Who can stop Manchester City?
Where the top of the Premier League were extremely active on the transer market last year, there haven’t been much firework this year. Only Liverpool and Arsenal have drawn their wallet multiple times, Tottenham Hotspur even kept completely quiet for now. It is doubtful however, if this will have an impact on this season’s standings.
Manchester City recorded only one purchase this summer: Riyad Mahrez from Leicester city joined Pep Guardiola’s side. With only experienced midfileder Yaya Touré leaving the Citizens, you could say that City’s squad houses the same quality as last year.
At the other side of Manchester, José Mourinho bought Fred from Shakthar Donetsk and Diogo Dalot from FC Porto. It is questionable however, whether these players will provide the Mancunians with the quality to beat Manchester City for the first place.
Where Tottenham Hotspur didn’t record any purchase this summer, Liverpool have been the most active from Premier League’s top six. Allison (from AS Roma) became the most expensive goalie in history, and also Naby Keita (RB Leipzig), Fabinho (AS Monaco) and Xerdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) joined the Reds for large fees. Jurgen Klopp’s intentions have made clear: finally become Premier League winners.
Chelsea and Arsenal both have a lot of work to do to wash away the dissapointing last season. The Blues rely mostly on the work of fresh coach Maurizio Sarri, who did took Jorginho with him from Napoli. The Gunners brought in Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Bernd Leno (Bayern Leverkusen), Sokratis (Borussia Dortmund) and Stephane Lichtsteiner (Juventus), however non of these players seem to be players that really can lift new coach Unai Emery’s side to another level.
We believe that the Manchester City dominance will only expand this season. With all the important players still aboard, the Citizens are still the well-oiled machine they were last year. It is difficult to see beyond them for this year’s title. Also, we think that Sarri will have a great impact on Chelsea. He showed his capacity with turning Napoli into the fighting machine that even came close to beat absolute ruler Juventus for last year’s Serie A title. Archrivals Manchester United and Liverpool will fight for third and fourth place, while Arsenal and Spurs will not be good enough to join the title race.
At the bottom, it will be interesting to see whether newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Fulham will be capable of escaping the relegation zone. We think that especially Fulham, who made some very big purchases (e.g. Jean-Michaël Seri from OSC Nice) will have a good chance to stay up. Next to Wolves and Cardiff, we think that Huddersfield Town or Brighton & Hove Albion might become the third team that will be relegated at the end of the season, where also Southampton could face a tough season, following the departure of Dusan Tadic to Ajax.