The race for the Premier League title turned into more of a procession for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City last season, as they played some scintillating football broke record after record. The Citizens are the favourites to win the Premier League title once again in season 2018/19. However, their rivals will be keen to make life much more difficult for Guardiola’s side this time around. Here are the teams hoping to mount a title challenge in the new season:
City has strengthened their squad with the arrival of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez from Leicester for £60million. However, the Citizens have been rather quiet in the transfer market this summer. Even without many new additions, City still looks like a formidable opponent for any team next season. Guardiola will not accept any complacency and will expect even better results than last season.
The Citizens had been linked with moves for the likes of Thiago, Miralem Pjanic and Matteo Kovacic, although reportedly the champions are unlikely to sign any of the midfield trio.
One team that has not been quiet in the transfer window this summer has been Liverpool. The Reds have made quite a stir by signing Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, Fabinho from Monaco and Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke for a bargain fee.
Jurgen Klopp’s side has also strengthened the goalkeeping area with the signing of highly-rated Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker from Roma. Alisson has arrived to replace the error-prone Loris Karius as the Reds number one.
The Merseysiders impressive work in the transfer market has led to Klopp’s side’s rise to second favourites to win the title next season. The Reds certainly seem to have done some smart summer business.
While Manchester United finished second behind arch-rivals City last season, in truth the Red Devils were miles behind the champions by the end of the campaign.
United boss Jose Mourinho has brought in Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as young full-back Diogo Dalot from Porto and experienced goalkeeper Lee Grant as back-up.
There seems to be a concern amongst United fans that their team has not strengthened sufficiently to beat their rivals to the title. The Red Devils have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, but they would face major competition for his signature if they made a move for the forward.
Tottenham finished third-place in the Premier League table last season. However, they are yet to venture into the market to make any new additions to their squad.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino already has a strong squad, but everybody connected with the club will feel that the north London club will need to add more quality to the squad to mount a title challenge.
The north London outfit have been linked with moves for Aston Villa attacking midfielder Jack Grealish and Bayern Munich youngster Kingsley Coman. Tottenham needs to act quickly if they to improve the squad, as the transfer window will shut in less than a month’s time.
It is all change at Chelsea after the Blues finished fifth-place last season in the Premier League. Italian boss Maurizio Sarri has replaced compatriot Antonio Conte in the Stamford Bridge hot seat. Immediately after Sarri took over, central midfielder Jorginho arrived from Sarri’s former club Napoli for a fee in the region of £51million. The midfielder is the only Blues signing so far.
However, it seems there could be a significant departure in the shape of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, while forward Eden Hazard is also a reported transfer target for the European champions and Barcelona.
The Blues are reportedly interested in either signing Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel or re-signing Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech as a replacement for Courtois. Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain is also a reported transfer target.
The Blues could be a bit of an unknown quantity next season under Sarri next season, so it is difficult to assess their title chances. Sarri likes to play attacking football, though, so it could be an exciting season for Blues fans.
Although unlikely to win the Premier League title in the new season, there seems to be a new positive attitude surrounding the club after the appointment of new boss Unai Emery. The positive atmosphere may have as much to do with the exit of veteran boss Arsene Wenger, who had become the target for heavy criticism.
Emery alongside the clubs head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has been busy strengthening the Gunners squad. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno has arrived Bayer Leverkusen, defender Sokratis has signed from Dortmund, while highly-rated Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira has joined from Sampdoria.
Veteran Switzerland international Stephan Lichtsteiner has also joined to add experience to the Gunners backline. The north London club also saw the exit of midfielder Jack Wilshere, who joined London rivals West Ham as a free agent following the expiration of his contract.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, while also being linked with a move to re-sign French forward Olivier Giroud from Chelsea.
Last season Manchester City dominated the Premier League, with no team even getting near them when it came to the title. The new season should be slightly different, with Liverpool especially looking likely to push the Citizens closer for the title. However, I do believe that Pep Guardiola’s side will retain the title.
Manchester United and Tottenham have not yet strengthened their squads sufficiently, while Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri may need a season to bed in at Stamford Bridge.