On the eve of one other Premier League season filled with intrigue, optimism runs excessive in every single place … properly, nearly in every single place. However earlier than a ball is kicked, there are extra questions than solutions even for the same old suspects within the high six (and examine the underside for my ultimate verdict on the High four and relegation battle).
The sensible cash says it is going to be Manchester Metropolis and Liverpool operating away on the high once more. Each have been comparatively quiet in the summertime market. As gifted as Metropolis are, you marvel if their focus would possibly swap to the prize that has eluded them, the Champions League, when push involves shove this season. Which may simply open the door to a Liverpool staff who will carry manic depth to their quest to finish a protracted league title drought going again to 1990. But the heavy summer time workload on their well-known three strikers — Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane performed within the African Cup of Nations for Egypt and Senegal, respectively, whereas Roberto Firmino represented Brazil within the Copa America — makes you marvel if the Reds ought to have purchased additional cowl.
Arsenal will certainly be filled with objectives now that £72 million winger Nicolas Pepe is becoming a member of the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, however the membership has not completed sufficient to repair a leaky defence — they signed David Luiz from Chelsea, however as everyone knows, he’s typically a howler ready to occur — and want to enhance their performances away from residence.
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In the meantime, how will Chelsea cope with out Eden Hazard (who decamped for Actual Madrid) in Frank Lampard’s debut season as a Premier League supervisor? For starters they will want Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham to ship … and ship quick.
Even with the wonderful midfield addition of Tanguy Ndombele and 19-year-old left winger Ryan Sessegnon, Spurs’ squad nonetheless seems to be a bit too skinny to bridge the 27-point hole between them and champions Manchester Metropolis final season.
Manchester United have beefed up their defence with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But there are still issues with Paul Pogba, who has been linked to Real Madrid, though he remains at Old Trafford (for now). United also sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter, and while the Belgian international is hardly a world-beater, he does score goals — a responsibility that will fall on the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and out-of-form and out-of-favor Alexis Sanchez. It’s against this backdrop that we’ll learn if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a good enough manager to turn the club around in the post-Alex Ferguson era, something David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho failed to do.
Manchester United should also be concerned with the clubs chasing them. Take Leicester, which enters its first full season under Brendan Rodgers and will be well worth watching. Could they challenge for a Top 6 spot? Don’t rule it out with the likes of Youri Tielemans and James Maddison supplying marksman Jamie Vardy in front of goal.
West Ham, irritatingly inconsistent last season, have made a couple of big signings and could finish in the Top 8.
Everton have signed the exciting Juventus teenager Moise Kean, but will miss Idrissa Gueye in midfield. With a posh new stadium on its way, it’s vital that the Toffees find themselves at least in contention for a cup.
Wolves were superb last season, but needed to boost their squad depth more with a busy Europa League workload this time around.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace’s destiny might depend upon whether or not they preserve their match-winning winger, Wilfried Zaha, whereas Watford have a streetwise mid-table look about them.
Supervisor Steve Bruce inherits the poison chalice at Newcastle, the place turmoil is a lifestyle beneath proprietor Mike Ashley. Bruce wants new £40m man Joelinton to be successful, in any other case Newcastle would possibly discover themselves in a relegation struggle once more.
Southampton had been galvanised by supervisor Ralph Hasenhuttl final season, and if Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse all carry out properly, they could shock.
Eddie Howe all the time retains Bournemouth away from hassle, the soccer equal of defying gravity, and with Callum Wilson and David Brooks round that pattern is more likely to proceed. Likewise, you sense that Sean Dyche’s band of brothers at Burnley have an excessive amount of grit to go down.
However it is likely to be harder for Brighton, the place Graham Potter takes over from Chris Hughton. There is a want to play sexier soccer, however have they got the gamers to do it? Uncertain.
ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol explains why Manchester United had no selection however to pay the premium Leicester demanded for Harry Maguire.
What of the three promoted golf equipment? Norwich should hope the highest scorer within the Championship, Teemu Pukki, raises his sport even greater, and the membership has a number of good children. However staying up? It will likely be powerful.
Chris Wilder has managed in all 4 divisions, so he will not be daunted by the Premier League Sheffield United. It is whether or not he has sufficient high quality at his disposal to remain afloat.
Aston Villa have splashed the money, however their shrewdest strikes is likely to be signing under-rated keeper Tom Heaton for £8m and maintaining their playmaker Jack Grealish.
Predictions are there to make fools of us, however I reckon that is Liverpool’s yr to win the title (I count on Metropolis to return in second, adopted by Spurs in third and Arsenal grabbing that final Champions League spot) with Brighton, Norwich and Sheffield United main contenders for the drop. High scorer? If he stays match, look no additional than Harry Kane at Tottenham.