With the curtain closing on a memorable World Cup summer, attention now switches to the new Premier League season. Here, we look at how last year's top seven will fare during the 2014/15 campaign.
Tottenham and Manchetser United have appointed new managers following a season of dejection. The old, traditional top four have strengthened their teams whilst champions Manchester City will hope that a quiet summer of transfer activity and stability will be a recipe for further success.
Manuel Pellegrini will be confident ahead of his second campaign at the Etihad Stadium, following a successful first campaign that saw City capture the Premier League trophy by scoring a record number of goals and also lift the Capital One Cup. Not bad for a first season.
Despite their domestic success, however, City were outclassed in the knockout round of the Champions League. Pellegrini's ambition is to defend his team's Premier League crown and also print Manchester City's name into European history.
I believe that this team will narrowly fall short this year and will be outfought by rival
managers and players. A top-four finish will be achieved, though.
Two momentous questions linger over the Reds ahead of next year. Was last
season a one off? And will they cope without Luis Suarez?
Liverpool were marvellous last year. A one-man team they were not as players from all positions performed consistently well. Despite not yet managing to lure in a lucrative signing, the players they have acquired are solid purchases. Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have proved their Premier League quality.
Liverpool supporters have more magical Champions League nights at Anfield to relish once again this season. This team is of a high standard and will compete for a top-four
finish and domestic trophies. But with the sale of Suarez, they do not have a superstar who can make the crucial difference in big games.
The Blues were disappointing following Jose Mourinho's keenly-anticipated return to Stamford Bridge. The manager's constant moaning and negative tactics resulted in a trophyless season to forget.
Another manager who was not the 'Special One' would have received the
inevitable boot from Chelsea's demanding hierarchy. History tells us that. But Mourinho will argue it's a period of transition.
The signing of Cesc Fabregas will add quality to their midfield and Diego Costa's arrival will leave the Portuguese coach with no more excuses about his lack of quality up-front.
With the eye catching signings and Mourinho's great record, Chelsea can expect a better season with trophies a huge possibility.
If the Gunners can remain relatively injury-free throughout the campaign, they will improve on last season and be even more successful. With Arsenal's history of injuries, it's uncertain to say whether this is possible.
They seem to always have key players like Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere on the sidelines at some point.
Alexis Sanchez is an addition that will strike fear into opponents. Arsene Wenger's investments on Mesut Ozil and Sanchez prove that Arsenal are back in competition with the teams vying for the title. Lifting the FA Cup could be the beginning of a period of exceptional achievement for this team.
Roberto Martinez's team are extremely well-organised and play attractive football. Keeping hold of players like Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman will secure another top-seven finish for Everton.
If they want to maintain their position of fifth or aim higher, it depends on one man: Romelu Lukaku. If they can somehow persuade the Belgian - and Chelsea - to return for another year, then Everton will compete with the big teams. Even without Lukaku, Everton are a strong
outfit and will be fighting for a place in Europe.
Another new manager means another new beginning at White Hart Lane. There are so many unanswered questions that will determine how Spurs perform this year. Will there be much transfer activity?
The new contract signed by Hugo Lloris was brilliant news for the North Londoners. But that's not enough for Spurs fans. They demand new additions after such a turbulent season. Ben Davies, Loic Remy and/or Wilfried Bony would be positive signings.
But speculation is mounting that Liverpool have entered the race to sign the Swansea men and Arsene Wenger may want to secure Remy.
Can Mauricio Pochettino get the best out of the players who arrived last summer and failed to impress? Until the transfer window closes and we see Spurs play, then it's impossible to
predict their fortunes for next season. But with Pochettino as head coach, the Spurs way of playing the beautiful game will return to the Lane, much to the delight of the fans.
Louis van Gaal is the first person that enters our heads when we contemplate the new season for United.
Undoubtedly, they now have a quality manager. The additions of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw will make the team significantly better. With the prospect of further new signings ahead, the Old Trafford crowd have exciting times ahead.
They will miss Champions League football desperately, especially the fans that are so used to it. But this absence is temporary. Liverpool's exclusion from European football last season was advantageous and it will be the same for United.
Winning the Premier League may be a step too far in year one, but securing a top-four finish and a domestic trophy are realistic aims. But Van Gaal being the winner he is, there is no doubt he will be gunning for the Premier League title from the first kick-off.
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