Saturday, August 28, 2010

English Premier League Season Kickoff: Part 3

Here is the part 3 of my EPL Preview, covering teams 13-7.  The conclusion will come very soon.

13. Sunderland: Nickname: The Blackcats.  Manager: Steve Bruce. Stadium: Stadium Of Light.  2009/2010 Finish: 13th in the EPL.  Rival: Newcastle United.  The team started by a schoolteacher and now owned by a Texan is a "wonderfully fine team."  It plays at the Stadium of Light, a large arena which seats 49,000.  The team was recently relegated then promoted back into the EPL.  They are the 5th highest team in average attendance.

12. Aston Villa: Nickname: The Villans, The Lions.  Manager: Kevin MacDonald (interim).  Stadium: Villa Park.  2009/2010 Finish: 6th in the EPL.  Rivals:  Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion.  Aston Villa is a team in transition who could be taken over by the head US man Bob Bradley very soon.  3 Yanks already play on this team who have had some recent success.

11.  Blackpool:  Nickname: The Seasiders, The Tangerines.  Manager: Ian Holloway.  Stadium: Bloomfield Road.  2009/2010 Finish: 6th in the Football Championship League.  Rivals: Someone is Division 3.  Blackpool has a small but very passionate, loud and smart fanbase (like WMU Hockey) who intimidate opposing players.  They spent some serious cash since making the EPL.  Now they have to trend upwards more.

10. Fulham:  Nickname:  The Cottagers.  Manager: Mark Hughes. Stadium: Craven Cottage.  2009/2010 Finish: 12th in the EPL.  Rivals: Chelsea, QPR, Brentford.  Their mascot is a badger and they have probably the best non goalie player in England in Clint Dempsey.  Fulham is a tough squad, who almost won the Europa League final.  They have to take the next step to become a second tier club in the EPL.

9. Blackburn Rovers: Nickname: Rovers The Riversiders.  Manager: Sam Allardyce.  Stadium: Ewood Park 2009/2010 Finish: 10th in the EPL.  Rivals:  Burnley.  One of the oldest and proudest teams in the EPL, The Rovers made an incredible rise from second tier to EPL champs, when I was in grade school.  They have had ups and downs in recent years, mostly downs.

8.  Birmingham City: Nickname:  The Blues.  Manager: Alex McLeish.  Stadium: St. Andrew's  2009/2010 Finish: 9th in the EPL.  Rivals: Aston Villa.  Founded in 1875, spending most of their time in the EPL.  The Blues rarely get relegated, but when they do they win championships.  They will finish in the middle of the pack this season. 

7. Newcastle United: Nickname: The Magpies.  Manager: Chris Hughton.  Stadium: St. James Park.  2009/2010 Finish: Champions of the FLC.  Rivals: Sunderland AFC.  They dress like refs and have a huge classic rivalry with Sunderland.  Like the Lions, they played their best in the 50's.  Recently they have been moving back up the ladder. 

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