Premier League 2013/14- What can we expect from the title contenders?
In just a few weeks’ time, the new Premier League season starts. All 20 clubs will be limbering up for the first match, trying to bring in new faces while hoping to shift some of the fringe players. Inevitably, most of the focus will be on the race for the title, and realistically, six clubs can say they have a chance of lifting the big prize after 38 games.
They’ve experienced mixed fortunes in the transfer market this summer. Some have recruited cannily, others have missed out on major targets while, in the case of reigning champions Manchester United, they have yet to make any significant moves. Those who have arrived have typically gone for big bucks, with Manchester City the biggest spenders so far.
Andalucía to Ardwick
City has made three major signings, the most notable being the Sevilla pair of striker Alvaro Negredo and winger Jesus Navas. Alongside Brazil playmaker Fernandinho, who arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk for £35m, they could make City a little more potent under new manager Manuel Pellegrini going forward.
As for neighbours United, they haven’t signed anyone new yet, although they are interested in bringing Cesc Fabregas to the club in order to plug a gaping hole in central midfield. However, it seems that Barcelona is unwilling to sell the former Arsenal man. Speaking of the Gunners, they have designs on bringing Luis Suarez to the Emirates from Liverpool for £40m.
Outsiders coming in?
Chelsea has made a couple of new signings themselves in the form of Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle and Dutch youngster Marco van Ginkel. However, they seem to be in need of a top-class striker, having missed out on the likes of Edinson Cavani already this summer, while Tottenham also need to sign a striker, although they have added a couple of new faces themselves.
Brazil midfielder Paulinho, who was linked with some of the world’s biggest clubs, joined Spurs for £17m, while Nacer Chadli, a versatile forward-cum-winger has also made his way to White Hart Lane. Recently, they have been linked with a move for Roberto Soldado of Valencia, although his current club want a substantial sum for their man.
The second coming
Surprisingly, Chelsea, who now has Jose Mourinho at the helm for his second spell, is the favourite to win the title. They are 2/1 with Ladbrokes to win the Premier League, just ahead of the two Manchester sides, who are both priced at 11/5. Mourinho’s arrival could be just the thing to rejuvenate a side which has tremendous promise.
Further back, Arsenal is the fourth favourites, albeit at a long 11/1. Even further back are Tottenham, who are amazingly sixth at 33/1. Fifth favourites are Liverpool, whose 22/1 price may lengthen should Suarez depart and an adequate replacement not be found before the transfer window slams shut on September 2nd.