November 8th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

EPL prophecy: Liverpool top four and United for title?

CNN's Pedro Pinto predicts Manchester United will win the English Premier League title this season.
CNN's Pedro Pinto predicts Manchester United will win the English Premier League title this season.

The English Premier League season is shaping up exactly as expected and in my mind there is still no doubt that Manchester United will be crowned champions next May.

That's not to say that many of the events which occurred in the early part of the season were foreseen, it would have taken the fortune-telling abilities of Apollo to foresee such happenings. For example, Liverpool dropping into the relegation zone or Wayne Rooney coming within an inch of leaving the hallowed turf of Manchester United, were unbelievable to pundits and commentators across the board.

However, at a time when teams have completed the first quarter of the season, it is starting to become evident who are the contenders, and the pretenders.

Manchester United will win the title because they have the greatest amount of players who decide games. They also have the most complete squad in the league. If you consider that so far they have played poorly, especially away from home, and find themselves just two points behind Chelsea, it says a lot about what they can do when they start firing on all cylinders.

Considering what has happened at Old Trafford this season, they really should be struggling to keep their act together. Their best player and key goal-getter, Rooney, has found the back of the net just once so far, is under-fire from a recent off-the-pitch scandal and has bridges to build after his threat to leave.

Besides the troubles surrounding their top striker, United have also failed to get the best out of their other core players. Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov have all missed games with injuries and have yet to hit top form, while Antonio Valencia has only played a few games this season.

So far they have been able to get the job done thanks to two young players who have exceeded expectations – Nani, who is showing that he can be one of the stars in the Premier League, and Javier Hernandez who is showing a knack for scoring important goals even though his role for this campaign was penciled in as that of a cameo.

Can you imagine how good United will be when most of their players are fit and when they start getting in their usual flow? Scary...

You may ask how Chelsea can be so easily dismissed when they have been leading the league since day one? Well, they can't. They still have top quality players and will challenge for the title all the way down to the last game.

But their players are aging and their squad is too thin. Furthermore, their priority is winning the European Champions League. At the business end of the season, they will rest players in the domestic competitions to have them all fit and ready for Europe; that means they will eventually succumb to United.

As far as Arsenal and Manchester City are concerned, they don't have the experience or the stability to win the title. The Gunners continue to show time and again they lack a leader on the field that can inspire a young and promising group of players to achieve greater things. While City are still under construction and certain players' egos will prevent them from building the kind of unity a team needs to lift trophies.

One final note concerning Liverpool. Before the season started, I predicted they could finish in second place. That looks silly right now, but don’t discount the Reds making it into the top four by the end of the campaign. With Roy Hodgson finally settling on a starting eleven he can rely on, and Fernando Torres rediscovering his scoring touch, the Anfield club could yet qualify for the Champions League.

There you have it, my progress report so far. And just like I predicted in August before a ball was kicked, this season the Premier League trophy will head back to Old Trafford. No ifs, buts or maybes...

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soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Xerxes

    Good stuff.

    November 8, 2010 at 11:37 am | Reply
  2. Andriy

    Honestly, looking at how Man Utd are playing, scraping last minute winning goals by Park against Wolves, Chicarito against Stoke, show me that Man Utd aren't much of a threat at all. Chelsea made one slip up against a wonderful, and I must admit, a hardworking Liverpool side that played for the team. And I feel that that doesn't mean that they'd lose the league title. Looking at how free-flowing their goals are coming. Malouda scoring almost at will, Drogba tied-leading goalscorer despite not playing all the games. They seem so much more secure than a shaky Man Utd that I'm seeing at the recent matches.

    November 8, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  3. Kenneth Caspar

    We are watching the space Mr. Pinto. No ifs, buts or may bes...

    November 8, 2010 at 11:47 am | Reply
  4. Ibeto Abasurum Sabastine.

    I'm in total agreement made herein and submit that Man Utd shall win the league come may 2011 and that shall finish as top four at the season.

    November 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  5. ohemjee

    I find no evidence in anything you've said

    November 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    I pray for Liverpool to finish as one of the top four for them to claim their place in the champions league.

    November 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  7. Martin Opoku

    i totally disagree with u Pinto. Man U are struggling to win their matches and it's just a matter of time that luck goes far from them.
    Chelsea lost to a rejuvenated Liverpool side and it was this team that was in shambles that Man U even struggled to beat. i Believe if the United Liverpool match was played now, united would have lost. Chelsea were not that bad against Liverpool. the difference was the quality of Torres on the day.. However i believe arsenal and city are not real contenders for the league but there is no way Liverpool will finish in the top 4.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  8. kila John

    Look at the big picture Mr.Pinto,and forget Disney land stories. Chelsea is and remains the team to beat this season.Though i must congratulate Liverpool for their high concentration and great effort against Chelsea.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  9. sammy

    i think dat prophecy is true on how things are going

    November 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  10. Paul

    I suspect Mr Pinto is a Man U fan. I don’t think Man Utd are certain winners of the league but they do have a great chance. Chelsea has a much better chance of winning than Mr Pinto would have us believe; however I do agree with a lot of what he is saying.

    Andriy, Martin and kila john: I think you’re missing the point. Pedro is not saying Man Utd are playing so well they are bound to win. In fact he said even though they have played so badly they are still only 2 points behind Chelsea. Think about that. Imagine where they will be on the board when they DO start playing better. And they have showed that they always improve as the season moves on many times in the past. Imagine when their first choice players come back to full fitness. The big picture? Manchester United drew 4 games they could have easily won. If they had edged just one of those games they would be level on points with Chelsea now. If they won all of them they would 6 points ahead of Chelsea. Plus Chelsea didn’t just slip once. They slipped twice. They lost to Man City too. Manchester United haven’t slipped once! They are still unbeaten.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  11. Lyford

    i really think that Liverpool were just good on their day coz they realise if they dont now it may be never,and containing such a team and playing at home is quite difficult.
    this doesnt mean Chelsea are a thin squad reason being its almost the same squad that wrestled the title from man u last season by a single point.
    much as i would want to agree with you on the fact that some key players are injured for Man u,i really dont think they have what it takes to spoil chelsea's ambition to retain the title at the
    in the end Chelsea will have the last laugh,keep your predictions coming anyway dear pinto

    November 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  12. Jokos Interbiz

    After 10 matches, Chelsea is the most consistent team. again chelsea's backup can only be compared to Mancity's. United, arsenal or Liverpool are way behind. that they lost to liverpool does not discredit them. they played good football only that Torres was exceptional. United has laboured to win all their matches. Arsenal is not consistent and Mancity requires a coach of mourihno status to manage them to win anything. Liverpool, if they maintain this spirit, will finish fourth so that Arsenal will drop to fifth and spurs 6th. I think, it will be exciting to see how it plays out.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  13. MohMatimbui

    Chelsea go down in history as the team that has spent the biggest sum of money within the last five years aimed at winning the champions league. That dream hard never come true just for one reason; DIDIER DROGBA. One a team levels her hopes on a player who cannot keep the ball for one minute, then the it is baptised with football badluck. Ancelloti should send Drogba back to OM and recruit ETO'O to help him win the Champions League and conserve the EPL. People speak of consistency, what is consistency for, if billions of £ are spent only for Chelsea to be proud of only 3 EPL in six years with no international trophy. Liverpool stands to crush them again at Stamford Brige. Bravo the REDS.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  14. H S

    Totally agree with you!
    Manchester United WILL win the title come May...All signs Indicate to just that.
    They haven't been at their best and still are just a win away from the top spot. Chelsea started the season unbelievably but now they are not at the best form and it is evident they are struggling against the likes of blackburns and so on untill they finally get Lamps back (so its NOT ONLY Man United who rely on Scholes to run the midfield). They lost against Liverpool deservedly...sure they had all the possession in the second half but there was no attacking threat really cuz sktel and carrangher were clearing everything. I did not see A SINGLE through ball by them yesterday and im taking nothing away from liverpool's perfomance which was magnificent.
    (BTW...Valencia DID play two games in the EPL and one in the CL before getting injured)

    November 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  15. ambo

    manu will never win........from my experience i don't agree with manu being the champs.....maybe some other clubs,you'll never know and i hope and pray Liverpool gets atleast 2nd or 3rd.....bcs im a Liverpool fan

    November 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  16. Chris

    "Manchester United will win the title because they have the greatest amount of players who decide games. They also have the most complete squad in the league. " – Are we looking at the same rosters? Chelsea has a far more complete squad, I wouldn't Man U in the top 3 for best players. The only reason they will challenge til the end is because they have a fantastic manager. Chelsea will win the league, Man U might get 3rd.

    November 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  17. zaouli bi irie paul

    I honestly not sharing your view this time.Chelsea team may be ageing but they still have top quality players to win this trophy once again Pinto.Sorry but i think your view is simply not abvious for many experts, it's true that the league is far from over but i don't see M united
    winning back this title.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  18. solar femmy

    In my own perspective chelsea remains the best team in the EPL, it is just too obvious nd vivid...the fact dat they lost against man city nd liverpool doesn't make them a vulnerable nd has not qualified man utd to be crowned d champion.. like someone earlier said..i tink mr pinto is a man utd fan....they are unbeaten so far but they are beatable nd they will definitely lose along d line.....lets wait nd see....he was writing rooney wasn't there, nani nd co...wat about lampard nd essien missin during d liverpool game? man u struggled to win some bottom teams.....nd they drew 5 games.... losing tem points in d wat makes pinto tink they will be champion......? wen d season is long nd manu is droping points nd r nt ruthless....hw many goals av they conceded nd scored?.......infact, pinto's opinion is myopic 4 me..........

    November 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  19. steve

    Sorry, but this has to be the most biased footballing article I have read!.....obviously written by a Manchester United supporter.

    Chelsea WILL win the title next year, its a no brainer. They are conceding hardly any goals at all. Manchester United are very suspect at the back, how many draws or last minute victories do United have. Chelsea can play poor and still beat teams, they have scored an average of 3 goals per game this season so far, and that is with some below par performances.

    Might aswell just give the title to them now!

    November 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  20. ska

    Pedro, your pridiction cann't be correct , I don't think it so. your predictions remain a conjecture within the realm of faint possibilities. Chelsea is not only gunning for European laurel burta a domestic epl league title. chesea has the tenacity, the experience and the knack for a back to back title to replicate the Special one era at the bridge. I should think, I do hope that you will send me a gift if my permutation that Chelsea will remain atop come to reality. Man City boss has already conceeded the title to Chelsea. SAL is already depreciating in winning ideas and the team is enmeshed in credibility crises and inpirational balance. what more? Traford is not the old we use to know, there is the need for a modern tactician like the special one to reform the play. watch this, order: 1. chelsea, 2. man U 3. Asenal 4. man C. what do you think, Ped'?

    November 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  21. Franklin

    Did Pinto just cited his prediction for Liverpool "Before the season started, I predicted they could finish in second place. That looks silly right now" That is the same excuse he will give if Chelsea win the EPL title again. I have never seen a sports broadcaster so wrong in predicting scores like you Pinto. That was the same assessment the pundits made last year. Perhaps you need a crash course on EPL football. I think Chelsea will win. All the evidence you point to Manchester United winning will only happen if the referees will continue to help them win matches like they did against Totonham. I am not a Chelsea fan, however, I don’t see Man U winning the league.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  22. Genti

    Spot on there Pedro, I MUST agree with you completely even about L'pool reaching the 4th spot. It's very interesting to see though how will Man U play when (or if) they'll get most of their players back from injuries. Remember the last game against Wolves? They had a bunch of first team players injured and a whole bunch of other players that played against Wolves but still were not 100% fit (Scholes, Hargreaves, Ferdinad, Vidic and Evra – they had a virus or something like that), and they still won.
    And just to confirm something else: they still have Fergie right?

    November 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  23. johnny

    chelsea has been injury plagued...
    don't judge them by the liverpool game where two of chelsea's best players didn't play (lampard, essien).
    as for manchester united, clearly you like them and this article is just what you would like to see happen but i just ask you to wait till they play some real opposition like man city next week before you give them the trophy

    November 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  24. Warren

    As a life long Man Utd fan even I find this prediction hard to stomach. Most players capable of changing a game? Who? Berbatov, after his early season flurry has returned to his normal low standards. He is occasionally brilliant but he is consistently average. Rooney has only had one truly impressive season which, admittedly, was his last. Other than this his goals have come in spurts with huge gaps between them. (Take his current barren spell for example) Nani is the only player Utd have on their books that we can expect the unexpected from. He is growing very quickly into Utd´s most important player.

    As for the most complete squad, I havent heard something that made me choke on my food through laughter like that ever before. This is clearly Utd´s weakest squad in many a year with a middle almost completely bereft of imagination (Nani and the aging Giggs and Scholes apart)

    Finally, the reason Valencia had only played a few games this season is because he broke his ankle and probably wont play any more games this season!

    November 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  25. Ajibola

    ManU for the title? Wish, wish, wish........Liverpool for trop four? dreams dreams dreams. Please get real!

    November 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  26. alehandro

    United will win the title IF Rooney comes back fit, hungry and effective. IF Nani goes more than a handful of games without getting injured and IF he doesn't get slowed down by the heavy winter pitches. IF Valencia immediately regains the form he was in when he got injured. IF they buy a consistent holding midfield player in the January transfer window. IF Berbatov recovers the form and fitness with which he started the season. IF Rio Ferdinand stays out of the treatment room. IF they get some pace to cover his lack of it at the back. IF Rafael stops giving away stupid free-kicks with impetuous challenges. IF Hernandez is allowed to become more than a super sub. IF Van de Saar, in his dotage, can recapture the reliable form of previous years. In short, United will win the title IF pigs fly and hell freezes over.

    November 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  27. alehandro

    And another thing. Torres scored two great goals against Chelsea, that does "NOT" mean he's recovered his form. This is one of the moodiest players in the Premier League we're talking about, which means his form could easily dip again in the Reds next game. A consistent run of goal-scoring would indicate he's turned the corner, not just one match. Also, I don't think Liverpool will be a top-4 finisher for the same reason you think Chelsea will miss-out on the title – they don't have enough depth. Minus Torres (on his day) and Gerrard, they have no-one to trouble anyone up front, and defensively they're all heart and no finesse, which makes them vulnerable. A Top-6 finish maybe, but Champions League football? No chance.

    November 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  28. Andrew Brawley

    Do you even watch most of the games in the premiership? Liverpool beat Chelsea and have had a good run of games but Newcastle beat Arsenal at home and have had a run of good games. Does that make them top four definetly? You also fail to mention Spurs. Spurs are playing inconsistently but well enough to be top four. Arsenal will beat Manchester United as will Chelsea. Who have Man Utd played thats been challenging? Apart from Tottenham who had one eye on Inter Milan the following week I dont think anyone.As for Man Utd. the most complete squad in the league? I dont support Chelsea but you can only say its them. The fact they sold Carvalho for very little to Real Madrid shows the depth of their backline. The addition of Ramires has been a great asset to Chelsea also. Hernandez is over rated, he scored a few goals and just because he plays for Man Utd hes become an amazing player? What about Samir Nasri for Arsenal who has scored more goals than Nani and had more assists, the same with Chamakh who being new to Arsenal has not had the luxury that Hernandez has had in being dlowly filtered in. You clearly have no idea about English football and probably watch Manchester Utd Chelsea and maybe Arsenal Spurs and Liverpool.

    November 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  29. Odiaka

    i totally agree pedro.although i would have to add that my opinion was partly influenced by you being my FAVORITE cnn presenter.keep it up.

    November 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  30. David Saxon Jones

    Every year all non Man U fans say that United will not win the EPL and nearly every year those same people are proved wrong. Chealsea, allbeit a great team were very fortunate to win the league last season (The 2 games against United decided it and in both games the ref gave the games to Chelsea-Remember Terry pulling down Wes Brown in the first game and Drogba 3 yards offside in the second). Anyway, the point is that Pedro is right, United are far from their best and still second by only 2 points. Everyone knows that United always come good after Christmas. Its as guaranteed as Christmas day falling on 25th December.

    He is also right that Chelsea's priority is the Champions league and as a result, will rotate their squad to suit. In truth, i thin that by Christmas, Chelsea will still probably be top of the league by 4, 5 or even 6 points but come the New Year, well the tide will change. The only way United will be top by Christmas is if we Beat City on Wednesday and Chelsea in December. I actually think both games will be draws.

    For Chelsea, their objective for winning the CL is so that they can spread their fan base into new territories and to do that they must be champions of Europe. Roman is fed up of spending untold millions on players and now wants the club to fund its own success and so again, this is why they have to win the CL. Even if it means not winning the EPL.

    Unites do have a great squad and although it has an enormous amount of youth in it, this wil boade well towards the end of what will no doubt be another long, hard and closely fought EPL.

    The only thing i do not agree with is Liverpool getting a top four finish. I think 6th is the best they are going to get.

    November 9, 2010 at 12:07 am | Reply
  31. Aufklarung

    Im such proud to read this article. It reflects the excellent work that Pedro Pinto is doing on CNN. Moreover Portugal is much more than just Ronaldo or Nani, even Mourinho.

    Regarding the article, i admit that i have seen a few games but considering Chelsea squad, it is very risky to bet on Man U.

    November 9, 2010 at 1:50 am | Reply
  32. marcos from Brazil

    I don't believe in predictions, therefore I don't believe one single word u said Mr. Pedro Pinto. Enough said...

    November 9, 2010 at 3:24 am | Reply
  33. zizou2006

    Honestly since Ronaldo left the club it remains to be seen if Man United can live up to the standards of Chelsea. But from what it seems Chelsea has more loyal players in the club than Man United does and that's end of discussion

    November 9, 2010 at 6:57 am | Reply
  34. chrisoduma

    Pedro are you saying all these just becoz you are a fan of Nani? W
    atch this space. You seem to rank Arsenal no where and impliedly disregard Fabregas, Rozisky, Arshavin and even Vermalen as no leaders by saying that the team has no leader to inspire others. By the way, THREE OF THE ABOVE ARE INTERNATIONAL CAPTAINS FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES. JUST RESPECT THEM PINTO ! Remember it took Chelsea 50 yrs to win the league and after so much unfortunate spending that hasn't returned proportionately, they have only been in the champions league final once.
    On the other hand, this Arsenal team that you look down upon so badly, has been returning at the level that no shareholders can even attempt to call for the manager's resignation. How then do we analyse performance? i wish you had a clue.
    I am confident that this Arsenal side will still achieve the unbelievable dispite your disgrantlement. The matches the team has lost so far have been surprises to many pundits but not a death sentence on this incredibly talented team Pedro Pinto or is it Mr Prediction. Give us a break !

    November 9, 2010 at 8:16 am | Reply
  35. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    I humbly disagree with Pedro. The EPL is very wide open. Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are all in with a chance to be crowned EPL champs in May. In between there are months of domestic and European action. It would be too early to write off any of these Big Five. Good luck to the teams, players and their fans.

    November 9, 2010 at 10:40 am | Reply
  36. Alice

    i think the trophy will go to old trafford too. they always find a way to secure the points even if they have to score late in stoppage time. that is a great article Pedro.

    November 9, 2010 at 11:36 am | Reply
  37. jorgen friis

    Has PP got a crystal ball or what? if he has then he better get it dusted off 'cause I just cant see events unfold the way our learned friend predicts. There is long way to go and to categorically state the end results today when we're not even at halfway mark seems to me more like wishful thinking. The ball is round and anything can and I am sure will happen.

    November 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  38. ser.alex.ferguson

    mancester will win epl without loss game glory glory man utd

    November 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  39. Opemipo

    I don't agree with your prediction the EPL is still very open so we can't say this team we'll win the league

    November 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  40. ibrahim

    It's very unfortunate dat most of us commenting here don't know football, like Paul, & Kila John. They just started watching football not quite long ago. There are some Liverpool fans who i know don't want Utd to surpass them, but they themselves know dat they are not good enough, One needs to look at things from all angles. Fans are just being selfish, or maybe cannot analyse things. Say facts, or just keep quiet if u don't know much on Football. Mr Pinto has analysed the matter and he also points out his reasons, but still some can not just read and understand it.

    November 15, 2010 at 1:30 am | Reply
  41. Steppah

    Pedro the only correct prediction in your article is that the GREATEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL CLUB IN ENGLISH FOOTBALL OF ALL TIME will be be in the champions league next season. Ibrahim you just a hater what makes you think any more about football than we do!?

    November 23, 2010 at 10:14 am | Reply
  42. governor

    i think we are still the champion" and the best and greatest and well do champion in world ...........the red rose is alive all time

    November 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  43. governor

    i think we are still the champion" and the best and greatest and well do champion in world

    November 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply

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