With the arrival of world-class managers and eye-watering sums available for investment in the transfer market, the competition for the Premier League title is widely acknowledged to be more open than ever before.
The majority of pundits have agreed that at least seven of the 20 contenders have genuine claims but where the golden ball will land when the richest roulette wheel in football comes to a rest is probably more difficult to deduce as the season kicks-off than it has ever been before.
Manchester City’s intentions are clear with the recruitment of arguably the best manager in the game in the shape of Pep Guardiola. Anything less than a third Premier League crown being housed in the Etihad boardroom next May will be regarded as failure.
The target will be the same across the city at Old Trafford. With Jose Mourinho in charge at United, life will not be dull especially with their squad already revived with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.
Chelsea will have to drastically improve on last season’s disappointing 10th place finish. The introduction of former Juventus and Italy boss Antonio Conte to the managerial chair and GBP30 million worth of N’Golo Kante in to the midfield engine room will mean there’ll be no repeat of some of 2015-16’s tepid performances.
With Jurgen Klopp setting out on his first full season at Anfield, Liverpool have already proved that they have the attacking options to mount a sustained challenge. The Reds’ bid will inevitably be aided by the lack of European competition.
An early season lengthy injury list and relative lack of transfer activity has left many Arsenal followers with an uneasy feeling of déj?* vu. The Gunners haven’t lifted the Premier League trophy since the invincible 2003-04 campaign but, with Arsene Wenger entering the final year of his current contract, they could yet find the inspiration to go one step further than last season’s runners-up slot.
Tottenham Hotspur looked like likely champions for much of 2015-16, only to eventually run out of steam and trail in behind their north London rivals.
Their young squad could be better for the experience and, with the emotion of their final season at White Hart Lane, another strong challenge can be expected despite the distraction of Champions League football.
And then there’s Leicester City. The 5,000/1 outsiders pulled off the near impossible last season with some punters enjoying the kind of returns usually only seen in the best online casinos – as seen at www.casinoreviews.co.uk – however veteran manager Claudio Ranieri believes this season it will be even more difficult to break the bank. However, with the goal threat of Jamie Vardy still in their armoury, the Foxes will not give up their title without a considerable fight.