Wednesday 21 August 2013
Chelsea are the favourites to be the new champions of the Barclays Premier League this season, according to the fans of the competition.
Of a survey of 1,921 fans, who were interviewed on the Premier League Fan Panel last week ahead of the start of the 2013/14 season, almost half (47%) believe that the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge will lead to the Portuguese manager securing a third Barclays Premier League title to accompany those he won at Chelsea in 2004/05 and 2005/06.
A quarter of the fans (24%) surveyed believed that new Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini would steer his side to regaining the crown they lost to cross-city rivals United last season. The absence of Sir Alex Ferguson has put United, under David Moyes, down to third favourites, with 18% backing them to retain the title.
When asked about which clubs will finish in the top four this season, the fans are expecting a repeat of the 2012/13 campaign: Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. But belief in the ability of Tottenham Hotspur to break into this group is growing, with 36% of fans, almost double the 19% of last season, reckoning that Andre Villas-Boas’s side can make the top four.
For the fans, there is only one real choice when identifying who they think will finish the Barclays Premier League top scorer. Sixty-five per cent believe that Robin van Persie, the Manchester United striker, will retain the Barclays Golden Boot award he won last season with 26 goals. The next popular were Sergio Aguero (6%) and Spurs’ Roberto Soldado (4%). Van Persie scored twice in Manchester United's opening match of the season, the 4-1 victory away to Swansea City.
Soldado does come top of the poll as to who the fans think will be the most successful signing of the summer. His score of 18% came ahead of Manchester City’s Jesus Navas (13%) and Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony (11%).
As for the managers, Chelsea’s Mourinho is expected to be named the Barclays Manager of the Season by 37% of the fans surveyed. This was more than double the next highest score, the 15% of Pellegrini, while Moyes got the backing of 11%.
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