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Manchester United and top seven possible 2014/15 Premier League starting XIs

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With the World Cup over it's now time for fans to start hanging off each and every word of the gossip columns before the start of the Premier League season.

We take a look at how all of last season's top seven could line up at the start of the 2014/15 season, which looks set to be one of the best ever:

Man City

1st Team: Hart, Clichy, Mangala, Kompany, Zabaleta, Fernando, Touré, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko

2nd Team: Willy, Kolarov, Demichelis, Nastasic, Sagna, Javi Garcia, Fernandinho, Milner, Navas, Jovetic, Negredo

This squad is nothing short of what you can expect from the defending Premier League champions. It keeps the Pellegrini tradition of a fast attacking style 4-4-2 formation going, whilst adding defensive solidity in midfield with the acquisition of the former Porto star Fernando, allowing Touré to get forward more. City also look set to raid Porto for France international Eliaquim Mangala creating a formidable partnership with Vincent Kompany in the process.

In terms of the 2nd team, it leaves a little to be desired in central midfield and on the wings, with Javi Garcia yet to impress at Eastlands and Jesus Navas' hot and cold performances last season, meaning competition for places wouldn't go amiss. 

New Signings: 4, Verdict: 2nd

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1st Team: Mignolet, Rodriguez, Sakho, Lovren, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge

2nd Team: Reina, Enriqué, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Can, Allen, Lambert, Malkovic, Borini, Origi

Brendan Rodgers looks set to bulk buy in an attempt to fill the void left by Luis Suarez, with Lallana coming in to add more creativity for the clinical Daniel Sturridge. In terms of the defence, Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez comes in to hopefully continue the form that saw him keep the likes of Messi, Higuain and Di Maria quiet for 118 minutes at the World Cup, meanwhile Lovren comes in to partner Sakho to provide more defensive solidity.

The squad is where the most acquisitions are made with Pepe Reina coming back to deputise for Mignolet, and the reserve back four offering decent cover. Emre Can is brought in at defensive midfield to provide cover for the ageing Steven Gerrard, but the team still look a bit bare in that central midfield area. A trio of Lambert, Malkovic and Borini offer support to Belgian Divock Origi, who looks set to offer cover for the slightly injury prone Sturridge.

New Signings: 7, Verdict: 5th


1st Team: Courtois, Filipe Luis, Cahill, Varane, Ivanovic, Matic, Ramires, Fabregas. Hazard, Willian, Costa

2nd Team: Schwazer, Bertrand, Terry, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Tiago, Van Ginkel, Oscar, Salah, Schurrle, Lukaku

This Chelsea team is deadly. The best young goalkeeper in Europe is behind arguably the best defence in the Premier League, with a powerful midfield duo of Matic and Ramires holding to allow the remaining attacking quartet to express themselves, behind the deadly finisher that is Diego Costa.

A definite downfall of this squad is that it lacks cover defensively, and is perhaps a bit light in the central midfield role, with Chelsea fans still yet to see the best of Van Ginkel. Also it is unlikely that Lukaku will want to spend time on the bench which could cause disruption within the camp, but despite this the trio behind him includes Oscar and Schurrle, both of whom scored in the World Cup semi-final, which is undoubtedly where Chelsea look at their strongest.

New Signings: 5, Verdict: 1st


1st Team: Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Debuchy, Bender, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

2nd Team: Ospina, Monreal, Hayden, Ginter, Jenkinson, Flamini, Wilshere, Podolski, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell

This Arsenal first team looks very good on paper, there is a solidarity in the regular centre-back partnership of World Cup winner Per Mertesacker, and Laurent Koscielny, and the experience of Gibbs and Debuchy at full back. Bender brings power and endless toil to the midfield allowing Aaron Ramsey to get forward and support the terrifying trio of Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott, who are all behind the ever improving Olivier Giroud.

The squad then has a quality back-up goalkeeper in the form Colombia number one David Ospina, but is perhaps a little bare in terms of defensive cover, with Jenkinson and Hayden both still rough diamonds, Ginter a somewhat unknown entity in the Premier League and Monreal still yet to impress in red and white shirt. The midfield however, is very strong, and supports the Costa Rican World Cup star Joel Campbell, who's pace and directness will offer something different up front for the Gunners.

New Signings: 5, Verdict : 3rd


1st Team: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Peinaar, Barkley, Mirallas, Welbeck

2nd Team: Joel, Oviedo, Distin, Alcaraz, Hibbert, Diamé, Besic, Forrest, Osman, McGeady, Naismith

This Everton team hit fine form towards the end of last season to properly challenge for the top four, and this team is capable of doing so again this year. World Cup record-breaker Tim Howard continues in goal with a solid back four including the exciting talent of John Stones, who could be a regular for both club and country by the end of the season. The holding duo of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy continue in midfield to allow the attacking talents of the explosive trio of Mirallas, Barkley and Pienaar to provide for the hungry Danny Welbeck.

The second team perhaps is lacking in defence with Alcaraz failing to impress last season and Hibbert not getting any younger. However, in midfield Besic and Diamé offer solidity and the ability to get forward, whilst young Celtic forward James Forrest adds enigmatic talent to a front line that includes the proven trio of Leon Osman, Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith.

New Signings: 4, Verdict: 6th


1st Team: Lloris, Blind, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Aurier, Schneiderlain, Paulinho, Lamela, Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend, Adebayor

2nd Team: Freidel, Rose, Kaboul, Capoué, Walker, Sandro, Bentaleb, Lamela, Sigursson, Lennon, Soldado

This Tottenham team under the new stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino are unlikely to be able to spend much on transfers without selling a few players first, due to the tight ship that chairman Daniel Levy prefers to run, so the signings look set to be limited to  both full-backs and in defensive midfield. Blind and Aurier both wowed viewers at the World Cup and would be brilliant purchases that would no doubt shore up their defence, meanwhile Schneiderlin would add solidity to the midfield that frequently lost its discipline last season. Meanwhile, the trio behind the relatively prolific Adebayor look set to be enough to secure a Europa League spot comfortably.

In terms of the squad it still lacks centre-backs, with Capoué much more comfortable in a defensive midfield role, and perhaps a quality central midfielder, with Bentaleb far from the finished article, and Sandro lacking the discipline required to run games in the premier league. The forgotten man Erik Lamela, could be revived under Pochettino, whilst Sigurdsson and Lennon provide quality back up to the first team, and can supply for Soldado who may be able to find his form once more under a new manager.

New Signings: 3, Verdict : 7th 

Man Utd

1st Team: De Gea, Shaw, Vermaelen, Evans, Jones, Vidal, Cuadrado, Herrera, Mata, Rooney, Van Persie

2nd Team: Lindegaard, Evra, Keane, Smalling, Rafael, Wiliam, Valencia, Young, Kagawa, Wilson, Hernandez

Van Gaal looks set to adopt a 4-4-2 formation with United, which involves England starlet Luke Shaw and Thomas Vermaelen coming in to help the defence. Meanwhile, in midfield Vidal will offer the power that was lacking under David Moyes, with Cuadrado providing width whilst Herrera will be a deep lying playmaker, and Mata playing the same role, but much further up the pitch. A front two of Rooney and RVP will be deadly and will finish the chances the midfield behind them create.

The squad involves an ageing Patrice Evra at left back with Chris Smalling and Micheal Keane offering decent back up at centre back and Rafael remaining the only out and out right back in the squad. In midfield Wiliam Carvalho looks like one of the hottest prospects in Europe after a brilliant season in defensive midfield with Sporting Lisbon, whilst Young and Valencia offer more youth, and Kagawa providing the creativity that saw him become one of the best players in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. Up front Hernandez remains the fox in the box that can come off the bench to win any game, whilst James Wilson has more goals than games in a red shirt.

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