Sunderland - Steve Bruce Won't Need To Make Excuses In 2011 / 2012 by Vic Daniels (RSS feed) on 03.Jul.2011 at 16:17 Here are our predictions for how the Premier League will end up in 2011/12. 1st Manchester United The club has already spent over £50m to strengthen its squad ( far more than its rivals ). Although triumph in Europe may well allude the club next season, Manchester United must be red hot favourites to retain the Premier League Title. 2nd Chelsea Roman Abromavich’s fixation to win the Champions League may hinder their title chances, especially with a new manager and coaching staff to bed in, and an ageing squad. 'Player power' could also be a crutial element next season, and it will need the senior players to pull the squad together and lead by example if they are going to give Manchester United a run for their money. Much will hinge on how Terry and Torres perform. 3rd Liverpool The pressure will be on King Kenny and his players this coming season, as expectations will be high. A better team spirit and a much stronger squad than last season, however, should see Liverpool comfortably back in the Champions League come the end of the season. Will need to do all they can to keep Andy Carroll fit, though. Liverpool are also our favourites to win the FA Cup. 4th Manchester City It's an indication as to how far this club has come in the last couple of seasons that fourth place in the Prem will be regarded as disappointing. Many supporters are expecting City to be serious title contenders this coming season, but keeping Tevez is key, and Manchini must try harder to get his group of stars to play more effectively as a team if they are to make progress. Our tip, though, is 4th. 5th Arsenal With the likelihood of Fabregas going to Barcelona, Nasri to Manchestper Utd, and no big signings, this coming season could end up being a real test for Arsenal and their fans. A 5th play finish and no silverware (again), however, will see Arsene Wenger retire from football at the end of the season. And what odds Carlo Ancelotti to replace him ? 6th Sunderland After a disappointing last season, Sunderland have again splashed the cash and brought in some excellent players. Will be one of the surprise packages for next season. For once, Steve Bruce won't need to be making excuses. 7th Tottenham Haven’t done much in the transfer market yet, and with Luka Modric wanting to go, the squad will suffer. Harry Rednapp will have a real battle on his hands (and it might end up easier for him to think again about the England job!). 8th Stoke City The club now has a strong solid squad, and should continue to build on the last 3 seasons. 9th Bolton Wanderers Owen Coyle is Bolton’s saving grace, but with the strong possibility of Daniel Sturridge off to pastures new, the club will struggle to get higher than 9th. Still, this will represent a good result.. 10th Everton Another season, another struggle. A lack of money means little investment and another frustrating season for Everton's players and fans. Thank God David Moyes is a miracle-worker. 11th Fulham Martin Jol is back in the Premier League, and will make his mark. This will be a season of consolidation, however. 12th Newcastle United A club and squad in transition. A mid-table finish looks on the cards. 13th West Bromich Albion A surprise package last season and Roy Hodgson will keep the club's head above water again this term. No more boing boing. 14th Blackburn Rovers The club appears to be struggling to bring in new players, and this will have a significant impact on their season. Unfortunately it will be another flirtation with relegation, although the squad should be strong enough to beat the drop once again. Whether the manager will survive until the end of the coming season is another matter. 15th Wigan Athletic Narrowly avoided relegation last season, Roberto Martinez will be fighting to stay up yet again. Having said that, Martinez is learning all the time and, with a supportive Chairman, the club should retain its Premier League status again at the end of this coming season. 16th Swansea City This year's surprise package. Capable of playing good attacking football. This coming season's Blackpool, but can defend too and this will keep them up. Retaining their Premier League status this coming season will be a real result. 17th Aston Villa Another squad in transition, with another new manager to boot. And another season of frustration for the fans. 18th Queens Park Rangers Is it just us, or does anyone else thing that the Board is banking on only one season in the sun ? If so, and the club doesn't spend, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 19th Wolverhampton Wanderers Narrowly avoided the drop last year, and will need to invest heavily to avoid relegation. Love Mick McCarthy, but this could be one season too far even for him 20th Norwich City The club has had two excellent seasons, under a really strong manager. A lack of funds and quality players will probably make relegation inevitable this term. Shame.