I’m going to stick my neck out and say Chelsea. If Jose Mourinho can get Radamel Falcao firing, keep Diego Costa injury free and Eden Hazard retains his impervious form from last season, Chelsea will win it at a canter.
Chelsea. Arsenal. Manchester United. Manchester City.
Arsenal might spring a surprise and go one better than last season. Petr Cech is up there as one of the signings of the summer, it’s just a question of who will get the goals. Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side are probably the team who have strengthened the most out of the top four this summer. They are now stacked in the midfield, but they still lack a world-class central defender to push them any further than a third place finish. Manchester City will drop down to fourth. They have not strengthened enough over the summer despite the signing of Raheem Sterling. Central-defence is an issue with Eliaquim Mangala looking like the proverbial fish-out-water and Vincent Kompany’s form still somewhere in the wilderness.
Leicester, Watford and Sunderland.
Esteban Cambiaso is a massive loss for Leicester City, he was their player of the season last year and will leave a gaping hole in midfield for them. It is difficult to see Claudio Ranieri keep his men out of the drop zone. Newly promoted clubs can be accused of bringing in too few players (Burnley) to help them retain their Premier League status, but Watford have brought in far too many new faces. New manager, Enrique Sanchez Flores, has to contend with adapting to life in the Premier League whilst getting to grips with 10 new players. Dick Advocaat helped pull off the great escape for Sunderland last season and will have to do the same again, but this team needs a complete overhaul in order to survive, and that overhaul has not come. Jermaine Lens is an exciting winger, but Younes Kaboul is not an upgrade on either John O’Shea or Wes Brown.
I fancy United to go all the way. They have added real depth to their midfield with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, an area they have been utterly deficient in for some time. Van Gaal will be under pressure to pick up some real silverware, now his first season in England is out of the way. You’d feel their best chance is in the FA Cup.
It is a stellar buy for Crystal Palace and a great bit of business from Alan Pardew to snap-up an old colleague. Yohan Cabaye is well accustomed to playing in the Premier League after his three seasons with Newcastle and should be able to hit the ground running. His range of passing and vision is second to none, making him the ideal deep-lying-playmaker to keep Palace ticking over.
Mark Hughes is crafting a fine team at Stoke. The additions of Ibrahim Affelay, Marco van Ginkel (on loan) and Bojan Krkic have really transformed the look of the Potters. Yet, the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Jon Walters remain. It is a combination of brains and brawn and will see the Potters secure their best Premier League finish to date.
What would a pantomime be without a villain? The way Fabian Delph executed his move to City left a pretty wretched taste in every football fans mouth. If the footballing Gods have their way, the 25-year-old will see out his City career cemented to the bench.
Not since the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has a winger offered the red-half of Manchester so much excitement. The Dutch international is dynamic in attack, possesses blistering pace and has an eye for goal. He looks set to be everything Angel di Maria was not, a United legend
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news