Saturday 18 August 2012
Manchester City have made just one signing so far this summer but the Barclays Premier League champions are the favourites to retain their title this season, according to UK football fans.
A poll of the Premier League's Fan Panel found that 42% of the 1,758 fans surveyed believed Roberto Mancini's side, who signed Jack Rodwell this week, will be champions.
Manchester United, who were pipped to a 13th Premier League title on goal difference by their local rivals, are second-favourites, with 35% of the fans convinced that Sir Alex Ferguson's men will make up for missing out last season. Chelsea and Arsenal lie third and fourth in the rankings with 10% and 6% of the vote respectively.
Sergio Aguero, whose added-time strike in the final game of last season against Queens Park Rangers won City the title, is the player the fans believe will be the Premier League top-scorer this coming season.
Almost 30% of fans believe the Argentina striker will win the golden boot, with his closest rival being United’s Wayne Rooney at 18%. Last season’s top-scorer Robin van Persie is favoured to repeat the feat by 15%, while a tenth of fans believe that Fernando Torres can hit form for Chelsea and top the scoring charts.
Newcastle United's Papiss Cisse, who scored 13 times in only 15 games after joining in January, is the next-best ranked striker with the support of 5% of fans.
Chelsea are the club that supporters consider most likely to qualify for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League outside of City and United. Almost 90% of fans believe that the Blues will finish in the top four this season, with Arsenal next on 67%.
Twenty-one per cent of supporters feel that Brendan Rodgers can steer Liverpool into the Champions League places in his first season at Anfield, while two per cent fewer feel the same for Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham Hotspur.
While more fans believe that City will win the Premier League title ahead of Manchester United, in the stakes to be the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year, Ferguson is favourite ahead of Mancini. The Scot is favoured by 23% of fans to win the award for an 11th time, with the Italian second on 18%.
Liverpool newcomer Brendan Rodgers is fancied by 13% to win the personal accolade, but only 5% of respondents tipped Newcastle United’s manager, Alan Pardew, to retain the award he won last season.
The Premier League’s Fan Panel is a thriving community set up to gather opinion from football fans for the purposes of research.
The Fan Panel is entirely voluntary and open to football supporters interested in giving their views on a range of issues that affect the Premier League.
If you are a UK resident and aged 16 or over (and not employed by, or otherwise affiliated with, Populus or the Premier League), you can join the Fan Panel. Registration is free and there are no annual membership or administration fees involved.
You can register your interest in becoming a Premier League Fan Panel member at http://fanpanel.premierleague.com/