Football

Premier League: Championship contenders 2013/14

Carrick & Ferdinand celebrate United's title success (©GettyImages)
Carrick & Ferdinand celebrate United's title success (©GettyImages).

Since Manchester United have wrapped up a deserved 20th league title on Monday night, it’s time to start considering who may challenge them at the top of the Premier League next year.

The Red Devils will most definitely be there again, with a young squad improving with age and a manager that has been there and done it, Manchester United have to be considered the favourites.

They have also been linked with the likes of Dortmund’s four goal hero Robert Lewandowski and Porto’s James Rodriguez in recent times, a sign that Sir Alex is not going to rest on his laurels in his quest for National and European domination once again.

United’s noisy neighbours will also be in the reckoning, and despite a stop start campaign this time around it is hard to look beyond them as the biggest threat to the Old Trafford crown. Roberto Mancini and his Manchester City side will want to prove that this season was a one-off by bouncing back better than ever. With Sheikh Mansour’s vast wealth behind him, a summer war chest is likely to be at Mancini’s disposal as he looks to shake up his squad in his bid to dethrone the red side of Manchester.

Chelsea will also be challengers, potentially with Jose Mourinho at the helm. There have been increasing reports that the Real Madrid boss is returning to London to take charge at his old club, and he may be joined by Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao. Adding a player of such quality to a squad that will have an extra year of Premier League experience will no doubt be a boost to the Blues chances.

David Luiz, Eden Hazard and Cesar Azpilicueta will be more aware of what to expect next season, coupled with the ‘Special One’ at the helm Chelsea fans will be thinking that anything is possible in the 2013/14 season.

With Arsene Wenger promising to spend some money this summer, it may be worth keeping an eye on developments at the Emirates. Stevan Jovetic is the first name to be rumoured as close to signing a deal with The Gunners and with Wenger’s track record of unearthing hidden talent, Arsenal fans will be hoping they can end their eight year wait for a trophy.

North London rivals Tottenham though, may have something to say about Arsenal’s challenge for the title. Keeping hold of star man Gareth Bale is key, but with ambitious Andre Villas-Boas at the helm you cannot rule Spurs out of a title challenge if they strengthen in key areas. Another high scoring forward is probably top on the wish list at White Hart Lane, whilst at the back a strong centre-half would not go amiss. Should AVB improve in the right places, his side may well be a dark horse in the title race.

Mentions go out to Everton if they continue to build on this season’s performance, although much will owe to the future of David Moyes, and Merseyside rivals Liverpool who will be looking for a consistently strong season under Brendan Rodgers, although they will start the campaign without Luis Suarez after he was given a 10 game ban this week.

It looks as though the main candidates will make up the top six next season, or will there be an outsider who will shock the rest?

 

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