10. Liverpool will win the 2010-11 Premier League title.
It is a quite a leap from seventh but in May 2009 Liverpool finished four points behind champions Manchester United. Outside of Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, that team remains largely unchanged.
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have always been heavily relied upon but the additions of Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic should ease their burden. Javier Mascherano may be on his way out but it seems like no one around Anfield is begging him stay.
Liverpool suffered through a devastating number of injuries last season as Torres, Gerrard, Daniel Agger, and Glen Johnson missed significant periods of the season and the club got very little out of £20m signing Alberto Aquilani. It was really a season in which everything that could go wrong, went wrong.
It is my belief that Roy Hodgson will instill a new belief into the Liverpool squad. Rafael Benitez was a tremendously successful manager for the Reds but his methods had gone stale and the Hodgson will bring a breath of fresh air and renew Liverpool's confidence.
Cole will flourish in a more significant role than at Chelsea and prove to be a hit at Anfield. Torres should produce the best season yet of his Liverpool career as Cole will unlock defenses and Gerrard will be back to his usually commanding self in his preferred central midfield role.
Manchester United will finish a close second but Sir Alex Ferguson's patience in the underwhelming Dimitar Berbatov will be something he will regret. Chicharito Hernandez will fit in easily as I've mentioned and if Michael Owen is fit he can guarantee goals. Still, United need another top striker to take the pressure off of Rooney. The club is full of aging stars like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar, and Rio Ferdinand. Darren Fletcher was tremendous last season and Darron Gibson could have a similar break-out this year but the Red Devils need more younger options to make up for their old squad.
Arsenal will be boosted greatly but Cesc Fabregas staying and the arrival of Marouane Chamakh but the squad looks thin. Arsene Wenger refuses to spend big money on transfers and the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, and Carlos Vela are greatly overrated players. Manuel Almunia is not the sort of keeper that will win you the Premier League and Wenger needs to sign a top-notch no. 1.
Chelsea will greatly miss the influence of Michael Ballack and Deco. Their experience is hard to replace as is that of Joe Cole. Cole's departure will be the most significant loss for the Blues as his vision and skill is matched by few worldwide. Yossi Benayoun has been signed from Liverpool as a replacement but doesn't possess the quality near Cole.
Despite their ridiculous spending, Manchester City still lack a creative central midfielder and their defence is suspect. It will be tough for Roberto Mancini to keep everyone happy as the many egos at the club will clash. The Citizens tend to be deep some positions but are weak in others and the entire squad is unbalanced.
Tottenham will learn that a deep squad is needed to compete in both the Premier League and Champions League. Harry Redknapp will scramble over the final weeks of the transfer window to try to assemble that sort of team but Spurs simply aren't ready for the big time.
Aston Villa will suffer a rough season without Martin O'Neill at the helm and the likelihood that prized asset James Milner will be sold. West Ham will have an unexpectedly good season after just surviving relegation the previous year and Arvam Grant will guide them to a near mid-table finish.
I see Newcastle and West Brom having strong enough squads to stave off relegation. Blackpool is a certainty to go down and despite Mick McCarthy's fine managerial abilities, Wolves will join them. Wigan's squad looks bare and Roberto Martinez is a fine manager but will not be able to save them from the drop.
1. Liverpool (Champions)
2. Manchester United (UEFA CL)
3. Arsenal (UEFA CL)
4. Chelsea (UEFA CL)
5. Manchester City (Europa League)
6. Tottenham Hotspur (Europa League)
7. Everton (Europa League)
9. Aston Villa
10. Blackburn Rovers
11. West Ham United
13. Birmingham City
14. Stoke City
15. Newcastle United
16. Bolton Wanders
17. West Bromwich Albion
18. Wigan Athletic (Relegated)
19. Wolverhampton Wanderers (Relegated)
20. Blackpool (Relegated)