Premier League Guide Part III

Premier League Guide Part III

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Ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season, this is the third part of a comprehensive preview of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, and their goals for the season ahead.

The Blues won their fourth Premier League title with three games to spare last season, their first since 2010, and the third under Jose Mourinho’s leadership.

But after yet another summer of intense transfer business, along with three new teams, we round up the key info and goals of all of the six N-S clubs that Chelsea will face in the next campaign:

Newcastle

Manager: Steve McClaren – Ground: St. James Park (280 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 15th (39 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: MID-TABLE

DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: QUARTER FINALS

After last season’s near miss, new boss McClaren will simply be hoping to do better than his predecessor, John Carver. The signings the former Derby boss has made show intent to do much better than what the Toon did last season. McClaren is not a bad manager, and Newcastle not a bad club. They have what it takes to survive, but with the effort needed to make sure the club do better next season, cup football means less.

 

Norwich

Manager: Alex Neil – Ground: Carrow Road (124 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: Promoted through Championship play-offsSQUAD RATING: 6

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: AVOID RELEGATION

DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS

At 34 years old, Neil is now the youngest manager in the Premier League. He is unbeaten away from home, despite joining the Canaries in January. This record is great, but the Scot’s lack of experience at this level, mixed with the club’s relative lack of transfer activity this season, may spell doom for the club this year. The side from East Anglia, despite returning to the top flight at the first time of asking, will be happy to avoid going back from whence they came this season. That in mind, mixed with the club’s poor cup form in recent years, means that a cup run won’t be of top priority for the Yellows this year.

 

Southampton

Manager: Ronald Koeman – Ground: St. Marys (77 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 7th (60 points) – SQUAD RATING: 8

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE

DOMESTIC CUP GOAL: QUARTER FINALS

EUROPEAN GOALS: GET THROUGH THE GROUP STAGES

Southampton were, if anything, the black horses of the league last season. They lost most of their best players, and doom seemed certain. But, Koeman somehow steered them to the prospect of Europa League football this year, and the new signings for the club aren’t too bad either. Losing Nathaniel Clyne wasn’t great, but the Saints will want to repeat their feats again in the new campaign. More domestic cup success may be expected on the south coast, but anything achieved in Europe will be a landmark.

 

Stoke City

Manager: Mark Hughes – Ground: Britannia Stadium (162 miles from Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 9th (54 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: EUROPA LEAGUE

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS

After their relatively impressive season last year, ‘Stokealona’ may have what it takes to reach a Europa League spot. If not, they will want one anyway. Their transfer business this summer has been shrewd, and thus shows real intent to achieve. But, if this doesn’t happen, they will want domestic cup success.

 

Sunderland

Manager: Dick Avocaat – Ground: Stadium of Light (278 miles from Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 16th (38 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: MID-TABLE

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS

Like their northern neighbours, Sunderland will want a much more secure season that what they had last season. Avocaat’s tears last season were touching, but won’t do much to stop the Black Cats being relegated if they don’t have a much better season. The club have made plenty of signings, which will help. If the Dutch boss can save the club with a few months remaining, he can do much more in a full campaign.

 

Swansea City

Manager: Garry Monk – Ground: Liberty Stadium (187 miles from Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 8th(56 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS

Jose Mourinho has praised Monk recently – and let’s be honest, it was warranted. Monk stepped in from a player role, and has done a brilliant job in south Wales. The squad he has isn’t too bad, and he knows how to utilise the players in it. With this in mind, the Swans will look to improve on their eight-placed finish last season – a Europa League spot is very much achievable. Cup success may also be a more realistic target.