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Premier League title contenders: Assessed

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The first games of the new Premier League season have come and gone, and there have been winners and losers.

The bookies have already decided that Chelsea and Manchester City are favourites to win the league, with Manchester United in a close third.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool shouldn't be written off so easily though, not with Arsene Wengers experience, Andre Villas-Boas' tenacity, and Liverpool's investment in Spain's youth of tomorrow.

Let's start with the current champions.

Manchester United

Its been a big summer for United, their biggest for many years. Sir Alex Ferguson has retired, David Moyes has been brought in with a new backroom staff, and Wayne Rooney's future is uncertain.

Last season United strolled to the title, seemingly because of two reasons. Firstly, a lack of competition. No other team really got going or matched the consistency shown by Ferguson's men. Secondly, Robin Van Persie. That's all that needs to be said about him.

A lack of transfer activity has left many fans frustrated this summer, with promises of Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini all coming to the club. United are still trying to sign Fellaini and Leighton Baines, but have had a bid of £28 million rejected this week.

It would appear that Moyes is going to have his work cut out this season, but has started brightly with a win over Wigan in the Community Shield. United have also started the League in some fashion, beating Swansea City by four goals to one away from home. Robin Van Persie has continued his goalscoring for the club - he's already on four goals this season.

If United can make a couple of signings before deadline day, and their main man Van Persie can continue to score, then there is no reason why they won't retain the title.

Manchester City

City have had a change in the man in charge as well, with Manuel Pellegrini coming in for Roberto Mancini. They have also been proactive in the transfer market, spending around £90m on Fernandinho (£30m), Jesus Navas (£17m plus add ons), Steven Jovetic (£22 m) and Alvaro Negredo (£16.4 m plus add on).  They have also seen the departure of Carlos Tevez, which after last season's debacle should be seen as a good thing for both parties.

It is no surprise that City have spent so much already this season, seeing as they have an 11 point difference to make up on United.

And they have started this season with aplomb, scoring four goals against a very poor City side. Two of the new signings, Navas and Fernandinho both started, and Navas in particular impressed. Negredo also came on from the bench and had a goal disallowed.

The challenge for Pellegrini will be keeping this "team" of big names and even bigger ego's happy. If he can do that, and avoid injuries to key players, then expect to see City really challenging this season.

Chelsea

Chelsea seem to be everyone's favourites to win the league this season. And you can understand why. The Special One has returned, and with Jose Mourinho in charge, Chelsea can do anything. On top of this addition to the team, Chelsea have also made smart signings this summer, in particular the addition of Andre Schurrle to add another option to an already exciting front line.

The only thing that most fans and even the club's owner himself seem to have forgotten is why Mourinho left in the first place. He became disenchanted with the club, and his relationship with Roman Abramovich completely fell apart. During his time away from the club only the good memories of Mourinho have remained, and it will be interesting to see if any of the negative memories resurface.

The one position Chelsea still seem to be lacking in is their striking options. Fernando Torres is still seen as the first choice striker, but he hasn't quite lived up to expectations since his £50m arrival from Liverpool.

It is yet to be seen if Mourinho will give Romelu Lukaku the chance that he has earned during his season on loan at West Brom. Chelsea have been linked to Samuel Eto'o in the past weeks, and you have to think that if they sign him, that their chances of winning the title will significantly increase.

Arsenal

A poor start to the season alongside next to no activity in the transfer market has left many fans angry at Wenger and the club.

However, Arsenal are still a top four team, and have the basis of a good side. If they can make wise signings in the coming weeks, and get a bit more luck in the injury department, then Arsenal should still challenge for the top four again this season.

Tottenham

Tottenham fans should be eagerly awaiting this season. The arrival of Soldado and Paulinho in particular should have wetted the fans appetite.

The squad has been strengthened and should be able to withstand injury problems slightly better this season.

The season has started well with a win against Crystal Palace, and Soldado opened his account for his new club. The only issue that needs sorting is the Gareth Bale situation.

It should be a win-win for the club. If they sell him then they will have made some serious cash, and it would be reinvested wisely. If they don't sell him, then they have retained one of the best players in the world.

Either way, Spurs should be able to challenge alongside the top four this season.

Liverpool

Liverpool aren't often mentioned in the same sentence as top four challengers nowadays. This season could be different though, with Brendan Rogers investing wisely in young talent, such as Aspas.

They started the season brightly with a solid win against Stoke City and now it seems that Luis Suarez is going to stay. If they can get him scoring again then Liverpool look to be very well set up for the coming season.

All in all it should be a very interesting season, and it should produce some amazing and controversial moments soon enough. At the present moment, my instinct is that Chelsea will win, but if United can strengthen their midfield, then I wouldn't be surprised to see them storm the league again.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Chelsea
Manchester United
Liverpool

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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