The teams mentioned in part one are the squads who I believe will flirt with relegation this season, some merely casting a saucy look while three others will wind up getting it pregnant behind the middle school. Though
EVERTON: They’re in pretty nasty shape at the moment but always finish strong. Including Drenthe in the first eleven will provide them with a sense of innovation so far lacking. With Coleman tearing along the sideline and Fellaini predatory in the center of the park Drenthe should have a decent amount of space to practice his witchcraft. They still have little in the way of goal scorers, but their midfield depth and typically solid central defense, not to mention the Dudley Moore stylings of adventurous wingback Leighton Baines, will see them through, albeit in a lower position than in the past few seasons.
FULHAM: Thank Gaia they snatched up Bryan Ruiz. That he should flop for them and not Spurs, who wisely avoided the Costa Rican, is a mitzvah. At over 10 million Euros and still unable to displace the persistently beyond-their-depth up-front duo of Andy “The Bald Damien Duff” Johnson and Bobby Zamora, I could see a Mauro Boselli-esque failure on the cards. His chipped goal against Everton was a rare bright spot. No matter who coaches them they’re still built to draw rather than to win, a lack of ambition that paints them as more of a Championship-level squad. Maybe a switch to Serie A would help? They’re essentially the Chievo of West London at this point. I’m pretty sure Brede Hangeland’s nickname is “The Flying Donkey”.
STOKE CITY: Stoke are for real. Clearly evolving from the Neanderthal template of their first few years in the Premier League, these homos erectus have incorporated enough Lilliputian ingenuity into their land-of-giants framework to make a case for a strong, perhaps top-8 finish. Pennant and Etherington work very well on the wings, crossing into the likes of Crouchy and Kenwyne Jones. Looming without being lumbering both up front and in the back, their spine is something of a concern as they lack a real playmaker in the middle.
WEST BROM: Shane Long is out for a while, which hurts them a lot but coming off consecutive local derby wins and getting the killer Peter Odemwingie back should paper the cracks. I think that Foster is a terribly underrated keeper, though the number of rad saves he makes may be something of a consequence of WBA’s suspect rearguard. They’ll have to make do with Brunt or Cox playing off Odemwingie until Long returns but this is a squad with a very nice combination of young talent and old bastards who have nothing better to do.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: I think we can finish fourth this year, above
CHELSEA, MANCHESTER UNITED AND MANCHESTER CITY: They will all probably stay up. Right?