The Premier League kickoff todays and teams are already getting ready for another nine months of explosive football.
Thepledge’s Augustine Akhilomen predicts how teams will finish based on their last season performance, preseason games, and summer transfer signings.
The Citizens are the reigning Premier League champions after narrowly clinching the title last season (2018-2019) in a close contest with Liverpool. It was the second time Manchester City will be lifting the trophy under team manager, Pep Guardiola since joining the team from Bayern Munich.
On paper, City appears to be on track to win the Premier League title for the third time in a row going by their successful pre-season campaign and most recently defeating Liverpool via penalties to clinch the FA Community Shield last weekend.
With the same crop of players still part of this season’s campaign and a couple of additions such as Rodri (Atletico Madrid) and Angelino (PSV), Guardiola’s side remains potential champions for the title once again even though Liverpool will give them a run for their money.
The 2018-2019 season will always be an unforgettable one for Liverpool as the team went close to winning the Premier League title, only to be denied by Manchester City with just one point.
However, the Reds had something to smile about when they defeated Tottenham in the final to lift the UEFA Champions League.
There is a doubt on whether Liverpool could maintain the same form of last season considering how the team faltered in the preseason campaign, where they managed just one win against Lyon and lost the FA Community Shield to Manchester City last weekend, albeit on penalties.
Regardless of the team manager, Jurgen Klopp’s failure to sign quality players during the summer transfer, even though they signed fringe players such as Sepp Van Den Berg (PEC Zwolle), Harvey Elliott (Fulham) and Adrian (West Ham), the Reds are still expected to finish on a high this season.
Perennial underachievers, Spurs have always shown their determination to compete for Premier League in the last four seasons only to falter when it matters most.
Last season was also not different as the team finished fourth in the league and lost the UEFA Champions League final to Liverpool.
Under team manager, Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have played quality football and are expected to move one step further after enjoying a brilliant preseason campaign, where the team defeated Juventus, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to win the Audi Cup.
With the arrival of record signing, Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon and Jack Clarke from Leeds United, the team looks likely to finish on a high this season.
Little may be expected from the 2018-2019 Europa League winner after the team was banned from signing players this summer by UEFA.
Chelsea who are under a new manager, a former legend, Frank Lampard after the departure of Mauricio Sarri to Juventus last season, will be facing a tough task of setting the team back to Premier League title-winning ways.
The London club finished third last season (2018-2019) and have had a decent pre-season campaign, defeating Barcelona to win the Reukter Cup in Asia. The only loss came against Kawasaki in their first preseason game.
Lampard though has a mountain to climb having sold Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, however, with the arrival of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, the team has what it take to maintain their Champions League spot.
Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær may probably not be under any serious pressure to deliver titles this season despite the team’s impressive display during the preseason campaign.
Having finished 6th last season, the Red Devils will be hoping for an improving performance going by the summer signings they have made so far.
The arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City in a record transfer, Daniel James from Swansea, and Aaron Wan-Bisska from Crystal Palace have given United fans some element of delight as he’s expected to fix their defensive loopholes.
Except the unusual happens, Arsenal may continue to fall short of their true identity, that is, competing for titles in the Premier League.
The team finished 5th last season and have had a contrasting preseason campaign where they managed to pull a handful of wins.
However, Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, who recently splashed a record fee to sign Lille forward, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano Futebol Clube), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) and William Saliba (Saint Etienne) Kieran Tierney (Celtic) and David Luiz (Chelsea) this summer transfer window, may have made a statement of intent of his determination to win the EPL title. But the departure of Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and a couple of fringe players, have thrown question marks on their title credential this season.
The Toffees finished 8th last season (2018-2019) despite having players on the injury list. However, Everton will be hoping to move one step further after making some serious signings such as Andre Gomes (Barcelona, £22m), Fabian Delph (Man City, £9m), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz, £25m), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, £35m) and Moise Kean from Juventus.
Wolves shocked many football pundits in England with the team finishing 7th in the Premier League last season, to qualify for the Europa League.
No doubt, Wolves will be hoping to maintain their high-flying form in the preseason where they defeated Manchester City in the Asia Premier League Cup via penalties, to send a statement of intent to other teams in the topflight.
Their European engagement might prove a welcome distraction for the team and could ultimately affect their domestic challenge.
Another team that has failed to retain their Premier League glory of 94′ where the team finished as champions ahead of teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Having finished last season 13th on the table, The Toons have what it takes to cause more upset this season, most especially with the signing of Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice, £16.5m), Jetro Willems, Joelinton (Hoffenheim, £40m), Kyle Scott (Chelsea, free), Jake Turner and the return of former England striker, Andy Carrol.
The surprise winner of the 2016 Premier League title have also struggled to replicate such heroic performance as Leicester City under manager, Brender Rodgers will be facing the task of rewriting the club’s history once again.
The Foxes finished 9th in the Premier League last season and have made positive signings such as Ayoze Perez (Newcastle, £30m), Youri Tielemans (Monaco, £40m) and Mitchell Clark (Aston Villa, free) to solidify the team.
City’s preseason campaign has also been impressive but then, they will need to sustain that same winning aura in the Premier League in a bid to remain within the top 10.
Certainly one team that have proven to pick points against some of the top six teams in the Premier League, Bournemouth finished 14th on the table last season and will be desperate to move one step further.
With the acquisition of Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City, £13m), Jack Stacey (Luton, £4m), Philip Billing (Huddersfield, £15m), Arnaut Danjuma (Club Brugge, £13.5m) and Harry Wilson (Liverpool, loan), it is expected that the team would hold their own against other teams in the Premier League.
The 2018-2019 Championship Playoff winners are no stranger to the Premier League. Aston Villa was relegated three years ago and made a dramatic comeback to the league with a 2-1 win over Derby Country for the Promotion ticket.
They have some sets of quality players such as Jack Greelish and Jota who played a vital part in their promotion to the Premier League. With the addition of Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge, £11m), Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Matt Targett to mention a few, there is no doubt that Villa would avoid relegation.
Having finished the 2018-2019 season in 10th place, West Ham, under manager, Manuel Pellegrini must avoid the poor start they made last season this time around if they must remain in the Premier League.
The team has indicated their readiness to finish on a high going by the business they have done in the summer transfer window. Players such as Roberto (Espanyol, free), Pablo Fornals (Villarreal, £24m), David Martin (Millwall, free), Sebastian Haller (Eintracht Franfurt, £45m) and (Goncalo Cardoso (Boavista, £2.7m) were signed by Pellegrini to strengthen the squad.
Yet to fulfill their true potentials despite having quality players in their disposal, Crystal Palace will be hoping to thrive this season after finishing 12th on the table last season.
With the additions of players such as Stephen Henderson (Nottingham Forest, free), Jordan Ayew (Swansea, undisclosed), and Gary Cahill (free agent) coupled with Wilfred Zaha staying in the club, the team seems to have the balance to face tough oppositions in the Premier League.
The Championship top leaders are making a return back to the Premier League after five years of absence. If Norwich fluent style of play last season and their preseason form are anything to go by, then, the team will rub shoulders with some of the best teams in the Premier League this season.
Another team with the potential to cause upset in the Premier League. Watford finished 11th last season and are certainly not going to go beyond fighting for survival in the 2019-2020 season. The club also got busy in the last few hours of the transfer window sealing deals for Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) and Ismail Sarr (Rennes) to add to their firepower upfront.
Despite having a decent preseason campaign and the signing of players such as Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liege, £14m), Dan Bartlett (Coventry City, free), Che Adams (Birmingham, £15m) and Danny Ings (Liverpool, £20m), Southampton still remain short of quality.
Expected to battle for relegation this season despite signing Luke Freeman (QPR, undisclosed), Phil Jagielka (Everton, free), Callum Robinson (Preston, £8m), Ravel Morrison (free agent), Lys Mousset (Bournemouth, £10m), Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Dean Henderson (Man Utd, loan) and, Oli McBurnie (Swansea, £20m).
Burnley will have it tough this season having finished the 2018-2019 season in 15th position. Much shouldn’t be expected from Burnley this season and they may face a relegation battle.
The team will definitely fight for relegation this season and would be lucky to finish above the drop zone.