Ah, finally the hibernation is about to get over. It feels like ages. Although, this summer, we had the Confederations Cup, but nothing quite like the thrill and passion of the most watched football league in the planet.
As the rehab period is drawing to close, we are all set to enjoy the drug that is the Premier League, keeping the football addicts hooked on to it. Here at Soccerlens, we undertake a short guide to the season that lies ahead.
Last season, Manchester United won the Premier League title at a canter. They were a cut above the rest and it was reflected in the league table as well. One might argue that other teams had under-performed to a huge extent, but hardly has it taken away any credit from the Red Devils and their vaunting superiority.
The situation this time around is bit different. For the first time in more than two decades, United will start the league without their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who stepped down from the football management. He was quickly replaced by David Moyes of Everton to build on the legacy left by the great Scott.
Likewise, rival clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea have also decided to start from the scratch and new managers have been appointed there too. Former Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has taken up the vacant role left by Roberto Mancini at City, while the demi-god of Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho has returned for his second spell in charge.
The title race is most likely to take place between these three clubs, though Arsenal could join the party too. While United have struggled in the transfer market to add quality players to the side, cross-town rivals City have splashed more than £90 million to add four players and Pellegrini certainly believes they have the best squad in the country.
On pen and paper, City have the look of a really strong team. They already boast a strong defence and after adding fire-power in midfield and in the attacking front, the noisy neighbors have a high chance of reclaiming back the title from their derby rivals.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool should be the three main contenders fighting for the Champions League qualification spot. Of them, Spurs and Liverpool have improved their squad significantly, though both the clubs are fighting hard to keep hold of their star players – Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez.
Arsenal are sitting in a bit precarious position. The Gunners have the money to spend (as reported in the media) but so far has only been able to add an unknown youngster, Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer.
Likewise, Everton and Swansea would be in contention for the Europa League places as well. The Swans have made some intelligent signings which could bolster their chances of doing better than last season, while Everton will be looking to progress further under the tutelage of Roberto Martinez.
Last season Sunderland, Newcastle and Aston Villa all faced the crude threat of getting relegated, but in the end the axe fell on QPR, Wigan and Reading.
Sunderland have added few new faces in a bid to bolster their chances of finishing in a better position, while Newcastle would be hoping their last season’s January signings to come good. Likewise, Aston Villa should build on their late good performances that saw them to safety towards the end of last season.
Thus the pressure is on the three newly promoted sides, namely Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace to deliver. It would be interesting to see how Stoke City approach their season under Mark Hughes and along with Fulham, could be the clubs to flirt with danger till the end.
Top scorer of the season
Luis Suarez will miss the first few games of the season, which makes Robin van Persie the automatic contender for this category. Either of Alvaro Negredo or Sergio Aguero will come close.
Best signing of the season
Spending big bucks on player doesn’t make a good signing. Ask Liverpool fans for that matter. There have been some fantastic signings made in the summer – Gary Medel, Iago Aspas, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Victor Wanyama, Wilfried Bony et al. However, to pick any particular signing would be a tie between Roberto Soldado of Spurs and Stevan Jovetic of Manchester City. Both the players could play a huge role in shaping the fortunes of their respective clubs.
Worst signing of the season
Premier League teams seem to have learnt their lessons. No longer can we make fun of big money signings like Andy Carroll to Liverpool or Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City. Still, going with F365 writer Nick Miller – “Chelsea have potentially spent 18 million of the most pointless pounds in football history on Andre Schurrle…”
Chelsea already an avalanche of attacking players in the squad and the money could have been utilized in a better way, bolstering other areas of the squad.
- Arsenal 2013-14 preview
- Aston Villa 2013-14 preview
- Cardiff City 2013-14 preview
- Chelsea 2013-14 preview
- Crystal Palace 2013-14 preview
- Everton 2013-14 preview
- Fulham 2013-14 preview
- Hull City 2013-14 preview
- Liverpool 2013-14 preview
- Manchester City 2013-14 preview
- Manchester United 2013-14 preview
- Norwich City 2013-14 preview
- Newcastle United 2013-14 preview
- Southampton 2013-14 preview
- Stoke City 2013-14 preview
- Sunderland 2013-14 preview
- Swansea 2013-14 preview
- Tottenham 2013-14 preview
- West Brom 2013-14 preview
- West Ham 2013-14 preview