The 2013/14 season promises to be one of the most competitive that will ever grace English football.
With both Manchester clubs and Chelsea emerging as favourites, many have discarded the possibility of Arsenal finally ending their trophy drought of eight years and two months, but could they perhaps defy the odds.
Chelsea, reunited with manager Jose Mourinho, will be in high spirits. Finishing 3rd last season was a very modest reflection on the London club's true potential. Their Europa League triumph was their saviour, placing yet another piece of silverware in their glorious cabinet.
However, Chelsea have lacked consistency with managers since Mourinho's departure in 2007, and now that he has returned, they will hope that he can return with emphasis.
A Premier League trophy couldn't be more perfect. Mourinho will dive straight into the Premier League, and he will only have his eye on the ultimate prize. Chelsea's key players this season are undoubtedly Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. With their pace and footballing intelligence, they can dominate any side in the midfield.
But what is a midfield without a lethal striker? Chelsea will struggle to capture the title without being equipped with a goalscoring machine prepared to convert all the chances Mata and Hazard will provide him with.
If Chelsea can sign Wayne Rooney, they will have a significant shout for the title. With his heading and finishing abilities, he would be the perfect addition to the squad, and perhaps tip the balance in Chelsea's favour.
Chelsea have been labelled favourites to win the league, with 9/4 odds from Bet 365, Sky Bet, Betfred and more.
Manchester City, and newly appointed Manuel Pellegrini, also have a considerable chance. With the funds available to the club provided by owner Sheik Mansour, they have purchased Stevan Jovetic & Alvaro Negredo to conquer any problems they had up front last season.
Last season, David Silva and Sergio Aguero failed to live up to the standards they had set the previous season. I personally think that Jovetic has the edge of ability over Negredo, so he will probably claim the starting place above him, and link harmoniously with Aguero.
All Pellegrini needs to do is give them lots of practice together to improve their chemistry, and they will blossom as a pair. Combine that with an in form Silva and you have a title winning recipe.
Manchester United, grief-stricken from the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson, and having a relatively dismal pre-season, aren't looking too comfortable. Especially now that the bookies have rendered them third favourite for the title, it seems that 21st title is drifting further and further away.
The newly appointed manager, David Moyes, is a consistent manager and has the support of all United fans. He lacks the experience in contending for the title, which might ultimately be United's downfall this season.
The key players for them this season are Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick. United are relying on experience to carry them through this season, and where better to harvest it from than these two.
It was an exhilarating debut season for van Persie, netting 30 goals. If the prolific striker can reproduce this, it will substantially increase United's chances.
Carrick, on the other hand, was United's maestro last season, and his passing ability and work rates will prove vital next season.
Arsenal, who are the only top-four club to retain their manager for this season, have a better chance than usual. The run of being trophyless for over eight years will just fuel their determination, and Arsene Wenger is in prime position to take advantage of the situation.
Santi Cazorla, in particular, was exemplary last season. However, similar to chelsea, they are lacking up front. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are both decent strikers, but Arsenal need to acquire something spectacular to net goals on a regular basis if they are to contend for the title.
They have two options: convert Theo Walcott into a striker and see whether he can be their knight-in-shining-armour, or purchase a superstar, which would be very unorthodox for them.
Arsenal failed to sign Gonzalo Higuain, who instead moved to Napoli. However, they are in touching distance of tying down the controversial Luis Suarez, and all they have to do is up their offer of £40,000,001.If Arsenal land Suarez, they could surprise a few this season.
It is very close, and very difficult to call. All we know is that we are in for a magnificent season packed with drama and surprises.
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