After England lost out to Italy in the final of Euro 2020, thoughts now turn to a brand new Premier League season. In what has been a relatively quiet summer of spending, until Man City signed Jack Grealish, clubs expectations are high.
The burning questions ahead of the new campaign will be can Man City retain their title. Will the other side of Manchester push the blue side of the city? Could Chelsea serious mount a challenge and how will new boys Brentford fare.
So many questions with plenty of answers which will all be revelled come May. Let’s take a look at the sides who will be trying to remove City from their crown.
After an encouraging late run last season from Mikel Arteta’s boys, expectations are running high in North London. This season Arsenal will have no midweek matches to contend with which should work in their favour.
The club will need a strong start to silence the critics, but with the signing of Ben White it appears a genuine statement of intent.
Can Villa survive without Grealish
Last seasons mid table position certainly summed of the midlanders.On their day a side capable of beating the best and also losing to the worst. Minus Grealish is a massive blow to Dean Smith’s side and how they will recover from this remains to be seen.
This week Smith made a big signing with Danny Ings joining from Southampton. With other signings also made in the shape of Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey then Villa shouldn’t struggle.
After several near misses, the Bees are finally in the top flight of English football. Early momentum looks the key to their survival hopes. Playing at a brand new stadium with some excellent home support may go a long way to their survival.
Having conceded only 46 goals last term their defence should be rock solid again. However their lack of goals up front is a serious concern along with too many draws last season.
With the sale of White there will be money available to the Seagulls who have already invested in Enock Mwepu from Red Bull Sazburg.
Burnley under Dyche need to improve
A disappointing 17th place for Sean Dyche’s side last season will surely be bettered this campaign. The Clarets boss has been promised better funds for players, with midfield a priority.
The capture of £12 million man Nathan Collins looks good business with more to come.
They made nervy work in capturing a top four finish last season, before sealing a second Champions League title. Thomas Tuchel’s side look the likely challengers to Manchester City.
The Blues mean business after appearing to grab the signature of Romelu Lukaku for just under £100 million. With the names of Erling Haaland and Declan Rice linked with the club the Blues will be a big threat.
New Eagles boss Patrick Viera will be relishing his first season in charge of a Premiership club. The appointment looks a risk with Viera looking to the lower leagues for potential signings. Two of which have already been snapped up with Marc Guehi and Michael Olise signing for the Eagles.
Under new boss Rafa Benitez all eyes will be on the blue half of Merseyside. After taking over from Carlo Ancelotti, Benitez will have to rescue an atrocious home form for Everton to be serious title contenders.
Benitez has already signed Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray- both wingers- to strengthen the side. Everton will always be under the shadow of their great rivals Liverpool, with this season being no exception.
Can Leeds keep making improvements
The Elland Road outfit certainly proved the doubters wrong last season. Nobody does well with all championship players they said. How wrong they were. However now comes the dreaded second season syndrome.
Some extra depth to the squad wouldn’t go amiss, but overall the future looks bright in West Yorkshire.
After an FA Cup win last season and an improved points finish on 2019/20, Leicester are making strides. Gearing up for another assault on the Europa League faces City. Rodgers has added to his squad by signing RB Salzburg star Patson Daka along with Ryan Bertrand. Potentially two good signings on paper. Expect Leicester to once again be a top six side.
After Liverpool’s injury woes last season a third place finish realistically most fans would have expected. Klopp so far has kept quiet in the transfer market, instead opting to keep the nucleus of his squad. However several of his key name players are now not far off their 30’s, with age going against them.
City the side to beat
Very few sides maintain the Premiership title, but City have the squad more than capable of achieving this. Despite no treble or quadruple last season after a slow start they clicked into top gear.
All of City’s rivals are going to have to work extremely hard to get near them. The acquisition of Grealish looks a major statement of intent. The club will start the campaign without the legendary Sergio Aguero. Aside from this loss the squad still looks the strongest in the Premier League.
Under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer the Reds are making steady progress. A strong second place finish last term was just rewards for the criticism OGS received. With the arrival of summer signings Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho already in Manchester the Red Devils will once again be a big player.
Once again the Toon Army will look towards the exciting Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson to deliver. After a terrific end to last season with the signing of Joe Willock the Magpies should have enough to stay up.
Welcome back to the Prem Norwich
The preverbal yo yo club Norwich City are back in the big time. Daniel Farke’s side should be stronger after their disappointing 21 point campaign in 2019/20.
For the Canaries to survive they need to sign another striker to partner the excellent Teemu Pukki. Otherwise it looks like another season of struggle for the East Anglian outfit.
After a poor second half of last season’s campaign, Ralph Hasenhuttl will be under pressure to deliver. A squad that already looks thin on the ground after losing Ings could have a tough campaign ahead of them.
Tottenham will start the campaign under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The former Wolves man will be another manager who will be under pressure from the off. At least he will have the services of Harry Kane now after much doubt earlier this month.
However for Spurs to succeed it will be down to the double act of Kane and Son to produce the goods again.
Watford back in the big time again
Watford are back in the big time after the first time of asking. The club will need to carry out a lot of strengthening for them to survive. The Hornets have been busy in the summer with Danny Rose, Josh King and others added, but will this be enough to survive.
The Hammers certainly over achieved last campaign. For the first time since 2007 the East London club will be experiencing European football. David Moyes will need reinforcements to inject energy into a squad that looked drained towards the end of the season. A big headache for Moyes will be trying to keep the vultures away from Rice.
With the decision to dispense of the services of Nuno after his first rocky season at Molineux, what will this season hold for Wolves.
Former Benfica boss Bruno Lage has been given the reigns to help push the club back to the Premier League elite. Losing Jimenez last season was a massive blow for Wolves. It will be very interesting to see how Lage handles the intensity and pressure of the Premier League.