Saturday, 12 January 2013

Premier League Mid Season Review - Part 4

With the Premier League season more than well and truly underway, it is time to have a look at each club and how they're doing and where they're on (or off!) course to finish.

Southampton currently sit in 17th place and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. They do however have a game in hand which could give them a nice little gap between them and the drop. So far this season they haven't done too bad considering they're a newly promoted team. If you look at Reading who are 5 points behind them and don't have a game in hand then you would say they were in a much worse position than the saints. I'm sure that Adkins will be pleased to be keeping up so far as staying out the relegation zone for as long as possible helps, especially for team morale. 

They had a 5-1 thumping by Chelsea in the FA Cup recently but I don't think that will get them down as they can now focus on the league and the most important thing about it for them, staying up. In Gaston Ramirez I think they have a really good and under rated player, I'm surprised they didn't face more competition as I thought he was really impressive at the Olympics and I think he will be very important as to whether they stay up or not.

If you look at their results then you will see that they have definitely improved over the season. There are no games where they have conceded more than 3 and failed to score after they were beaten 4-1 at West Ham. They got a good win against Newcastle,  a narrow loss to Sunderland and a good draw against Norwich. This is promising as if you can limit teams to not scoring many then you could always go and nick a goal to win it as that's all it needs.

In conclusion, I think Southampton could very possibly go down. They will certainly be scrapping at the end of the season but so will other teams. I fancy them to just about stay up in the last few games of the season.

Stoke City
Stoke are sitting nicely in 10th position at the time of writing and have a healthy 3 point lead at least on the teams below them. I think this will be seen as positive for the potters as they are now a well consolidated Premier League team who are there every season now. What they will really want to do is make a small improvement on their league position each season. They tend to finish between 11th and 15th so obviously, being comfortably 10th at the moment is something to be happy about. 

It is a well documented fact that going to the Britannia Stadium and bringing back 3 points is a very difficult job. Although they don't lose many at home, they do seem to be drawing a few too many. If they could just convert 1 or 2 of those draws into wins then I think they could really rise up the table with their hard working away performances too. Their most impressive result to date this season has been their 3-1 win against Liverpool. In this game they really bullied Liverpool and this countered all the skill and guile of players like Suarez. In the end they were deserved winners on the day and looked a really good team, another indication of how hard to beat they are at home. 

In conclusion, they are definitely safe from the drop and I think they will finish in 10th or 11th this season, however if they can pick up a few more home wins rather than draws then the sky's the limit.

Sunderland have had a strange season so far with a lot of ups and downs. They were languishing down in the lower reaches of the table earlier on in the season and struggling to score goals unless they came from Steven Fletcher. They seemed to have picked up and had a mini revival after many called for O'neill's head. The Tyneside club picked up wins against Southampton and most impressively Manchester City which really got people talking. Since then however they suffered a rather lowly 3-0 loss at Anfield where they never really looked like they were in the game and it was more of a question of how many for Liverpool.

Sunderland currently sit in 14th place at the time of writing and are only 4 points above the relegation zone. They have had some rather bad form at home after losing to Aston Villa, West Brom and Middlesbrough in the cup. 

I don't think the squad has enough quality in it and this is not helped by the form of Stephan Sessegnon who shone last season but has only shown glimpses of recreating that form which terrorised defenders when he ran at them. Their purchase of former Manchester City man was a good one and I think he will do well for them however he needs some support, he cannot do it on his own. Sunderland need to bring in some more attacking class and become a real threat to teams when they go forward.

In conclusion, I can't see Sunderland going down however I can see them getting dragged into the relegation battle. I do however think that if anyone can steer them clear of the drop then it would be Martin O'neill as he has the experience and knows what it takes.

Swansea have had a brilliant season so far and have lots to cheer about. After losing Scott Sinclair, Joe Allen and most importantly Brendan Rodgers, it all looked like it might go downhill for the Welsh club. However they bought in Michael Laudrup who has excelled in his spell so far. His knowledge of the Spanish league has meant he has been able to bring in some real gems to the Liberty Stadium. The most well known has obviously been the Spanish sensation Michu but Pablo Hernandez, Chico Flores and De Guzman have also been very impressive in my opinion.

Swansea got off to a blistering start and then dipped slightly but it all looks rosy again after a brilliant win away at Chelsea in the Capital One Cup that all but guarantees a place at Wembley in the final against either Bradford or Villa who are both more than beatable. This means they have a great chance to get some silverware, an amazing achievement for a club who were in the Championship a few seasons ago and are now comfortably in the top half of the Premier League and a cup final.

In conclusion, I think Swansea have been great so far and are a testimony to how you don't need to splash the cash to do really well, Laudrup has done a fantastic job, exciting times for Swansea fans!

How do you think these teams have done so far? Tell us in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

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