with some strong performances for West Ham and plenty of goals.

He might be rough around the edges, but he was very effective at Newcastle, and if he can stay injury free, I expect he will recapture that form under Big Sam.

AW: I’d have to say Nicolas Anelka. Great signing for West Brom who have a void to fill given Lukaku’s return to parent club Chelsea. It will be Anelka’s 6th Premier League club in total which just shows the vast experience he can bring to this side. He has also won league titles and FA Cups in England scoring over 100 goals in the process. Quite simply, he’s a steal for Steve Clarke.  

JB: I’m going to go for Ross Barkley. I think this could be the year that the talented youngster establishes his credentials as a strong first team player. In Callum McManamum, Roberto Martinez has demonstrated his willingness to give youth a chance, and I thoroughly expect to see Barkley take it.

One name – who will finish top goalscorer?

JB: Sergio Aguero

BH: Luis Suarez

AW: Sergio Aguero

Interestingly, no sign of RVP or any of the many new strikers who will be making their debuts in the Premier League this season. I’m sure these predictions will all get thrown back in our faces over the course of the season, but that’s the fickle game of predictions for you! I, for one, look forward to the ‘those Hit Row Z boys really know nothing about football’ comments.

Watch out for the final part of our Premier League Preview next week, on the eve of the 2013/14 season. I can almost smell the Bovril…


  1. […] Read Part Two of the Hit Row Z Premier League Preview here. […]

  2. […] Premier League Preview Part 1 Premier League Preview Part 2 […]

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