With the Premier League season due to get underway in less than a month, we look at the title contenders for the 2013/14 campaign.
The return of Jose Mourinho has led to the team from West London becoming the bookmaker’s favourites to take the Premier League title this season. The ‘special one’ has inherited a squad brimming with talented players such as Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.
Chelsea’s most important transfer is perhaps yet to take place. Mourinho has stated that Wayne Rooney is Chelsea’s only remaining transfer target. If Rooney was to arrive at Chelsea and play to his potential, Chelsea could be the Premier League team to beat.
City have been the big spenders so far this summer, as they fight to return the Premier League title to the blue half of Manchester.
Manuel Pellegrini’s new club can perhaps be accused of overspending, as all of their new players have arrived at the Etihad Stadum for fees reported to be in excess of £20 million. Regardless of the fee, Jesus Navas’ performances throughout the Confederations Cup have demonstrated that he is a fantastic talent.
Negredo finished as the top scoring Spaniard in La Liga last season, and Fernandinho and Jovetic arrive as highly rated players.
Much depends on how Manuel Pellegrini adapts to life in England, but early indications suggest that City look in fantastic shape.
After so much success under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes has arguably inherited the most difficult job in football.
United have reportedly seen two bids rejected for Barcelona ace Cesc Fabregas, whilst there have also been reports of audacious moves for Gareth Bale and even former favourite Cristiano Ronaldo. On that basis, it is hard to tell what Moyes’ squad will look like in a few weeks’ time.
With Rooney likely to leave, the Red Devils are surely set to make at least one marquee signing. Whilst he will need to learn quickly, Moyes is a capable manager. United will have their work cut out to compete for top spot with Chelsea and Manchester City, but it would be foolish to rule them out.
Last season Tottenham recorded their highest ever Premier League points tally and still missed out on a top four finish.
If they are to improve upon their fifth place finish they will need to keep hold of Gareth Bale, and hope he reproduces his heroics of last season. New signing Paulinho impressed for Brazil during the Confederations Cup and should add further quality to the heart of Spurs’ midfield.
In reality, Tottenham will struggle to improve their points total from last season significantly, particularly considering the improvements many of their rivals have made. Therefore a return to the top four would be considered a successful season under manager Andre Villas Boas.
Although the Gunners finished last season brilliantly to beat bitter rivals Tottenham to fourth place, it remains clear that Arsenal need to add to their squad to challenge for the Premier League title.
In particular Arsene Wenger’s men have been strongly linked with Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid. Higuain fits the quality of player that Arsenal would like to bring in, but as yet no high profile signings have arrived.
If Arsenal can bring in a top quality striker and perhaps another defender it would transform their title chances. Until that happens they are likely to spend another year fighting to retain their Champions League spot.
After decline towards the end of the Rafael Benitez era and careless spending under Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers’ main job on Merseyside has been one of rebuilding.
Captain Steven Gerrard has signed up for another two years and new recruits Mignolet, Toure, Alberto and Aspas appear to represent a good blend of youth and experience.
Unfortunately Liverpool still possess very few truly world class players. It will be hard to measure where Liverpool stand until the future of Luis Suarez is resolved.
For now the reds will be aiming to finish in the top four and bring Champions League football back to Anfield.
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