Three days! Just three days till real football’s back!

You can try as hard as you like to be all insouciant and calculated and bang on about the Olympics and everything but let’s all just get giddy and celebrate the fact that the best,  most beautiful, ugliest, most exciting sport in the world is properly, properly back in our lives.

Play through the West Brom match on the Xbox, wrestle with the endless permutations presented by the fixture calendar, watch Istanbul again. Rename your cat Brendan, search for Joe Allen clips on YouTube, invent a new song. Whatever gets you through.

If you think football’s sold its soul or lost its way or is just generally not middle-class and scrubbed-up and Olympian enough for you, stop being part of the problem. Enjoy it.

That’s the spirit in which we’ve done our predictions. We’re dead, dead, dead excited. Three days!

In part 2 we’ve got some of TAW’s biggest hitters and a real, actual woman. No wonder we’re giddy. As before, give us your own thoughts in the comments.

 

JIM BOARDMAN (@JimBoardman)

Who’ll win the league?

Manchester Red Devils Inc.

How many points will Liverpool get?

69

Make three wild, baseless predictions (LFC or otherwise)

1. The FA will finally implode and outlaw itself leaving the Premier League to take over football governance in England (and possibly other home nations), ideas for a Champions League format trophy to replace the FA Cup will be mooted.
2. Mark Lawrenson will say something funny, shortly before saying something insightful.
3. Dave Whelan and Mike Ashley will merge, along with everything else they do.

Who’s going down?

Wigan. Sooner or later it’s going to happen, this season could be it.
Stoke. It’s been about time for some time.
Reading. They’ll probably be back again though.

First Premier League managerial departure?

Sam Allardyce.

Which departing Liverpool player will have most success elsewhere (include not yet departed if you like)?

Alberto Aquilani will win some silverware.

Everton. What of them?

They’ll finish 10th and argue amongst themselves about whether or not the club needs new owners but they’ll end the season happy because Jack Rodwell fails at City and Liverpool lose one of the mini-derbies.

 

NEIL ATKINSON (@knox_harrington)

Who’ll win the league?

Can’t look past City. The fixture list has been kind to them with reference to home games after Champions League group games and they now know they can win the league. I think they’ll be aiming for more than ninety points and I don’t think United have the squad to break that barrier and don’t think Chelsea have the manager. United will still be very strong though.

How many points will Liverpool get?

I’m going to be optimistic and go for 68. I think we might get the occasional tonking along the way but I’m still expecting us to have at least three if not four more additions to this squad. 68 is 20 wins, 8 draws and 10 defeats – it’s not a massive task. However, stopping the rot of losing one in three over three seasons is the most important thing. We do that, everything will follow. We look like a side that can pull poor sides apart. That’s the most important thing. The further additions we get will have to be able to be able to supplement the attack and help with that. Injuries worry me but then they’d worry any of our direct rivals – Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle and Everton. If we can take Walcott off Arsenal and they lose van Persie they can be got past. But Wenger knows his onions in this league.

Make three wild, baseless predictions (LFC or otherwise)

Glen Johnson to get double figures in all comps. (He’s already on one – GO ME!)

Liverpool vs United in Amsterdam.

Newcastle to struggle, eventually scraping top half.

Who’s going down?

Norwich, West Brom and QPR.

First Premier League managerial departure?

Tempted to go with DiMatteo but I think Abramovich will hang on for dear life in the hope he can get Guardiola if he waits long enough. This is why Chelsea could end up playing with us, Arsenal etc when they should be with City and United.

Hmmm. Tony Pulis. That should be in my mad shouts!

And I’ll add to it – Benitez to go to Stoke. Knock Newcastle out of my mad shouts, that’s nowhere near wild or baseless enough. Instead get on this – Pulis out, Benitez in and you can all buy me a pint if it happens. (Am now desperate for this to happen).

Which departing Liverpool player will have most success elsewhere (include not yet departed if you like)?

If Adam goes he will look boss on Match Of The Day on one day when we fail to win and look short of inspiration. Then everyone will go – SEE? Carroll will look the part wherever and if he goes. But Dirk is going to be amazing in Turkey. He’s going to Dirk it into the ground. They are going to be building statues of him out of granite within six months.

Everton. What of them?

They’ll do well. I expect a strong start for once. Still a chance Moyes to Spurs comes back but they’ve done decent business so far and should have a bit of depth. No Europe to distract them either. They’ll come top eight.

 

GARETH ROBERTS (@robbohuyton)

Who’ll win the league?

Manchester City. Can only see them getting better unfortunately.

How many points will Liverpool get?

65. Think we’ll be strong at home but still expecting draws and defeats away from Anfield.

Make three wild, baseless predictions (LFC or otherwise)

1. Lucas will score a hat-trick
2. No-one at Anfield will moan this season
3. Everyone will start singing the players’ names before kick off again

Who’s going down?

Southampton, Reading and Norwich.

First Premier League managerial departure?

Roberto di Matteo. A bad start and the players’ cabal will rise again to undermine another manager and Abramovich will spin the chamber on his gun yet again.

Which departing Liverpool player will have most success elsewhere (include not yet departed if you like)?

Dirk Kuyt. There’s still life in the old dog.

Everton. What of them?

Genuinely not arsed.

 

DANIELLE WARREN (@daniellewarren)

Who’ll win the league?

Man City. Despite Arsenal adding some quality up front (although not enough in the back and MF), and Chelsea splashing the cash on some heavy weights, City still have the best strength in depth, a good unity, and now a winning mentality. They will be hard to stop.

How many points will Liverpool get?

This is a tough one. I’d like to think between our squad underachieving last season and Rodgers’ prowess for getting his resources to overachieve, we can get close to the required 65-75 needed to get that 4th spot. I think in and around 65-68 would be a great improvement on last season.

Make three wild, baseless predictions (LFC or otherwise)

1. Downing will score 14 goals in all competitions and make 7 assists.
2. Mario Balotelli will forgo his riches and wild lifestyle and retire to Tibet to practice a life of meditation and contemplation.
3. Shay Given will make at least three howlers this season, upon which Andy Heaton will pounce.

Who’s going down?

Reading – because I just don’t like them and want them to
QPR – because I just don’t like them and want them to
Wigan – their time will come

First Premier League managerial departure?

Roberto Di Matteo

Which departing Liverpool player will have most success elsewhere (include not yet departed if you like)?

Kuyt. Not because he’ll win loads of trophies, but because he’ll be pleased to bits just to be playing and helping his team win whenever he can.

Everton. What of them?

Who?

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