- Manchester City
City absolutely dominated the league last season by accumulating a whopping 100 points and securing the Premier League trophy with a 19-point advantage over 2nd place Manchester United. Other teams have strengthened around them, so I don’t think that they will be able to repeat last year’s record breaking season. However, even if City dropped off slightly they still should be able to win the league. The signing of Riyad Mahrez adds even more quality to their talented side. Young players like Sané and Raheem Sterling should still be hungry for success and manager Pep Guardiola has been in similar positions with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
This season Liverpool will be Manchester City’s closest challenger for the title. Additionally, the title will not be won by 19 points like last season; instead it will be a much closer and competitive contest. Liverpool seem to have solved most of their weaknesses this summer. The signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho greatly strengthen their midfield and Xherdan Shaqiri adds much needed depth to their attack. However, the signing that really stands out is Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson. Alisson is a massive upgrade to Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet and can save this team a ton of points. Liverpool look great in preseason and I think this will be a big year for Jürgen Klopp and the reds.
- Manchester United
The curious case of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. This summer hasn’t been the most positive for the red devils. Mourinho has criticized his own players and questioned the ability of his youngsters. There are rumors that Pogba is unsettled and after he had such an amazing World Cup, there are questions as to why he hasn’t played at that level for Mourinho. United made a really good signing with Brazilian midfielder Fred, but probably need a center back before the transfer deadline. Don’t get me wrong this team is really good and third place isn’t a horrible finish, but with the lofty expectations of this club it will be a disappointment. The third season is typically when Mourinho implodes and loses his team. If this happens this season it will be bad news for United. City and Liverpool both have tons of momentum and positivity around their side which can’t be said for Manchester United and for that reason I do not think they will finish as high as they would like.
After failing to secure a Champions League spot last season, Unai Emery is the man to take Arsenal back into the top four. The players seem to be rejuvenated and more motivated after Wenger left and a new young manager, Emery, took his spot. I think Aubameyang will have a terrific season for the gunners and their attack looks very good with a potential front three of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Mkhitaryan. Lucas Torreira is a great signing to bolster the midfield and Bernd Leno is a quality keeper. Honestly, this fourth spot will be a very competitive position, but I do believe that if Arsenal play at their best they will get fourth.
Chelsea is an interesting one. They just hired former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri who has proven himself to be a top manager with a fast-paced attacking style of play coined “sarriball.” Yet, Chelsea waited until July to finally sack Antonio Conte and hire Sarri, so he has not had much time to get the squad up to speed with his style of play. Additionally, it looks like Thibaut Courtois will force a move to Real Madrid which will be a big blow. I think that Sarri will need time to make this squad his own and for that reason I think they might just miss out on Champions League this year. Yet, Chelsea and Arsenal could very easily swap positions.
Tottenham have been consistent in recent season with their “golden generation”. Yet, this team has not won anything to show for their quality. This squad is very good and has top players like Harry Kane, Son and Dele Alli. Surprisingly while other teams in the top 6 have strengthened this summer, Spurs have yet to make a single signing. Surely they could use some more firepower to compete with the other big clubs and even make a surge for a title. Pochettino is a brilliant manager and they will still compete for a Champions League spot, but with every other team strengthening it’s hard to argue that they will be able to outperform them. I could see Tottenham winning the League Cup or FA Cup which would be welcomed by their fans.