The Premier League season is now just under a week away and it is shaping up to be yet another fantastic, thrilling, and un-predictable campaign. While a huge component of that is the traditional Top Six clubs that usually attempt to battle it out for glory.
City dominated proceedings in the League last season finishing a comfortable twelve points ahead of rivals United in 1st place. However, with the additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane it’s entirely possible that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have done enough to bridge the gap between them and the ‘Blue’ side of Manchester. Chelsea is also always firmly in the mix as well and they are the reigning Champions League winners after all. It also wasn’t that long ago that Liverpool was the bees knees of the Footballing world with their domestic and European trophies causing a constant, menacing ruckus. Arsenal shouldn’t be discounted either. If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can get back to the sort of form that saw him bag 60 total goals over the previous two seasons (prior to the last one), then the ‘Gunners’ should be in with an unlikely shot as well. And you just never know what to expect from the Spurs, ala their magical run all the way to the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.
Each and everyone of those sides has an x-factor player or an extremely potent situation going for their clubs that means as always, this season’s title holders should come from any one of those six illustrious, colourful, and historical franchises. Here is exactly why that is.
It only seems right to start off with the reinvigorated franchise that has claimed the Premier League title on five separate occasions dating back to the 2011-12 top-flight English season. They are a club that breeds success, and they have quality superstar depth in literally every position. And the mastermind of it all is Pep Guardiola, a man who all in all has won 10 different trophies during his time in charge of City.
That depth is exemplified by having none other then both Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish in the Midfield together. From 25 played PL matches last season the Belgium De Bruyne came up with 6 goals and 12 goal assists. The season prior to that he registered 14 goals and 20 goal assists. Now the Englishman Grealish has been brought into the fold as well and he was exceptional with Aston Villa last campaign as they won 16 matches. He was the focal point of their attack as he came up with 6 goals and 10 assists from 26 domestic games. He also created 81 shot assists. De Bruyne is arguably the best in the world in his position, while Grealish isn’t far behind and is just coming off making the Euros final, an absolutely astonishing achievement.
It probably won’t be as easy for City as it was last season but barring any major injury setbacks, they are well on track to dominate the Premier League … yet again.
Moving onto the other Manchester now, they haven’t tasted success in quite a while. But with the recent addition of former Borussia Dortmund superstar Jadon Sancho the gap between them and City should have closed a bit and that’s all they need to work their magic.
Similar to City’s Midfield pairing of De Bruyne and Grealish, can you imagine Sancho and Fernandes playing together? That is a Midfield duo that could very easily lead the club to a record 21st League title.
Sancho similar to Grealish is coming off of the Euros final and he was simply superb during the tournament as the 21-year-old played far above his age. He’s scored five goals playing European Football and he also has the sort of leadership mentalities to lead his team around the field that isn’t seen in a lot of young players. He is cool, calm, and collected and is also somebody who was a massive addition to the Bundesliga in Germany.
Now factor that in with Fernandes, a player who ‘supposedly’ can get too passionate when representing the ‘Red Devils’. People can say what they wish about his ‘diving’, or whatever else is spewed out about him, but there’s no denying he is one of the classiest players in the Premier League. He was a key component in United getting 2nd in the League last season, and for all his arduous work he himself ended up pulling in 18 goals and 12 assists. Those were good for 3rd and equal 2nd in the League, respectively.
The space alone that these two featuring together would open up for their teammates is enough to make you cry. They both demand heavy, defensive attention so the rest of their fellow Attackers are in for a treat. Even if United don’t win a major trophy, they’re still on track to have a damn fine campaign!
Liverpool have won all sorts of trophies and achieved all sorts of ridiculous records under the watchful eye of none other then Mr Jürgen Klopp. In 2018-19 the ‘Reds’ won the Champions League. That season they also claimed the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup as their own. The year after they won the Premier League. Klopp has also won the Bundesliga X2 and was a previous Champions League runner up with Dortmund. The man knows no bounds! So, with him still in charge of course the Merseyside-based club will always remain a legitimate threat.
Liverpool wasn’t at their ideal peak last season, but they still managed to stake out 3rd spot on the ladder with 69 points, just 5 of 2nd place. However, if they were fit and healthy many believe, including myself, that they would’ve given City a real run for their money. The unfortunate reality of an injury crisis and COVID19, in addition to perhaps a hint of a lack of match fitness/unpreparedness hit them hard.
Going through their playing list in 38 of their PL matches played last season, Alexander-Arnold missed two games, while Allison missed five. Fabinho played in only 30 games, while Firmino also missed two. Gomez played in only seven clashes, Henderson missed 17 games and Jones missed 14. Jota played in only 19 clashes, Keita featured in just 10 clashes and Mané missed three. Matip missed 28 matches, Milner missed 12 and Minamino missed 29. Origi played in just nine games, Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in just 13 and Phillips only 17. Salah missed a game, while Shaqiri was only available for 14. Thiago played in 24 games and Van Dijk just five. This makes for some pretty heavy and scary readings. But it’s also pretty easy to see that if they can remain physically healthy (aka injury free) and match healthy then they should be in for another big campaign here.
They won last seasons Champions League, an impressive second in their history. Some clubs don’t even have one such as Arsenal and Tottenham, so what Chelsea did was very, very fantastic for not only their club but Football as a whole. They don’t have the ridiculous spending powers of a Man City or a PSG. Nor do they have the ability to freely pick players from other clubs such as that of what Juventus or Bayern Munich do.
Making this achievement all the more worthy, not that it already wasn’t so incredibly much so to begin with is that they did it sacking their manager throughout the season. Frank Lampard started the campaign in charge of Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel ended it in charge of the ‘Blues’. Tuchel led them to the momentous victory over Manchester, he also led them past both Madrid sides en route to the historic victory. Imagine what he could do with all of the players at his disposal with a full pre-season under him (which they’ve now had) and actually starting the season from the get-go with his tactics and under his guidance? It’s a simply scintillating thought for those who support the Stamford Bridge-based club.
So, Chelsea obviously has that working heavily in their favour. Not to mention by all accounts they are incredibly close to the signing of Belgium Striker Romelu Lukaku. What a purchase he would be for them!
During his most recent Footballing stint with Inter Milan he snagged an extremely impressive 47 goals from 72 matchups. Before that he bagged 28 strikes with Manchester United. He is a seasoned pro who’s also bagged 64 goals for his country on an international scale, he knows how to compete in Europe, and he’s played in the PL before and even with Chelsea for that matter. He’s everything they could possibly want from a focal Attacker and more.
Whilst the impact he could potentially have on Timo Werner could be paramount in him becoming a revitalised Attacking gun once again this campaign. His experience should rub off on Werner. Whilst what better player to show Werner how to finish off his chances calmly and confidently then Lukaku himself. Lukaku is the signing that pushes Chelsea over the edge. And if he does anything for Werner then that’s just an added bonus as well. The ‘Blues’ are coming to get the rest of the competition and they’ll spare no expenses necessary (both literally and figuratively).
‘Auba’, ‘Auba’ and more ‘Auba’. The Gabonese ‘Batman’ is the crucial part to Arsenal’s season that every self-proclaimed ‘Gunner’ is relying upon to lead them to a high finish in the PL this season. And it’s pretty easy to see why when you look at some of his career accolades:
- He was in the PFA Team of the Season two years ago, the same year he was named Arsenal’s best player.
- He was the Premier League Golden Boot winner the season before that, and he also claimed 2X Player of the Month Awards during that delightful span of Footballing greatness.
- He was the Bundesliga Top Goal Scorer in 2016-17.
- He was the African Player of the Year in 2015 and the Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2015-16.
- He’s also claimed an FA Cup victory with Arsenal and 3X DFB-Pokal’s among other trophies.
Last season he registered just 10 PL strikes, while the season before he was at 22.
The ‘Gunner’s’ might not necessarily ‘win it all’ if he returns to form, but an Arsenal that has him firing on all cylinders is certainly a much more potentially damaging prospect to the other 19 teams in England and there’s simply no denying that.
Regardless of Harry Kane’s eventual location, whether it’ll still be in North London, over in Manchester, or elsewhere, people are laughing at and mocking Tottenham hard. A lot of Football fans think Kane can do better, and perhaps he very well could. But would his stats be as good? Or would he get the limelight as much? Regardless of whatever happens with this ugly transfer saga the Spurs are going to go out and play hard under their new manager in an attempt to draw back some pride and respect onto their once hallowed jersey.
And that attempt to push back for some respect should come from non-other then Son Heung-Min. Last season his PL stats were as follows, 17 goals, 10 shot assists and 76 shot assists. The Korean Republic-born Attacker tore the rest of the League to shreds despite his side ending the season in 7th place. With a new head man in charge, a determined Son, and a team willing to fight for the jersey, the Spurs I genuinely do believe have a chance to do something great this campaign.
As I highlighted before, not many if anyone at all foresaw their crazy run to the Champions League final against Liverpool, but it happened. Nobody saw Leicesters run to the title coming, but it happened. No one ever thought Messi would go to PSG but barring anything drastic changing soon it will happen. Crazy things happen in Football and Tottenham certainly represent that ideology in some of the best, but also some of the worst ways possible. They’re bound to do SOMETHING this season, that I know of for sure.
Every team has a shot, and every team has an opportunity. One of them will take it, while each and every one of those Big Six teams are primed for campaigns to remember, for one reason or another. But enough talking from me, let the matches and the season begin!