The new season is upon us and it’s the only time everyone starts equal, the wait is over, speculations laid to rest and time for the brain to connect with the feet for real actions. Here and there, there were quality businesses in the window that closed earlier than usual after EPL clubs voted to see the back of transfer windows before kickoff of the new season, David De Gea is still the man at Old Trafford but Chelsea has a new shot stopper, Liverpool fixed their goalkeeping issues with Allison Becker while Arsenal won’t take further risks with Petr Cech by signing Leno from Leverkusen; talking controls, there are new managers here and there but the highest of them all is the new face in the Arsenal dugout, for the first time in 22 years, Arsenal fans and visitors to the Emirates would see a new face in the person of Unai Emery, the former Sevilla and PSG manager would lead the Gunners out for the first time officially on Sunday as they host Manchester City who will be the team to beat. The Citizens added Riyad Mahrez to an already strong forward line and will still be the likely champions, but will they retain it? Considering no one has retained the title since Manchester United did a triple assault that ended in the summer of 2009.
Manchester United didn’t really impress in the just concluded window, they got Fred and Dalot but the contract situations of Pogba and Martial left many wondering how relationships are being managed in the club, pre season friendlies didn’t inspire fans and Jose Mourinho’s demeanor throughout left lots to be desired, they go first, having Leicester for size and that could define their whole campaign. Tottenham Hotspur somehow managed to miss out on few targets and ended up having only Harry Kane’s new contract as their high points in the summer, while it was huge for them to keep their bunch together, squad depth weaknesses will likely haunt them yet again this term should key players get injured, remember Harry Kane doesn’t fire until September, hope he breaks that duck this season.
Liverpool should be the toast of bookmakers this season, pace aplenty, trickery in abundance, Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho should add steel in that defense while Naby Keita will fill in greatly for the departed Emre Can, wherever they choose to play Shaqiri, he will always be a plus, leaving Klopp with no excuses than to deliver silverware now or never. Chelsea have the sort of manager their owner has always wanted, total football will be seen and enjoyed at Stamford Bridge, how long it will take for the team to settle into his tactics is left to be seen but give or take, it should be a season to enjoy for the Chelsea faithful. The likes of Everton, Wolves and Fulham did beautiful businesses in the transfer window but they won’t make it into the top four, shockers will happen as always, big teams would be taken to the cleaners at some points or the other but in the end, the usual suspects would still return to Europe.
At the other end, Crystal Palace survived last season, Southampton left it late but managed to maintain their top flight status, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield all lived to see the new premier league season but who goes down this time? Cardiff, Fulham and Wolves are all here with hopes of staying but Cardiff will struggle to make an impact, they didn’t do great business like the other two and will need more than luck to survive; Wolves got in top rated stars, if they gel on time, they will give the big boys a huge run for their money, with Fulham keeping Ryan Sessengnon and Andre Schurle joining the team, expect them to trouble the stats too. Crystal Palace won’t escape again, now they have Jordan Ayew who has been relegated with every team he has played in recently, Aston Villa and Swansea readily come to mind. Here we deliver our take on possible title winners, golden boot winner, MVP winner as well as candidates for the drop.
Top four: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea
Relegation: Cardiff, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace
Golden Boot Winner: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
MVP: Mohammed Salah
First manager to be sacked: Neil Warnock
Strictly the Ramsey’s opinion