Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were a class above their rivals in 2017/18. Finishing the campaign with a record points tally, most goals scored and largest gap to second place, City broke various top flight records last season.
Expecting more of the same this season would be foolish though; England’s elite clubs will be looking to pip the defending champions to the title.
With the World Cup now over, preparation for the domestic campaign is well and truly underway. We are now less than a month away from the opening weekend and those players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup will be given an extended break.
August could be an interesting month if the major contenders struggle to hit the ground running. We look at the six primary candidates for Premier League glory in 2018/19...
Are the Blues destined to defend the Premier League crown? It is hard to back against them after their dominance in 2017/18. City have been quiet in the transfer window so far but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Guardiola act before the start of the campaign.
Riyad Mahrez has finally completed his move to the Etihad Stadium – two years after he was first linked with the Blues. The former Leicester City star will give City an added dimension in the final third and he may help Pep’s side as they look to retain the English title.
The Anfield faithful will be expecting big things after a heavy summer of spending and there will be plenty of punters siding with Jurgen Klopp’s men. As mentioned in an article back in May, the Reds are well placed to push on and claim a first Premier League crown.
With Naby Keita and Fabinho under contract and AS Roma goalkeeper Allison likely to join in the coming weeks, Liverpool need to challenge for major honours this season. Silverware is an absolute must after their expensive transfer activity in recent months.
Jose Mourinho’s side pipped Liverpool to second spot last season but most fans are expecting the Merseyside outfit (3/4) to finish above their rivals. Mourinho came under scrutiny for his approach in 2017/18 and a more attacking approach is expected this campaign.
The Red Devils move quickly to sign Brazil international Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk and his arrival could allow Paul Pogba to take on a more advanced role. The 2018 World Cup winner will return to Old Trafford full of confidence and he can be United’s difference maker.
Antonio Conte is out and Maurizio Sarri is in. The Blues will be expecting to bounce back in 2018/19 after missing out on Champions League football last season and their new manager can endear himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful with a positive run of results in the early stages of the campaign.
With Cristiano Ronaldo now plying his trade with Juventus, Real Madrid will be looking for a marquee signing and Eden Hazard fits the bill. Their hopes of a top four finish hinge on whether the Belgium winger stays at Stamford Bridge or leaves for Santiago Bernabeu.
Tottenham’s main business this summer has been in-house but it would be foolish to ignore the importance of tying Harry Kane and Mauricio Pochettino down to long-term deals. Spurs will head into the campaign confident of another top four finish at the very least…
The new White Hart Lane is starting to take shape and it will almost certainly rank as one of the best stadiums in the Premier League. Tottenham fans will be hoping that their off-field success pays dividends; 14/1 isn’t a bad price based on Spurs’ recent exploits.
It is going to be a strange campaign for Arsenal fans. Unai Emery has been busy this summer but have the Gunners done enough to challenge for Premier League glory? If truth be told, probably not – Arsenal are some way short of lifting the top flight title.
Finishing in the top four will almost certainly be Emery’s top target next season; anything else is a bonus. The Gunners must improve away from home to stand any chance of a positive campaign though and Arsenal still need to bolster their squad in a number of key positions.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*