>The long wait is nearly over, and the return of the English Premier League is now just hours away. The Community Shield curtain raiser between Manchester City and Liverpool was far from the dull affair these games often are and will have wetted the appetite of fans up and down the country.
Reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, will once again start the season as favourites to win the title for a third successive season. Their nearest challengers are likely to be the Champions League winners, Liverpool, who they pipped to the Premier League crown by just one-point last campaign.
Other teams expected to challenge include Tottenham Hotspur, last season’s beaten Champions League finalists. The current pedigree of just those three clubs says everything about the Premier League now – the best, most exciting league in world football.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 7, 2019
Here, we preview the chances of those likely to finish at the top of the table.
City are strong favourites to be crowned Premier League champions again and the club the rest must beat having completed the domestic treble last season, winning the title, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. However, it is the Champions League that the club, and more importantly, their owners, will want to win this campaign, which might impact their league form?
They get the defence of their crown up and running with a trip to West Ham, before a mouth-wateringly early fixture at the Etihad Stadium against possible title opponents, Tottenham.
After three say "CHEEEEEESE"! 🧀😁
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 7, 2019
Liverpool may go into the season as Champions League holders, but they have never won the Premier League since the breakaway from the Football League. The Reds may have more of a focus on securing that elusive title, rather than trying to repeat their European success, so this dynamic with City desperate to win the Champions League, could make for an even more interesting season than last.
Despite them winning many admirers for their attacking football last term, they ultimately fell one-point short after a couple of surprise draws towards the end of last season, so question marks remain as to whether they can handle the pressure to maintain a title push.
Anfield is where the new season gets underway, as Liverpool welcome newly promoted Norwich City for a Friday night game under the lights. They then make the long journey south to face Southampton, before facing Arsenal at home in the third game of the campaign.
Tottenham were last season’s beaten Champions League finalists, a campaign that seemed to affect their form in the Premier League and which nearly saw them miss out on a top-four finish. They were without Harry Kane for much of last year, so having him back and fully fit will be a huge boost, as will not having to play at Wembley and instead being able to start the new campaign in their brand-new stadium. The signing of Paulo Dyabla could prove very significant too, so it all looks very positive for Spurs who need to keep pace with City and Liverpool, but everything is pointing to the fact that they might well do this term.
Tottenham get their Premier League challenge underway with the visit of newly promoted Aston Villa, before that huge trip to Manchester to face the reigning champions.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 7, 2019
The Frank Lampard era, revolution, whatever you want to call it, starts at Old Trafford as he takes his new Chelsea side to face Manchester United. The former player returns as manager after just one season in charge at Derby County. His lack of experience will certainly be tested, but it seems he has restored a feel-good factor around the Blues once again.
Eden Hazard’s long-drawn out transfer to Real Madrid has also dominated Chelsea’s summer, but they have secured the services of Mateo Kovacic on a permanent deal, who arrives from Hazard’s new club.
Lampard has promised to give youth a chance at Stamford Bridge, and there is plenty of young talent at his disposal. It will be interesting to see how they get on.
It all starts on Sunday! 🙌
Here's part one of our bumper 2019/20 season preview! 📖
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 7, 2019
Manchester United and Arsenal are expected to make up the top six and have each made a couple of big money signings to bolster their chances. United have boosted their defence by bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, and Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80 million – making him the most expensive defender in the world. Meanwhile, Arsenal welcome Nicolas Pepe from Lille, and William Saliba from Saint-Etienne.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me and played a part in my career.
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 5, 2019
It is expected to be a familiar looking top-six, but Everton have been spending big in a bid to break into those places. We also expect good seasons from both Wolves and Bournemouth.
📸 | The new kids on the block! 🤩
— Everton (@Everton) August 6, 2019
Get Tottenham @20/1 to win the Premier League with MansionBet
Get Everton to finish top 6 @10/3 with NOVIBET
Bournemouth are 23/10 to finish top 10 with ComeOn