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(Fictional) predictions for the 2015/16 English football season

Written by
Time Out KL contributors

Can Chelsea retain the Premier League title? Will Falcao ever score again? Ken W gives a fictional look at the coming months of the 2015/16 English football season

Peep peep… And we’re off! The opening weekend’s biggest shock comes at Old Trafford, where Spurs comprehensively outclass Manchester United. Spurs goalscorer Harry Kane credits his club’s stellar pre-season preparations for the huge result. ‘The match in Malaysia back in May really did us good,’ says the England international.
Key games Manchester City vs Chelsea, Aug 16, 11pm; Arsenal vs Liverpool, Aug 25, 3am.

Petr Cech, the Arsenal summer signing, makes an emotional return to his former club, Chelsea, where the experienced Czech Republic international spent 11 trophy-laden years and established himself as one of the world’s premier goalkeepers. Cech goes on to save two Eden Hazard penalties and produce a splendid performance to condemn his ex-employers to a rare home defeat at Stamford Bridge. ‘I finally beat José Mourinho!’ exclaims a jubilant Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, who had yet to taste victory in 13 previous attempts against the Chelsea maestro.
Key games Manchester United vs Liverpool, Sep 13, 12.30am; Chelsea vs Arsenal, Sep 19, 7.45pm.

Brendan Rodgers is sacked by Liverpool following a demoralising 5-0 Merseyside-derby drubbing at the hands of city rivals Everton and is swiftly replaced by Rafa Benítez, who himself was only relieved of his duties at Real Madrid a few days earlier. Benítez, a former Liverpool manager who barely lasted six months at Real, vows to bring back the feel-good factor to Anfield. ‘We will win the title,’ proclaims the Spaniard. They don’t.
Key games Everton vs Liverpool, Oct 3, 10pm; Manchester United vs Manchester City, Oct 24, 10pm.

Tyrone Mings, from promoted Bournemouth, and West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell earn surprise call-ups to the England squad for their country’s friendly against France. ‘We have a few good leftbacks and no decent left wingers,’ is much-ridiculed England manager Roy Hodgson’s explanation for also including Everton’s Leighton Baines, Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand and Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal – a repeat of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s failed Ashley Cole-Wayne Bridge experiment more than a decade ago. France goes on to overwhelm a flat-footed England 3-0.
Key games Arsenal vs Spurs, Nov 7, 11pm; Manchester City vs Liverpool, Nov 21, 11pm.

Manchester City, having been once again drawn in the Champions League’s so-called Group of Death, are eliminated from the leading European club competition after a disastrous group-stage campaign. ‘Why always us?’ asks a beleaguered Manuel Pellegrini, the City manager whose luckless team shared the same group as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Key games Arsenal vs Manchester City, Dec 19, 11pm; Watford vs Spurs, Dec 28, 11pm.

Leicester City prove to be this season’s surprise package, with summer signing Shinji Okazaki playing a starring role in the Foxes’ unexpected rise up the table. The burly Japanese striker is immediately linked with a big-money move away from the King Power Stadium in the winter transfer window, but ultimately opts to stay by rejecting a £50million move to Chelsea. ‘Did you see what they did to [Fernando] Torres?’ was all the former Mainz had to say about the spurned Chelsea offer.
Key games Liverpool vs Arsenal, Jan 13, 4am; Liverpool vs Manchester United, Jan 16, 11pm.

The Carling Cup final pits Southampton against Newcastle United. In a dramatic penalty shootout, Jack Colback fires the winning penalty to gift Newcastle its first trophy of note since 1969 – and ultimately, its freedom. Newcastle’s much-reviled owner Mike Ashley, who stated in May that the club would only be sold if and when they win a title, is forced out of St James’ Park as a result of the Carling Cup win, prompting wild celebrations in Tyneside. ‘I’ll remember my nine years at Newcastle with fondness,’ says the unpopular billionaire. He’ll be the only one.
Key games Chelsea vs Manchester United, Feb 6, 10pm; Manchester United vs Arsenal, Feb 27, 10pm.

José Mourinho, in his latest outburst against referees, rivals and things in general, claims that the Premier League is merely a popularity contest. ‘I feel unloved,’ sulks the illustrious Chelsea manager. ‘It’s always Chelsea this, Chelsea that. What about José? Won’t somebody please think about José?’ Somewhere in Manchester, Yaya Touré nods in agreement.
Key games Bournemouth vs Southampton, Mar 2, 2.45am; Liverpool vs Chelsea, Mar 12, 10pm.

In the season’s finest underdog story, promoted Watford’s Troy Deeney is named the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year following the striker’s stupendous 20-goal debut year in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Steve McClaren and his brolly claim the Manager of the Year gong for leading aforementioned Newcastle to Carling Cup glory and subsequently ridding the league of Mike Ashley.
Key games Chelsea vs Manchester City, Apr 16, 10pm; Chelsea vs Spurs, Apr 30, 10pm.

And the champions are…
Key games Manchester City vs Arsenal, May 7, 10pm; Watford vs Sunderland, May 15, 10pm.

Catch all the actual football action on Fox Sports, Ch 812, and SuperSport, Ch 810. Visit for latest updates.

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