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Premier League: Our predictions, your predictions — Update

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UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did

The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.

Instead of the usual season previews, picking one of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool to win the league and the new arrivals to struggle, we’re doing this the hard way and giving our predictions on a match by match basis.

So without further ado, here are the predictions from a random group of Reuters bloggers. Couldn’t agree more? Couldn’t agree less? Give us your predictions too and see if you can do better than our own modest efforts. We may even keep a running score…

John Terry playing a dangerous game

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Has John Terry got a bit big for his boots by questioning whether Chelsea’s ambition matches his own?

The defender and club captain said that was the reason for the delay in him nailing his colours to the Chelsea mast in the wake of Manchester City’s reported 200,000 pounds per week offer to take him away from Stamford Bridge.

The strange case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the ultimate soccer enigma.

He scores goals for fun when playing Bologna, Chievo and Palermo but often goes missing against AC Milan, Manchester United or Liverpool (which is why he is never in the running for the top awards despite the incredulity of Inter fans).

The tall-yet-skilful attacker has been racking up Serie A titles but the Champions League seems a distant prospect and with all due respect to Sweden, he is not likely to win any honours in international football.

Mourinho is back and his tongue is sharper than ever

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Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has interrupted his holidays to remind soccer fans what they have been missing in the month since the end of the season.

The outspoken Portuguese, whose side are favourites for a fifth straight scudetto this term, has far from mellowed while lying on the beach.

First round of the title battle: United v Arsenal, Aug 29

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The new Premier League season kicks off on August 15 and the first real eye-catching fixture is at Old Trafford a fortnight later when Arsenal visit champions Manchester United for the first twist in the title race.

United manager Alex Ferguson will clash with new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge on November 7, two weeks after visiting rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

Vlog on the Pitch: Cristiano Ronaldo special

In which Owen Wyatt and Kevin Fylan discuss the merits or otherwise of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.

Real have got the best player in the world, arguably, but have they got a bargain, or come to that a sustainable business model? And just who is the new Claude Makelele…?

Why would Milan sell Kaka now and not in January?

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AC Milan’s PR machine has ground to a halt in recent weeks but it may have to leap into action shortly to explain to fans why they have sold Kaka for a good deal less than they could have in January.

Reports say a world record deal, worth between 65 and 80 million euros, has been agreed with Real Madrid but Chelsea have not been counted out yet.

Is Ancelotti the right man for Chelsea?

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As impressive as two Champions League triumphs are, Chelsea’s appointment of former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will not leave their Premier League title rivals quaking in their boots.

Ancelotti ended his reign at Milan on Sunday after eight years, following top flight stints at Parma and Juventus, all of which amounted to just one Serie A scudetto.

Football’s heart still beating strong at FA Cup final time

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Football nostalgia is not what it used to be but there were times on Saturday when the Champions League, 120,000 pounds-a-week contracts and “the business of the game” were forgotten in a return to the days when the FA Cup was the only thing that mattered.

As I walked down Wembley Way towards the stadium, the massed Everton fans out to squeeze every last drop from the day brought back memories of countless other sunny Saturdays in May, when everything stopped for the Cup final.

Chelsea lose their heads and their dignity

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Maybe Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was wrong on all the big decisions in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg — it absolutely does not justify Chelsea’s reaction.

UEFA’s “Respect” campaign was, again, left in tatters as pandemonium erupted after Andres Iniesta’s late equaliser sent Barcelona through on the away goals rule.

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