Chelsea and Arsenal look the most likely to topple Man City

It would seem inconceivable for this season’s Premier League to match the exhilarating highs and debilitating lows of the previous campaign.

Alam Khan
by Alam Khan
14th August 2014

article:14th August 2014

Prized scalp: Having won the title twice in three seasons, Manchester City start 2014/2015 as the team to beat.
Prized scalp: Having won the title twice in three seasons, Manchester City start 2014/2015 as the team to beat.

It would seem inconceivable for this season’s Premier League to match the exhilarating highs and debilitating lows of the previous campaign.

Such was the entertainment served up, it was one of the best ever, and why other top leagues lack the same intensity and crazy, un­predictable outcomes.


Dethroning Manchester City as champions will be one objective and there are few surprises about their potential rivals

Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all have ambi­tions, but realistically the first two pose the biggest threat to Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

Jose Mourinho didn’t come back to Stamford Bridge, and English football, to be a failure. While fin­ishing empty-handed in the first year of his return might have been deemed a transitional period, nei­ther he, nor owner Roman Abram­ovich, will accept another without a major prize.

And Mourinho can have no ex­cuses either. By splashing the cash on Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, and bringing back old warhorse Didier Drogba he has cre­ated his own special squad and will expect a special effort.

City have similar strength in depth, but having won the league twice in three seasons, their de­sire and focus may well turn to the Champions League.

Arsenal have flair and firepower, but need to answer questions about their defensive fragility after con­ceding 17 goals in three meetings with rivals City, Chelsea and Liver­pool last season.

It promises to be another battle of epic proportions for the coveted top four spots and Louis van Gaal will want to make an instant impact at Manchester United. With a fresh approach, fresh talent and no Euro­pean football, they will look to mus­cle their way back into contention.

Tottenham should be in the frame too with Mauricio Pochet­tino hoping to provide some steel, style and stability to the White Hart Lane outfit after his arrival from Southampton.

Liverpool look most vulnerable.

One man may not make a team, but the impact Luis Suarez had was both irrefutable and unforgettable.

Boss Brendan Rodgers has gone for squad strengthening to replace the brilliance of the Uruguayan.

But while that transfer policy might improve defence, with the solid Dejan Lovren, and midfield, with the creativity of Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic, there could be problems up front if Daniel Stur­ridge and Rickie Lambert struggle to gel as a partnership, and Steven Gerrard is unable to remain the driving force he was.

Despite Everton’s record pur­chase of Romelu Lukaku and the energy of Roberto Martinez’s side, they will be among those watching from afar. So too Newcastle and a Southampton outfit shorn of sev­eral stars.

Down at the bottom, all three promoted sides face a massive fight for survival. Burnley look brittle and favourites to make an imme­diate return, while Leicester will need new striker Leonardo Ulloa to prove he is no gamble.

With experience, particularly a new centre-back pairing of Rio Fer­dinand and Steven Caulker, QPR should avoid an unwanted hat-trick.

But Rangers fans will not be alone in facing a long, hard season.

Having surprisingly appointed Alan Irvine to replace Pepe Mel and signed a £10m (Dh61m) striker, Brown Ideye, that the manager ad­mits to not having seen live, West Brom could face a similar ordeal to the last one.

So too Crystal Palace, who will need Tony Pulis to work more of the motivational magic that somehow kept them up.

Aston Villa and Swansea will be reliant on frontmen like Christian Benteke and Wilfried Bony for goals to keep them afloat, but Stoke, West Ham, Hull and Sunderland should be in better shape. 


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