Rating our rivals

Various-EPL-Club-Crests

The Premier League season finally kicks off this weekend and with Liverpool’s record spending this window, let’s take a look at how our rivals are shaping up ahead of the new campaign.

Man City - The reigning champions is the obvious place to start. City swept aside all challengers in record breaking style last season, becoming the first team to ever reach 100 points in a league season and finishing a whopping 25 points ahead of ourselves. With Mahrez their only major signing however, it’s debatable whether they’re really any stronger than last season and we can only hope the lack of a preseason for De Bruyne may lead to a slower start to the season. They will deservedly go into the new season as favourites and are definitely still the team to beat. I think we’ll be closer to City this season with the signings we’ve made but whether it will be enough to overhaul a 25 point gap, remains to be seen.

Man United - Mourinho’s third season. It’s traditionally when things start to turn pear shaped for Mourinho’s tenure at clubs and if his comments and body language this preseason are anything to go by, it looks like things are right on schedule. Their only major signing is Fred who I must admit, I know very little about but I don’t see a defensive midfielder suddenly turning them into world beaters. He’s further marginalised Martial in recent weeks and news has broken today that Barca are moving for Pogba and the player is keen on the move. All is clearly not right at Old Trafford and while they will probably grind out their fair share of victories, I think we’ve surpassed them this window and I fancy we’ll finish above them this season.

Spurs - They’ve actually done nothing this window. Not a single signing so far and almost all their top players have missed preseason due to World Cup commitments. At best, they’ve stood still. We’d have finished above them last season had it not been for our European commitments and I anticipate a bit of burn out this season in their squad. To that end, I expect them to drop off second half of the season and I reckon we finish above them as well.

Chelsea - Who knows. I mean really. Complete basket case of a club. They could win the league or finish 12th and nobody would be massively surprised either way. A lot will depend on whether Hazard and Courtois stay but at this point in time, there seems to be too much turmoil there for them to be considered a serious threat and I don’t see a sustained title challenge from them.

Arsenal - Something of an unknown quantity this season, having been the easiest to predict for at least the last decade. The post Wenger era starts and how Unai Emery will get on is anybody’s guess. I don’t think they’ve significantly strengthened though and like Chelsea, I don’t view them as serious contenders the way things stand.

Personally, I think it’s a straight shootout between ourselves and City. I think we have easily the second best squad in the league and I think we’re not that far off City at all. We will need a bit of luck to go all the way but for the first time in the Premier League era, I think we’ve got a squad capable of winning the league. I can’t remember going into a season with such positivity and such a feel good factor surrounding the club. 25 points is a big gap to close but with this manager and our fans, anything’s possible... right?
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