The new Premier League season is about to kick off and it is going to be an interesting one. There is not a league that has the collection of managers like the Premier League this season. The Manchester managers alone should provide some great storylines.
This title race should be wide open. The defending champions Leicester are outsiders to repeat as they have lost some big parts. Many people will be wondering if they can repeat what they did last season, or if they will be able to cope with the addition of Champions League football to their schedule. The two title favorites come from Manchester, as both City and United are the title favorites according to the bookies. Both of these clubs have new managers. Manchester City has appointed Pep Guardiola as their new manager. He has been busy this summer reshaping the team. He has brought in Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan, and Nolito. He will change the style of play and is still looking for a couple more players. Manchester United has appointed Jose Mourinho. He has not been as busy as Guardiola, but he has spent some money this summer. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are already with the team and Paul Pogba is going to be announced this week. The question is, is this enough for United to jump from outside the top 4 and win the title? Only one team has ever done that and it was Leicester last season. Arsenal is a perennial team with a chance to win the title, but they always seem to come up short. They seem to be missing the goal scoring striker everyone says they need. Will Arsene buy one? Tottenham, Liverpool, and Chelsea will all be looking to get into the race. The race for the top 4 this season should be a great one as at least 7 teams will think that they have a legitimate shot at a spot in the Champions League.
The Three Promoted Teams
The first team promoted to the Premier League was Burnley who won the Championship last season. They returned to the Premier League after one season in exile. Middlesbrough also achieved promotion after a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, which meant that they finished above them thanks to goal difference. Middlesbrough is back after 7 seasons in the Championship. Hull City became the third team promoted after they defeated Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship Playoff final. Hull City was also able to bounce straight back up after finishing 18th in the Premier League in 14/15. However, Hull lost their manager Steve Bruce when he resigned on July 22nd.
This summer saw a lot of changes at some of the biggest clubs in the league. Overall 8 teams have changed managers this summer. The big two happened in Manchester. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was sacked and Jose Mourinho replaced him after he was sacked by Chelsea last season. Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini knew he was on the way out before the season was over when it was announced that Pep Guardiola was coming in. Chelsea replaced Mourinho with Antonio Conte after a horrible season that saw them miss out on European football for this upcoming season. Everton fired Roberto Martinez toward the end of the season since he was not performing up to their standards. Everton then went and signed Southampton manager Ronald Koeman. This meant that Southampton needed a new manager and they went for Claude Puel. Puel has been managing in France since 1999 with stints at Monaco, Lille, Lyon, and Nice. He won the French league in 1999/2000 with Monaco. Watford decided to fire their manager, Quique Sanchez Flores and have replaced him with former Napoli and Internazionale manager Walter Mazzarri. Sunderland has replaced Sam Allardyce with former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes. Sam Allardyce was named as manager of England. Hull City is without a manager right now since Steve Bruce resigned in late July.
5 Big Incoming Transfers
Leroy Sane – Schalke to Manchester City (£42.50m)
Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United (£
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United (£35.70m)
Granit Xhaka – Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal (£38.25m)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG to Manchester United (Free)
5 Big Outgoing Transfers
Sadio Mane – Southampton to Liverpool (£35.02m)
N’Golo Kante – Leicester to Chelsea (£30.43m)
Victor Wanyama – Southampton to Tottenham (£12.24m)
Tim Howard – Everton to Colorado (Free)
Graziano Pelle – Southampton to Luneng (£12.97m)
My Picks – Manchester City
Brad’s Picks – Arsenal
Champions League Places
My Picks – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United
Brad’s Picks – Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United
My Picks – Hull, West Brom, Middlesbrough
Brad’s Picks – Crystal Palace, Burnley, Middlesbrough
My Picks – Sergio Aguero
Brad’s Picks – Harry Kane