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.