If anyone tells you that they know who will be the English Premier league Champions of 2016-17, then they’d be bluffing. Quite possibly the most open title race in years. The league now has many reputed managers and top players including the world’s costliest player. This previews the big teams of England and how they might fare this season.
The perennial underachievers and chokers of the league. If ever there was a season for Arsenal to win the league even with their inconsistency, it would have to be the previous season where they quite satisfactorily finished 2nd. Every club in the league have made changes to their staff and squad, while Arsenal have made very few. This logically puts them down the pecking order. Possibly Arsene’s last season and with no pressure on this team, maybe they could surprise us with another 4th place finish.
Ins: Mustafi (CB)
They are coming in from a disastrous season under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, and then changing their manager to the charismatic Conte. They are allowed to feel confident this season with additions like Batshuyi and Kante. They’ll be without European distractions and Conte can stamp his mark on the club better. There’s very little pressure on Chelsea to win the league and that’ll help them to play freely with Conte’s tactics.
Ins: Batshuayi, Kante
It’s unfair to not brand the defending champions as one of the top teams, albeit they won it completely against the odds. The team has been robbed off with Kante going to Chelsea, and should Mahrez move elsewhere, then they’d be struggling to create the magic they did last season. The manager is determined and the players are refreshed. This should be enough to consolidate their premier league status this season and even challenge for European spots. Mid week champion’s league matches might be too much on their squad.
Ins: Ahmed Musa.
Klopp has used his freedom to put his philosophy into the club and make the team his own. His signings have been much like what his previous transfers have been like- Shrewd and Quick. While not holding back in selling fringe players. We might see a complete klopp style of play from Liverpool this season. They definitely won’t be easy pickings for any team.
Ins: Joel Matip
They have taken the bold step of handing over the reigns to Pep Guardiola. Although Pep is no ordinary coach, it’s still a drastic step taken by City to hand over the club to Pep to transform it. Pep has dived deep into the transfer market and completed many signings mostly of young prospective players. They had a great team last season and they have all aged by a year now. Pep’s additions refreshes the squad and adds depth to their attack and midfield. If the hype is to be believed, they might as well go on to lift the title come May 21st. But then the league has seen bigger fish fall and crumble due to championship pressure.
Ins: Ilkay Gundogan
They splashed the cash and they have done it in style. Zlatan, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Bailley have been for well over £120million. Zlatan for a free transfer might be the best transfer of the season, while not considering the new costliest home-coming player Paul Pogba. Although it is completely possible that the new players may not perform, one can’t say, with confidence, that Mourinho won’t come good for Manchester United. On paper, Manchester United should win the league- with City competing fiercely for the title. However don’t be surprised to see David Moyes winning the league with Sunderland either.
Ins: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Pochentino has shown that he is a top manager capable of achieving great things with a young and talented team. They will have Champion’s league mid week and it’ll affect their preparations for the league matches. They have strengthened the team with Wanyama and Janssen. They should fair well but don’t expect them to challenge for the title.
Ins: Victor Wanyama
Hull City, Burnley, Watford, Bournemouth, West Brom and Sunderland will all be stuck in relegation battle by the looks of things.