After the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, many are predicting the Manchester United domination to gradually come to an end. With the following three teams not separated by much, could this leave the door open to an unlikely winner next year?
United have taken England's biggest prize this year, in Fergie's final season of his 26 year reign. He's going out with a bang, but there are fears within the red half of Manchester that the incoming David Moyes could struggle.
No matter what sort of side Sir Alex had at whatever time, he was always a winner - regardless of quality. Moyes will need time to begin to follow in his footsteps and so there's a chance the Premier League title may not be at Old Trafford come May 2014.
Obviously, United still have a lot of quality and this is backed up by the emphatic style in which they ran away with the Premier League. They are still, and will always be contenders for the foreseeable future with Sir Alex's legacy still in place.
United's rivals, Manchester City, are the next obvious contenders after their last gasp clinch of the title last year and the quality evident in their squad. History suggests that it is never easy to defend a league title and although league form this season has been disappointing by their standards, City will hope to be right up there again next season with a few extra signings.
Outside of Manchester, there hasn't been a challenger this year. Chelsea showed some scintillating early season form that would suggest a title push, but they soon dropped off.
With Manchester's domination this year, the arrival of the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge next season could be considered a surprise. There are widespread rumours, however, that Roman Abramovich will show serious intent in the summer with regards to signings and the next manager. Players such as Radamel Falcao and Robert Lewandowski have been rumoured, with the 'will he, won't he' Mourinho saga continuing. If Chelsea get everyone they intend to, a fourth Premier League title could be on it's way to Chelsea.
Come the end of the summer, the two North London clubs will probably be at the bottom in the list of clubs in Premier League contention.
It looks like Arsene Wenger will finally brandish the chequebook with a few high profile players coming on to their radar, most notably Stevan Jovetic.
It could be argued that, at the moment, Wenger currently possesses a good squad rather than a title winning squad but this could all change during the summer. Two or three world class signings could put them right up there and accompany their fine balance sheets with a fourth Premier League title.
Finally, Tottenham could challenge. Although they would be an outsider but like Arsenal, two or three world class signings to compliment Gareth Bale's outstanding performances could see them right up there. The first thing they must do however is secure Bale's services for next season after intense speculation, but comfortingly for Spurs fans there are rumours he is about to sign a 130,000-a-week deal.
The signings will however have to be proven and probably expensive. A proven goal scorer and a little more creativity in midfield could be all that is needed.
It is, however, anyone's guess as to who will win next year's title. Will Manchester's domination continue, or will London have something to say about that? Or could another, even more surprising team challenge like Everton or Liverpool?
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