This Premier League season could see the tightest contest in years, with the two major sides jostling for top spot. The window certainly played a key role, and the last few weeks will have helped determine the sides most capable of a title challenge.
In Manchester City, we have a slightly altered system that will incorporate Erling Haaland. Haaland is a sensational scorer of goals, but he goes into a side that commonly faces a low block, and is used to rotating their on field forward line. Haaland is not used to either of these facets, and this may cause some period of adjustment. Equally so, he may come in and score an absolute truck load, but only time will tell. Jack Grealish needs a break out season, having spent so long on the bench last year. With Raheem Sterling & Gabriel Jesus gone, Pep has made it so Grealish must become more of a starter. He too needs to adapt, and the opening few months will be intriguing at the Etihad. They are the reigning champions, and certainly the team to beat.
Liverpool were a tight second last year, and i think their own transition will run that big smoother that City’s. The system does not need any reshaping, and in Nunez they potentially have a greater goal threat. With a defence that is often maintaining world class standards, this can allow any mild transition up top, and are probably eager to avenge last seasons near misses.
Chelsea may well need time to reshape their defence, and this could well let Tottenham take the initiative. Antonio Conte is a world class manager that simply excels wherever he lands. Spurs have had a strong summer (in the market), and have had time to settle in. Chelsea are still looking to recruit, and though Raheem Sterling is a brilliant signing, the backline still needs more work. Kalidou Koulibaly is again a top recruit, but unless Tuchel is opting to keep his back three, one more defender will be needed.
Manchester United can surely only improve, but the midfield is still so lopsided, and defence only capable of a deep line. Huge work is needed across the squad, and it’ll take many windows to sort the mess. The individual quality should see them repeat themselves this season.
Arsenal are a team that is trying to adapt, but their own central midfield could be their undoing. They are an exciting team to watch, and will be part of some entertaining games.
The middle section of the league will no doubt see lots of movement, with some good quality amongst this groups starting line ups. A lack of quality in depth will probably see a gap from the top six emerge early, with UEFA places hotly contested at the seasons end. Newcastle are the team to watch, and how far they can climb this season.
The three sides coming up will be fighting for their lives. The need to add Premier League calibre players, will likely see each team struggling to compete over a long campaign, but Nottingham Forest have been active and impressive thus far. Teams like Crystal Palace and West Ham will be looking to have strong seasons, and Brighton will be hoping to maintain. Leeds and Everton will probably be dragged into deep waters, and could struggle to survive once more.
This table represents an opinion, and with a busy few weeks of window remaining, most teams will be hurriedly recruiting till the last moment.
On a final note, West Ham look great in their recruiting, and I hope they can exceed my improved expectations, and challenge for top six.
1 Liverpool – 85-90 points
2 Manchester City – 85 – 90 points
3 Tottenham – 75 – 80 points
4 Chelsea – 70-80 points
5 Arsenal – 70-80 points
6 Manchester United – 60-70 points
7 West Ham – 60-70 points
8 Newcastle United – 55-65 points
9 Leicester City – 55-65 points
10 Crystal Palace – 50-60 points
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers – 50-60 points
12 Southampton – 45-55 points
13 Brighton Hove & Albion – 45-55 points
14 Nottingham Forest – 40-45 points
15 Brentford – 40-50 points
16 Aston Villa – 35-45 points
17 Everton – 35-45 points
18 Leeds – 30-40 points
19 Bournemouth – 25-35 points
20 Fulham – 25-35 points