Kavaguti & Smirnov (RUS) have grown on me immensely and I came to love their programs last season. I'm very excited to see the new ones. They started so well last season, winning 2 GP's and taking 2nd in the other. They also won bronze at the Grand Prix Final, but tanked at Worlds and took 7th. They tend to peak too early, so I expect them to be fantastic here in their debut and then taper off as the season goes on unless they've adapted their training to combat that.
Pang & Tong (CHN) have been skating for 100 years, but they still don't look a day over 30. They just won silver at Skate America so they are very competitive. They do exactly what we expect from them every time they compete. They give us grace, elegance, and beauty. I believe him to be the best male pairs skater in the world, but she tends to struggle with the jumping every once in a while. Between them and the Russians, whomever goes clean wins.
Moore-Towers & Moscovitch (CAN) have been up and down over the past two years. They are very athletic, theatrical, and exciting. I cannot wait to see the Queen free skate. They are another team that tends to peak early. They do very well on the grand prix, but then they usually taper off by Four Continents and Worlds. Now that other Canadian pairs are picking up speed, they need to fight harder to earn spots at Worlds.
My Podium Predictions:
Gold: Kavaguti & Smirnov (RUS)
Silver: Pang & Tong (CHN)
Bronze: Moore-Towers & Moscovitch (CAN)
The Rest of the Field:
Peng & Zhang (CHN)
Wang & Zhang (CHN)
Stolbova & Klimov (RUS)