There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the upcoming premier league season. Here are our top 5.
5) New managers
Each year we get to see new managers try to prove themselves in the league. The two new ones we’re looking forward to seeing in action are Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery.
In some ways they are opposite personalities. Emery the calm, cool professional, Sarri the chain smoking, ex-banker. Sarri was brought in mainly due to his success with Napoli and his preference for attacking football should mean Chelsea could be good watch this season.
Emery, and the new management structure in place at Arsenal, have already had a quietly successful summer in the transfer market. Can he blend them and make them title contenders? We’re not sure, but the post Wenger era should be a great watch.
4) The promoted teams
The three promoted teams will all offer something different. Wolves are perhaps the most exciting. Managed by Nuno Espirito Santo, they attracted some great signings in the Championship. Some dislike Jorge Mendes’ influence, but expect them to be entertaining. Playing a 3-4-3 formation with a lightning quick front line, their counterattacking style should bring drama.
Despite Wolves taking the headlines, Fulham scored the most goals from open play in the division last year. Expect a high press and the added story of a rising star of Ryan Sessengnon in the big time should provide plenty of intrigue.
Just as Stoke City get relegated, old Stoke could be back. Cardiff are managed by Neil Warnock, so expect many phrases such as “work ethic”, “physicality” and “set piece domination” to be used to describe this team. All the promoted teams should be able to hold their own, though Cardiff are favourites for the drop. So, like their fans, strap in and enjoy the ride.
3) The relegation battle
Though Cardiff, Huddersfield and Fulham are favourites for relegation, fans from several clubs might start off the season concerned. Added to those three teams any from this list could be sucked into a battle to survive: Brighton, Watford, Burnley, Bournemouth, Newcastle, West Ham, Leicester and Southampton. It might not always be pretty, but it should be a great watch.
On the positive side, several of these clubs could challenge for European qualification places. Below the big six it should get very competitive.
2) Liverpool’s new team
They have ‘won’ the transfer window so far. There are no excuses left. A world class goalkeeper, reinforcements in midfield, added to an already exhilarating attack. A strong title challenge should be the only acceptable outcome for the fans, the rivals will hope the wheels come off. Either way, expect entertainment.
1) Title battle
Fans seemed content last season with Manchester City’s procession as they were chasing records. Jesus’ last-minute goal against Southampton an acceptable climax as they reached a historic mark of 100 points. This season that will not be accepted. Manchester United and Liverpool are expected to challenge Manchester City for their crown. Can Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal make it one of the most exciting, open title races in recent years?
We certainly hope so. All we know is, you won’t want to miss a second of it.