The new #Premier League season starts next week Saturday and it looks set to be tighter than last season with five teams potentially challenging for the #Champions League spots and all of them making a claim to finish in the top four. Last season saw the Premier League start off as a two horse race between Chelsea and then defending champions Manchester City before Manchester City’s form dipped in January; Arsenal were always an afterthought when it came to winning the title and Manchester United were more focused on getting back into Europe. Liverpool’s title hopes were hopeful at best following the departure of Luis Suarez.
Chelsea, City, Arsenal and United all stand a very good chance of winning the title, having made necessary additions to their squad whilst Liverpool stands a chance of launching an assault on the top four. Thierry Henry talked about the situation in some length with Sky Sports saying: “Chelsea won it and we are all like: ‘United are going to come back for sure, Manchester City are going to come back for sure and Arsenal are going to come back for sure.’ What about Liverpool? You think they are going to stay out?” he continued further stating: “City cannot have the same season again, Arsenal cannot stay another year without winning the league, United won’t accept not winning the league two years in a row that does not go down too well over there. What about Liverpool? So I expect everyone to challenge.”
Looking at the teams in more depth, it’s clear that that they’ve addressed issues that plagued them last season. Last season Chelsea were a complete team which showed in their rampant run towards the Premier League title, only losing three games whilst finishing nine points ahead of second placed Manchester City. Chelsea have made two like for like replacements, replacing the outgoing Didier Drogba and Petr Cech with Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic respectively as well as bringing in Nathan, Chelsea are also in talks to replace the recently departed Felipe Luis with Augsberg’s Abdul Rahman Baba. Chelsea will look to retain the title as they have a very strong squad.
Manchester City, have made additions in Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling which has added much needed youth and pace into the team; City have a strong squad which can challenge for the title. It’s questionable whether they’ll avoid the same dip in form that derailed their title race last season. Arsenal has added a world class Keeper in Cech; in doing so they have sorted out a long running problem and have a reliable keeper. Arsenal have been linked with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema which would be a coup for them, given that Theo Walcott is injury prone and Olivier Giroud lacks pace which is required of a striker at a top team.
Manchester United have made a number of additions, finally sorting out the midfield problem that has bothered them for years by adding Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin to their ranks, both players give United manager Louis Van Gaal more of a choice as to who can be played in the centre of the park. United have also added Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay as well as Sergio Romero and are heavily linked with Barcelona striker Pedro. United boast a roster of versatile first team players and have adequate cover in most positions.
Liverpool has made a number of signings; James Milner has come in for Steven Gerrard, Roberto Firmino has been brought and that will ease the pressure on his compatriot Phillipe Coutinho; Christian Benteke and Danny Ings have been brought in to improve the strike department. Liverpool have made like for like replacements bringing in Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne to replace Brad Jones, Sebastian Coates and Glen Johnson respectively and whilst they lack that talismanic figure that Gerrard and Suarez were, they are definitely dark horses.
All five teams are looking strong and the premier league is sure to be an open race.