The Premier League is back with Liverpool hosting the newly promoted Norwich on Friday night. To get you up to date for the upcoming 2019/20 season, here is our preview for the latest edition of the EPL.
After earning an incredible 98 points last season, Pep Guardiola’s men are once again the team to beat as they chase a third successive title. Having won the title without the services of Kevin de Bruyne for a significant portion of last season, it’s very hard to go past them again. The signing of Rodri from Atletico Madrid only strengthens their already world class midfield, but the biggest question surrounds replacing captain Vincent Komany, whose leadership was key. The potential loss of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich would also be a big loss.
Key signing/s: Rodri (Atletico Madrid, £63), Angelino (PSV Eindhoven, £11m)
Key loss/es: Vincent Kompany (retired), Fabian Delph (Everton, undisclosed)
First 5 games: West Ham (A), Tottenham (H), Bournemouth (A), Brighton (H), Norwich (A)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 1st - 1.43
If you ask any Liverpool fan, they believe this will be ‘their year’. After winning the Champions League last season and without the loss of any star players their hopes are justified, but there is just one problem, Manchester City. With City’s squad looking stronger than last season and Liverpool’s largely unchanged, a logical approach says City should win. But, Liverpool possess some of the world’s best in Virgil van Dijk and Mohammed Salah, and after an incredible season last year, this team is capable of anything.
Key signing/s: Nil
Key loss/es: Daniel Sturridge (released), Alberto Moreno (released)
First 5 games: Norwich (H), Southampton (A), Arsenal (H), Burnley (A), Newcastle (H)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 2nd - 3.84
Top 4 Challengers:
In comparison to Tottenham’s transfer activity in recent windows, this off-season has been a busy one with the signing of highly rated midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. They also offloaded English defender Kieran Trippier. This is the best their squad has ever looked, and on the back of a Champions League final appearance and a new stadium, now is the time for some silverware. Out of the Top 4 challengers, they look the most settled squad but don’t possess the talent to challenge for the title.
Key signing/s: Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon, £65)
Key loss/es: Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid, undisclosed)
First 5 games: Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (A), Newcastle (H), Arsenal (A), Crystal Palace (H)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 3rd - 16
Although the Gunners broke their transfer record to sign rising star Nicolas Pepe, their biggest problem still remains, defence. They will have no problem scoring goals through the likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and loanee Dani Ceballos, but without some defensive reinforcements, a top 4 finish is less likely. Luckily for them, their main competitors for a top 4 finish in Manchester United and Chelsea aren’t leaving Arsenal supporters shaking in their boots.
Key signing/s: Nicolas Pepe (Lille, £72), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid, loan)
Key loss/es: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus, free), Petr Cech (retired), Danny Welbeck (released)
First 5 games: Newcastle (A), Burnley (H), Liverpool (A), Tottenham (H), Watford (A)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 4th - 21
If their off the pitch antics are anything to go by, Manchester United could be in for a rollercoaster ride of a season. With star player Paul Pogba seemingly wanting to leave and Jesse Lingard posting bizarre videos online, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have his hands full. On the other hand, they have addressed their defensive issues which saw them concede 54 goals last season by bringing in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. With a relatively inexperienced coach at the helm, more likely than not, Manchester United will struggle.
Key signing/s: Harry Maguire (Leicester City, £80), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace, £45)
Key loss/es: Ander Herrera (PSG, free), Antonio Valencia (LDU Quito, free)
First 5 games: Chelsea (H), Wolves (A), Crystal Palace (H), Southampton (A), Leicester City (H)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 5th - 21
With the loss of Eden Hazard, coupled with a transfer ban, it was a summer to forget for Chelsea fans. Although, they were able to bring in Christian Pulisic and Frank Lampard as coach which will no doubt please supporters. It will be a rough introduction to the top job for Lampard who will need to get the best out of some of his youngsters such as Callum Hudson-Odoi. With his lack of inexperience at a big club and the loss of Eden Hazard, a Top 4 finish looks a tough task.
Key signing/s: Christian Pulisic (Dortmund, undisclosed)
Key loss/es: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, undisclosed)
First 5 games: Manchester United (A), Leicester City (H), Norwich City (A), Sheffield United (H), Wolves (A)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 6th - 21
Top 6 Challengers
Wolves, Leicester City & Everton
If there was ever a year for one of the Big 6 to get knocked off their perch, it’s this year. With the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea looking unstable, a top 6 finish is a huge possibility for Wolves, Leicester City and Everton. Wolves have once again made some brilliant signings in the off-season, but could be hindered by the possibility of Europa League football. Leicester can only get better under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers and the signings of Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez. Finally, Everton look more dangerous than ever with the additions of Moise Kean, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph.
Crystal Palace, Watford, West Ham, Southampton, Aston Villa and Bournemouth
Although these teams are predicted to earn a mid-table finish, there is some serious talent in these squads and on their day can give any team a run for their money. Watford and West Ham look the stronger of these clubs who boast some players that could easily line up for one of the big 6 clubs.
Sheffield United, Norwich, Newcastle, Brighton and Burnley
It looks like it will be a tough introduction to the Premier League for Sheffield United and Norwich, who look the most likely to go down this season. Burnley could be the third side to join them after a lacklustre transfer window.