As we gear up for the new Premier League season, I think it is worth looking at the clubs vying for the title and my predicted top 4.
Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City starts a new era at the Etihad. Most people, including me, fancy Man City for the title. In Pep Guardiola, they have the best manager we have seen in the last 8 years. His style is based around a 3-4-3 formation playing a high defensive line and relaying on his central midfielders to control the game & giving his strikers the freedom to do what they do best. This unorthodox style is highly effective, and has seen him win 21 Major Honours as a Manager.
They have also made some decent signings; Iklay Gundogan for £20 million is a steal, a man who won the Bundesliga in his first season at Dortmund. He was also part of the Dortmund side that finished runners up in Champions League final. Man City seems to be investing in youth with acquisitions of Nolito, Lerony Sane, Oleksandr Zichenko, Gabriel Jesus and the possibility of John Stones. I feel we may see Manchester City start to dominate the division over the next few years.
Predicted finish: 1st
Like their Manchester counterparts, Manchester Utd have started a new era under the ‘Special One’ José Mourinho, who will re-galvanise a Man Utd side that are currently a shadow of their former self’s. José Mourinho is perfect fit for this Manchester Utd side, I believe his tactical ability to adapt to every situation will be major difference you will see from last season.
As always, José’s business so far has been impeccable: Zaltan Ibrahimovic, a player who record speaks for itself. He is a man who, even at 34, will bag you 15-20 goals a season. Also, with Rashford, Martial & Rooney alongside him, Man Utd’s front line looks formidable this season. José has also brought in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, someone who tactically is a great player, known for his vision, passing ability and has an eye for a goal. Mkhitaryan is the perfect Mourinho player. Mourinho has also signed Eric Bailly, a decent young Centre Back, who rejected Manchester City to play under José Mourinho at Manchester Utd. I feel we will see a mass improvement at Manchester Utd, however I do feel they will just drop short.
Predicted finish: 2nd
Last season the Spurs squad was full of young high quality footballers, however their lack of experience cost them the title and they ended up finishing 3rd. Well, this season, 3rd would be a massive achievement.
This year Spurs will have to deal with the Champions Leagues and Premier League, which may demonstrate their lack of strength in depth. They have made a couple of signings in Victor Wanyama & Vincent Janssen; however neither has shown themselves to be at the required level in my opinion. Where Spurs finish will all depend on those who played last season. Harry Kane, Deli Ali, Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris will all have to be at the top of their game. However, taking into account everything I saw last year, I do believe they have the ability to hold on to 3rd place.
Predicted finish: 3rd
Last season we saw Chelsea struggle to defend their title, they looked completely different from the team we saw dominate the league the previous season. However, I believe with Conte coming to Stamford Bridge, bringing with him his high technical knowledge and his very successful 3-5-2 formation, he will change what we will see from Chelsea. He plays with two out and out strikers, supported by a box to box midfielder with wingers pushing forward, with two more defensive midfielders sitting back & supporting the back three. Conte played this formation at Juventus where he won 3 consecutive Series A titles.
Chelsea also have the pleasure of not having to play in the Champions League, which means all focus will be purely on the domestic season. They have also made the best signing of the transfer window in signing Kante, we all saw what he did last season and throughout the Euro’s. However, for me, they haven’t strengthened enough to make a real challenge this season.
Predicted finish: 4th