The English Premier League is set to kick off today for the 2019-2020 season with Liverpool facing newcomers Norwich City.
Defending champions Manchester City faced runner’s up Liverpool last weekend in the historic Community Shield Cup. While they won 5-4 on penalties, their performance and dominance since the coming of Josep Pep Guardiola is remarkable.
The Spanish mastermind has made huge transformations at Etihad Park, even painting the city of Manchester blue ahead of their rivals Manchester United. The Citizens have won the league for the last two seasons in a style, breaking some of the best previous records.
Last season, EPL fans were entitled to a beautiful showpiece, waiting until the D-day to know the winner. The transfer window has not been that busy for the teams which finished among the Top 4. Chelsea are serving a transfer ban, Tottenham have acquired Dombele, Liverpool signed a youngster while City have brought in Rodrigo and Joao Cancelo.
As a football fan, I cannot hide my admiration of Pep Guardiola and the way he is building a monarchy of trophies at Etihad stadium. Last Season, City won four trophies!
My greatest faith in seeing City record a hat trick of Premier league titles is base on their squad depth. They have acquired Joao Cancelo from Juventus in exchange for Danilo. With Fernadinho aging with injuries, Guardiola went on to bring Rodri from Atletico Madrid making City the most formidable squad!
The squad depth of City has been fundamental in putting them ahead of their competitors.
Here is a preview of other major clubs;
Liverpool on the other hand have retained their squad but the return of Oxlade Chamberlain is good news. The reds lost only one match last season, yet they didn’t win the title. I do expect a good performance from Liverpool but not worthy of title contenders. Of course the race will be between the two just as last season.
Manchester United seem to have realised their weakness and that is evident with them breaking the banks for Harry Maguire and Wan Bissaka. This will be the first season Ole Gunaar is in charge from the start and it will be as well an opportunity for him to showcase his proficiency, having acquired some of the desired players.
Chelsea will once again be forced to draw attention where they largely ignored; academy players. Chelsea is the club with most loaned players, yet they have been struggling in the market wasting money on high profile names. Frank Lampard had the youngest squad in the championship last season, yet he guided Derby county to playoff finals. How he will put trust in young players like Hudson Odoi, Mason Mount, kourt Zouma, Tammy Abraham will matter most.
Signing Pepe from Lille, Arsenal broke the headlines. The addition of David Luiz and Tierney among others is impressive for their desire to bolster their performance and Unai Emery should not afford another trophyless season.
Mauricio Pochettino has been hailed for recording good performances with the underrated London side. They were champions league finalists and this season paves way for yet another competitive period. They will really have a tough time finishing ahead of Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United.
Punditry at times needs bolder steps and one of that will be my prediction for the upcoming season. I expect City to win the title for the third time, in a race with Liverpool. Chelsea and Manchester United will finish the top four, bundling out Londoners Arsenal and Tottenham.
Have a great season ahead!
(Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solemnly of the writer and do not whatsoever represent Wakajuanes.com.)