Just six weeks after experiencing a breathless World Cup in Brazil, the football season is back for another exciting, action-packed 9 months of non-stop drama & controversies.
Our main focus will be [arguably] the most competitive league of them all: The Barclay’s Premier League. There are managerial changes, star-studded signings & some shocking departures, which all mean it promises to be fiercely competitive at both ends of the table.
Despite the two best players in the world plying their trade in Spain, England’s top flight has a wealth of talent- with top stars from across the globe still flocking to these shores to play for a few of the biggest clubs in the world. Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have all signed up for the new season, to go along with Mesut Ozil, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Robin van Persie and Vincent Kompany; the list goes on and on.
So, who will do what in the planet’s most-watched league over the next nine months? Which teams will be competing for glory and which will be fighting off the despair of relegation?
B-Change takes a look at the teams:
During the entire 2013-14 campaign, we were on the edge of our seats as four clubs challenged each other until the final few weeks. It was a title race unlike any other, and this season, it’s almost guaranteed that we will once again experience the same excitement, but with even more sides fighting it out for top spot.
Chelsea blinked first in the transfer market & signed the former Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. He will be joined at Stamford Bridge by Spain teammate and one of the most lethal strikers in the world, Diego Costa, signed for £30m from Atletico Madrid.
Although these acquisitions make the blues many people’s favourites to win their fourth premier league crown, you can’t write off all the usual suspects, who have also strengthened over the summer.
The Champions, Manchester City, have added to a star-studded side, which scored a 102 goals last season, with the signings of Fernando and a defender who proved himself while playing for F.C Porto: Eliaquim Mangala. The biggest news for the blue side of Manchester, however, is the commitment from their top performer, Yaya Toure.
Meanwhile, Arsenal, who beat City 3-0 in the curtain raiser of the premier league [most commonly known as the Community Shield], look like they’re in better shape to have a full charge at the title with the addition of Alexis Sanchez, who proved his trades while playing for F.C Barcelona. Arsenal have gone on to replace Bacary Sagna by purchasing the right-back Mathieu Debuchy and have added the promising Calum Cahmbers to their squad.
Liverpool may have lost one of the best strikers in the world, but have replaced him with a host of players as they look to replicate their form last year- this time with the added pressure of Champions League football.
And after the disaster of last season, Manchester United is back & look more confident under new manager, Louis Van Gaal, who already looks like the perfect appointment. With no European football this term, Wayne Rooney and Co. are raring to go & have more signings to join Luke Shaw & Ander Herrera as they will be back challenging for a 14th Title.
Team to Watch
Everton, managed by the very talented Roberto Martinez, is ready to go once more this term. Despite a below-par pre-season on the pitch, Everton have had a decent transfer window and smashed their transfer record to sign Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis for £28m, snapped up Gareth Barry on for free, and brought in Serbia’s impressive defensive midfielder, Muhamed Besic.
In addition, Ross Barkley also committed his future to the club, which signals there is more of a determination and intent than ever at Goodison Park, to challenge and get to the top, rather than settle for fifth, sixth or seventh place.
If the Toffees can get off to a decent start, keep their key men fit, and improve on the eight points from eight games they got against the top four last season, then they could possibly gatecrash the top four. However, with Europa League football and more competition at the top this year, everything needs to go right for the Toffees.
Manchester United – (In) Louis van Gaal (Out) Ryan Giggs (now assistant)
Tottenham Hotspur – (In) Mauricio Pochettino (Out) Tim Sherwood
Southampton – (In) Ronald Koeman (Out) Mauricio Pochettino
West Brom – (In) Alan Irvine (Out) Pepe Mel
Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona to Arsenal (£35m)
Luke Shaw – Southampton to Manchester United (£32m)
Diego Costa – Atletico Madrid to Chelsea (£32m)
Eliaquim Mangala – FC Porto to Manchester City (£32m)
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to Everton (£28m)
2. Manchester City
3. Manchester United
6. Tottenham Hotspur
8. Stoke City
9. Newcastle United
10. West Ham United
11. Swansea City
14. Hull City
16. Crystal Palace
17. West Brom
18. Aston Villa
19. Leicester City